Students from my fourth grade reading class and third graders from Emily Taylor's class got a chance to "talk" about books using our book blogs. Students from the respective classes read books and posted reviews of them to our blogs. Then, they viewed each other's blogs and made comments about the reviews. At least is how it would have gone if I wouldn't have had "comments" blocked! :) You can see our lesson plans at http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcvnqm3z_14m6bqptff .
But it was a great experience anyway. One thing that I found is that as a whole, Central's students seem to be getting less computer literate than they were two years ago. Since I have students from all four of Central's fourth grade rooms in my reading class, I was somewhat shocked at the amount of time I spent just going over computer basics before we could get to our project. I understand ( I guess) that we don't have the funding for computers as a special anymore, but it is sad to see the impact it is having on our students as "21st Century learners". I think one thing that could slow the computer lit. regression for our students would be to get laptops for all teachers. That way, teachers could consistently be using projectors to model computer use. I have also made it one of my personal/professional goals to consistenly and intentionally use technology with students I have from other classes. In that way, I am hoping to fuel the technology flame from classroom to classroom. I think it is easier and less scary to try new tech when your students have been exposed to it. I know when I was trying to figure out the SmartBoard last year it was extremely helpful that my students already knew more than I did about it from using it once a week with our Math and Technology specialist (Andrew Palmer). When I got stuck the kids would just tell me what to do! :)
Please visit our book blog at http://www.4hughes.blogspot.com/ .