I am teaching 8th grade reading and am interested in some new ideas for incorporating Web 2.0 skills in the classroom. As with most middle school kids, they either love to read or they hate it. I would love to hear some ideas of how you use technology with your students.

Tags: 2.0, education, middle, planning, reading, school, secondary, strategies, teaching, web

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I just touched on this topic recently in an online class discussion about Creative Commons with some teachers in my district.

You can read my thoughts here.
I think that most students will enjoy reading if they read about something in which they are interested and have a chance to add their own voices to the discussion. Therefore, I might invite students to search for articles on topics in which they are interested, read the articles, and then post comments in response to the articles. The tricky part becomes connecting this reading to the content standards that all teachers know we must teach.
Ideas for an 8th Grade Reading Class

We have been experimenting with posting responses to the literature on a discussion board. We ask students to post responses that are "text to text". "text to self", or "text to world" connections-very similar to what they would do in a response journal or on a post it. Using this type of technology seems to be much more engaging. I take the better responses and share the next day in class on the SmartBoard.
I teach an intervention reading class for middle school students that are two or more years below grade level. I have used a blog to provide both background information on a a particular reading topic (i.e., extreme skiing) as well as provide extension activites that bring the reading into their own personal lives (i.e., what do you think you would do?). You can see how I have put this together here.

I use www.glogster.edu and created student accounts for all of my kids. Then in reading they use Glogster to create virtual posters about their books. The have to visualize the story and retell it using glogster. The kids are required to include plot summary, theme, images of the story, charactors, setting. They love using glogster to do this.
I teach a 7th and 8th grade Reading course in a charter school. We only meet 3 times a week so a majority of our classwork is done through an Edmodo classroom. I use it to post assignments, lead discussions, and give feedback. We also use Wallwisher.com for classroom discussions and sharing.

Right now we are reading "The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper. We are focusing on the archetypal themes and symbols; as well as character development; and setting (the book takes place in the same location, but the character moves back and forth through time). As a summative project my students will be creating a set of "trading cards" (think Pokemon or Magic:The Gathering) that will include 4 characters, 4 symbols (only one can be a Sign...if you are familiar with the book), and 4 locations. They will be making connections with their importance in the plot, as well as individual characteristics of the items. I have not decided if we are going to use Word (I already have a template created) or Glogster to create the cards, but they will be created digitally. I know this is pretty specific to my novel study, but the idea can be very easily tweaked to fit another novel or task.



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