Aloud kicked off in Stow-Munroe Falls K-4 schools buildings on Oct. 3 and will continue for six weeks. Pernille Ripp, a teacher in Oregon who was born in Denmark, started the GRA in 2010. The motto is "One Book to Connect the World."
This year the picture books are by Lauren Castillo -- my K-2 read those books. Grades 2-3 are reading "The BFG" by Roald Dahl and fourth-graders are listening to PAX by Sara Pennypacker. Each of my SMFCSD classrooms, K-4, are connecting to classrooms around the world to talk about what they are reading.
At the heart of this project, it's essentially a read-aloud. Yet, it's so much more than just a read-aloud. Teachers start making global connections for their classes. To start the discussion, many teachers participate in a "Mystery Skype." During this first online session, students take turns asking map-related questions. Students use the answers to try to find their partner classes' location on the dry erase map. At my two elementary buildings, every teacher is participating in the GRA in some capacity.
It's amazing to see the love of reading and then sharing this with a classroom outside of Stow, Ohio. It opens up the communication, 21st Century Learning skills and critical thinking that our students need to be successful in today's world.
Currently, 903,533 students signed up this year to participate. My teachers have many connections in the States, Canada and even as far as New Zealand and Australia. Classes then will continue meeting online to talk, Twitter and Padlet to privately keep posting while reading aloud. To follow along in the fun, look up #stowk4 to view SMFCSD Elementary Schools on Twitter. I update the technology integration often.
Academic Integration Specialist SMFCSD