In my middle school (Years 9 and 10) writing class today the students started looking at blogs with a view to starting their own blogs. We looked at different examples of school blogs and others written by young people and discussed what made blogs interesting to them as readers. Because I could only get half a class set of computers the students were working in pairs and this seemed to go quite well. Some of the students already had their own blogs or had had them in the past, but for most of the students this seemed to be new material. The student then composed pieces, which could be posted on a blogsite, which we will get to next lesson. We looked at how to include a hyperlink and pretty soon the double period was nearly over. I’ll keep you posted when they go online. There is still a fair bit of work to do and of course I am open to suggestions from other teachers who have had their students blogging in class.
At the moment I have a student teacher. It is really interesting, once again, to sit down the back of the classroom and see the class from a new angle. It’s great to reflect on the teaching when it’s not me in the hot seat. However my student teacher is on her second last round and is doing a sterling job. She has a calm demeanour and a sense of authority which the kids like. What I have noticed is that when I am preparing lessons and interacting with the students, I do not articulate what I expect to happen consciously, yet I know when it is lacking. There is obviously an ideal to which I aspire with regard to my interactions with the students, in particular the questions I ask to extend the students’ thinking. This is why it is good to have a student teacher because it allows/forces one to articulate this aspect of planning. I guess there’s no reason I couldn’t do that normally, it’s just that I haven’t in the past.