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Reading Program Connects Classrooms

posted Oct 24, 2017, 9:13 AM by Lee Stephens   [ updated Oct 24, 2017, 9:13 AM ]
It’s funny how a seemingly small encounter can impact dozens. In this case, when Seneca Middle School teacher Angela Lee participated in a summer reading program, she learned about Global Read Aloud, a program that aims to connect classrooms across the globe through the reading of a common book. She quickly decided that the program would be a great experience for her sixth grade English/Language Arts students. After choosing A Long Walk to Water from among this year’s titles, Lee connected through Facebook and Edmodo groups with Ms. Karen Mostad and her 6th and 7th grade class at Nanoose Bay Elementary School in Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, Canada. After initial contact though electronic means, the students have gotten a “look” at each other’s schools through Google Maps and exchanged handwritten postcards.

Lee said, “My students were so excited about connecting with Ms. Mostad's class. We anticipated the arrival of their cards for several weeks, and when I called out their pen pal buddy's name, each one anxiously came to get the postcard and ‘meet’ his or her new Canadian friend. This authentic reading and writing experience is every ELA teacher's dream!” She plans for her students to write more about the book in the coming weeks but used the introductory postcards to get things underway. She also plans to use technology such as Flipgrid and Skype to communicate with their new friends and reading buddies in the future. The dozens of individuals impacted by her encounter with Global Read Aloud, her students and their new Canadians friends, can’t wait to get started.

Nanoose Bay Elementary is a small school of about 250 kindergarten through seventh grade students located in Nanoose Bay, a small community of about 5,000 people on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island across the Strait of Georgia from the city of Vancouver, British Columbia.