Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blogging with your students

I feel like I never have enough time at school for creative writing or journal writing.  I'm always looking for ways to connect technology with my lessons so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.   After our Thanksgiving break, I am going to have my students do some journal writing at home.  They will send me their assignments in my drop box.  Each week, I am going to choose the best entries to add to our class blog.  I will not use anyone's name. All of my students have a class number (based on their alphabetical order).  I have two sections of core classes.  So if Paul Baker is #3 in the A.M. core class, he will put A.M.#3 on his assignment.  Parents are going to be invited to join our blog.  I'm hoping family friends and extended family will join as well.  This will be our electronic newsletter.  Below are the forms I am going to use:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

News of the Week

One new thing I've tried this year is "N.O.W.", News of the Week.  I wanted to make my students more aware of what was going on globally.  My students love it when I say it's "N.O.W." time!  Here's the form I'm using:

Book Club

My school has adopted Teaching Middle School Writers by Laura Robb as its new philosophy of reading.
I loved the overall philosophy of the book when I first read it, but I had concerns about when I would find time in my already busy schedule to implement the strategies.  Thankfully, my district is giving us time to implement this program and the flexibility to try new things.  I am happy to say I've found something that seems to be working great!  BOOK CLUB is my answer!  Book Club day (Wednesday)  is when each of my students brings a free read book from home.  Students are given 20 minutes to read in class.  While the students are reading, I hold individual conferences with students.  At the end of the S.S.R. time, students open their Book Club folders where they keep a journal and menu of reading response assignments.  Some days I assign a specific assignment, and other days I let the students choose the assignment that fits best with the book they are reading.  I love the days when students choose their own response assignment because it's exciting to see them taking charge of their own learning.  Hopefully, this will put them on the path to become life long learners.  Below are the forms used during book club: