Tuesday, February 23, 2010

921-Session 4


Session 4 & Deliverable #2


To gear you up (and psyche you up) for this session I'd like you to watch this. You have to click on it twice. "Did You Know? 2.0" :






As you begin to work on, and think about, your project for Deliverable #2, (details in the syllabus and please post in both the blog and the wiki) consider using these resources to guide your integration with the students:




Past semester participants' comments and Deliverble #2's:
Spring '09
Older comments.

Rubric for student comments:


And don't forget to visit your peers' blogs. Pamela's elementary school now has 11 bloggers, including the Principal!!! Wow! Her school only started on the blogging bandwagon last summer when one of her co-workers took my 920 class. Great job Narragansett Elementary School!

And also check out Jennifer Geller's posting. It traveled so far around the blogosphere that the author of our main text, Will Richardson, even responded by leaving a comment on her blog. These examples are just tip of the iceberg. Explore and check things out for yourself.

And if you haven't already, check out the Answers.com tool I've added to our blog. Just double click on any word and check it out. Andragogy, Pedagogy
There's even an audio option.

Someone was looking for information on 'copyrights.' One way to avoid copyright issues for online images, (or any other kind of file) is to do a search for files that are 'free to use and share'. For example, try a Google Advanced search, but choose the 'usage rights' option. Once there you can decide which kind of 'usage restriction' suits your needs. In this example, I did an GAdvanced search for butterfly, chose 'free to use and share', and then also restricted my search to Flickr.com (an online image site). It takes a few steps, but you can eliminate copyright issues entirely with this process. It also works for PowerPoints. In this example I did a GAdvanced search for caterpillar and restricted my file type to: PowerPoints that were 'free to use and share' and found these were my results.

==============================================================

One of the education blogs that I subscribe to also recently wrote on this topic. Check it out: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/1340000334/post/130020413.html

On another topic---Lynne and Joanne were discussing the editing ability of posts. Blogs are more static than wikis (which we'll be discussing later in the semester), so when you post a comment to someone else's blog and you want it changed, then your only option is to delete it and rewrite it. Lynne correctly mentioned that when you are in your own blog and you write a posting then you can always go back and edit it when you are in your 'Dashboard' screen, so these are some options.

David C. also mentioned,

"As the availability of 'going online' becomes more affordable and the price
of technology continues to decrease, I'm sure we'll see even more families in
our classrooms join the world wide web. With this in mind, educators must also
do everything we can to use the tools that our students are using in order to
reach them. It makes me think back to when the second or third generation ipod
came out... I remember hearing about the first colleges that were making
podcasts for their students to listen to. (Will we learn anything about

making/using podcasts this semester? - just a side thought)"


Well David mentions how some colleges and universities are making podcasts, but it goes much further than this. Dozens of schools are now recording professor's lectures (some video, but most just audio) and putting them online, along with the support material for the course. But even more powerful than this is the fact that they are also allowing the lectures to be accessed from anyone in the entire world.

It is part of the "Open Educational Resources" movement. If this topic interests you, and you decide to explore this path, then check out some of the cool things out there, like this interactive site on "Trapezoids."

Even more important however is the number of colleges that are beginning to subscribe to this philosophy. Just check out this list of schools, and then take a look at all 1900 different courses that MIT makes freely available. We go into a lot more depth on this topic in my edc922 course.

I also subscribe to this philosophy. By now most of you have noticed that all of our weekly sessions are licensed under Creative Commons. We'll go into more detail later in the semester about this movement when we begin talking about 'wikis' and start to create and edit some.

David also mentions,

"I remember Dave mentioning that he doesn't even have to log on to the
blog to make comments.. he can do it from his email. Was I just hearing things
wrong? If not, I am not sure where to go to set up my blog so I can work though
my email. If that is possible, then I could open one less application and work
solely though Mail."

Well, when you are logged into your Blogger account go to the Dashboard option and from there choose, 'Settings' and then both, 'Emails' and 'Comments.' Within both of those tabs you'll see the options to email postings to your blog, as well as have every comment emailed to you.


Lastly, keep on checking each other's blogs and don't be afraid to post a comment or two. Those who have already begun using them in class can use your comment as an example to the students that there are other people around the world reading their work.

Also, remember that if you are having trouble downloading a session you can always find a back-up copy at Authorstream.com Once there just do a search for edc921 and pick the appropriate session.

Happy blogging,
Dave





PS----One last reading for this session. It's worth the quick skim:
http://www.teachandlearn.ca/blog/2008/06/02/avoid-school-talk-part-1/

















http://edc921.blogspot.com/2008/06/921-session-4.html#comments


15 comments:

Mrs. McAllister said...

Rebekah McAllister
8th Grade Science
Duration: 4 Periods
Grouping: Cooperative groups of 3-4 students

Investigating Rates of Heating and Cooling of Soil and Water

In this inquiry, students will set-up an experiment to simulate the differential heating of the Earth’s surface using soil and water to determine which heats and/or cools faster. Students will create a graph of their data and present their findings to the class. The inquiry demonstrates how different surfaces on the Earth absorb and retain the sun’s energy (radiation).

Content Standards:

PS2 (5-8) INQ+SAE+POC – 7 Use data to draw conclusions about how heat can be transferred (convection, conduction, radiation).
PS2 (7-8) – 7 Students demonstrate an understanding of heat energy by…
7b explaining the difference among conduction, convection and radiation and creating a diagram to explain how heat energy travels in different directions and through different materials by each of these methods.
Objectives:
Students will observe and record the rates equal volumes of soil and water heat and cool.
Students will graph and analyze the heating and cooling rates of soil and water.
Students will explain what happens to energy from the sun when it reaches the Earth.
Students will read and interpret a data table and graph.

Accommodations:
• Heterogeneous grouping of students for the assignments.
• Discussion in order to assess students’ prior knowledge.
• Explanation of terms relating to the lesson (radiation, absorbing, reflecting, heat transfer) and usage of graphic organizer.
• Modeling the process of graphing using a Smartboard.
Materials:
For each student:
1 copy of Student Sheet 3.1a: Investigating Rates of Heating and Cooling
1 copy of Student Sheet 3.1b: Interpreting a Data Table - homework
1 copy of Reading: The Source of the Earth’s Heat – homework on Blog
1 copy of the Science/Math Integrated Project Rubric
1 copy of the Blogging Response Evaluation Rubric
Smartboard and computer access

For each group of four students:
• Lamp/150-W bulb
• Stop watch
• 2 digital thermometers
• Cardboard strips
• 2 250 mL beakers
• Water, 250 mL
• Soil, 250 mL

Procedure:
Prior Knowledge – Students know how to read a thermometer, stop watch and levels in a beaker.
Focus Question: Do you think sand or water will heat up faster under the heat lamp?
Warm - up: After students have collected their materials, I will lead a class discussion based on the following questions:
• Have you ever walked barefoot on the beach on a hot day?
• What was the temperature of the sand like?
• When you reached the water, how did it feel by comparison to the hot sand?
• If you walked barefoot on the beach after dark, which felt warmer, the sand or the water?
• Do you think all solid material heats up as fast as sand? For example, think of gravel, crushed stone, or different types of soil.

Mrs. McAllister said...

Second Section of Lesson Plan
Rebekah McAllister

Day 1: Students will brainstorm ways they might investigate how equal volumes of soil and water heat and cool. I will ask a few groups to share their ideas with the class. After going over the agreed upon procedure, students will complete questions one and two on Student Sheet 3.1a and proceed with the inquiry. Any questions the students have will be addressed prior to performing the lab.

Day 2: After completing the inquiry, groups will make a line graph: one for the soil data and one for water data (red line for heating and blue line for cooling.) After going over the process of labeling and making a scatter plot graph, I will model graphing using an example set of data on the Smartboard. After the students have graphed their data, they will draw a line down the graph to divide night and day. I will facilitate a group discussion during the analysis of the heating and cooling graphs. Students will identify when sunset occurred (turning off the light.) For homework, they will complete the article questions on their class blog, (Reading: The Source of the Earth’s Heat and Student Sheet 3.1b.)

Day 3: In the computer lab, students will complete the reflection questions and write a reflective paragraph using the Blogging Response Evaluation Rubric on what they learned during the lab as well as share any errors that might have occurred and post on the blog. After all comments have been posted, students will read the reflective paragraphs of their peers and participate in a class discussion that ensures all students are aware that different substances absorb and retain the sun’s energy at different rates which causes uneven heating of the surface of the Earth.

Day 4: Students will write a formal lab report using a graphic organizer graded according to the requirements of the Science/Math Integrated Project Rubric. Students will have the ability to submit the lab report early to check for errors prior to due date.

Assessment:
I will assess student learning based on student’s answers to class discussion questions, correct completion of the 3.1a Student Sheet, graphing of soil & water temperature differences, the appropriate answers to the reflection questions on the blog using the Response Rubric, the formal lab report and the homework assignment.

Reflection Questions for Blog:
Based on your data, what conclusion can you make about the heating and cooling of soil and water? Explain.

How do you think the temperature of the ocean compares with the temperature of the land nearby? Explain how the oceans absorb and hold heat.

Explain why concrete feels hot under your feet in early summer while water in the pool nearby feels cold.

Mrs. McAllister said...

Rebekah McAllister
Comments on Deliverable #2

In order to incorporate an Edublog into an existing lesson, I chose an Earth science lab that I felt needed more student interaction.

I began my having students respond to a science based online article that reflected the topic of the lab. They read and answer questions from the artilce that are posted onto the class blog. I felt that I could incorporate blogging deeper into the lesson so I decided that instead of just writing a paragraph based on reflection questions on paper and handing it to me, students would write a reflective paragraph and post it on the blog and then read the reflections of their peers.

Student blogs will also include their opinion of how they think the lab went and if they think any human or mechanical error affected their overall results. I think this is a great way to use blogging as it incorporates reading and writing and allows students to get their peers’ viewpoint of science articles and how the labs went. I wonder if this process could be applied to all the class labs or if it works best used less frequently.

Dana Dones said...

In order to to integrate an edublog into an existing classroom lesson plan I looked to the future specifically in the Navy Setting where I can incorporate this into our Education and Training Department.

A blog for Staff Education and Training

Each educator will have the opportunity to sign up for classes each month where they will provide instruction to participants on various medical topics. The calendar will run from Sep 1, 2010-Sep 1, 2011.



Classes that will be taught:
Basic Life Support
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
Trauma Nurse Care Corps (TNCC)
Combat Casualty Training (C-4)
Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS )Training

Points of Interest
Top 10 Joint Commission for Health Accreditation safety tips


Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s)
Once a month a guest speaker will provide a lecture in which each participant will receive continuous credits (CEU’s) that may be applied toward their individual state licensing requirements


Fun Times: Jeopardy games
Games will include jeopardy training sessions from each area of the hospital. Participants will compete within departments while educating the hospital staff on terminology, patient safety and various topics specific to each area

Comments:
A comment section is provided below. Please include all suggestions for location of classroom training, content, and most convenient times to receive instructional training. Everyone is encouraged to provide comment, physicians, nurses civilian and military and Hospital Corpsman.

M.Searle said...

I can honestly say that this class has made me realize that it isn’t a matter of “should we incorporate technology into our classrooms?” but more like we have to include technology into our classrooms. If we are going to keep students engaged and interested in learning, then we must reach out to them at their level. Most of my students use these Web 2.0 tools on a regular basis. Last week for example, I created a Facebook account for our FFA chapter so that I could post meeting and event dates. Within hours, several of my students had joined. They were communicating about all sorts of things. They were encouraging one another to get involved and some students were congratulating a group of girls who had competed in a contest. I was overwhelmed by the amazing response. It sort of hit me like a ton of bricks that I have to reach out to the students in my classes in a similar way.
I am hoping that by incorporating the use of a blog into already existing lessons, I can encourage this same level of participation and enthusiasm. Many of the students enrolled in my animal science courses have little to no experience with livestock production. Unfortunately, several of them also have no genuine interest in animal science and are taking the course as a means of earning a science credit. Therefore, one of my main goals is to not only to provide basic information in regards to how livestock is raised but more importantly to demonstrate to my students how it affects them as agricultural consumers. I want to help them make educated decisions when it comes to issues that affect the American livestock industry and our country’s food supply.

At the close of our unit on Dairy Science, the students complete an anchor assignment in regards to the
use of hormones in dairy production. Their task is to write a persuasive essay in which they support their opinion on the issue. We spend a considerable amount of time discussing the use of rBST (recomnbinent bovine somatatropin) as well as how to properly write a persuasive essay. This is a newer assignment that I incorporated into the curriculum only two years ago. To be quite honest, I have been somewhat dissatisfied with the results. It seems as though the students just aren’t getting it and are missing the “bigger picture”.

Students will be asked to answer a series of questions about an article they will read about rBST. Their responses will be posted on the blog. Then they will be asked to respond to their classmates’ opinions. I am hoping that by incorporating my blog into this lesson, it will foster more discussion and sharing of ideas among the students and in turn will assist them in writing better developed essays.

Alexandra Phelan said...

