Establishing Routines in the Digital Reading and Writing Workshop

Thank you to Margaret Simon for hosting DigiLit Sunday.  Please visit her site to read how other educators are integrating technology into their reading and writing workshops.

I am so very fortunate to have a second grade teacher coming along the digital literacy journey with me this year.  We are working closely with our tech teacher as we look at ways to add tech tools to what Cheryl is already doing in her classroom.

Last week, we had to solve a big problem.  She has 15 iPads for her class of 21 students.  There aren't enough devices for everyone to have one at the same time.  I know from talking to other teachers, that this is a common problem.  Sometimes the problem is so big that a teacher will give up, thinking that it just won't work.

As Cheryl and I talked about how we could solve the problem, we decided to give the kids a chance to help us figure out what to do.  We had some ideas, but we wanted the students to be part of the process too.  So, when we sat down with them, we weren't really sure where they would go with their ideas.

We talked about the purpose of keeping track of our thinking while we read.  And then we moved right into why we might want to use an iPad to track our thinking and why we might want to use our reader's notebook.  

Next, came the big question:  How are we going to share the iPads when we don't have enough for each person to have one?  Hands shot up immediately and a buzz filled the room as they began to share their ideas.

Our chart shows the beginning of their thinking:
  • We can take turns.
  • We could share them.
  • We could wait for another time if we already used an iPad.
  • We could use our reader's notebook and let someone else use the iPads.
  • We could take turns using our mailbox numbers (even and odd numbers) for first choice and then if there are any left over, we can see who still wants to use an iPad.
This is just the beginning of getting routines in place for using technology in our classrooms.  Cheryl will be asking the students to keep track of their thinking this week while she reads aloud and in that process, will be practicing and having conversations with her second graders about being respectful with each other and sharing the devices.  

It's been interesting to watch the process in my classroom.  So far, it hasn't been an issue.  I have some kids who right away want an iPad or Chromebook in order to read online, while others are content with their print books.  I'm not sure it will ever be an issue, but if it is, we just might ask some savvy second graders to come up and share their solution.  


  1. Allowing students to solve a problem is a great idea that gives them a vested interest. Great plan!

  2. I love that you involved the kids in the problem-solving process. If they come up with the solution, there's complete buy-in. Yay!
    Are We There Yet?

  3. There is so much value in asking the kids to solve the problem. It becomes theirs as a class to deal with and not solely the teacher's. I do envy the class for having any iPads at all. Thanks for linking up.


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