Friday, July 10, 2015

#CyberPD - Digital Reading Part 1

I have to begin with a confession.  I own all of Franki Sibberson's books.  I am a huge fan of Franki's writing and when I read her next book was titled Digital Reading, I jumped with joy and was ready to click preorder!  Then I read the byline, What's Essential in Grade 3 - 8 and my heart sank a little bit.  I teach 2nd grade!  I didn't know what to do and I wasn't sure who to ask.  I am blessed to know how to get in touch with Franki and call her my friend, so I did just that. I reached out to my friend who was brilliant in her response.  She told me the first chapter was online and I should read that to see if I wanted to purchase the book.  I followed her suggestion and clicked preorder within minutes.  

I usually follow grade level suggestions but this is what I know about Franki's writing.  It's down to earth.  It's full of good suggestions that make me stop and think.  It confirms what I'm thinking when the world seems to spin a little bit in the opposite direction.  I know digital reading is a way of life.  I know it's important for K - 12 to think about embracing digital reading because our students either are trying to read digitally or will be very soon.  

In reading Franki and Bill's first and second chapter, I find myself thinking about what I might want digital reading to look like in my classroom.  Figure 2.2. The role of digital texts in the literacy workshop made my mind spin really fast and is some information I need to process more.  I was surprised how many ways digital reading could be incorporated with our reading workshop, as I read through the questions provided.  I was surprised to reflect and decide I'm not modeling digital reading enough in my classroom and maybe this is where I might focus my work while reading this book.  It might be taking this recommended for grades 3-8 book and finding nuggets we can use with more modeling or shared participation for a longer period of time.  However, if I truly think about how my students work, they will be eager and willing to move the pace a bit faster from the I do to we do to you do, meaning they will be engaged with digital reading!  

I also want to share a few thoughts from the book that made me stop and say hmmm
     -"reading on a computer does not make a digital reader"
     -"digitally literate vs technology users"
     -"Figure 1.3"
    -"learning to read digital texts must be embedded in the ways we do our     literacy word on a  day to day basis
    -"authenticity, intentionality, connectedness"

Thank you to Cathy, Laura, and Michelle for co-hosting and generating some summer #CyberPD love!


  1. Mandy,

    I'll say it again, I'm so glad that you are joining in the #cyberPD conversation. And I'm so glad that you shared your confession! I know there were more than one of us who always worry about that specific grade level. But you know what I have learned about smart teachers? They make a way to take the important essential information and make it work in their classrooms. And no one can wrong with a little digital learning support these days!

    I love Franki's writing as well. A natural conversation of sorts ...

    You said it right, 'digital reading is a way of life.' It's here and ever changing -- but if we plan with authenticity, intentionality, and connectedness in mind, we will create digital readers who are critical consumers and thinkers!

    Thanks again Mandy!

  2. Hi Mandy,
    Thanks for your post. The stated grade level band of professional books is sometimes a dilemma for me, too. I recently bought the third edition of Nancy Atwell's In the Middle even though I will be moving to grade 5 next year. I know there is always something I can learn and adjust in my classroom even if the grade range of a book I am reading doesn't match the current grade I am teaching. I think there are always ways to take what a middle school teacher is saying, for example, and transfer that to a lower grade. The same is true for early childhood. I think the reason grade levels are placed on professional books is probably because the classroom examples in the books come from those grade levels and therefore primarily address the needs of kids in those grades. Happy reading!

  3. We agree - we need to model digital reading in our demonstration lessons and during PD sessions. We want to weave digital literacy throughout out our work next year.

  4. Mandy,
    I think you make a great point. Beginning with modeling digital literacy is a smart first step. By using more digital literacy tools/texts in our read alouds and focus lessons, we are really opening the door to possibility for students. Starting in the place with the highest support makes sense for so many reasons.

    I'm so glad you joined the conversation this year. There are several primary teachers in the house waiting to have these conversations.


  5. Mandy,
    I'm so happy you're joining us!!! I completely agree; I'm a huge fan of Franki's work and thinking... and it truly can transcend the grade levels. You picked up on some really important points. I'm with you on the fact that I don't think I model digital reading enough in my classroom.

  6. I'm a little late to commenting....but what else is new, right? You are so right that it's important to model how we use digital tools in our reading. The kids will take off with it! We learn so much from our own practice, which we can then share with our kids. :)