Sunday, August 7, 2016

Using Self-Created Digital Books As Lesson Openers: Hooking Students From the get-Go

Image result for mo willems pigeon     If you read my last post, you might have noticed that I am dabbling in digital story telling (I know, I am on the late train for this one!). I have recently just created my own digital book to read to my class on the first day of school. The purpose of this book is to relay my own fears of the first day of school in order to connect with my students, while easing their nerves. While creating this book, I began to ponder all the many different ways I could actually use digital story telling in my classroom. Books are powerful, and when it comes to read alouds, I have my students' attention like no other time during the school day.
     Though I don't yet know all the ways I will use digital story telling in my classroom, one way for sure is to use it as an attention grabber in the beginning of a lesson. What better way to open a lesson? Obviously not every lesson can be done this way, but I think it's such a powerful way to hook students and really get their attention. The exciting part is that with so many digital tools out there, we can be as creative as possible with these books. In addition, when you include real pictures of people and images that your classroom is familiar with (you, the classroom, students, etc.), you get kids excited!
     I have now created my second digital book, entitled Don't Let the Pigeon Touch the Books. This book is obviously based off of Mo Willem's "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus". We all know how much students LOVE Mo Willems' books, and specifically Pigeon. This will be the attention grabber to my lesson about how to treat our classroom books. What better way to reel them in and get them excited about taking care of our classroom books?
    In the past, I have always used read alouds as a means to either deliver information (such as in social studies, science, even math), connect to a value or theme we or exploring, or just for the pure joy of sharing a story. Using a read aloud as a way to hook students into the beginning of a lesson will be new for me, but I am excited to try this out because it's such a great way to add more time for reading, and to get the kids really paying attention to a topic.
     Have you used read alouds to get your students' attention at the beginning of a lesson? I would love to hear about it.

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