The “Green Stream” class blog made its debut today to the students! What fun! The students read the posts and then made comments. The classroom teacher is also an author on the class blog and she is already busy planning a post for our next session. It will be about paraphrasing. We’ll have the students blogs up before too long. We need to get all the forms in first before we have them blogging. We have lots of things planned so let’s see where it all leads. I posted details about today’s session on the class blog. It was a good start!
I finally designed a blog banner that I like. It has taken me forever to take the time to learn this and I am still at a very beginning level. I have lots to learn in this area but I am determined to persevere. It’s a good feeling to have accomplished this small step.
Oh I just know it is going to be another great blogging year!
Now Tuesday is going to be another great day! Here’s why. Today I get to see Nicole. She is a former fifth grade student of mine and this is going to be her first year at Georgia State University. Is that what they call coming full circle? If so, coming full circle gives me a warm feeling inside. She’s coming by the ITC today so we can connect and catch up. I can’t wait. Hmmmm, wonder if I can get her up and blogging. Maybe I’ll present it as an opportunity to circle the globe! Nicole’s roommate is Holly. She was another one of my fifth graders. I hope to see her too today!
Flickr photo credit: Everything comes back full circle by pupski
I received an email from the instructional technology specialist at the elementary school where I have done a lot of blogging projects these past few years. Hillary told me about Julie McCullers who taught third grade and had participated in a class blog in one of the projects.It was entitled McCullers Weblog. I want to point you to one of her posts from back then, A Final Goodbye. It is absolutely one of my most favorite posts coming from a classroom. It got the kids engaged and having fun as they were learning. Steve Dembo even commented to them! Julie is a creative teacher who does great work with kids. Her current blog, Blogging Along…. is so inviting! Check out this post, School Now. I like the questions she is asking the kids. I can’t wait to follow this blog this year. Welcome her back to the world of blogging! Julie has moved on to another elementary school closer to her home. We miss her but now her blog will keep us in touch and just think of the learning and sharing.
I went back to the elementary school where we blogged last year. The classroom teacher is getting her three classes up and going. Here is her class blog, Fifth Grade Web Writers. Welcome her to the world of blogging! She is a terrific teacher and I know she is going to do a great job this year.The student blogs are in the process of being created. I’ll let you know when they are up and going. I had the opportunity to teach a couple of classes today. They spent time browsing through past years’ blogs of previous students. Then we had lively discussions! What fun! Students shared what was relevant, what piqued their interest, and what they noticed about the comments. They really picked up how important the six traits of writing can be while blogging. I am going to try to touch base with these classes at least once a month this year. If any classes wish to communicate through commenting with these students let me know or email the teacher directly on her class blog.
On my high school classes I’ve been thinking about forms to send home to parents and forms for students to sign in regards to our blogging project. I have gone back through a number of my posts and relied (and borrowed) heavily on good sources from Nancy Bosch. Check out the Broken Arrow EL Center and follow links to the blogs. There are a lot of good things going on and one of their dads is building and hosting their blog site. Thanks Nancy for sharing your good work. I also sifted through Susan Sedro and Bud Hunt’s letters and others on his Blogging Polices and Resources Wiki. Thanks to each and everyone of you.
At this point these are the three items I am thinking of using. They are just drafts now because I need to think about them some more. If you see something I missed in introducing this let me know. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have a ParentLetter.doc, Blogging Terms and Conditions.doc, and I plan to use David Warlick’s bloggers_contract.doc . Many thanks to David! I haven’t had a chance to run these by the classroom teachers. I’ll do that next week when we meet so as I said it is in draft status and could change some. What do you think?
Yesterday I spent the day observing in the classes and then in meetings with the teachers. I can tell it is going to be an interesting blogging project. Both teachers are going to be great to work with and I really enjoyed meeting and talking to the students.
Both teachers are brand new to blogging so they will be learning as we go. We probably will use blogmeister in the biology class and typepad in the other class. Both teachers want some control over the process and after a lot of discussion we decided to try these two programs. In one class none of the students had blogs or knew very much about them. Not so in the other – several students in this class had blogs on My Space. I think one might have had one on Live Journal. Kind of two extremes – interesting.
They asked me to be a part of the first staff development day which will be September 28th. I will be talking about blogs in educational settings. I think they are going to have a number of sessions in which the presenters will do them several times over the day and each teacher will pick 3 sessions to attend. I look forward to that!
We have more details to work out – blogging contracts, guidelines, and other such items to think about before we actual are up and blogging.
As I was driving home I thought that I’d like to take a survey with these students to get a clearer picture of their technology use. I hear all the time about how much the students know and are doing but this seems to be more with particular groups and I don’t think this is the case with at least one of these groups. I don’t want the survey to be too long but I was looking through this survey example. I really like the questions. Anyway I am working on this piece but if any of you already have one and would share that would be terrific. I am interested in how they use technology and what online tools they may use and how they generally use technology in their learning. This information was gotten from the post Some real data on Web 2.0 use on the TALL Blog. This blog is a wonderful source of information. I am still plowing through it and it is good. Here is the about blurb on their page:
The TALL group is part of the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford.
We research technology & learning, develop online courseware, and provide consultancy in e-learning for in-house and external clients.
It would be worth your time to check it out. Also, if anyone knows an online tool that lends itself to this type of questioning let me know.
I love these blogging beginnings!
A new blogging project is brewing and I can’t wait! I met with two teachers at a nearby high school. One had called me to ask for some “Open House” help in the technology part and one had visited the Blogical Minds group last year and expressed interest in a project. That led to a meeting with the two of them and they are ready to venture into the world of blogging! I will be blogging with two classes to begin with – both are ninth grade and one class is biology and the other group is a gifted class. In the gifted class we will be centering in on environmental issues. They are known as the green team. I don’t have all the details yet but I will return next Tuesday and spend a lot of time observing that day as we begin to construct and plan. If anyone can point me to good high school examples of class blogs along with student blogs I would be most appreciative. Of course Darren’s blogs are terrific and I always point to them as a model. I hope the teachers will be interested in using scribes. We discussed the gifted class mentoring the elementary classes as the classroom teacher from last year’s project is going to be up and going soon. I will be going out to that school the end of next week to help them set it up.I have been thinking and planning. It made me think how I used to prepare for my elementary classes for the year. I always went to high school sources and materials and then adapted them for use with the elementary students. I could find more interesting items. I could get more ideas. Now I have the web to travel around and learn from others but tips from you high school experts would be great! I haven’t been able to find enough examples of student blogs so please point me in those directions if you know of some.
I enjoyed being a part of Dean Shareski’s online/face2face class last week. Dean is so right when he says “Learning is Messy, but Good.” Dean is great about sharing his reflections about his learning and his students. We all get to learn and that is soooooo good.
I shared a bit about the invisible web. Here is another link I found that provides additional information, “Those Dark Hiding Places: The Invisible Web Revealed.”
David Jakes and Alan Levine talked about Del.icio.us and Twitter. Dean provides a recording of the session here.
Students shared their learnings. We truly do all learn from each other. I’ve been reading the well-written student blogs. See the links to the student blogs here. They are good reads.
The next day Brian, one of Dean’s students, posted this which certainly bears repeating:
The best comment of all was that in the future we will get 15 minutes of anonymous instead of 15 minutes of fame. This really does hit the nail on the head because with everybody publishing on the web their own movies and videos, and collaborating with wiki’s blog’s and rss feeds we will all be famous. Well famous enough for the world to see and read about us, learn from us and move farther forward and faster than without us. If this isn’t fame I don’t know what is and it is truly awesome.Â
I agree. It is truly awesome….
Clarence Fisher says “I’m not usually a meme kind of guy.” and I thought I feel exactly the same way. I am not a meme kind of girl. He said, “I usually duck and cover if I can to get out of posting something like this.” I usually just ignore and move on to other things. Then he finished his opening by saying that he had enjoyed reading all of the other posts and I have too so since Clarence is a good role model in this as well as many other areas I decided to follow his lead. I’ve been tagged a few times and by bloggers I really respect so here are my 8 random things:
- My creative spirit must lurk in my car because my best teaching ideas pop in my head on my morning drive to school. I get so excited and cannot wait to implement them!
- During my college years I worked as a waitress over the summers at Ocean City, N.J. and have lots of warm memories of those summers at the shore. In my opinion southern beaches just don’t compare.
- I have a to do list that has three categories – to do now, to do soon, and hope to do. I like doing the last one the best.
- I once led a recall movement to remove current local school board members from office. It was not successful. We had enough signatures but it was ousted on a technicality.
- That recall got me involved in the next election as a campaign manager for a new school board member. She and I went to UGA to take a workshop on how to get people elected. A local well-known Georgia pollster told us we couldn’t make it happen. He laughed at us and just shook his head. We were then highly motivated and I’m happy to say she did get elected and did a terrific job.
- I love listening to ‘Books on Tape’ on my drive home from work. I belong to the Audible.com. I’m currently listening to “I’m Not Scared” by Niccolo Ammaniti. Chris pointed to it on a post of hers entitled Brilliant Book. I had to read it.Â
- I am much more of a one-on-one person than a one-to-many. I’m more of an introvert. I can get passionately engaged and turned on by conversations but I am not much of a socializer.
- I miss being a night owl. That is my nature but teaching hours have forced me to change my habits.
Now I did the meme but I can’t follow the rules. This meme ends here.
Eric Hebert, the editor of degreetutor.com emailed me about an article entitled “The Future of Librarians.” It takes a close look at how libraries, and librarians as a profession will evolve in the future. Over 25 librarians were interviewed and the entire series of interviews are posted here. They are actively seeking input from others who would like to give their viewpoints. The submissions will be selectively published on the site to contribute to the ongoing body of information on the subject.