This post is part of this year’s Walk This Way series, designed to share The Walking Classroom experiences of teachers and students across the United States. This post provides a glimpse into Dawn Rensel’s class.
My students and I love books! One of my parts of my classroom is the gold mine of books that I have available to all my students. I get a bit giddy when my students get books and read for pure pleasure during the school day.
As a book-related activity, in my classroom I incorporate an “Author of the Month” study. This is when my favorite supplemental program (The Walking Classroom!) comes to the rescue, yet again!
Our author of the month was children’s author Jack Prelutsky. And guess what we listened to during our month-long study of Jack? Yup, you guessed it, The Walking Classroom podcast about Jack Prelutsky (4-#38, Complete-#39)!
This time, we listened to the podcast prior to learning about him. I then began by reading and exposing my students to the biographical information about Jack Prelutsky. We discussed him as an author before we examined him as a writer.
Adding to a Writer’s Notebook
As part of our “Author of the Month” study, we do a Writer’s Notebook all year long. In this, the students respond to prompts and focus on authors as writers. We examine picture books, poems, and a variety of literature from the focused author. My students all create their own author study, which becomes a cumulative Google Slide Show of all the authors that we have focused on throughout the school year.
. . . and Sharing What We’ve Learned!
The “Writer’s Talk” Google Slideshow focuses on the writer’s thoughts on writing, not simply biographical information about their childhood, family, etc. I have the students include a quote from the author as well!
Students must add pictures to go along with their content and also add in a picture of the writer and the covers of his/her books. That way, if other students are interested, they can read the author’s books, poems, etc. too.
A lot of my students opted to listen to the podcast a second, third, or even fourth time as they worked on their Google Slideshow. In fact, many of my learners chose this auditory method of learning to solidify their facts for their presentation versus reading about Jack.
TWC Does not Disappoint!
This podcast happened to fit in perfectly with our curriculum. My students all have different learning styles. Having them listen and collect information for their Google Slideshow rather than read for the information has been especially beneficial and successful amongst my struggling readers and ESL population.
Again, my favorite supplemental program, The Walking Classroom, has not disappointed my fourth graders!
See you on the trails!
Fourth Grade Teacher