2014 was one of the best years for blogging in LA19. We had such amazing bloggers such as Demi, Aimee, Abbey, Georgia, Pyin Ye, Kianne, Caitlin and Michael, all of whom (even though they’ve left our school) can still be seen on my list of class blogs. This means that the new group of bloggers have a lot to live up to. One student, Shantelle, has already made an amazing and dedicated start and she hasn’t even joined her class for 2015 yet. Her blog is on my current class blog list on the left – check her out and see what her great blog looks like.
Last week we invited some of our year 4 and 5 students to start blogging with us. We did this for a very practical reason; the year 7 students will be leaving us in two weeks, as usual, but unlike every other year the year 6 students will also be graduating from primary school at the same time. This is due to the government’s shift to have students start high school a year early. Unfortunately, this means that the main core of our blogging talent will be walking out of the school. So, with a slight sense of panic, we realised that we needed to have the amazing year 7 bloggers pass on their skills and knowledge to the next generation before they go. The new blogs are on the same class list on the left as my current students just for now, but for a clear list (with all the hard work done for me) check out Abbey’s blog where she lists the new students with links to their blogs.
This is a short post to give a bit of a “shout-out” to a few bloggers who’ve recently gone above and beyond the usual expectations to demonstrate their blogging and writing ability. The blogs are an incredibly useful asset for myself as they give a great insight into the ability of the students. As the students are producing writing that’s visible to everyone (myself, school admin, parents, friends…) the assumption is that the finished product is representative of the type of work the students would be proud to have displayed, in effect their best work. Blogs can also reflect the attitude of the students. Whilst some rarely post unless instructed to do so by myself, others make a great effort in order to demonstrate their ability in such diverse styles such as recipes, personal thoughts, holiday posts, formal school tasks and hobbies. Some students who deserve a big pat on the back for their great writing and inspiring efforts are Aimee, Demi and Kianne.
For a great “boy” read this week take a look at Macca’s blog. His latest post where he talks about his recent visit to the Toodyay skatepark is an excellent example of the type of topics perfect for boys. Sometimes it can be tricky to get boys interested in writing, which is why I think blogs are a really useful tool for teachers. Instead of limiting students to write only on the topics they are given in class, blogs allow them to indulge in their own interests. Take a look at Macca’s blog, but be warned, it may not make sense if you are as old as I am!
I’ve always been a firm believer in the usefulness of incorporating blogs (and other technology) into the classroom, but it’s sometimes been a little difficult to get others to understand my enthusiasm about giving students real world experiences with digital technologies. In a recent podcast, on Every Classroom Matters, entitled An Educator’s Guide to the Emerging, Expanding View of Digital Citizenship, Anne Collier, a member of the UN Internet Governors Forum and a Facebook Safety Advisory Board member, talks about the importance of students being actively involved in their digital environment. She believes we can’t simply tell students how to use digital media or how to be safe in the digital world. A lesson plan or a worksheet just won’t do it; living and experiencing digital media is the only way to develop understanding and skill. The analogy she uses is that it’s like teaching cooking without actually being in the kitchen. We need to allow students to participate responsibly in order to develop self-governance in their online lives. One of the best ways to do this is to allow students to use a blog to communicate with others around the world. Have a listen to this short (10 minute) podcast to hear how the things we are doing in LA19 are in line with research based theories of best practice in digital, experiential learning.
Just a quick post to congratulate Georgia who currently has 990 visits (Tuesday, 27th August) but will certainly reach the magical 1000 this week. Georgia will be the first student at this school to reach this amazing landmark. Other students are closing in, too, and this should be our best blogging year ever. Well done everyone!
Many youngsters nowadays are very much into technology. Well, the students from LA19 are no different. Here’s a list of some of the best techie blogs from the class, filled with news, information, tips, movies and fun. Never forget, that without some young people who were once interested in technology we wouldn’t have the iPhone and iPad, apps, Facebook (love it or hate it) and many other things we simply can’t live without in our modern world (including the computer you’re reading this on).
If there are any gamers out there wanting to know what the gaming world is like for year 6’s in WA then Tristan’s blog could be just the one for you. His knowledge of the gaming world is exceptional and his understanding of the technology required to get seriously involved is fully explored on his blog. If you want to know more then check it out and be ready to be genuinely impressed.
This week we competed at interschool sports with several other schools in our area (read Monika’s explanation here). The sports we competed in were: soccer (boys and girls) AFL, modcrosse and netball. To read about the events and the varying successes of the teams check out these links:
Girls’ Soccer here
A new feature that I want to introduce is “Blog of the Week”. The purpose of this is to highlight a student who is demonstrating an enthusiastic and positive attitude to their blogging. This award doesn’t mean that the blog being featured is the best one, it is more an award for effort, enthusiasm, dedication and talent in any particular area of blogging.
The first blog of the week is Monika’s blog. Despite being in hospital to have her tonsils out, Monika still managed to post 40 minutes before her operation. She also posted afterwards whilst still in hospital. This is great dedication, Monika. Pay this blog a visit and treat yourself to an informative, interesting read.