Archive for December, 2011

Student blogging

Hello Piper teachers- I realize I’ve been completely slacking in my mission to highlight tools with classroom application for you this semester. I’ll do better next semester, I promise.

Mike Licht, NotionsCapitol.com Flickr Creative Commons

For today, I thought I’d call blogging to your attention. A few benefits to student blogging:

  • Authentic writing and reflection (Trying to get your students to write for an audience? Want them to reflect on an article, a current event, results of an experiment? )
  • Students can read and respond to classmates’ work and writing
  • Students can learn using a digital method of communication- skills they will need in many careers
  • Students can build a positive online portfolio and digital footprint

Most blogs are blocked by the filter, but James has set up hosted WordPress blogging, which means that student accounts are hosted on a district server and are therefore not blocked.

I used blogging with my Information and Society students this semester, and it worked well. We worked on questioning and inquiry, discussion reflection, and tool reviews. We also had to constantly revisit the need to give credit to image sources, but they started to get the hang of it.

I would be happy to set up blog accounts for your students and help to get the process off the ground- as always, let me know!

Please feel free to take a look at my students’ work:

Student Blog Links

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Book Tasting

One drawback to shelving fiction by genre is that students can get stuck in their preferred genre and miss out on some really amazing books from other genres. Next semester, I have plans for “Book Tasting” events, in which students sit in tables of four, have four bite-sized samples of foods (made by Mrs. Carlton’s Foods students) lined up in front of them, and four books from varying genres. They sample the first book and food for seven minutes. Then, they switch to the next; repeat. The hope is that students will get hooked on and want to finish books that they may never have given a chance otherwise.

On Friday, I did a trial run with my Information & Society class, only with candy instead of foods. Each book station looked like this:

The tables looked like this:

And students absorbed in reading looked like this:

I asked for feedback since they were my guinea pigs and they reported that:

  1. They liked the activity
  2. Many found books that they loved and want to finish reading
  3. Many found books that they hated and really don’t want to finish
  4. Seven minutes was just about right to get a taste for the book without getting fidgety

After they read for seven minutes, I gave them two to three minutes to fill this form out for each book to help them remember what they read for later:

I can’t wait to do the full activity with real food on a broader scale!

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