"Have the students finish this textbook in this year." Were the directions I was given and the lessons I presented, only to be met with mixed reaction. Some students respectfully completed the lessons and submitted their assignments while others were questioning, WHY. Why do I have to prove to you I already know how this stuff? Why do I have to spend 1 hour doing something I learned years ago? Why can't I ? (fill in the blank with student's suggested computer or online activity.)
The challenges left me exhausted! The tension of following the curriculum and trying to make it relevant and motivating to students at different levels of understanding, with the added challenge that we have more students than computers left me saying - "There has to be a better way!"
Recently I've tried blogging with the students.
It is a password protected website that allows the students to have a class website and each student have an individual page to post their writing. It has encouraged creative writing, given practice in publishing, and is building community among the students as they read and comment on each other's posts.
I see great potential for continued educational uses of the blog such as: developing social skills, learning internet safety, developing computer technology skills, gaining an authentic audience for our writing, building literacy, reflecting on learning, responding to classroom challenges/homework online, and creating classroom community.
I'm excited to see where the middle schoolers go with this adventure in blogging.
Our website is password protected but you can glimpse our homepage here:
Have any of my readers done a class blog?
If you visit our class blog please let me know by leaving a comment on this post
and let me know what corner of the globe you call home.