#edblogaday 1 Lots of Cs

connectkindly

 

Why is blogging important to teaching and learning?

Consider

Teaching is all about learning, and discovering what works to inspire learning is a thoughtful, reflective process. What works? What doesn’t? Will it work next time? Will this lesson work for each learner? Blogging helps teachers consider the how and what and why of their craft to improve for the next day and the next learner. Blogging — writing — helps us think through our process as it affects our learners. Blogging about teaching and learning allows me to critically think about my plans, processes, lessons, successes, and failures to improve my craft to improve the learning in my classroom. Example: Considering Feedback

Communicate

Blogging about teaching and learning communicates to others what could be if adapted in their classroom; we communicate our ideas so others may learn. And we read others’ posts to learn and share how we adapted others’ ideas. We communicate our stories so others may discover the real world of teaching and learning. Example: Communicate an idea: Drama

Create

As educators consider, communicate, and reciprocate their ideas, they create strategies and lessons which others can adapt. The act of writing is an act of creating: it sets in words for others to consider the possibilities and opportunities for everyone’s growth. When I read someone else’s idea, I consider my own place and adapt and remix the ideas to fit my world. I reflect and credit others who then may try my idea or the original, and remix to fit their world. It’s a reciprocal, creative remixing to improve the experience of learners. Example: Create and Remix: Notetaking

Connect

Educators blog to connect on different levels: connecting educators in similar disciplines, connecting families to schools, connecting classrooms for collaboration or conversation. Blogging for teaching and learning creates a connected web of resources, a virtual online library of ideas for educators, disciplines, families, and students. Example: Connected Classrooms = Connected Writers

Blogging about teaching and learning connects us to learn life together.


Image Credit: Sheri Edwards 

WC: 342

Please join the 140WC challenge

Cross-posted at AskWhatElse

 

 

#DigiLit Sunday Assessing Blogs

How do you assess blogs?

What is your purpose?

That is the question.

sundaydiglit

DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, September 14, 2014.

This week’s DigiLit Sunday is a follow-up to Margaret’s question last week: How do I turn this activity into data? 

How do you assess blogs?

What is your purpose?

That is the question, and that determines the data.

For some, the purpose may be writing fluency. Then assessment would be to provide feedback on the increased number and length of posts.  [ CCSS: 10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. ]

As students develop fluency, suggest organization of paragraphs — not the five-sentence paragraph, but the idea of topic and support. [CCSS: 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ]

Next, add in conventions — sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

If fluency and foundational skills are not the focus, then consider:

  • design — the theme, layout, widgets, links, focus, invitation to participate, categories, tags [CCSS: 6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.] 
  • content — topic, support details, vocabulary, questions, style [ CCSS: 1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. 2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. 3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. ]
  • conventions

Perhaps the focus is writing:

  • organization
  • ideas
    •  [CCSS: 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ]
  • voice
  • word choice
  • sentence fluency
  • conventions
    • [CCSS: 5  Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. ]

Perhaps the focus is collaboration:

  • research
  • connect
  • share
  • collaborate
    • [CCSS: 6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others  7  Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. 8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism. ]
    • [CCSS Speaking and Listening 

Comprehension and Collaboration 1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. 2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. 3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas 4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. 5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.]

For a thorough review of blogging with students, see Silvia Tolisano’s work at Langwitches:

I especially like this rubric she created [click to enlarge]:

Silvia Tolisano’s Rubric

My hope is my “assessment” is a conversation with students and students with each other, so that the learning is a growth goal of which reflection inspires improvement. Therefore, an ongoing component of blogging would be a reflection by the student of the growth their blog demonstrates. If I must give score from a rubric, the important part is still the conversation, goal-setting, and reflection!

What are your thoughts about assessing blogs and gathering data?

#DigiLit Sunday Blogging Challenge

sundaydiglit

 

It’s Sunday!  DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Click here.

This week: Get started or restarted with  class blogging !

I want to dive in to blogging with my students. We blog with Kidblog (Grades 6, 7) and Edublog (Grade 8). Last year was our first real attempt at blogging, as you can see at Kidblogs. I’ve archived my Grade 8’s already.

