Think about your classroom. When it comes to writing workshop or responding to reading, how many students drag their heels and write as little as possible? Or worse yet, refuse to write? Or even worse, their behavior starts to go south?
Now, think about your classroom. When it comes to talking about topics, how many students will sit one-on-one with you and talk easily?
In my experience students do not want to write because it takes too long or because it isn't interesting. Another issue, especially with the younger students, is that they cannot put their thoughts on paper. Talking through it is more natural. It allows them to use vocabulary they may not be able to spell when they write, but they know how to say it.
Technology can become an important tool when you want your students to share their thinking. Each day it is impossible to have one-on-one talks with students during reading workshop. Getting to each student and really focusing on what they are saying is not able to happen when you have 20 or more students to get to. This is where technology comes in handy!
Pull out an iPad, or any device that has video capabilities. Take that device, set it up in a quiet corner, and let the students go! Yes, even Kinders can do it! If anything, I would trust they could do it far better than some adults. Our students live in the age of selfies and videos - most students are able to easily work a video program on a device.
You can let them just talk at first. Maybe set a timer next to the device so they don't talk for hours! Have them talk to you about a book they are reading. Other times, set specific tasks or talking points you want them to hit in their dialogue. Another great way to use it is to record their reading out loud. You not only have a recording you can listen to multiple times, but you also have an artifact to show parents.
For you to listen to them, you can take the device home with you and listen, taking notes. If you are using an internet capable device, an app you can use is SeeSaw. Students can upload it to their profile so you can access it. From there, you can share it with families.
Take a leap and see what video recording can do for your classroom!
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom