Saturday, September 15, 2007

reflecting on having students reflect

Having my students blog could be an awesome way for me progress-monitor all 34 of them!

  • How can I do this so I'm not overwhelmed and my students feel confident in their endeavors?
  • How can I make this type of reflection meaningful to my students?
  • How can I scaffold this instructional practice so my students feel successful
  • Does research support the use of reflections as an insructional tool?
    • What practices does research support?
  • Do different types of learners need to reflect in different forms?
      • What is supported by research?

I'm grading and checking on student progress and despite an entire day devoted to having students post a blog, I have very few posts. My classes are huge with a wide range of needs. I'm struggling with how to make it meaningful to them so that its not like pulling teeth.

I think its so important to have them blogging, because I don't have the time to get to a deep check-in with each student during the day. I have maybe 3 or 4 quick "how ya' doin" stops...

Having my student reflect like this would help me with summative assessment and could guide instruction...but how to make 34 students blog in a day? Maybe thats just too ambitious. I was going for the "week in review thing" but perhaps, I need to focus on getting one table of 8 students to blog at a time....I do have 8 desk top computers.....hmmm....this could be good.

In an ideal world, each of my students would complete their work on a laptop everyday and blog at the end of class...instead of handing in a exit-slip. But, I only have 11 laptops shared with my team and 3 laptop carts that I have to share with the school. 84 teachers....3 lap top do the math. I don't want to be greedy either....but until someone says something I think I'll reserve every-other-day with the laptop carts. .

So, I'll have each table create a blog post once a week....for a minimum grade. Students will have to comment later in the week for an "A".

I think this sounds do-able.

Also, I started making them do reflections at the end of class last week. But, as the week went on I forgot. I think this is so important, but I forget to watch the time...I need to set a timer.

Last night I had my Adult ESL students set up email addresses and email me what they had learned in their was very positive....maybe I'll set up a blog for them....I mentioned that and i got blank-confused steps!

1 comment:

Jeff Lewis said...

My students just published their writing for the first time on my blog, I asked them to post a brief reflection on the writing process with their writing. (All of their posts will be there by Friday.) I also have been struggling with how deeply I expect my fourth graders to reflect on this process. I am also wondering why, if these are the digital natives, they seem to be so reluctant to post, or comment. I too am seeing blank looks coming back at me. I thought that maybe my kids were just a little too young to take it seriously. That's why I was so interested to read this post.

I think "baby steps" is the key. I think that we have lulled our students into a certain definition of what school is supposed to be, and this injection of so much technology just doesn't fit with what they are used to. I am hoping that as we become more experienced in using these tools, they become more enthusiastic about them as well. By the time my students (and Emily's third graders, and Kelly's first graders) make it to your class, they should be well versed in blogging.