What Were the Need to Knows?
After so many years of assigning Silent Sustained Reading (SSR) to my students, and seeing that the students were not engaged with their reading, I began to wonder how I could make it more meaningful, engaging and fun. Knowing the importance of being able to read independently was a big motivator for me to find a solution. According to the National Council of Teacher of English (NCTE), "To participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020, citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population." That's when I began to think that perhaps by holding students accountable for reading and incorporating a technology component would be a solution to this problem.
After having the students read and interact with digital journals, it was visible that students had become more engaged in their own reading and were able to reflect on the material read. Students were also able to use their collaboration and communication skills when responding to their classmates' journals.
Infographic on Using Digital Journals
These are some of my favorite technology tools for engaging students in reading and writing.
For more tools, visit the How To's page.