Monday, October 1, 2012
Three Headed Monster: Think, Write, Read
1. Vague post: At the beginning of a unit, I often tell my students to "just tell me something" about the world we are about to start. I provide them with appropriate websites and they browse at their own leisure and share with me and their classmates what they want. Good way to get them in the "mood" for that ancient world.
2. Imaginary Conversation: Students love to imagine, especially middle schoolers. So let them! To show me what they know, I like to have my students post a comment in which they have a "conversation" with an imaginary friend about a certain topic (pyramids, Nile River, Greek Mythology, etc). Students really get into this because its fun for them to choose their imaginary friend and pretend to talk to them. This is a really good example of the Three Headed Monster because students really enjoy looking through the comments and seeing what their classmates did and who they talked to.
3. The Great Debate: Middle school students struggle with opinions. One thing that prevents them from sharing their opinion in class is they are afraid they are "wrong" or don't know what to say. Help foster their opinion forming by giving them a way to think about it first instead of on the spot sharing in class. I pose a question and have the students post a comment about what they think and WHY. This is a good way to have all students share what they think instead of waiting for their turn. Again, students then read through their classmates opinions and continue to discuss.
There are many, many different ways you can have students post comments but they can't do anything unless you have a blog!
I recommend using blogger.com. Though there are other options such as wordpress and edublogs.