Five more Teachers…

I’ve been out promoting blogging quite a bit lately. Seems everyday there is another teacher who wants to take the learning happening in their classrooms and extend the conversation digitally in some way or another, beyond the walls of their room.

I’ve always been a fan of students making their work visible, both to their classmates as readily available exemplars, and out to the world in search of an authentic audience. That last piece, is the portion of the writing process we so often neglect within the classroom. We talk about the writing process: brainstorming, rough drafts, peer edits, etc.; but then leave that pivotal audience role filled invariably by a single reader: the teacher.¬† Find me a writer, or any artist for that matter, who isn’t aware and somehow driven by the existence of an audience.

If you give a writer an audience…

Like this grade 6 student from Cardinal Heights, who is so aware that he has an audience, he posts updates keeping them abreast on his future writing goals: Check it here; but more powerful than that, for me as a teacher, is to see the GROWTH from this post in October, to the most recent post by this same student. Here is a student whose work has improved in exponential ways. Can we attribute this to blogging? Is there power in having classmates commenting and providing feedback? Is there power in opening up your writing journal to commentary, not only from your own teacher, but from other teachers, and from the principal of the school, who has been known to add descriptive feedback to the written work of the students? I think the first two comments on that last post make clear the value: a classmate responds with criteria for success perhaps lacking in the original post, and the author responds, having improved the work based on the feedback.

If you give a writer an audience…

At Allan Greenleaf this afternoon, I helped five more teachers build a blog, providing the platform for 150 more students to find their authentic audience. I’m looking forward to seeing how they meet that challenge.

Published by jarbenne

Jared Bennett is the Student Information System Consultant at Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.

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