As I took time to read through a back-log of Twitter messages I came across the term TWRCing and had to do some research to look up the meaning of the acronym (yes…I admit to being acronym challenged). TWRC rhymes with work and is a wonderful strategy (Think, Wonder, Reflect, Connect) that can be implemented to develop reading comprehension skills. I think of TWRCing as a scaffolding strategy that can be taught to develop comprehension skills, especially during silent or independent reading time. Visit the TWRCtank.com blog to learn more about TWRCing.
Once I understood the meaning of the acronym, I began to think about technologies and learning strategies that could be used to support TWRCing. I also created a poster to help reinforce the concept using the visual part of my brain (yes, I do believe in practicing what I preach/teach). Please feel free to share the poster found at the bottom of this post with your students and colleagues.
There are many strategies that you can use to support the TWRCing strategy and many of the tools I am sharing below could overlap and be used in conjunction with each other. Keeping that in mind, here are a few of my thought regarding technologies that could be used to support the separate elements of TWRCing…
- Offer students an opportunity to create a comic based on the passage, chapter, or book that they have read. Tell them ahead of time that they will create a comic based on what they are about to read. That way they are more likely to visualize the passage as they read. A few free Web 2.0 Comic generators that could be used include:
- Students who have trouble writing and drawing could create and record a Voki character that vocalizes their thoughts.
- Ask students to mindmap what they have read using any number of mindmaps that are available as software packages or Web 2.0 tools. Read through some of my Web 2.0 Mindmapping reviews to select the tool that best suits student needs:
- Tell students they will read quietly for a set number of minutes and then ask students to share questions or predictions about what will happen next. Use the online timers and Mindmapping tools below as you help students wonder out loud. Project the timer online during reading time. Then, use a mind mapping tool to develop project student thoughts on an interactive (or non-interactive board) at the front of the room:
- Show Document is a nifty net platform that can be used to facilitate collaborative online meetings. The product features numerous features that can be used together or one at a time. The interactive white board and shared text editing features of this suite of tools would be particularly useful as students posted wonder statements and responded to peer statements.
- Depending on the material students are reading they could also use Debategraph, a Web 2.0 tool that can be used to “help groups collaborate in thinking through complex issues by building and sharing interactive maps of domains of knowledge from multiple perspectives.”
- Students can journal periodically using time-frames established by the instructor using any one of the following online journals:
- eWoff - a diary that can be used to record notes, reflections, and whatever else. Use it for private thoughts, a public journal, or both.
- Penzu – a simple service that makes it very easy to write and save private notes or posts with images.
- MyDearDiary – I found the interface of setting up a diary was pretty simple. The following privacy options are available: public, members only, semi-private, and private.
- Visit my Web 2.0 Wonders for Summer Journaling post to learn about additional online Journals.
- Students will need Twitter accounts to use this tech-focused strategy for reflection (check to see what your school policy is). Assign a twitter hashtag for the book or article students are reading. Then, students can use Write4.net to type their thoughts and reflections. Information from the site: ”Publish full articles without needing a blog or site. There’s no setup or login. Just write your text and Write4net will publish it using your Twitter account. That’s it. So easy. And free!“
- Create a class blog where students can add their reflections and respond to peer observations. Visit Blogged.comto search through various blogs that could be introduced as exemplars. While there are a number of blogs available for student use, two of my favorites include…
- Use a Venn Diagram to compare/contrast a reading/book with another literature/article/book that was covered in class previously. Some quick Venn generators include…
- Mindmapping Tools (see list above)
As much as I advocate the integration of technology when it is meaningful and a good fit, I also realize that technology is not alway handy or timely. Therefore, I created a bookmark-worksheet that you can download, print, and put to use as you develop student TWRCing skills. Please note: the worksheet appears distorted in the following image, but prints with not problem when you go to the site.
Here is the poster I mentioned at the beginning of this post…
Don’t you just love this little guy?
The image used to create this poster was posted to Flickr by Alice Jamieson.
Click on this mini poster if you would like to view a larger version for printing.
Click on the title of this blog if you would like to email this post to a friend.
If you like this post you might also enjoy my following past posts: