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Author Biography: I am a Technology Facilitator at two K-4th grade schools in a suburb just outside of Chicago.

Prior to this position I was a fifth grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools. I help teachers integrate technology into their classrooms and model technologicallyenhanced lessons. My favorite tools and resources are Screenr, Voki, Skype, Googledocs, document cameras, Free Technology for Teachers, and the annual Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) Conference. I email a Tech News bulletin to our districts teachers about every other month. See my website for copies under Online Resources and email me if youd like to be added to the mailing list. My goal for this summer is to get a blog up and running of all activities and lessons we design in our district. Ill post a link to my blog when its up! I am always looking for K-4th grade teachers/technology facilitators who want to collaborate on projects that incorporate technology to enhance learning. Activity Summary
Students record themselves reciting a poem, then create an animated character that appears to speak their poem using their voice. In order to complete this activity, students must first practice reading their poem aloud repeatedly. This improves their fluency and speaking skills which they can then demonstrate with their final product- an animated voki published online for all their family and friends to see. Class or subject area: Area Grade level(s): 1st 2nd Specific learning objectives: 1st Grade Language Arts Common Core Standards Addressed: Reading Standards for Literature #10 With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1. Foundational Skills #4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. #4b: Read on-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

Anniversary Book Project


Practicing Fluency Using

By: Mandy Nelson Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND Author contact:

Lesson Introduction: I want to share a lesson that a first grade teacher and I did a little before Halloween this past year. It worked quite well. As part of her curriculum Mrs. Stasys gave students a binder that includes poems that the student will read throughout the year. They gather together on the rug once a day and read the chosen poem aloud. They read the same poem every day for one week so their fluency and expression skills are honed. The teacher and I decided to take this one step further- we wanted each child to record their own rendition of the poem. This gives them more incentive to learn to speak with expression and in a natural rhythm when reading a text. Below is the lesson in as succinct of terms as I can provide. Here is a link to our finished product. Note that you can rely heavily on the two video links to teach the students how to log in and create their characters. I think this will save you a lot of time. Preparation: 1. Make your own voki first so that you understand exactly how it works. Tip: You could record yourself and create a voki that tells the students about the project to model it for them and to get them excited for it. 2. Locate a fun poem (maybe use one with a holiday theme). 3. Reserve a computer lab or laptop cart. Each student should have their own computer. 4. You will need a projector in the computer lab or in your classroom. 5. Voki does not record well on Safari so I recommend using Firefox. I have not tried it on Explorer, Chrome etc. so be sure to check it out first if you plan on using those browsers. 6. Create a Voki Classroom account (costs $29.99/year) and enter your students usernames and passwords. I believe you can also do this using a free account but it may be more labor intensive. Print the username and passwords out for the students. Our students usernames consisted of their last name with 603 (part of our zip code) after it. Example: nelson603. Their passwords were their first names, no caps. Example: mandy. 7. If you already have a classroom website that your students know how to use, post a voki link on it so it is easy for them to access in the computer lab. 8. It would be ideal to have two adults to help in the room when the students make their characters. 9. On a separate day, have students come to you one by one during silent reading. Record them using using either the built in mic on your computer or your own USB mic. Save each file as the students name. Process: Monday: Explain to the students that they will be reading a new poem and at the end of the week they will be able to post themselves reading it online. Monday-Thursday: Sit in a group on the floor and practice reading the poem together as a class several times a day until the students can read it fluently on their own. Thursday: 1. Allow for 1 hour in the lab. 2. Students come in to the lab and face the front of the room (no touching the computers just yet!). 3. Show them these videos that I created using Video 1 Video 2 4. Replay Video 1 (and eventually Video 2) but pause it after each direction is said so students can

do exactly what has been demonstrated on the screen. You can also keep repeating the same step over and over without having to waste your own voice by rewinding the clip until everyone has it. Tip: Tell students they need to follow each direction and then look to their classmates on either side of them to make sure they have done it too. If they havent done it, they need to help their peers. The teacher and helper should be patrolling the room at this time to make sure everyone is caught up. 5. Have students complete all of the steps in the video so that they create a character or scene that somehow relates to the poem. (They can either make an avatar that looks like them and then choose a background that goes along with the poem or they can create an avatar of a character in the poem.) 6. You have to record something before you are able to save the voki. Use the text button: and have them type their name. Then they should save their project. Friday: One by one the tech specialist or teacher should have each student log in to their Voki. (This could be done during silent reading if only the teacher is there.) The student should have their printed poem in front of them for reference as they read it. The student hits the microphone button: then the record button and recites the poem with expression and good pacing. When finished they click Stop, then Save. Weekend: 1. Once all the students have been recorded, the teacher signs in to her/his account. 2. Click on the Review Tab. 3. Watch each Voki and then click Approve. 4. Under the Approve tab you can see and show all of the student vokis. If you want to embed them in your website find the embed code button (it has these symbols: < >) and paste that code it into your website for each student wiki. You can also use the Create a url option and it will provide you with a web address where the voki can be viewed. You can give it to parents so they can view it online at home. If those web addresses are tedious to copy, try using a url shortener like or Monday through Friday of the following week: Celebrate the final product by showing three or so of the student Vokis every day. The students will be very proud of themselves and you will be too!