Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day with Experts

We had the laptops today for more exploring, but it really wasn't too long of a time. No Mrs. Smith today... But we had Mr. Juskiewicz to help us navigate through Kidblog, and Mr. Hillmer to help us navigate the web appropriately, including EBSCO.

Mr. Juskiewicz - introduced students as to how to post a blog, how to add a picture, and how to comment on another's blog. I feel that we may need more standards... Capitalization? Punctuation? I did have three things I'd like students to write about, and I posted them (on the wall and on the blog). I separated these put by fiction and nonfiction, as well, because they're different types of journaling.

After we got onto the blog, and I was able to explain what to journal about, I actually had time to conference with two students, and so did Mrs. Bingaman! I really liked the conferencing, as it helped students see that they ARE responsible for reading each week, and that I (or another adult) will be asking them about what they are reading.

Mr. Hillmer - I really liked the first part of his talk, informing kids about what websites are reliable, and why they would or wouldn't be reliable. 3/4 seemed kind of sleepy, as he was just feeding the kids information. He included the kids more in 5/6, and I think they liked that. They were definitely more engaged! He talked about bias, relevance, current, detail, authority when finding a website. How do I reinforce this?

Other notes... Mr. Goldstein tried to Skype with us, but the kids just asked for him to come in. Today was nice! We had experts in here, sharing their expertise, and I really appreciated the help. Seeing students look at each others' posts and comment made me smile. I heard from Karolina in 5/6 - "I really like this.". We still have students freaking out a little ... "I don't have a book!" So I threw back the question, "What have you been reading when I assign 20 min for homework?" I let them know they should journal on that - whatever it is they are reading this week. If they haven't read anything, read tonight and tomorrow!

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