Wednesday, August 13, 2008

books, blogging, and kids, oh my

Emily's blog about books she's never read greatly inspired me at work today! In my county, I am required to help students meet a "25 Book Standard". Basically, I'm really against the idea and think it's a giant waste of time, HOWEVER, I'm required to do it. The kids have to do a "book report" after each book.

I was thinking ... what if they built their own blogs for book reports?

For each book, I would give directions and they would respond in a post on their blog. It would be much less paper (go green!) and it would be incorporating technology (go nerds!). Also, I could grade it from home without having to lug home a bunch of papers. Lastly, I think I'll require them to read each other's blogs and leave textual feedback.

Now...there are many "pros" to this idea, but I know there are some cons. First, I don't know if every kid has an email account, and I don't want them setting one up without their parents knowledge. Second, I don't want them putting too much info about themselves on the internet. Third, not every kid has internet at home (however, we do have computer labs at school).

So...I need your help. Do you think this will work? What other pros/cons can you find?

I'll keep you updated.


thetomboyeffect said...

Hey, so can you schedule time in the computer lab to ensure the kids who don't have access are covered?

Also, we did something like this called wiki posts for a class I had last semester. It allowed to subject matter to remain focused on the work at hand without too much availability of our personal lives all over the place.

I think it is a great idea, eliminate paper, save time.

The Working Girl said...

I can't really schedule the lab for that purpose, but it's open before and after school. Book reports are always homework anyway. Plus, I have computers in my classroom and I'm there before and after school.

I did a google search and found a bunch of sites for teachers that will let me control the kids blogs! I'm psyched, I hope it will work. Thanks for the input J-dawg :)

ps - I can't access your blog. It says it is blocked.

emilysuze said...

You're such a creative teacher! I love the idea of the blogs and also requiring them to read each other's blog and leave comments. You'll have to keep us posted on how it works out over the course of the year!

The Working Girl said...

yeah, good thing duval county just gave us new day by day curriculum that uses the textbook the entire year. goodbye creativity! ugh! the only creativity i'm allowed is being creative in getting around the stifling of my creativity!

emilysuze said...

I had to work with that last year with the Excelerator program they implemented in the high schools. It sucked. We had to justify being ahead of the schedule or being behind the schedule. It was lame.

Good luck finding ways to bring your own ideas into a stifling curriculum. Boo to Duval.