CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio – Chagrin Falls Schools Library Media Specialist Angie Jameson has partnered with Chagrin Falls High School English teacher Jean Kanzinger to bring Sora into the English curriculum of the district throughout the 2021-22 school year.
This effort resulted in an award for Chagrin Falls schools in the Global Schools Stars competition.
Chagrin Falls Schools was selected as the best use of Sora in the Supporting Learning Objectives category. Jameson submitted a video describing Sora’s onboarding.
The contest celebrates how schools promote Sora to the world. Created by Overdrive, Sora is a digital reading app for schools.
Throughout the school year, she and Kanzinger planned choices outside of reading units for students. Units included genres such as science fiction, graphic novels, verse novels, and storybooks.
Jameson used funding from an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant to support each genre and its needs.
In December, students participated in an audiobook unit, in which they used Sora to listen to a book and took digital notes, including sketches, to improve their digital literacy skills. This combined art and note taking while using school iPads, funded by the Education Foundation.
Another sample program involved linking Google Slides directly to the Sora text so that students could choose a novel or verse book from the slides and click to view the digital text.
In a press release, Jameson said delivery times for physical books were excessive.
“Without Sora, we wouldn’t have had success with this playback unit,” she said.
One of the biggest projects involved high school students reading a picture book aloud and recording themselves reading it.
In the video submission, Jameson showed clips of 10th graders JP Zimmer and Zoe Jones reading their favorite childhood books. Students then used the Canva design program to create a postcard for the book, including a QR code that students at Gurney Elementary School could scan to view the recorded reading.
A Sora sticker was included with each postcard to remind people of the Sora connection. Maya Ochiai, an eighth grade student in Chagrin Falls, designed the sticker and printed it using the school’s large-format printer.
Jameson said the read-aloud project took it a step further when employees from the Tiger Café – a school café that employs both special needs and able-bodied students – came to the elementary school Gurney.
All of Gurney’s students watched Zoe Jones’ reading of ‘Just Ask’ by Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, as part of the launch of a discussion on adversity, acceptance and kindness.
Jameson said the Sora opportunity “allowed us to bring Sora into our K-3 building in a way that I could never have imagined at the start of the school year.”
The Tigers of the Semester award is given to students who exemplify a positive attitude, work ethic, classroom achievement, and service to their fellow students and teachers at Chagrin Falls High School.
Teachers nominate a student in their classes who has impressed them with their achievement, attitude, hard work, willingness to help others, and growth during the first semester of the year. The first-half Tigers were honored with a virtual presentation.
The awards program is sponsored by Interact Club and consultants Karen Sindelar and Janet Coriell. They curated the interactive presentation which featured personalized messages from each teacher who nominated a student.
The Spring Semester Tigers for the 2021-22 school year are Matthew Angelino, Xander Burnight, Brandon Castelluccio, Hannah DiGiampietro, Mia Eaves, Maddie Ferguson, Mason Hart, Calvin Hill, Edward Jansen, Marie Kanzinger, James Kosmides, Alexis Lagemann , Margaret Malarney, Cece Mergenhagen, Natalie Nemunaitis, Saturn Owens-Paquette, Nicolina Reid, Carlo Ricco, Nick Rohde, Ava Rose, Julian Seese, Lauren Vasko, Gavin Welter, Kyla Williams and Greg Wilson.
“Such recognition is so important because we want to encourage characteristics such as kindness, compassion, work ethic and service,” Chagrin Falls High School principal Monica Asher said in a statement. Press.
“We are so proud of the accomplishments of our students, but we are even prouder of the kind of people they become.”