CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

In an effort to increase writing and encourage students to increase the quality of their work, Fordson social studies teacher Angela Altomonte has been giving students assignments that they are to complete on their own individual blogs. Students use studentsites.dearbornschools.org to create a site and then post the assigned work on their blog. By default these blogs are only viewable by people with dearbornschools.org accounts–which means they’re not available to the broader public. This allows students and teachers to be able to see the work of other students because they have to log into StudentSites to see it.

For most students, publishing work online raises the stakes a little bit. Because it will be viewable by more people than just their teacher, many students put forth the extra effort to make things look good, care a little more about their grammar, and spend a little more time on the presentation. For some of these students, what would have been a simple writing prompt response statement has become a multi-media masterpiece.

Take a look at some samples of what students in Ms. Altomonte’s classes have done:

Why, as CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4 puts it, “produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience”–when there actually isn’t an audience? When students publish work online, there is an audience (or at least the potential for one).

Moodle and Multiple Forms of Expression: Audio Recording Feature

One of the latest features added to iLearn (Moodle) is the ability for students to submit audio recordings within the Moodle Assignment module. There are no special tools needed other than the native microphone on a Chromebook or mobile device. With the simple click of a button, the audio recorder will open for students to begin recording up to 5 minutes of audio.

For the Love of Moodle

So this happened today: The excitement in Melanie Klein's text was palpable.  Here is a teacher that found something that not only worked for her and her students, but made them both excited to learn!  This marvelous tool is the workshop module in Moodle (iLearn). In...

7 out of 10

Giving kids what they need within the time frame in which they can actually (and will actually) do something with it is crucial to their learning. In this sense, I would propose that it’s far more important that our feedback be engaging than our “instruction”.

Google Forms for Parent Contact Records

To facilitate keeping good records of contacts I have made with parents, I created a Google Form that I, alone, have access to. This provides an interface on which I can quickly record a summary of my conversation, whom I contacted and the results. All of the information I enter feeds into a Google Sheet for my own documentation and for access at any point later on. The form is set to allow multiple entries. All I have to do is click the eye icon to see the entry interface.

Why blog when you could just use Google Classroom?

Dearborn Schools teachers are required to have and maintain a Wordpress blog ("iBlog") by posting each week. But juggling a blog and Google Classroom has been a serious concern for many teachers. In a lot of ways, teachers can be duplicating their work. The last thing...
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