Slice of Life: Day 6 World Read Aloud Day #WRAD

It’s day 6 of the Slice of Life Challenge. For each day in the month of March, I am writing a slice of my life alongside my students who choose to participate and hundreds of other slicers.

Every slice I read adds to me. The challenge isn’t writing, reading, or commenting on slices, it’s stopping! I have had to set time limits or I’ll neglect something important, like getting to work on time or sleeping. I want to thank Anna Gratz Cockerville, Nancy @Two Years and Finishing Strong and Mrs. Rodgers Bloggers and her Abigail for commenting on my students’ posts yesterday.  That was going the extra mile!11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

Today my fifth graders had a huge treat: Skyping with Erin Varley’s (@erinvarley) class for World Read Aloud Day #WRAD. Thank you Erin for asking!

Students sat on and around the carpet with their favorite poems ready to share and their jotted wonderings about our shared read aloud A Long Walk to Water.

With about five minutes till the Skype, I wanted to discuss our last experience. Behavior was a bit of an issue. Picture hands waving, rushing to the camera.  Much of that was due to me not really thinking it through.

Today I wanted them to reflect on how that experience went and how we could make it better.  I asked this: Now that you know how Skyping goes, what do you think our rules for Skyping should be?  Yes I said rules. Their rules —

No acting crazy.

No hand waving.

Let one person talk at a time.


Don’t talk while the other person is talking.

That’s what I said, listen

Sit down unless you are the one taking to the camera.

Ok, I thought we’re ready.

Another adult sitting in asked, “How are you going to get to the camera?”

Excellent point. They were all crowded on the carpet. There was no pathway.

Students immediately got to work on it. They created a path on the carpet. All moved. No bossiness, resistance or  disagreements. They just made it happen.

Then another student  considered the plan. ” This is a problem,” she said. “It works for one row, but not for the other row.”

She was right. One row of students were pinned between the bookcase and the kids in front of them. No way out. Hmm.

The student who noticed directed others and engineered another pathway. Now any student could come up to the computer to talk without stumbling over another. Cool and just in time to call. They looked beautiful.

We called….no connection.

They called… no connection.

We wait.

They wait.

Tech issues. Don’t know why it didn’t at first or why it did later,  but eventually the call comes through.

A great conversation. ensued. Thanks to Erin and her wonderful crew. Thanks to my students, especially the ones that stayed on through recess to chat a little longer.

I feel so lucky to interact with students who are open to possibilities, thoughtful and collaborative. Those are the people I get to work with everyday!  And I am grateful to have a teacher like Erin to collaborate with despite technical difficulties.

Happy World Read Aloud Day slicers!