Tag Archives: Teaching

Blogging for Writing Instruction is Nothing short of Amazing!

Having read the dreaded “I am going to tell you about” 5-paragraph essay until my eyes glaze over and I fall into a comatose state, I have spent years scouring the earth for engaging approaches to writing. My quest has taken me to the promising lands of writing clubs, writer’s notebooks, and writer’s workshops, Four-square, and Six Traits, mystery bags, photo prompts, guided imagery, peer review, passed around team writing, speed writing, personal journals, and Morning Pages. Some were more engaging than others, but nothing too impressive…until….blogging.

So, why is blogging so cool? Here we go!

  • An authentic audience.
  • Revising! Without begging…and sometimes even student initiated.
  • Reading of each other’s writing…ON THEIR OWN! And making positive comments!
  • Full control over what gets published…without tons of paper piles.
  • Interactions between my students and 5 other schools around the world in Australia, Ireland, Taiwan, Canada, New York, Iowa, and The Netherlands
  • Writing…more writing than I could imagine….in every curricular area….long and short, formal and scientific, researched and  opinion, argument, informational, narrative…every single day…WITHOUT COMPLAINTS!
  • Creativity to make it more fun by adding visual appeal with pictures, drawings and designs.
  • Collaboration in all kinds of ways, and in all kinds of projects.
  • Interactions and questions and investigation, not only on their own work, but on other students’ work.
  • Possibilities of meaningful homework (although I haven’t used that much)
  • Even a student initiated, organized, and implemented disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

And I saved the best for last. There is a student that is so quiet…so inside of himself…that I didn’t hear his voice for almost a week after school started. He says almost nothing to anyone all day. When I read his writing the first time, I cried. Even now, months later, to see how perceptive, intelligent, and introspective he is…and to see how the other kids respond to him in writing, and to see how caring he is to other students….well, it is absolutely amazing. This was an opportunity for all us to see him in a different light. His classmates treat him differently now. They actually see him. They include him and invite him…and in response, he has opened up more to them.

That miracle was worth the whole ride itself, but to see the overall transformation of a process that I used to dread and now look forward to with great anticipation….that is amazing.

I use kidblog.org. Here are some step-by-step directions to set up student blogs, as well as some projects to start you out. Blogging in the Classroom

Edmodo: The Classroom Hub for Project-Based Learning

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BIE (Buck Institute for Education) is a great place to go for all things Project-Based Learning. Here is their latest PBL  post on using Edmodo as an integral part of PBL.

Edutopia is my other go-to place for PBL. Lots of professional generosity in both organizations. Here is their PBL blog.

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Project-Based Learning Research Review

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Read More Here via @edutopia

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Via @edutopia: Read more

Code Literacy: A 21st-Century Requirement

Fascinating article by Douglas Rushkoff Digital Literacy Advocate – Codecademy.

“Ask kids what Facebook is for, and they’ll tell you it’s there to help them make friends. And, on the surface anyway, that’s what it looks like. Of course, anyone who has poked a bit deeper or thought a bit longer about it understands that people programming Facebook aren’t sitting around wondering how to foster more enduring relationships for little Johnny, Janey and their friends, but rather how to monetize their social graphs — the trail of data the site is busy accumulating about Johnny and Janey every second of the day and night.

After all, our kids aren’t Facebook’s customers; they’re the product. The real customers are the advertisers and market researchers paying for their attention and user data. But it’s difficult for them or us to see any of this and respond appropriately if we don’t know anything about the digital environment in which all this is taking place. That’s why — as an educator, media theorist and parent — I have become dedicated to getting kids code literate.

Read his entire post on Edutopia. It’s very interesting. 

Professional Generosity at its Finest: The 2012 Global Education Conference

* All of the sessions are archived here, so be sure to check out what you missed!

It’s right around the corner! The 2012 Global Education Conference is free to anyone in any corner of the planet with access to a computer…from the most remote villages to the most populated cities, and everywhere in-between. It will run 24 hours a day, next week: Monday, November 12 through Friday, November 16, 2012.

This is professional generosity at its finest. Bringing educators and innovators from around the globe together to create a weeklong conference where anyone can go to share, learn and connect. There are so many different sessions available, so click on your time zone here and see what’s happening.

I have the opportunity to present again this year with some of the best global educators from around the world. If you get a chance, check the sessions out, they are listed below. The links will be posted for the meeting room prior to each session.

Using Digital and Global Citizenship to Create a Safe and Successful Global Project Recording of this session can be found here. It will open in another window.

Collaborative Projects and the Common Core State Standards Wednesday, Recording of Session can be found here. It will load in another window.

Using Data to Make Sense of the World: a collaborative project with eight schools worldwide Thursday, November 15, Recording of the session can be found here.

This conference is possible with the support of iEARN worldwide as the conference founding sponsor. iEARN will be running their annual international conference in conjunction with this event. This also couldn’t be accomplished without the support of hundreds of educators, moderators, tweeters, bloggers, editors, writers, global education enthusiasts, and many others…all in a magnificent display of professional generosity.

I discussed my strongly held belief in professional generosity in a prior post here and for iEARN-USA. I’m proud to work in a profession that lives that.

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Reading Gives you Super Powers

Our Global Education Conference Proposal

Using Data to Make Sense of the World

Link to Global Education Submission

Your Name and Title: Donna Roman, CUSD 304, Matt McGuire, Kingsclear Consolidated Schools, NB, Canada , George Petmezas, CUSD 304, Illinois USA, Ruth Hou, Wen Ya School, Taiwan

Countries from Which You Will Present: USA, Canada, Taiwan

Language in which you will present: English

Target Audience: Elementary Teachers, Administrators

Short Session Description:

An interdisciplinary project using monthly data collection by schools in eight various locations around the world; we discuss topics in relationship to the data to better understand our world.

Full Session Description:

Using location data, (temperature, daylight, precipitation), and topic discussions, (such as: landforms, plants, animals, food, celebrations, jobs and transportation), eight schools from around the world are collaboratively exploring:

1. What contributes to differences around the world and how?

2. How does our judgment of differences contribute to misunderstanding?

3. How can knowing the context of cultural difference help us understand each other better?

4. How does collecting and analyzing data help us understand this?

Website Associated with Your Sessionhttp://data2makesenseofworld.wikispaces.com/