This week I was both the most frustrated and most excited I have been about blogging. I developed a blog that I loved to go along with my school website. It was so easy to update upcoming assignments and changes in the school schedule. It seems like a personal contact with the parents. It turns out I was not allowed to use blogspot and the school with train me on a blog through the school center site.
I actually felt rather knowledgeable trying to convince them of the security settings and the multiple uses but I was still not allowed and have not had the training. While I am waiting for that training I thought I would try to try to incorporate the blog into our modest book club. We will give it a try and see if anything develops. I will share it with a few of my out of town friends and see what ideas it generates. I am hopeful.
I looked through some of the pages developed by others in the class and I was inspired to try everything.

In seventh grade ELA we are currently working in nonfiction literature circles. The class is currently structured so the students work individually, pairs or threesomes. Each day after reading the allotted number of pages the students have to pick one of five jobs to reflect/respond to the reading. The five jobs are vocabulary, summarize, fact and opinion, connections and a reflection question. Having the fifth job a blog will allow the flexibility to tailor the question to the individual nonfiction texts. Through the computer generated conversations we can monitor comprehension and ask questions that are beyond literal understanding.

Cheryl said...

Deliverable #2
Cheryl Tondreau

Background: I am currently working for the Community College of RI (CCRI) as a counselor / advisor to the Skills Tutor Program at NetworkRI in Providence. This program is a remedial program. Clients are referred when their assessment scores for reading and / or math are not high enough to qualify for the job training program in which they wish to enroll. Since Skills Tutor is a web-based skill building program, participants can study from any computer with internet access – from home, the public library or at our computer lab at Network RI. Most of my clients use the program at a distance.

As teachers, we are aware that there are many factors which contribute to student success. One factor that is of particular interest for Adult Literacy practitioners is persistence. The New England Learner Persistence Project (http://www.nelrc.org/persist/overview.html) has been instrumental in studying this issue. Two components that contribute to helping learners persist are a comprehensive orientation and connection and support of the adult learner. In order to make my program better, this program year I am focusing on improving the orientation process and I am looking for ways to connect more with my “distance learners. I see the blog that I’ve created for my program as a vehicle to enhance what I am already doing in the computer lab (my classroom.) You will find the blog at http://Cheryl-skillstutor.blogspot.com


Objective: To utilize a blog to increase communication with my clients at Network RI in Providence and to expand the orientation to make it more meaningful for clients.

Here are the features I have added to the blog to help meet the objectives:
To improve communication with and support of clients....
• Google chat - I have added this chat feature so my clients can communicate with me in real time. I plan to set "office hours" during which time I will be available to answer any questions my clients have or to just chat.
• I have set up a blogroll with blogs about unemployment, Unemployment Blogs, to help build a sense of community. Oftentimes, we feel that we are all alone with our struggles when we are faced with a challenge such as being unemployed. I believe it helps to know that we have a community that is there to help and that understands. This is one of the factors that helps my clients - Network RI is a center which houses different programs to help the unemployed and the underemployed find the resources they need to succeed. When my clients use the computer lab for their studies, they meet others in similar situations and form a community. I would like my "distance learners" to have more of a sense of community. Eventually, it is my hope that my clients will expand our face to face community (the computer lab)to this blog.
• I have added a list, What's Happening at Network RI - this week!. which announces the current events at Network RI in Providence. I will update this section each Monday so our clients know what is happening each day here at Network RI.
• In the main area of the blog, I am now writing about topics of interest to my clients, sharing interesting articles that I hope they enjoy and will respond to. I need to keep practicing so I become better at choosing topics and articles that will keep my readers (clients) coming back for more.
To expand and enhance the Network RI Orientation and my Skills Tutor Orientation:
• I have added a Pages of Interest section. This section will be for documents that will help my students. Already I have posted a document with Skills Tutor Tips. I intend to add documents for Reading Strategies, Math strategies, and general learning strategies.
• During the upcoming orientation sessions, I will give an overview of blogs and introduce the blog for the Skills tutor program. We will discuss its features.

Cheryl said...