First of all, why student blogging? Read what Connected Principal George Couros says: 5 Reasons Your Students Should Blog. The main reason for me is to help students become  lifelong, connected and civil learners in our connected world. The second reason is that student blogging fits right in with the Common Core State Standards. Technology is integrated throughout the standards [ See the integration here, by Beth Goth], and students who blog will be synthesizing texts and using media to analyze and discuss the issues about which they are studying. And they’ll be applying the writing  / communication skills needed to share those reflections, compositions, and arguments. And, learning to leave a positive digital footprint that leads right back to them.

How will I restart this blogging habit to develop both reading and writing skills?

I’ve started the Edublogs Teach Class Blogging Challenge to get myself blogging, connecting, conversing, ready to get my students going as well. My first post at my class blog, Eagles Write, shares my new theme and some great ideas by three other teacher bloggers. I’ll remember all the tricks and tips and trials of starting a blog, and be prepared for my students. I’ll learn a few new tricks.

How about you? Are you thinking about blogging with your students? A good way to start is with one class blog — that’s how I ease into blogging with my new class of sixth grade students each year.  So how about joining a challenge?  Try Edublogs or other challenges — or join a group of teachers and just start together!

How do you start something new with students? Challenge yourself!  Dive in. Learn with them.

 

 

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Another Resource:

Why teachers should blog by Matt Davis

#clmooc The Inspiration Has Begun – Join In

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The Summer of Make, Play, Learn has begun at #clmooc !

We’re introducing ourselves with avatars and inspiring each other to try something. In my writing classroom, making avatars and pseudonyms are one of our first goals: creating an avatar that fits our goals and personalities since we don’t use photos or our real names. And in #clmooc, we’re creating spontaneous avatars.

At left you see me, Ms Edwards, in a picasohead [ Make one here ]. I’m modern and fun, with a keen eye for critical and creative thinking, using my artist’s palette for choosing just the write words to color my ideas. See how much fun it is?

What would your avatar be? Edublogs make some suggestions here.

In the #clmooc community, we are inspiring each other with Marvel Comic Creator. This is an example of how we share our ideas and use them to remix the idea for our own needs. It’s just the beginning of a summer of fun and learning, connecting and collaborating.

Here’s my Connect 2 Learn Marvel Avatar:

connect2learnsresuperhero

As you can see, I’m an environmental water person, collaborating with others to save the world as my colleagues and I connect and create together, ready to add color and creativity to any situation, as my sunflower colors indicate.

So, join us — we need your inspiration too!

#clmooc How To Be Me Guide

 

clmooc14howtoguide.004

Brainstorm

Creating a How To Guide seemed daunting, but Chris Butts’s guide mentioned the word recipe, so that become my organizational structure.

Since this will be public and sharable, I thought I’d create a more generic image of my family. So I searched for apps that would allow me to draw on my images. I found Paint X Lite [free] for my Mac. It worked like a charm: I quickly added the smiley faces and hair to each family face.

Draft

Next I wrote my recipe:

How To Be Sheri Edwards

Ingredients
24 cupfuls of Family, sprinkled with humor and story
Several dollops of Home
Sprinkles of Pleasant
One gallon of Wonder
Generous tablespoon of Geek
5 liters of Learner
A ton of Teacher
A kilo of Kindness

Preparation:

Blend two families together carefully with humor and story to build a foundation for grandkids. Add in several dollops of home so wherever we are, we are family. Sprinkle frequently with piles of pleasant calm. Pour in a gallon of wonder daily. A generous tablespoon of geek tenders the wonder into creative ideas and solutions for the five liters of learner added next. Fold in a ton of teacher to inspire, along with the kilo of kindness to spread to those around us.

Spread out over the years and enjoy a lifetime of loving memories.

Media

Next, I chose images for each ingredient, plus a couple extra.

I decided to share via Google Presentation, making the Preparation text an interactive set of links to the images and annotations for each step.

 

Share

I then wrote this post so others could see my process and product.  Others can make a copy of this presentation to use as a template for their own, so it’s remixable!   Remember, you can click the “settings gear” to “File” → “Make A Copy” to use this as a template for your own How to Be Me Guide.  Have fun!

Thank you for learning How To Be Sheri Edwards. What do you think of this take on a “How To Guide”? What will strategy will you use to create your How To Be Me Guide?

