Thursday, July 23, 2015

Digital Reading #cyberpd Chapters 6-7

Image result for #cyberpd          Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8

Follow along with our Google+ community and learn from #cyberPD.
This summer we will be reading Digital Reading by Franki Sibberson and Bill Bass.
Thank you to Michelle NeroCathy Mere, and Laura Komos for setting up this learning community!

As I read this book, I'm thinking about the information I want to share with my colleagues.  As a literacy specialist/coach, I hope to use my learning to inspire others to try something new!  As I write my posts, I'm thinking of what I want to share.  I don't want to summarize the chapters, that can get too long.  But what are the points that stick to me the most?  What are the big picture notes that will inspire teaching to reach students?  That's what I'm writing about.

Chapter 6:  Assessment: Keeping OurEye on the Literacy
Chapter 7: Beyond the Classroom Walls: Connecting Digital Reading at Home and School

I think the name of chapter 6 is perfect because it encompasses what this book has strived for - being authentic.  Just as we need to be authentic and purposeful in our selection of what students use for their digital reading and understanding, we need to stay the course when thinking about assessment.

I felt like this quote was such an important reminder of what assessment is.  It's NOT, something we do before report cards or three times each year.  It shouldn't give us an end result, but help us understand student learning, and give us next steps.  As Franki and Bill say, "assessment techniques should be about moving readers forward in their learning." pg. 90.

When thinking about assessment, the authors included a list of ongoing assessment ideas.  How many of these do you use?
  • kidwatching
  • taking notes while conferring
  • analyzing written response
  • examining student annotations
  • listening in on conversations
  • analyzing miscues and oral reading
  • talking to students about their own goals
  • collecting artifacts and written responses to reading
  • synthesizing use of strategies for understading
Purple highlights are things I'm doing well at.  Yellow highlights are things I would like to improve upon this year.

Next Steps
  • I'd really like to try Evernote out.  I've said that for over a year now, but I think if we truly are doing ongoing assessments, there needs to be a common place to store information.
  • I like the possibilities of a classroom Twitter account.

This book has really pushed my thinking about digital reading and what it means.  I have some new ideas and new steps to take this year.
What were your big takeaways?  Mine is being authentic.  How can I use digital tools authentically?  What are the sites and apps that are going to push student learning?  I have a few to try this year!


  1. Evernote has been on my list to try for years now. I've got the app downloaded--that's a start, right? Of course, I've had the app downloaded for years now too. SIGH. Authenticity is also a big takeaway for me--I really appreciate their focus on making sure that the literacy practices of our classrooms match the literacy practices of actual human beings reading & writing in the world.

  2. Michele,

    We have been trying to stress to teachers that assessments are NOT an event and all instruction stops. As far as the ongoing assessments mentioned, I think I would highlight just as you did. Same colors and all. Room for growth! I particularly want to dig into Evernote as well! I hope Cathy knows what she is getting into with a crash course on EN in Voxer! :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and joining in the #cyberPD conversations! I know we will continue conversing all year!

  3. I think it is so important for all of us to share what we have learned during #cyberPD. The book has been both refreshing and empowering. We should share with as many people as we can.

  4. It's great to hear you write goals that are thoughtful and authentic, Michele. Sometimes we would say we were doing "Goldilocks thinking" - really it was the 3 bears. The goals not too few, not too many, but just right. I have made lists of apps I know & how they work, and then offered the ones I believe might suit a particular task (meet the goal) to students & then allow them to explore & choose. Of course I did have older students, but even younger ones are able to figure out quite a bit. I hope you do give Evernote a try. It is user friendly! And best wishes for the coming year!

  5. I love that you are already thinking about what your next steps will be! This is so important as we put into practice the things we've learned from our summer professional development. All too often, I feel like I lose track of what I learned. A plan will definitely help keep me on track!

  6. Michele,
    There are two pieces I've really loved this year about #cyberPD's book selection: 1) Franki & Bill really kept their conversation around literacy even though they were making the point that digital reading needed to be a more natural part of student reading lives.
    2) The book has really helped everyone to think about their next steps.

    As I've moved from blog to blog I've noticed participants, like you, putting their thinking into action. I appreciated your conversation around what you plan to work toward in the coming year. As an intervention teacher our push sometimes becomes around improving the reading so students can make accelerated progress, but I know I need to remember to keep the reader in mind first. I want to continue to find ways to make authentic conversations around real reading a part of our time together each day.