This week, I am moving along in my GAME plan and have done a little more of the Action piece and some early Monitoring of my progress and Evaluation of the usefulness of the blogging site I have chosen. As communicated earlier, I have to seek administrative approval for each collaborative website that is used with my students as privacy and security is paramount in my district. I filled out the necessary paperwork this week and gained approval for the use of Kid Blog (kidblog.org). I also sent home notification of our use of the site along with a brief description and short explanation of its educational purpose of it to my student’s parents. I have decided that if parents wish to view our blog, I will enroll them as a guest user and their privileges will be to view (not comment) on the blog at this time.
I gave my 3rd graders a basic introduction to our blogging site and was surprised at how easily they were able to log in and get started. The site is very simple and kid-friendly, without distracting pop-ups or confusing sidebars. Our first discussion was in answer to a general response question (What are your plans for the weekend?). Sixteen of my twenty-six students were able to craft a response during our time in the computer lab. I would have liked to have seen all of them respond, but many ran out of time. This week, because I will not have to spend so much time explaining and guiding individual students, we should have enough time for all students to respond. If this continues to be a challenge, I will need to re-think how best to use the time we have in the computer lab (about 40 minutes once a week).
My student’s responses were all on-topic and thoughtful, however I was surprised that, despite vocalizing my expectation that sentences be written using correct conventions, students paid little to no attention to capitals, periods, or spelling in their responses. I think this part of our blogging will take more modeling and direct teaching to be successful. However, I was delighted to see that I had the ability to moderate comments and send them back to students for editing before making them public. I have created a poetry lesson for our next blogging activity and am excited to try it with my students tomorrow!
In this week’s resource, Chapter 6 of Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use, I found the section about Developing Assessments interesting and applicable to my GAME plan. I see how the use of this blogging tool can provide formative data as it helps give me a glimpse my student’s thoughts, thinking processes, and growth in skills and understanding in a variety of content areas (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009).
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. D., & Ertmer, P. A. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: a standards-based approach. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth.