Global Read Aloud: Orbiting Jupiter

When I was setting up this blog, I came across the Global Read Aloud. I truly believe in the value of reading aloud to students of all ages. I’m always looking for suggestions of new read alouds. I think there’s an art to choosing a read aloud. I think it needs to be short; otherwise the read aloud drags along for months. Short chapters help to create natural breaks. Mini cliff hangers are a bonus. I think it needs a strong emotional appeal whether it’s humour or tragedy. The text can’t be too description heavy, lots of dialog and action. You can’t just flip back to check something in a read aloud, so it shouldn’t have too many characters to keep track of. I was excited to see what was selected for junior high audiences and to see how it fit my criteria.

Beyond just reading aloud, I liked the idea of having students converse about the book they’re listening to, not only with their classmates, but also with other students from around the world. I hope we’ll get some responses from students in other schools, provinces, countries! We’ve also had a few Twitter interactions. Check out @8geniuses.

I’m enjoying the book so far. I’m having a hard time not reading ahead!

What are you passionate about?

We’re in the planning phases of our first genius hour projects. It’s so exciting to hear what my students want to learn about this term. There’s a tremendous amount of variety: learning to knit (why yes, I’ll model that scarf); cake baking and decorating (of course, I’ll be your taste tester); soap-box car building (no, I will not be test driving those!); coding; song writing; video game creation; new languages; small engine repair; bicycle repair; building a desk top computer, and so much more!

Our first steps will involve taking these passions and creating plans. Students are responsible for setting their learning goals, breaking down tasks and creating a timeline. Soon we’ll be reaching out to experts. Students will be presenting their learning November 23rd to 25th and then it will be time for them to negotiate for their project grades.

What will I be learning about while my students are learning all of this? Well, I’m brand new to blogging so setting this up has required some learning. Some of my students have suggested we share pictures of our progress and projects on Instagram, so I guess I’ll be learning about some new-to-me social media platforms. I’m also learning a new role. I won’t be the “sage on the stage” for genius hour. I’m looking forward to coaching genius hour work.

Each week students will be blogging: sharing their progress; reflecting on their learning; asking for advice with obstacles, and more.

Follow this blog and individual student blogs to watch our progress!