Deliverable #2 - Part 2
Future Plans for this blog:
1. I would like to add a powerpoint presentation of the Skills Tutor Orientation. I will use the Authorstream.com site on which our class sessions are accessed.
2. I will attend a Network RI Orientation and post the notes I take from this session so clients can refer to it whenever they have questions about the process.
3. I will work with the career counselors who refer the clients into my program to create a Handbook for Skills Tutor clients, which will delineate the process - from enrolling in Skills Tutor, through assessment, the proposal process, and finally what to expect once enrolled in training. This handbook, when completed, will be in the Pages of Interest section of this blog. (Note: this may be a project that is started in person and worked on through the use of a wiki.)
4. I would like to add another blogroll to the site with Blogs for success, or about motivation, or some other positive topic.
Assessment: As I work with adult learners who are not in a traditional classroom where ongoing assessments, both informal and formal, are necessary, I have chosen not to view student contribution to the blog as the assessment. Instead, I would like my clients to assess the blog itself. To do this, I have created a survey on Survey Monkey. I will ask each client to take the survey here at the computer lab when they take the formal test needed to get the funds for training. The survey is very short right now, only 4 questions.
I anticipate that I will expand this survey to suit my needs in order to see how beneficial this blog is for my clients as I add new features.
Adaptations for Differentiated Learning: In order to help my learners for whom English is their second language or for learners who have some difficulty with reading comprehension, I have added answers.com. This is to help clients with any vocabulary that is unfamiliar to them. I would also like to add something like readplease.com to the site, so each article can be read aloud for any client who needs it. I'm not certain how this will work, but I know that I have recommended readplease.com to a number of reading students I've tutored.
Potential Issues / Challenges:
• In order to use the chat feature that I have added to the blog, clients will need to register for google chat.
• To keep readers interested, I will need to be sure to keep site updated with current events at the site, with interesting information and articles of interest to the clients as they are unemployed.
• I need to spend the time necessary during my orientation to ensure that clients understand what the blog is and how to access it. Most of my clients do not want to hear about anything that is not directly related to their "passing" the test at the time of intake and orientation. I find that the more contact I have with them, the more they see the relevance of working on their skills, exploring other things that may help them during their time at Network RI, etc.

• With most of my clients being "distance learners", I need to reach out to those
previously enrolled clients to let them know about the blog and get them interested in what it can offer them.

Cheryl said...

Deliverable #3 - Part 3

Standards Used:
RI Adult Education Content Standards: Read with Understanding, Use Math, Listen Actively, Speak so Others Understand http://www.ride.ri.gov/adulteducation/Documents/RI%20Content%20Standards.pdf

The Rhode Island Content Standards were based on Equipped for the Future (the National standards-based educational improvement initiative for adult basic education and English language learning)
http://eff.cls.utk.edu/toolkit/standards_wheel.htm
There are 4 Strands and 16 EFF Content Standards.


Standards Addressed in this project:
RI: Read with Understanding
• A.4.5 and A.5.5 –Analysis and Interpretation - Determine the relevance of the ideas/ information presented to the reading purpose.

• F.4.2 and F.5.2 – Fluency and Life long learning - Read regularly for own purposes, inside and outside of class

EFF Communication Skills
• Read with Understanding
• Convey Ideas in Writing

EFF Decision Making Skills
• Solve problems and make decisions
• Plan

EFF Interpersonal Skills
• Guide Others

EFF Lifelong Learning Skills
• Use Information and Communications Technology
• Reflect and Evaluate
• Take responsibility for learning

(I will now try to put this on the wiki. I seem to be doing something wrong, however, because I've tried to add a page and it doesn't show up anywhere. I'm looking forward to this week's lesson so I will know how to use wiki's)

Mrs. Neri said...

I struggled with this assignment a bit, I figured out how to integrate the blogging into my homework, but it took me a long time to develop this lesson (short as it may be)
Michelle Neri
Topics in Literature

Duration 2 Periods (90 min. blocks)

Day 1:
Students will have read the first three chapters of book before class, and responded to blog prompt about non-fiction text. We will begin class with an open discussion about how we have to look at Chris differently becuase he is a real person not a fictional character. We will then examine his life and relationships with others. We will do some writing about how he fits into our definition and opinion of non-fiction text as discussed on our blog.

Day 2-
Students will have read chapters 4-9 of text for class
Students will examine Chris' philosophy of life as discussed in the book. They will then complete the open mind exercise (I could not figure out how to attach this to the blog) for Chris. In the computer lab they will then create a blog post discussing their own philosophy of life using Chris' as an example. For homework students must comment on each others post giving constuctive feedback

Mrs. Neri said...

I am hoping that this can eliminate class time of peer editing in the traditional sense, and allow students to comment on all of their peers essays rather than just concetrating on one. In our class following the commenting homework we will discuss the assignment and the blogging as a class.

The Naz Family said...