#clmooc Blog Conversations

Bangkok Street Portraits 8 - Mindful

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Collin Key via Compfight

 

What is a conversation?

A conversation, the give and take of ideas among people. We converse in the hallway, at dinner, or any time we meet. We listen to the stories of our friends, and we share our own. We ask questions, and answer those of others. We laugh. We cry. We agree. We disagree. We consider what our friends say. We may even change our own ideas. But the important thing is, we share, consider, and continue the dialogue. That’s a conversation. Isn’t it?

What is a blog conversation?

As you have been practicing, good bloggers spend time reading and commenting on others’ blogs. We look for posts of interest to us and leave a comment expressing our ideas and appreciation for the topic information. Commenting is a form of conversation with the author of the blog.

As bloggers, we can do more to extend the conversation. We can add value to others’ ideas by extending the conversation into our own blogs.

When we read others’ blog posts. We enjoy, learn, or disagree with them. In our minds, we have a response. That’s what we want to capture, that spark of connection when we read the posts.

Read to find that spark, that connection — the place in the blog post you think, “Ah.” or “What?” or “Yeah.”

At that point, that’s your cue to add to the conversation. It’s your gift back from the value given in the post. Copy that part of the idea.

Then, with the best digital citizenship in mind, we write a post about that idea, and your gift back: do you agree? disagree? learn something? have a different or new idea?

Go for it: Share their idea and your response — being overly positive as we always do so the author feels accepted and not disrespected.

Link back to the original blog.

Then comment on the blog with a link to your response post.

You’ve just started a blog conversation!

 So, How do I start a blog conversation?

  1. Find a post with a spark — an idea that you connect with other ideas
  2. Copy that part of the post
  3. Start your post with that quote and the author’s name.
  4. Link the author’s name to their blog (put the URL of that POST as a link from the name)
  5. Thank the author for their idea
  6. Add your ideas: a new idea, a different idea, an agreement and why, a respectful disagreement [I wonder if…], a question and your answer
  7. Publish your post
  8. Go back to the original post and comment with a link to your post
  9. Smile: You’re a blogger!

 Blogging is a Conversation

If you blog, you’re a writer, an author, but take it further, be a the blogger that adds value to your connections. Be a connected learner.

This blog post is an extension of a conversation learned in a WizIQ webinar I took with  Stephen Downes, which I wrote about here, to share my learning and my response to that webinar learning. I learned that the connections are what is important:

  • In order for what we are saying to make any sense, it needs to be a response to something.
  • Find places where you can add value rather than pursue a particular goal or objective
  • In almost all fields, connecting with others IS the work.
  • Connecting is all about adding value and flow (input, output, feedback, plasticity)

That post of mine and this post for you are part of the flow, the extension of the conversation from the gift of learning from  Stephen Downes. I decided to make changes in my blogging practice and to share that with you:

  1. Read and comment on blogs; blog a response (this is one of my responses).
  2. For my students, we will now read others’ blogs first, blog our response of those that touch our hearts and minds, and comment back with a link to our posts.

I appreciate and thank Stephen for extending my ideas about blogging. And thanks to The Edublogs Team for their blogging challenges for Connected Educator Month.

Do you see how I have:

  • Included a link to  Stephen Downes?
  • Include the learning [bullets above] from  Stephen Downes?
  • Linked his name back to his blog and also to the WizIQ webinar information?
  • Added my ideas [directions to you; two changes I will make]?
  • Thanked the author [Stephen]?
  • Lastly, I wrote back on the webinar site [not available publicly] to share my blogpost, which is my “comment back.”
  • And, for writing class, did I:
    • Write clearly
    • Write with evidence
    • Write positively
    • Write in paragraphs
    • Write with correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization?

Ready? Have a go —

Find an inspiring post and write your own extension to the conversation, adding value to the ideas of the original author!  And ask yourself:

  • Are  you connected?
  • Are you adding value?
  • Are you responding to the gifts from others?
  • Are you extending the conversation?
  • And , for writing class, are you:
    • writing clearly with evidence?
    • writing positively [respectfully]
    • writing in paragraphs with correct conventions [grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization]?

