Thursday, August 11, 2005

Living with Boxes, But Thinking About Blogs

Finally sort of settled despite the mounds of unpacked boxes. We have a broadband connection and access to a computer, so naturally my thoughts are turning to blogging.

In the forefront is whether or not I will be able to blog with my students this year. I've had tantalizing invitations from teachers in Canada, Malaysia and Singapore to connect into their student blogging projects. I want to leap in and say, "Yes!" to all of them, but first I need to find out what this district's policy is on student blogs-- and I need to figure out how to ask in a way that doesn't create roadblocks.

I also need to find out much more about my team's curriculum. From what my new team mate sent to me via e-mail, my almost entire day is spent teaming, and none of the groups are the same kids. That means my math group is a different collection of kids from my language arts group, and then the science group is probably in home rooms. Possibly I can tie it in with one of the departmentalized classes I will be teaching if there is access to the computer lab during that time slot. With the NCLB testing now being computerized, I've heard that there will be less access to the labs this year.

At this point, since I hate the thought of no blogging at all, and realistically individual student blogs probably couldn't take place until much later in the year, I may try to have a daily class blog much like Ms. Sanborn's class blog at Willowdale Elementary. The purposes would include the following
  • to introduce the students (and the building?) to blogging
  • to build in a reflective component into each day
  • to provide timely information to families
  • to help us to document our year together
  • to inform absent students about what they missed
I need to start thinking about what this would entail. I'd love to hear words of advice from other bloggers who've done this type of blogging with elementary students. I dearly wish I could buy a digital camera for class use with the blog. Maybe someday my money from Malaysia will finally arrive so I can do that!