I chose the podcast from a website created by a 5th grade teacher in Marietta, California. This teacher has since moved into an administrative position, but has left his podcasts available (they just won’t be updated). This ability to archive is one of the beauties of podcasting. What drew me to this site was the fact that these podcasts were created by students for students.
I currently am a Reading Specialist and I teach small groups of struggling readers. In order to motivate my 4th grade students we started a book club… at the students request no less! We had 8 group members who ended up dividing into two groups of 4. We chose book sets out of our book closet to read and enjoy together.
As I was pondering how best to use podcasts with my struggling readers, I began searching around for some ideas. Mr. Coley’s website is quite impressive with student created podcasts on virtually every topic! I chose the podcast on literature circles and book trailers as a good starting point for my group. Our book club reads for enjoyment purposes only to try to instill a true love of reading into them. If they always see reading as (1) I read the book; (2) my teacher makes me answer questions about the book; (3) I take a test on the book; and (4) I’m done with it, they will never truly LOVE reading! I thought the book trailers were a good place to start with my group since they are basically summarizing what their book is about and then “selling” the book to their audience. This would tie in nicely with persuasive writing, which they focus on in the class. Instead of hearing a teacher model what a book trailer would sound like, they are actually listening to students from California. What a great way to learn and what a great way for them to share with others about the books they are reading! Since four students are reading the same book, they could work collaboratively on one podcast to begin with. I can foresee this developing into more in-depth podcasts with discussion points but we all have to start somewhere! He also gave his archive of podcasts a clever name, “ColeyCasts”. I’m sure my students could come up a creative name for their podcasts. These podcasts could be included on my school blog to be shared with others…. and, VOILA!, our radio broadcast is on its way!
Here’s the link that inspired me: http://mrcoley.com/coleycast/coleycast53.htm