Monday, October 6, 2008

Session #4 Comments, Deliverable#2

Created a blog for our district's 4th grade Battle of the Books. Students have between the fall and Spring to choose and read ten book minimum from a list of over 30 books. This event is open to all students in South Kingstown, including public, private, and home-schooled children. Generally around 120 kids participate. The Battle is an evening event at SK high school; students are grouped with students from different schools, and divided into teams and rounds. Four teams are on the stage at a time, and the public and school librarians direct questions to them.

I think the blog is a great addition to this project, allowing the students to write about and vote for the books they are reading, and to share thoughts, ideas and reactions with other students.

I'm currently working out the security piece. I've asked student to use only their first names and last initial, but said they could say what school they are from, since I think that is part of the fun, to trade observations with students from different schools. I will speak with my Principal to decide whether or not we'lll ask parents to sign persmission for kids to participate.

Oh, and I set the comments so that I have to approve them before they are published.

I am thinking about making it a requirement for all the participants at my school to write to the blog, since I feel that once they start doing it, they will like it. At least I could require them to make at least three comments on three books, and perhaps one reaction comment to someone else's comment. The success of this blog will depend on how much it is used. I wonder if the students will enjoy using it?? Here is is:

I'm also adding links to many of the books (not done with that yet)- usually something fun or interesting related to the book- either the author's website, or a quiz about the books, or something related to the book. Can't wait to try this out on my fourth grades!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Session 3 comments

Found this session very interesting, and again helpful in that it makes us jump in and just start using these new tools. I joined and cal tell that this will be quite helpful. I started copying over bookmarks from my (personal)browser and categorizing them. It will be great to set up an account for school and marking websites for each grade level, then further categorizing by subject:
math, social studies, science, etc.

I also set up a bloglines account. One of the sites I had marked doesn't seem to have provided an RSS feed, so unless that is something I could do myself, doesn't look like that particular one will be able to send updates through bloglines..

I left some comments on a couple of classmates blogs, just for practice (dummy comments, really)-
one of them sent the comment to me- not sure if that is just a copy, or if I messed something up..not quite sure.

Also wondering why my blog name on the left margin of the class blog is called "unnamed"- I'd like to modify that choice-not sure how. Feeling like a rookie., but then, I am!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Deliverable #1": First Blog Entry

This is my first entry in this new blog, which is created for my class, but also with an eye toward creating a blog for my school in the near future- a spot where kids can respond to literature (4th Grade Battle of the Books list) and the R.I. Children's Book Award list. I'm very glad of this opportunity to do this with some guidance, taking small steps as we go along. I'd also like to create a spot where grade-level teachers can post writing samples of students for comparison, to establish benchmarks for student work. I'm a little unclear as to whether or not all these things can or should exist on one blog, particularly because some of it should be open to the world, but the teacher part should be accessible only to the teachers...this may need to be a separate blog- I'm sure I'll figure this out soon.