I think the power of digital literacy is MASSIVE for our students. Our world is moving to a place where digital portfolios, websites, and blogs are becoming prominent features of information sharing, business, and the job market.
In my classroom, I felt that equipping my students with background of how to create a blog and how to navigate their way through using digital media was crucial for preparing them for their futures.
I believe that by the time they are ready to depart into the working world, the ability to create digital portfolios and represent themselves online will be very important. SO I decided that every student in my class needed a blog.
I started with an online platform for classrooms called Edu Blogs. It is an awesome way for teachers to control what students are posting online, while still giving them the freedom for creativity.
With this platform, each student can create their own blog while getting posts pre-approved by me (their teacher) and they can read each others work for student encouragement and support.
The first phase of this project was developing the blog and giving them a series of quick writes to create a series of their first blog posts. This was an amazing way to get students writing, reflecting and creating online.
Students loved it. They had ownership of their own work, they were creative and they were using literacy skills that they were excited about.
Part 2 of this project was forming a Lit Circle around their blog.
For those of you who are not familiar, Lit Circles are small groups of students who gather together to discuss a piece of literature in depth. The discussion is guided by students’ response to what they have read. Literature circles provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to books. Collaboration is at the heart of this approach.
My idea, was to give students a book tasting with different genres and books associated with each genre so that each student would be reading a book they were interested in. This was a great way to collaborate with my librarian and get students interested in what they were reading.
We transformed the library into a little restaurant and students recorded the books they wanted to read on a little menu card.
It was great!
I then had students choose the book they wanted and section it into 4 parts.
Having each student read a different book was a challenge in figuring our how we would all finish at the same time. The 4 parts of the book turned into their 4 weekly reading goals. At the end of each of the 4 weeks, students had to get to the end of their part.
They then created a new tab in the blogs to record their progress with the book they were reading.
At the end of each week I am posting a series of questions they need to answer in regards to their books. This will be a way for them to reflect, analyse, and write about the literature they are reading while keeping current with their blogs and using technology in the classroom.
I am SUPER excited about this cool project.
Let me know if you have ever done a lit circle in your class!