Saturday, March 7, 2009

6th Graders Blog and Wiki


Using the link below this post, check out the first page of a blog created for 6th graders. In addition to the class blog, you will notice that all students have after their posts, a link to their own blogs. Check the main page, see the tabs to access other information, read some of the students' blogs on the class's main blog, and connect to a few of the students' own blogs to get a sense of how this project is working. The class project was featured in a story in The New York Times, under another blog called Lesson Plans. I am posting both the URL to get to the class's blog as well as a link to the New York Times story. Take some time to explore the potential of blogging for our students grades K-12. A former SJC student demonstrated one day at a workshop how her 3rd graders in a local Hartford elementary school were also using blogging, primarily as a way to post their creative writing stories. Think about how you might use blogging in your own teachings, for students to create a collaborative one, for you to create one for your students to read, or for students in your class to go to get information and ideas related to what they are learning in your classroom.

Here is the link to the class blog:

http://www.tellraven.us/denali/

Here is the link to the Times article with an excerpt from the teacher:

https://webmail.sjc.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://lessonplans.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/telling-the-raven/Excerpt:September 29, 2008, 9:00 PMTelling the RavenBy DOUG NOONFor each of the past three years, my students have published their writing on our Tell the Raven Web site. It is a writing space where we share our ideas with one another, and with other interested people around the world. Traditionally, school teachers have been the primary audience for student writing. But now, Web publishing software offers us a platform from which we can tell our stories toanyone who cares to pay attention.

7 comments:

Elsa said...

I think this is a great idea. I could definitely see myself using blogging in my classroom. It allows students the chance to work collaboratively and really move themselves beyond the classroom. I think it could also way to introduce new topics in class. For example, if I was going to start a unit on mythology, for homework, students could be responsible for posting what they know or articles they find to the blog. Then in class we could first discuss what we know and then move into the unit.

Michelle said...

I think this is an interesting and good idea to share stories etc online. A friend of mine who is a teacher has been setting up a wiki with her 8th graders. It sounds like a great idea and very involved. She is also using Google docs to have students save work so that you do not need a flash drive, you can access your account from any computer. Furthermore, you can set it up and share it with certain people. The project is for English and the students are working in groups to produce a wiki page on different aspects like pronouns. They also have to produce a podcast and a movie using the Google movie maker. As she says "I'm bringing literature into the 21st century" definitely worth thinking about and ways to use technology in the classroom. I am now trying to think how I can incorporate ideas like this with my kindergartners? not sure they are ready blog.....? any thoughts?

Kim said...

I am so excited to see that students (even young ones) can write and publish their works for all to see. I read some of the entries from the stundents and think this is a great way for kids to express themselves. This reminds me of when I was in sixth grade and we were paired up with pen pals from southern California. I could not wait to write to my west coast pen pal and loked forward to receiving those letters! I think this is a wonderful way to publish your works and connect with students across the country (or globe for that matter).

Kathy V. said...

Blogging sounds like a terrific idea for students of all levels and I am sure my 6th graders would jump at the chance. I read this blog about a week ago and with all the terrific technology to be used---how can this type of blogging be capableif you don't have the capabilities within your classroom or your school??? Now with school budgets shrinking, how do we ask the administration who asks the BOE for what would be needed for students to start blogging? I know our district does not even like web camming. I can see students working alone or in groups to create pieces that could be used to enhance units of study, teach others about what the students are learning or have learned and also try to create high level thinking ideas about a topic that could be used for discussion with other students. I just hope there is a way to keep BOEs in the loop as to what will enhance our students thinking where the results carry over in all subject areas. We need to keep making our educational endeavors in light of the times to keep our students excited about school and learning!

Judy A. said...

Kathy, there is no charge for blogging. Sites such as Blogspot and one the students used in Alaska are free.

gretchen said...

In another class we are learning to blog and I think it is a terrific idea. At my old school some of the faculty used a program called moodle with their students and it seemed to be a terrific idea-- me, well we know my technology use. This is interesting though.

Kathryn G. said...

I love this! When reading the students material, their autonomy is obvious, but the students are also clearly engaged and excited to be posting. They feel ownership over their own pages and their classroom page. The teacher, Doug Noon, has created a free workspace for his students so that they feel connected to others and in control of their writing and their connectivity with the world. Love it. I am working on my classroom application project now, which will be a blog-it takes a lot of work to get them up and going, and to keep them going. Hopefully I don't tire of it after this class, and I continue to use it!

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