Reading in a Digital world: Together and Independently


In my last post, Digital Literacy Reading Video in K-2, I provided a whole class sample lesson for teachers to use in any K-2 classroom.   In this post, I will take the lesson deeper, integrating speaking and listening common core objectives and language arts common core objectives up to grade 5.


Learning to read is no longer limited to text in a book, a magazine, or a newspaper.  Literacy can encompass many forms of information children must digest and process.  For a deeper definition of 21st century literacies see the National Council for Teachers of English statement here.  Diverse forms of media used to present information in the classroom are not only engaging for students, but necessary according to the Common Core.  Guided instruction may have appeared in the past to look like a lecture format.  But the deep teaching and learning taking place in this model lesson includes different ways for students to respond, reflect, and build meaning.  Students will choose how to respond and process.

Student selected tools for processing and responding to information

  • reader’s notebook
  • plain paper
  • graphic organizers
  • conversation anchor charts with questions and answer procedures
  • ipads, chromebooks

Student Partners and Small Groups

Using the Turn and Talk model during the lesson will enable students to process information in different ways.  The New Teacher Center website gives excellent examples and short videos of using this model effectively.  Instead of lecturing to children, posing questions, and letting one child respond at a time, children are talking, listening, and learning about the lesson topic from one another.  Allowing students to draw, write, question, and wonder in different ways during the conversation is the new part of this lesson.  Teachers will use appropriate discretion with the group for how and when to allow multiple forms of response. The depth of response will vary.  I will go into more depth about evaluation of student responses in the next post.

Strategy: Using a video clip like you would a mentor text

Use two minutes and forty seconds of this video clip for the purpose of this lesson. Any type of information you are teaching or subject can be selected to fit your students’ needs.  (Take time to view and review it several times.  Try it as a whole piece, then take it in parts, take out sound, stop for times to respond, review it, give time for students to develop questions and theories.)

What do you notice?

Why do you think that?

How do you know?

Where does the (text/video) show you?

What does it all mean? Are you developing a theory?

What will you do with this information?

How does this information make you a better scientist, reader, writer, etc?

What makes this method best practice?

The parts of this lesson supported by research can be found in the SAMR and TPACK models for integration of technology.

I’m Still Wondering. . .

I’m interested to hear more about how teachers have done lessons similar to this.  I wonder what sources of information they are using.  I wonder how they are planning these kinds of lessons across the year.  I wonder how many teachers are using tools like Today’s Meet for backchanneling and how it changes the dynamics of a classroom conversation.


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