Saturday, September 18, 2010

Decisions

This past week I had a relatively minor, but still important decision to make. It may seem arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but I try to be deliberate in my teaching. As you may be aware, my goal this year is to help my students understand they have a social responsibility in how they communicate with others.
The journey I have begun to take my students on involves metacognition. I want them to understand that when you read, watch, or view something thoughts should be occurring in your head, and you should be aware that thoughts are being allicited. I'm also attempting to teach them that we all have a voice & have something to say. Our voice matters. Even though our voice should be heard, we have to be thoughtful about how we say it.

After watching President Obama's Speech to Students my students crafted thoughtful responses about one thing the President said. They may not have agreed with everything the President said, but chose points that rang important to them.

With both my long-term & short- term goals in mind, I had to consider exactly HOW I wanted them to share their thoughts: blog comment/ twitter. Seemingly a simple decision, but I agonized over it.

I fully intend for my students to tweet independently with individual accounts that I've created for them, but I had to consider if the was the right time for them to do that. I probably could have very easily had them tweet on our classroom twitter account (which they currently do, but about what we are doing in the classroom). Twitter is as a microblog & isn't the purpose to allow free flow of thought? I do realize I can provide focus as I have curriculum to teach, but this task felt a bit restrictive for twitter. And wasnt what they were doing really responding to a question I had posed?

There is also a nice feature that our classroom blog provides. It allows me to monitor responses & approve them as they are posted. In the end this is the medium I chose. It provided me the opportunity to teach them how to read a blog post & craft a response. It also provided opportunity for me to teach them about HOW we communicate in type~ all caps means you are yelling. To an adult this may seem simple, but an 8-year-old is fascinated by font & enjoys being creative with how their words appear (every year Word Art is a big hit).

In the end this blogging experience will serve as the foundation for all others. It will become our anchor experience. It will be the common point we all can refer to when we choose to blog, blabberize, glog, wallwish, tweet, etc.
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