Thursday, May 10, 2007

Off the ground and running - kind of

Today I brought my period 6 class into the computer lab and walked them through the process of creating a blog. Tomorrow, the same for periods 1 and 4. After that? We'll see.

As I have said before, I'm undertaking this new venture as an experiment, a twist on a Literature Circle unit with the novels Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. I want to see how it works on a class wide scale, what kinds of issues can arise, and what kind of adjustments I may need to make in the way I teach writing. There was a poignant reminder during today's lesson. First the students all set up their blogs pretty easily. No shock there. Yet, after doing that, their next question was: Now what? What am I supposed to write? That's where we as teachers come in. And I need to keep reminding myself that just because the technology allows anyone to instantly create a blog, it takes something a lot more to make the content desirable and worthwhile. For me right now, sudent blogging can be another format for them to compose their traditional school writing assignments. I hope it can become much richer, and to that end I'll mix in a generous portion of reading and commenting on their classmates' work, and I think I'm off to solid start.

I encourage anyone to check out what my students are writing - I linked them all through Google reader here and here and here. And if you think there might be an opportunity to collaborate in some way, please let me know. Maybe it could be as simple as directing your own students to my students' blogs and having them post comments. It's the end of the school year, but never too late to utilize the potential of this web 2.0 tool.

I'll keep you posted.


Lynette said...

I am also interested in creating blog literature circles. How do you feel this experience would translate at a fourth grade level? Do you have any pointers?

Miller said...

Lynette: For some reason, I discovered your comment AFTER I discovered your blog. In fact I posted some of my ideas there at:

Good luck.