Thursday, 21 July 2011

Using Voicethread with graded readers

It is possible, if you work frantically, to have a full scale Voicethread production of a graded reader, such as OUP's Story Tree orange level one seen here, up and published in an hour.

We did not get into this 'cold'. Students have been asked to listen to the CD and to read along at home. This is not homework as such, but our efforts at an extensive reading programme. A book a month is a very gentle commitment I think!

We have also 'milked' this source heavily - it is full of verbs in the past tense - regular and irregular - which we have worked on previously eg using a word cloud to retell the story as best we could & to find the verbs in their past form > write the present tense form. We have also identified how to pronounce the three different /ed/ endings (from the CD).

I gave my boys the camera and asked them to find some of the main 'ingredients' in our story. Those things we couldn't photograph we drew quick pictures eg museum & shop. The students were assigned characters to speak for (reading ahead skills) and then Jim's quick keyboard skills were needed to find the right images/press record etc. We were against time pressure so we did not go back and edit - so what you hear is very much what we did. Pauses are there when someone wandered off thinking they'd finished!

Image representing Edmodo as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseI hope you'll take a few minutes to follow the link over to Voicethread and leave a comment yourself for us (or leave us a note here). Personally, I think this is a lovely (free) tool that teachers should be able to exploit easily for this kind of personalisation. Involves everyone in a production that would otherwise stay 'hidden' in the book. Performing brings out the characters and imagination, and a lasting finished product is something they can share & go back to with pride. All our classes work is linked for parents to discover on Edmodo too, which if you have not thought about using for classes yet, I'd take a look. We love it!