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Voice and Choice Technology Integrated Independent Reading Projects

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Keywords: Independent Reading Projects
Subject(s): Video, Animation, Spelling, Technology, Grammar, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 3 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Greenbrier Westside Elementary School, Greenbrier, AR
Planned By: Patricia (Tricia) Daniels
Original Author: Patricia (Tricia) Daniels, Greenbrier
Research shows that children are more invested in projects where they have both voice and choice.

Introducing the Independent Reading Projects:
Hook: Show examples of past student projects on SMARTBOARD
The students will complete an independent reading project every three weeks. The students are given their genre and book project choice boards the first week of school. The teacher reviews the characteristics of the different genres to insure all students are on the same page.
(This review activity needs to match the needs of your students.) The teacher introduces the project choices and each of the project's criteria. The teacher will use past student examples to introduce each technology integrated book project.

Project Day
To help maximize learning/ work on project day I share a google doc that has links to the project websites etc with the students.

The students must have a book read before they come to class. To insure all my students have completed this task I have check points to assess where they are in their reading. There is a daily reminder on the board when book project day is and it has been written on their calendar in their agenda that is brought to class each day.

Project Day
If for some reason a student come to class without having a book read they devote their class time to finishing their book. They are responsible for completing a book and a project. They will work on their projects during homework club before school.( You can decide what works best for your students.) It will take them longer to complete theirs, but they will complete and present their project. I notify the parents and insure they understand that their child's grade will reflect a late assignment.

Here some of the projects my students can choose from:
I change choice boards every 3 months. My choice boards are Tic-Tac-Toe style boards and they have nine projects to choose from
Haiku Deck
Photo Story
Puppet Pals 2
Stop Motion
Story Maker
QR Codes
There are also project choices that the students use the Lap tops to complete their projects:
Biography Tie
Game Board
Cereal Box
Grab Bag Book Talk
Puzzle Maker
Story Setting Map
You know your students....pick projects that benefit all types of learners in your classroom.

Book Project Day is also Presentation Day
The integrated technology book project choices can be completed in a class period. (I have 1hour and 30 mins with each of my four classes.) Plus in some instances the projects can be presented. Some classrooms may have to have a book project day and separate presentation day. (Why do I have my students do their projects at school? This gives all my students equal access to technology plus another added bonus is having peer tutors to help them with their technology. How do I justify giving up a whole class period to book project day and presentations? The collaborating is priceless. My students are learning new skills through their peers.)

The students self-assess their projects and their presentation using a rubric the students helped create. I use the same rubric to assess their completed project and presentation.

My students look forward to Book Project Day! They continuously wow me each and every time. My students have taught me so much. There is a free choice square on their choice board and they have introduced me to all kinds of technology apps.
Key to success in this lesson is having multiple types of technology available at your fingertips. We have different mobile labs we have to share throughout the school. We are assigned a different type of technology every two weeks. The technology schedule is made by semester. I know which technology I will have, thus I pick the projects according to the technology available to me. Some of the projects listed above are just iPad projects and the other can be done on lap tops.Classroom Wish: have multiple pieces of technology that stays in my own classroom that will give my students more voice and choice.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
My project choice boards have been used in Science, Math and Social Studies. The criteria changes for each subject's project, but the students can create using the same the same links I shared on their google docs page. For example they can do a Voki in Math, Science and Social Studies fulfilling their criteria.Project Choice board very universal.
I have signed up with ePals this year and can't wait to get to collaborate plus share book projects with other fifth graders around the world. What a fun way to learn about other cultures
Materials: Mobile Labs, Printers, English/Language Arts
Other Items: 2 iPADS , $399.99 each, total of $799.98
2 Lap Tops, $309.00 each, total of $618.00
2 Chromebooks, $261.99 each, total of $523.98
2 iPAD Mini, $279.00 each, total of $558.00