Monday, May 09, 2005

The Students Find Their Groove-- and the teachers lose theirs

Friday was a day of intense blog activity. As is typical with any class, the longer an activity runs, the more spread out the students become in terms of project completion. We now have some students publishing their third post and some students who are not yet done with their first. They all want to conference, are all in our faces saying, "Please check mine so I can publish." Tammy and I met after school to discuss this frustration.

To resolve this bottleneck, we are going to establish the following flow chart.
  1. Write this week's blog posting.
  2. Make revisions.
  3. Run spell check and edit your posting
  4. Have someone else read it. Make needed changes.
  5. Conference with a teacher. Make needed changes.
  6. Final conference with teacher. Publish.
  7. Spend time reading and commenting on other students' blogs.
  8. Start your next posting. Teachers will not conference with you until everyone has posted this week's blog (unless the teacher has free time).
We will start our next session with a discussion about comments. They may give two types of comments. One type is to respond to what the person wrote. For example, one student wrote about go-carts. That is a topic I don't know much about, so I had real questions to ask him. Another type of feedback is about how they wrote it. The J.H.H. Bloggers are skilled at this, and some of the comments our students left for them were genuine and constructive. We'd like to build on that. I'll try to pull some of their examples to have on hand.

Hopefully, the comments will be motivating and helpful to the bloggers, and they should buy the teachers a bit of breathing space to meet with the students who most need to conference.