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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Examples of #stuvoice: Feel free to comment!

One of my goals this year was to increase #stuvoice opportunities.  I have always honored it when I asked for it, but upon reflection, I did not ask for it, nor create an environment for it to flourish as often as I had hoped.  Below are some examples of recent #stuvoice in my classes.

This @smorepages was created by one of my AP students following our visit to the State of the State Address in Albany last week.  Additionally, the weekly @smorepages that we use as our class newsletter are archived at the top of that Smore.

This @smorepages was also created by a student in my Entrepreneurship course to chronicle what we have been doing in our class as we prepare for our regional competition.

Both of the above newsletters are emailed home when I email parents.  I email 5 parents each day to send home positive news.  This has been such a fulfilling experience this year, that I can't imagine not doing it going forward.

Below are blogposts from my US History students.  I simply asked them to blog about something that they were interested in connected to the subject of war.  We just finished WWI, and although I imagined they would all connect their blogposts to that, some did not, and I am glad!  Feel free to comment on their blogs.  This is only their second blogposts and some are still  finding their voice.  I can't wait to see how their voice develops over the remainder of the year.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Student Blogging! Please Comment.

After I finished blogging the other day, I got to thinking that I really needed to get my students blogging.  Almost as if on cue, the light bulb went off and I realized I was in the perfect spot (curriculum wise) in US History to start blogging.  We just finished learning and discussing the Progressive Era and specifically the efforts/actions/outcomes of the muckrakers.  I decided to ask the students to become current day muckrakers.  (As an aside, I really expected whining, but they were actually excited about it!!)  Below are the students' blogs.  If you have a minute to comment on a couple of them, they would greatly appreciate it.  I have students of all abilities and levels of English Language Learners, yet they all constructed coherent, socially important blogs that hopefully inspire others to get involved.

After the blogs, I asked them to comment on at least four of their classmate's blogs and then asked them to reflect on the process by answering the following three questions..

1. I liked/disliked the blogging exercise because...
2. I feel we should/should not do it again because...
3. This helped/did not help me remember muckraking because...

Here are some of their responses to the reflections...
"I liked the blogging exercise because it helped everyone express what they feel what is personal to that person and how they feel about a specific subject. This also helped show what the other people in the class are interested in, also what they feel about specific subjects. "

"1. I liked the blogging exercise because, it helps get major factors in life out to people.
2. I feel like we should do it again because it helps our world and it also helps with writing skills.
3. This helped me remember muckraking because this is what they did, they addressed problems that needed to be solved to the world. "

"I liked the blogging exercise because it enabled me to compose information for a project in a new way with peer review as well. I feel we should definitely do this again because i think it was a great way to convey information o more than just our class. This was helpful to me to remember muck racking because it allowed me to compare to current society, "

"I really liked the blogging exercise not only because I got to put my feelings out on something I feel that needs a change, but I got to look at some of the things that my classmates felt that was real to needing a change. I feel like we should do it again because it gives us an opportunity to show each other things that need a change, and maybe sometime we could change them. This does help me with muckraking because it helped us ways to try and figure out how we could change something we don't feel comfortable with, or something that we have always wanted to make a change in. "