"This Classroom 2.0: The Book chapter can be downloaded at Practicing Fluency Using Voki.com."
Students record themselves reciting a poem, then create an animated character that appears to "speak" their poem using their voice. In order to complete this activity, students must first practice reading their poem aloud repeatedly. This improves their fluency and speaking skills which they can then demonstrate with their final product- an animated voki published online for all their family and friends to see.
As a First Grade Teacher, one of my most important jobs is to teach my students to not only read but to be fluent readers. After viewing Voki.com, it seems like this could definitely be a tool that would be beneficial with my 25 little First Graders. I think this could be something that I would be able to use during our Reading Center Time. The students would be able to practice reading a piece of text and record themselves. I think this would be an awesome tool to use because nobody is a better critique than yourself even if you are only six. As the teacher, I am able to try and help the students in areas of weakness; but until they hear themselves reading, they will not have a clear understanding. This would also be a great resource to be able to share with parents and even use as a tool to show progress throughout the year. Since it also makes an animated character it is also age appropriate and would definitely interest my students.
Thanks for your comment, Alison. The best part about this is the kids get really motivated by being able to design and then show off their character to their classmates and eventually their families when it finally gets published on the teacher's website. They also practice reading a lot more on their own volition so that they get it just right. It's fun to watch reluctant readers get hooked.
I could not agree more that this program would really motivate the children! I think whenever there is a time that you can switch up your everyday routines and throw something more exciting in to the mix, you should! I myself plan on using this resouce in my classroom.
This program sounds wonderful. I will have to check it out. Is it expensive and do you use a computer lab setting to use it or can you use just one or two computers and take turns?
Thanks Jackie. I believe you can create a free account though it may be more cumbersome... but it's worth investigating for sure. I think the classroom account is about $25/year. I'm a tech specialist so I worked with the 1st grade teachers to do this. We used a computer lab all at once to design our characters and then we recorded them one by one. Here are some videos I made using screenr to teach the kids: http://msnelsonismissing.weebly.com/1.html
I think a classroom teacher could do this all on their own if need be, though it definitely helps to have two adults. You may be able to recruit a parent volunteer to help if nothing else.
Thanks Brittany. Let me know how it turns out. Vokis are fun no matter what the student age! I enjoyed making one to put on my old site a while back.
This is a really cool idea! As we all know reading is crucial in today's educational field. I just finished testing all of my students to see where they stand as far a reading fluency. You can tell that many students get very nervous when it comes time to read. I think using voki.com would be great to use in order to get students more interested in practicing their reading. The animated character would definitely help to motivate students to record their voice in order to see their end product. I think this would be a great tool to have our school purchase. I think this would be beneficial to use during reading intervention. Would this be most useful to use in a computer lab?
Thanks Lindsey. We had the kids design their characters in the computer lab but then had them record one by one while the class was doing something else. I used this link on my site to introduce them to how to design their characters: http://msnelsonismissing.weebly.com/1.html