Thursday, December 08, 2011

Google Docs Improve Reading Workshop

Illustrated by Haeun
A difficult part of running several book groups simultaneously is keeping track of all the books.  The use of Google docs has come to my rescue and enhanced classroom book groups.

I position myself with the computer on my lap in front of the white board.  I'm essentially the notetaker.  When students gather with me in a circle, we typically begin by reviewing the main events of the story and adding new events that have taken place in the pages students read since the last meeting.

Then we move to the focus of that book group meeting.  The focus changes from week to week.  At the start we usually talk a lot about the characters, setting and problem.  We question, make predictions and research vocabulary with online image and dictionary searches.  Comprehension strategies are targeted throughout our meetings.  All of our discussion notes are posted on the Google doc--a doc that is shared with all students in the book group. The format of the Google doc is a collection of ideas I've gathered over the years from colleagues and professional development resources.

It's a great tool and process that I hope to grow to best effect book group discussions, fluency and comprehension.  Take a look at our recent Stone Fox Book Notes.  What would you add?  What would you take away?  How would you manage the process?  I look forward to your feedback.