Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blogger As Enrichment For Reading Response

School Reading Routine

The school I am at this year has a school-wide practice that was new to me: PERT (paired-echo-reading-time). In a nutshell, every morning almost all the students read with a partner. Older students are trained to be coaches and read with younger students. Students either read at the same time (paired) or the older student reads first and the younger student repeats the passage after (echo). The occurs for about 15-17 minutes every morning.


Blogger As Enrichment

I have a grade two student who received enrichment during PERT last year and did book reports after completing books with his older partner. I did not want to simply repeat last year's enrichment. So when thinking about what to do this year I looked to what my area of expertise and strength: technology. I thought a blog would be an easy way to build on what he did last year. It would also help him and his partner build some technology leadership that could be used in class later. 

Things I Considered

  • When I went to set this up, I had to remind myself he is still only in grade two and there is limited time each morning. 
  • I also wanted to create a structure so that they would not need my assistance very often once they got going as I have other responsibilities during PERT time. 
  • I wanted to be in control of the blog. So that meant I would own the blog and he and his partner would be added as authors, rather than having him own the blog.

Setup

  1. I created a new blog. I decided that it would be best to keep it open ended as possible. So I made it a general review blog for the school that I would manage. That way if other students require enrichment or a whole class wants to do a book review project, they can use what is there already. However, I only added the two students as authors for now (as the creator, I am an author as well).
  2. I changed the settings so the comments would be moderated by myself. I also decided to not allow just "anyone" to comment. While it is moderated, I feel that by having people having their username attached to comments, we were more likely to get useful and thoughtful comments and less inappropriate comments for me to moderate. 
  3. While the school already had FOIP forms filled in at the beginning of the year, I also wrote a note to get permission from both families. 
  4. I found a worksheet that could serve as a note taking tool for the pair from Read Write Think.
  5. I created a post that would serve as a template for their reviews. 
  6. I sat down and spoke to the boys and explained what they would be doing the day before actually starting.
  7. I started them off with a short and simple book. 
  8. I helped them with their jot notes on the planning sheet.
  9. I worked with them on their first post, showing them how to copy and paste the template into a new post. I explained they needed to take turns writing as it is a partner project.
  10. I will repeat steps 6 to 8 until I feel they were ready to try longer books. I likely will have them do a review for each chapter but I am currently undecided.
  11. I will comment on each post and encourage other staff to do so as well!

Added Bonus

As we have four permanent computers in class, I as able to use the blogging activity as sort of anchor activity. He was able to work on writing the review during class time after finishing his other work. It was a meaningful and relevant anchor activity for him. 


Issues

Having set it up so a registered user can only comment has deterred staff from commenting as most of them do not have Blogger accounts.