Yesterday I mentioned that my 5th graders would blog today … or at least begin the process, about our Thanksgiving Feast experience. Based on how we have done so far this year I figured that 2 to maybe 8 or 9 students might manage to write, edit, and be ready to post today. Well, I was wrong. My students are doing so much better with using correct English and punctuation that almost all of them managed to finish and post today … I was blown away, and I told them so.
Now as I have mentioned recently you would probably not look at the archive of work of many students in my class and see a huge transformation in their writing, but they get to a “reasonable” finished product so much faster now … fewer mistakes during their rough draft, better at finding mistakes and able to inject a bit more feeling and description is what I note.
Now that they have a better handle on the “nuts and bolts” I can start the process of having them inject more voice and polish into their writing (I hope). I also hope to begin to show them how to have more of a conversation on their blogs. More writing about their learning and commenting back and forth … as I mentioned in my K12 Online Keynote that is when I believe blogging will really achieve its power in learning.
One other quick note … we have been blogging a lot, almost every day – sometimes for 1 to 2 hours at a stretch … and they stay on task, they don’t moan when I say we are going to work on our blogs today. I had a student today … a student that is very ESL (second language learner) that struggles with correct English and syntax … got his post done today btw … and when he finished, and he had to work at it a bit but has improved so much … he asked if he could finish editing last weeks post that he didn’t get to finish instead of doing a Funbrain activity others were doing.
Learning is messy!
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