I started in on Week #2: VoiceThread a little early since I’ll be gone out of town until the end of the week. I am really looking forward to being close to the mountains and sleeping outside every night but I am a little bummed to be out of sync with everyone over at #ntbootcamp and missing out on the #ntchat on Twitter. Nevertheless, I am so excited with what I have learned so far about VoiceThread and I can’t wait to see and hear what is waiting for me when I get back.
VoiceThread has a lot of potential for me. I am always looking for creative ways to get my students to actually talk in English. Sure, I can get them to do popcorn activities or play games but they have the most language growth when they can get creative and when they can relate it to something with a more personal connection as well as when English goes beyond the walls of our classroom.
Some ideas I have so far are:
- First thing I’m going to do in the fall is upload all the pages from a book we made in my 2nd grade group last year. We made our own version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle. The students illustrated the pages and we rewrote the text to go with each of their animal and color choices. The finished project looks great but I’ve always had it in the back of my mind to record the students reading the book et, voila, VoiceThread! After uploading all the pages, each student can read their page in the slide show and then we can invite others to comment on our book! We can also share it on the English blog for parents and our friends globally to enjoy. Plus, revisiting the book will be a great way to start off the school year in September.
- As part of flattening our classroom walls, I can have the students take photos and then create a VoiceThread to share as part of the #globalclassroom or any other opportunity we might have to share.
- I could create fun activities that I set up for small groups or pairs to do in the class: “I spy” or fun with vocab or asking questions. For example, I could show a photo of pizza and ask, “Do you like pizza?” and each student could record their response being as detailed as they wanted. This would be great for many different types of students. I could put a different photo/question on each computer and they could rotate through as groups answering the questions. After I could put it on the blog so they can hear all the responses and share with their parents and our friends around the world!
Have you tried VoiceThread yet? If not, check out the video on the #ntbootcamp wiki and give it a try. I’d love to hear about your experiences!