Staci Nazareth
EDC921
Session 4
I have helped several teachers integrate blogs into their curriculum. One example is our 7th grade Social Studies curriculum. Students in this grade level have to report on current events articles weekly. I started out working with one teacher, who allowed her students to get on edublogs and post their weekly current events review. This was taken in two different directions. Students found articles to read online, provided a link to them, a summary and their comments on their reading. Now, other students could also view that news article and comment to each other. The teacher also was able to post articles of interest and allow the students to click on them, read and report on them. We have also used edublogs to allow students to comment on articles relating to endangered species in science class. This also allows the teacher to be able to grade the blogs from any computer without having to lug papers home, as well as continue in an ongoing dialog with their students.

Deb said...

I recently posted my ideas for integrating a Google News Alert into an existing lesson on the EDC 920 blog.

After much consideration of potential ways to build a blog into an existing lesson-student response to book club discussion, a grammar help center, peer editing opportunity, etc.- I am going to refer to the same unit here.

I admit, I am still struggling to catch up with the work load for both classes and am once again fighting the deadline, but this particular unit is an important one and I really want it to be successful. It was honestly the best thing I did with my students last year. It can only be made better with more opportunities for students to interact with technology.

I can post the unit details here if necessary, but I think Dave mentioned in an earlier session that all participants of this course have access to the 921 blog as well, so please refer to that site for more information. I will check on this and update tomorrow if needed. Below are the specifics for the edublog component of the unit.

Deb said...

Deliverable #2-
Building an edublog into an existing lesson

Deb Marcellino
5th Grade ELA

I would love to showcase the students' media projects through my blog, but know that I have a lot more to learn before I fully understand how to add video, pictures, and PowerPoint, so I will start slowly by having students post responses to their research.

Over the first few days of the lesson, students will read the articles about school bullying that we receive through Google News Alerts. They are required to record facts (causes and effects of bullying and steps to prevent it) on a graphic organizer as they prepare to write a summary of the article.

To integrate the blog into this lesson, students will be required to post their personal reaction to the article they are summarizing. This activity builds upon the Reading Journal work students complete earlier in the unit. (They write personal responses to stories we read about bullying.) A personal response may include the student's inferences, questions, and connections, and helps to deepen understanding of the topic or text.

After writing in their Reading Journal, students are given the opportunity to share, either with a partner or with the whole class. Many times, students return to their journals to expand their writing after sharing with others. Requiring students to post their responses on the blog will allow them to interact with even more students (from my other classes), therefore creating even more collective knowledge.

Another benefit of posting responses to the blog is that kids who are reluctant to share "out loud" may find comfort in expressing their opinions this way.

I will borrow from the rubric for blog etiquette Dave posted to develop a rubric to evaluate student responses. Students will need an initial lesson in how to post a comment before we begin.

I wonder if students will be as honest in their blog posts as they are in their Reading Journals. I wonder if allowing them to post anonymously or using a pseudonym would ensure better quality responses.

I also wonder if it would be necessary, or even feasible given the number of pages that means, to provide links to the articles students read. Maybe I could just have them cite the source at the top of their post.

I am excited about building technology into the "Make a Difference" project. These lessons are definitely still in the planning stages, but I am eager to try them out.

SueKelly said...

Susan Kelly-DePerry
EDC 586
Deliverable 2
Building an blog into an existing lesson

I’m particularly excited about integrating an edublog into my classroom. I actually started this last week, with what I think is a pretty good success rate. We are reading a book in my 8th grade ELA class called Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher. We’re only a few chapters in, but I have had my students’ blog about it twice already. The most difficult part of it was getting them to remember how to get to the blog site. 8th graders are forgetful creatures! I demonstrated every step on a fellow teachers SmartBoard. We went over how to type in the address, how to post their comments, and, most importantly, being appropriate. All comments are moderated by me before they are posted to the blog for others to see.

I am proud to say the participation rate is at about 85%, and the kids seem really excited about it. It’s new and different. It’s something they haven’t done before. They are starting to ask me on a daily basis if they can blog when they get home. We are blogging in a very basic format…I am posting a question pertaining to the book, and they are posting their comments, or answers, to my post. It’s a start!

I was wondering how the other participants of this class felt about creating a classroom Facebook account? I think it would be a great idea…a place for kids to ask questions about homework and things we are doing in class and for other kids to answer. I have asked several colleagues in my school and have gotten mixed thoughts about it. I can see both sides, and that’s why I’m having a hard time deciding whether or not to set one up for my classroom. I would love to hear what you guys have to say about it.

If anyone is interested in viewing one of my classroom blogs, here is the link for my period 2 class: kellyperiod2.blogspot.com