Have a go,

…and come back here to comment on the results…

Cross-posted from Eagles Write

#write2connect Session with Stephen Downes #ce13

openisatittudehope.009

http://goo.gl/EDlmpS

 

What a joy this Sunday morning to listen to Stephen Downes. Through an email invitation — a  connection,  from WizIQ on Friday, I added the event to my calendar, a connection for Sunday’s NCTE National Day of Writing, whose focus this year is #write2connect. What better way to celebrate than to connect to learn about Connectivism from one of its founders, Stephen Downes, as he explains “Habits of Effective Connected Learners.”

And I am so thankful I did. It felt like a conversation in my living room with many amazing people chatting and learning together. What did I learn? I clarified my own ideas, and considered a better way to help my students.

First, these ideas are my connections, my perceptions on connectivism from my engagement with this presentation:

  • Publishing your own stuff is secondary to reading and commenting on other people’s stuff
  • The first thing any connected person should be is receptive. Open.
  • In order for what we are saying to make any sense, it needs to be a response to something.
  • Find places where you can add value rather than pursue a particular goal or objective
  • In almost all fields, connecting with others IS the work.
  • Connecting is all about adding value and flow (input, output, feedback, plasticity)

I loved the idea that it’s about adding value; that we all can add value to the wide world. And that we don’t need to worry about those that are not. When connected, look to add value; when connected, look for the shapes and patterns of your perceptions and add value. It’s not to promote or make a point, but to cooperate in the conversation in relevant ways to add to the whole. “Connecting IS the work,” and in connecting — receptively– we respond.

Sylvia Gulnan (sp) asked, “What can you cook from the melting pot of thoughts?” Here are my new ingredients:

  1. Read and comment on blogs; blog a response (this is my response).
  2. For my students, we will now read others’ blogs first, blog our response of those that touch our hearts and minds, and comment back with a link to our posts.

Yes, we have written posts and then read others’ posts and commented, but I think the better idea is to learn from others first, to find a connection to which value can be added in one’s own world, one’s own blog. Do you see the difference? It brings the conversation and the connection home; a relationship, which may blossom into further discussions or simply be a recognition and acknowledgement of the learning conversation.

I’ve always felt I was missing something, and I can still blog for myself, but the connectivity is in adding to the nexus of the cloud, building a bit of relationship with those nodes. Thanks, Stephen. I may not have gotten everything right, but I learned. And it certainly encourages us to expand our connections as educators for Connected Educator month (#ce13).

And so I’d like to finish with another example of connectivism.

I followed a tweet link to this wonderful post on grading, points, and feedback by @differNtiated4u (Charity Stephens). I know about grading issues and that feedback results in more learning that a score or red marks on the paper. I know that students need to know what is expected, the goal in process and product. But the idea I loved is this:

  • Scaffold what you want students to know and be able to do for each letter grade. What will it take to get a D, C, B and A?  Have handy your Bloom’s Taxonomy, D.O.K chart and/or Rigor & Relevance Framework because you will need to identify verbs/actions for each learning objective for each desired level of understanding. SHARE these levels with students at the start of the unit. Post them on your class wall along side your learning objectives.  This will serve as their roadmap for understanding…
  • Scaffold the summative assessment and assess performance for each level of understanding.This means that if on the unit assessment a student can perform only the basic levels of understanding (even if this is only 1/4th of the assessment) this means the student’s grade should be a passing grade as they demonstrated the basics of the unit.

Now that makes sense more than a percentage score of total points. An A means …., A B means… A C means…  Years ago, before all the testing and specific objectives focus, I created units of instruction based on Kathy Nunley’s layered curriculum model. That raised the bar on expectations and allowed all students to succeed. With the emphasis now on interest-based learning and the use of technology tools, the units could offer choices and negotiation of projects to meet student interests, with the emphasis on stretching to meet ever higher goals based on a teacher/student developed framework of expectations.

Charity’s source: Wormeli, R. (2010) Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom:  Formative and Summative Assessment Critical Feedback for Learning   Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJxFXjfB_B4

As I develop my Common Core State Standards units and those specific objectives, I will consider Charity’s advice, and I thank her for helping me grow into another way of seeing how this could work.

What about you?

Are connected?

Are you adding value?

Are you responding to the gifts from others?

Thanks Charity and Stephen for helping me grow.  Open is Hope.