Thursday, November 29, 2007


I am on a medical leave right now recovering from surgery, but the last blog session with the grade sevens was our best. It was the best writing that we had produced and I believe it was because the students did their writing in a document program and then pasted it into the blog entry form. Students wrote with capitals and used better punctuation. Best of all we could spell check their work. I would certainly recommend this method of blogging.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Blogging With Students

I am blogging with grade seven students during a library class. It has been a slow and painful process, but today it felt like it was getting easier. I will find out tonight when I approve the students' comments.Techno question: Why has it been so painful?Answer is:1) I didn't provide good enough instruction into the process. I had not considered some of the problems we ran into. Students writing in a text message style. Students not having a book to write about. ( I may have rushed into a process without understanding it adequately.)2) I think students want to play with the computers and don't see the computer or my time with them as serious work. Students are keen to change their desktop, knowing it will disappear when they log out, and they want to play games.Reg Block told me yesterday at our meeting that students don't like to blog. He also said to persevere. And so I will.Today I had students use a rubric to evaluate 4 blog posts I had found on the internet and put together on a web page. I was pleased with those students I talked to, who saw what good writing looked like. We also reviewed what the purpose of blogging is.Tomorrow we learn to put an image into out blogs. Should be fun.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Away For A Time

I am at home recovering from hip surgery and am away from the school and the library. Before I left I needed to plan some activities to take the substitute teacher into November and December.

1) Our Flat Stanley letters had just started returning when I left. I think I may have been more excited than some of the students when the letters and pictures arrived. All the responses were excellent, from the pictures to the letters and gifts that people sent to the students. I can not thank these people enough for their hard work and for the parents who picked family members and friends who would take the time to respond to these student letters.

2) I pulled together a variety of books written by Patricia Polacco and some online resources, to be used by the substitute teacher with students from grades one to five. I love Patricia's books and hope that students will enjoy their introduction to her work and the reading comprehension strategies.

I am hoping to do some reading and ordering for the library while I am off. So far I have only got to the reading part. I am particularly wanting to explore young adult literature as I feel this is section of the library we need to build up. I just finished Sherman Alexie's book The Diary of a Part Time Indian. I was moved and touched by this extraordinary book! Wow! I can hardly wait to share it with teachers and students.