Ms. Donnelly Reads

"A Reader Lives a Thousand Lives" George R.R. Martin


With help from the article Fostering Media-Literate Students, think of a typical assignment from your days as a student or from your experience in helping students that you can redesign to “bridg[e] out-of-school digital activity with in-school digital literacy learning.” Provide a brief description of the redesigned assignment.


First of all, I am not a techie by any stretch of the imagination. I can access Facebook, my school website, my email accounts, and the other basic stuff. When I learned how to use Prezi, I thought I was all that and a piece of cheese… Turns out, I’m nowhere near where all the cool kids hang out. While this has been the story of my life, I’ve found that my life needs some shaking up. So, I embrace change and look forward to the challenges and rewards of becoming a more digital kind of teacher and human being. (Though, I will always prefer books to Ereaders… IJS)

As an educator, I’ve tried to incorporate more tech usage in my classroom: power point presentations, research for projects, choosing their Hogwarts house…) But, what I’ve always wanted to try was approaching reading differently. Not so much the reading in class, because, well… that’s classroom reading. But, the independent reading that doesn’t get done because they just don’t want to read when they go home. I’ve tried using different colored paper and prettier fonts on their Reading Logs only to come up empty handed (and out of LOTS and LOTS of colored paper) when I go to collect them. Perhaps I have to come to terms with the fact that students lose paper, are forgetful, don’t do their homework, don’t like to read, don’t like to write… Ugh… BUT MAYBE they WILL like to talk about themselves and see themselves on screens (who are we fooling? OF COURSE they like to see and hear themselves!) which will encourage them to perform for their classmates (and me??).

So, here’s what I’d like to revise for future reading logs:

Each student checks out a book of their own choosing. It is their responsibility to read 20 minutes every night.

Instead of handing out the beautiful (and expensive) colored paper with the pretty fonts (that may or may not have infected my computer last year), give them access to create a Glogster account (a $95 cost for up to 125 students, but with the research I’ve done on this, it looks TOTALLY worth it!).

Glogster link:

By Monday, instead of paper being passed back (or not in many cases), students will have uploaded a recap of their book with specific elements explained. How they go about this update will be up to them. They can either do one long entry about the week’s reading. Or, they can update each day after they’ve read for their allotted time. The necessary elements would include: student name, book title, author, reading level, AR points, image of book cover, main characters, story summary to date (NO SPOILERS), themes presented in the text AND textual evidence that convey them, along with their general feeling about the book.

I’m not looking for each student to present a 20 minute diatribe on the book. I am, however, looking that they’re able to summarize what they’ve read, identify character motivation, themes, and explain their thinking using textual evidence.

We can take time to present their entries to the entire class and decide which ones we should put up in our Biblionasium account for future reads. This way, the kids can see and hear what their peers are reading and that may (MAY!) encourage them to read more books.

Biblionasium link:

Yours in digital optimism,





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