Seeing potential title for the 2017 Global Read Aloud, I am reflecting back on all the fun my students had with Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt. From our home classroom in Pocomoke City, MD, we connected two schools regularly in the San Francisco area as well as a school in rural Iowa. Each group of students offered a noticeable difference in personality, background knowledge, and experiences.
It allowed my students to interact with students in a new way.
Midway through our novel, we tackled point of view and perspective writing letters as certain characters of the book — Joseph, Jack, Maddie, and many more. The voice and passion of the students came alive because we used a relatively new application called Flip Grid.
It allowed us to create discussion portals between the three classrooms, and my students were very excited. After recording their responses, they received authentic feedback from other students and teachers.
Our first attempt was not perfect, but it was the first step in supporting the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standard of Speaking in my classroom. Months later and with additional practice, my students are very comfortable with Flip Grid and explaining their answers.
One small step for innovation and one giant leap towards students mastering speaking and listening standards.