It is very important that we provide many opportunities for students to talk about what they are learning and the strategies they are using to question and learn. Open dialogue that welcomes the voices of the students in a give and take spirit is what is needed, not just one way conversations spoken mostly by the teacher. I can’t think of many teachers who wouldn’t want this but our current “testing” focus on skill, skill, skills really gets in the way. Most schools have completed the week long testing agendas and you can almost hear the collective sign of relief through the schools. I’ve even heard some comment on how nice it is now that they can get to some fun projects and take some time to “enjoy” the learning. That’s more than sad.

If we took the time we spend in schools on testing and spent it on writing as a means to improve learning in our schools we’d be much further along. Writing can be a tool for learning in all disciplines.

Blogging is a space that gives them that needed practice with writing. I first got into blogging as a means to improve student writing as well as my own writing. Blogging truly gives students reasons, authentic reasons to write and the commenting feature adds to the conversations. We need conversations that encourage and make students comfortable to give their opinions. We can help clarify understandings and lead the way to help students to become better thinkers. It’s an additional avenue to do further reading and thinking. It’s a place where we can teach them about responsible public writing and how to make a difference. Just musing……