Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thursday Thorw Down!

I’m linking up with I’m Lovin Lit ‘s monthly Thursday Throw Down student engagement party. Social media is where most of my students express themselves on a daily basis. Facebook, Tumbler and Instagram are all social media outlets that allow teenagers to discuss their ideas and create an individualized digital presence. With all the wonderful qualities theses social media outlets can bring they can also be dangerous and students need to be taught internet safety. Last year I added blogging into my writing block during the second semester and I loved the response I got back from my students. I decided to use a program called Kid Blog-- for a few reasons.

The site is safe and secure – I set up a web page and add in users (my students) and only a student with a username and password can access our blogging world. I am able to monitor all comments and posts so, if a student creates a disrespectful or inappropriate response I can delete it before it was made public. Students are able to choose a background, avatar and other setting features that make their blog unique. Once you have set up your class students can access this site anywhere! I love that they can access their writing at home, on any computer at school and I can also access this information without a ton of extra paperwork. Since I am only able to secure the library on Wednesdays we spend Wednesday afternoon’s blogging. I will usually post a kid blog assignment that they use to guide their activity. My students love Wednesday Blogging days!!  Even my most reluctant reader’s and writer’s enjoy communicating their thoughts and ideas in this creative and technologically savvy way. I love that all my students are engaged in writing and commenting on other students blogs with constructive criticisms.

Many of my students chose to free write on their blogs! If you look above you will see an example of one of my kiddos poems! This week’s assignment was a Pre-Assessment on research skills. I chose Teen Drop Out rate as our main focus. Students were asked to first write a 2-3 paragraph opinion essay on why they think teens drop out of high school. Then they needed to go an research this topic and add the links to their post so that they can access this information later when we practice taking notes. Then they needed to read 3-4 student responses and give quality comments to each of those bloggers.

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