A grade 5 student (10 years old), Eddie visited my blog and left me a comment so I returned the favour. Eddie then did some digging around and stumbled upon one of my currently active class blogs, Pre-Cal 40S (Winter '07). I brought up his visit in class and we read what he had written about us. My students were very taken with Eddie (the link is to our daily podcast where Eddie came up; listen between 26 minutes and 36 minutes) and some of them have gone back to his blog and left him comments. Eddie has really grokked blogging and good commenting; he ends each comment with a question that invites continued discussion and he is diligent about replying to every comment left on his blog. My students are learning a lot from this young man from Georgia.
So the students are talking to each other and Mrs. Emmert left me a comment on my last post and hopefully that will also grow into a dialogue.
There's more going on.
I'm getting better at using my SmartBoard. I'm learning a new functionality or feature of it every day.
Picking up on ideas from Clarence my classroom is evolving into more of a studio, or atelier learning environment and the scribe posts are growing into something substantially more than a reiteration of the notes that were given in class. We typically move between websites like fooplot.com and the SmartBoard Notebook slides (published daily on slideshare.net). Take a look at tonight's scribe post which incorporates graphs captured from fooplot.com, text with colour used in a meaningful way and Bubbleshare.com. As a matter of fact, if you play the bubbleshare slideshow and continue reading, the coloured text on the blog follows the coloured text in the slides ... and the timing is nearly perfect. A stroke of genius that!
These changes in the classroom routine have had a significant impact on the students. We've got a test coming up this week and each student has to write a reflection about where they are in their learning beforehand (it's worth one mark on the test). I ask the students to post these reflections a few days before the test so that I can read where they are having difficulty and address those issues in class before it counts for marks. I'm so focused on this that I missed another emerging pattern in what they've been writing. Lani didn't miss it though. (Lani is one of three volunteer mentors I have on my class blogs.) She's pulled out snippets of the pattern that she saw emerging in the students writing and reflected it back to them. I was chuffed ... I blushed a little too, but it felt good. ;-)
To top it off, Clarence emailed me tonight to ask if I'd seen this. (The CBC is one of Canada's two major news networks.)
Yup ... a very good day. ;-)