Thursday, January 25, 2007

In with the new and stick with the old

Handed out the books today to start my Literature Circle/Wiki project. Although this is my 2nd venture into a classwide wiki project, I'm still relying on the tried and true in many respects. I'm still giving kids a choice of which books to read for this unit - Black Boy, The Color of Water, and Frankenstein. I've offered choices like this for six years. I still make up a reading calendar using PowerPoint (which all of a sudden feels so limiting as a productivity tool) and converted it to a PDF file. I still put them in their groups and gave them time to work out a reading schedule for themselves. At the end of class, they put their signed reading schedule agreement in a folder, which I deposited into a cupboard in the classroom. This will serve as their space to gather their daily lesson materials.

I also handed out the books, and despite what many people believe, there is still some excitement when it comes to getting a new book in class. Maybe not every kid feels it, but it's out there.

However, the 21st Century twist was that I also distributed a laptop to each of the groups (admittedly, there was a little more excitement when I pulled those out) and walked them through the wiki page setup process. They could follow along on the Smartboard, where I had the page projected. Once they created, the pages, I set up links to them all. Now the real challenge starts. Stay tuned.

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