In-School Blog

Our technical staff at school has made it possible for me to keep an in-school blog, and so I started yesterday. Ideally, I’m going to be keeping records of what happens in each class I teach, each day. I’ll post actual homework, planned homework for the next several days, and a little bit about the goals of each class. I’ll also post some coded disciplinary information, and items for individual and group assessment, so that I can keep track over many moons of what happens in class. It’ll also serve as the basis for writing comments at the end of the term.

Is this a lot of work? Quite possibly. But then if I throw a kid out of class, and he comes back 30 seconds later, I can say “hey, why don’t you admins go and read my blog about what he’s been doing in class the last two months?” We’re always being pushed to document our relationships with students. Here’s an experiment in how far we can go.

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6 comments

  1. Hi! At New Job, we use FirstClass to organize our class-related stuff. This might give you some ideas about ways in which to use your blog!

    First, each course has a conference to which each student subscribes. When they click on the course icon on their FirstClass desktop, they see the following screen:

    [ http://homepage.mac.com/bengott/.Pictures/conference.jpg ]

    The icons along the top denote the “Dropbox” (where homework can be e-mailed to me and read only by me), four icons for the individual sections (red, yellow, blue, and green), and the “Homework” and “Handouts” folders. The messages in the message pane below can be sent by and read by all students in the entire grade.

    The “Handouts” folder looks like this:

    [ http://homepage.mac.com/bengott/.Pictures/handouts.jpg ]

    In it are .pdf and .doc copies of EVERY assignment I have given since September. (I do not post copies of quizzes taken in class or of writing assignments that I give them verbally, but every time I print something out to photocopy, I also select Print > Save as PDF and upload it.) This means that my students never have the “I lost my homework!” excuse. It’s all there, and it’s all in .pdf.

    The “Homework” folder looks like this:

    [ http://homepage.mac.com/bengott/.Pictures/homework.jpg ]

    We are required to post all homework one week in advance (at least). A basic assignment sheet looks like this:

    [ http://homepage.mac.com/bengott/.Pictures/assig.jpg ]

    All of my classes do the same things, but, since we meet for four fifty-minute periods per week, someone is always a day behind or two days ahead.

    This has been an invaluable tool for me this year, mostly because it keeps me thinking ahead and constantly working to make sure my assignments are posted and graded in a timely fashion. It also allows the kids to dialog and to read and respond to each other’s pieces.

    Go, technology!

    BG

  2. Hi! At New Job, we use FirstClass to organize our class-related stuff. This might give you some ideas about ways in which to use your blog!

    First, each course has a conference to which each student subscribes. When they click on the course icon on their FirstClass desktop, they see the following screen:

    [ http://homepage.mac.com/bengott/.Pictures/conference.jpg ]

    The icons along the top denote the “Dropbox” (where homework can be e-mailed to me and read only by me), four icons for the individual sections (red, yellow, blue, and green), and the “Homework” and “Handouts” folders. The messages in the message pane below can be sent by and read by all students in the entire grade.

    The “Handouts” folder looks like this:

    [ http://homepage.mac.com/bengott/.Pictures/handouts.jpg ]

    In it are .pdf and .doc copies of EVERY assignment I have given since September. (I do not post copies of quizzes taken in class or of writing assignments that I give them verbally, but every time I print something out to photocopy, I also select Print > Save as PDF and upload it.) This means that my students never have the “I lost my homework!” excuse. It’s all there, and it’s all in .pdf.

    The “Homework” folder looks like this:

    [ http://homepage.mac.com/bengott/.Pictures/homework.jpg ]

    We are required to post all homework one week in advance (at least). A basic assignment sheet looks like this:

    [ http://homepage.mac.com/bengott/.Pictures/assig.jpg ]

    All of my classes do the same things, but, since we meet for four fifty-minute periods per week, someone is always a day behind or two days ahead.

    This has been an invaluable tool for me this year, mostly because it keeps me thinking ahead and constantly working to make sure my assignments are posted and graded in a timely fashion. It also allows the kids to dialog and to read and respond to each other’s pieces.

    Go, technology!

    BG

  3. You may want to tag particular blogs where particular kids are mentioned, so that it makes it easier for folks to follow a thread of behavior? Just a thought. I think a class journal is a great idea.

  4. You may want to tag particular blogs where particular kids are mentioned, so that it makes it easier for folks to follow a thread of behavior? Just a thought. I think a class journal is a great idea.

  5. Does sound like a lot of work, but it could definitely make end of the year assessment easier. Maybe I should try something like that with my team too. Thanks for the idea.

  6. Does sound like a lot of work, but it could definitely make end of the year assessment easier. Maybe I should try something like that with my team too. Thanks for the idea.

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