Thursday, August 26, 2010

Classroom Bloggers

I gave my sixth graders a username and password for access to my classroom blog. 

I now have two student "jobs" each day.  One student is the blogger of the day and the other the photographer of the day. 

I gave them 2 guidelines:
1-Take no photos of students' faces.  I don't want to have to deal with permission for that yet.
2- Write something acceptable for your parents to read.  This makes sense because all of their parents get an email of blog posts delivered to them daily via FeedBurner

So far, it has been good!  The 3 bloggers of the day have come at the end of the day with something to write about.  The 2 photographers of the day have had a picture ready to share and a caption to add.  It's been fun to see the photographers (and their friends) ponder what to take a picture of.  We have even received a couple comments, one of which we have drafted a class response to. 

Why am I doing this?  Doesn't it take up extra time?
Sure it does!  My goal is to teach my students through experience how to appropriately communicate online.  Our class blog is a purposeful place for them to do this.

Check out what they are doing on our classroom blog!

Are you doing this in your classroom?  If not, why?  If yes, what suggestions do you have for how I could make this more purposeful?

Monday, August 2, 2010

I need Hans and Franz...

I'm trying to get pumped up for the school year, but it isn't quite happening!

One thing I've been pondering lately is the thought of getting to know my students.  Last year I had two classrooms of students I had to get to know, and this year there will be three classrooms. I feel like the starting activities I use aren't exciting.  How do you get to know your students?  There's always the ice breaker questions, the glyphs, the little write-ups to put on the bulletin board, even digital formats.  What formats have you used most successfully?  I really have no computer access with 2 out of the 3 classrooms of kids I will be working with.  

Something else I have been dwelling on is my IWB.  I will have a Promethan board this year complete with clickers and slate.  I know there are so many people that bash IWBs, and maybe that's part of what is hindering me getting pumped up for the school year.  I need to hear some good things about IWBs.  It's how my district chose to use some tech money, it's installed in my room, and I want to use it to it's fullest.  People with IWBs, how to you use them?

Share your experiences here.  Converse with me.  Pump me up!

P.S. If you don't get the Hans and Franz mention, you're missing some classic SNL!