Chapter 6: Supporting Diverse Learners
6.6 Final Destination = Integration Full of New Possibilities
Last year was a wonderful journey that sparked some incredible learning opportunities. Students started to take ownership of their learning by choosing what to write about and which tool was the best vehicle to communicate their message. I was happy to see digital tools being used simultaneously with traditional tools within our workshops. A strong reading and writing workshop is key to get the journey started, and then the integration of digital tools with intentional purpose allow students to connect their passions and learning.
Ghadeer, an English Language Learner, decided to continue to blog even though it was summer. Ghadeer had only been in our country for about 2 years and was rapidly gaining control over the English language both orally and in written expression. She had an amazing time at our field day so she wanted to share her experience on her blog. I was more than thrilled when I saw this post. She was able to use digital tools to fuel her writing life.
I found from the beginning that the addition of digital tools gave my students the support they needed to grow as readers and writers. The use of author videos and live Skype visits helped bridge the gap in students’ understanding of English, both spoken and written. Being able to connect with published authors engaged students in ways that traditional print resources did not. The additional opportunities provided through blogging and tools like Explain Everything and Pixie gave students more choice in how they shared their learning. Digital workshop gave my students a chance to work in authentic ways so that they could move forward as strategic readers and writers who are able to make goals, communicate, connect and reflect about their learning both inside and outside the classroom.