I recently visited a fellow English teacher’s blog. I found so many great things going on in that classroom. One particular blogging project I liked involved the kids identifying the theme of a dystopian novel within the first few pages. My students struggle with theme. I’m not sure why, but many of them do. I liked this project because it asked students to blog the theme they see developing within the first few pages. They had to explain why they thought it was a theme and support their ideas with a passage from the text. I like the idea of the students exploring the theme of the novel as they read it. These are the meaningful types of lessons I am looking for to use in my own classroom. Thanks Mr. Miller!
Since I was unable to include my comment as it is a teacher approved blog and I’m awaiting approval, I have included a screenshot below.
I can remember sitting through classroom lectures as a student in high school. I was unmotivated to listen and probably a little ADD as I gazed out the window and had a hard time focusing on my teacher, who made no effort whatsoever at making cell production the least bit interesting. I wonder how I would have thrived in the classroom with today’s technological advances and the way teachers are engaging students with a more meaningful education. My goal for my classroom is to engage students every minute they are in my classroom with content and practices they will need and use in their lives after high school. I want my students to go into their next phases of life feeling prepared and having experienced similar practices in my classroom. Many of my colleagues think they are integrating technology into their lessons because they use Power Point type presentations for their lectures instead of overhead transparencies. I don’t want to be that type of instructor. I want to be a facilitator for learning and I want my students to explore and learn collaboratively and as a whole unit. I want my students to be more active in their learning and I want what they learn in my class to be meaningful and have substance. At this time, I am using social networking as a learning tool in my classroom. I also use Google Docs for collaboration. I have had them create learning projects and post them on Schooltube. I want them to learn more and be able to do more. I desire more avenues for facilitating my classroom so that my students leave with 21st century skills. They already use these skills in their personal lives. They have Facebook and Twitter. They contribute to Youtube, Flikr and Wikipedia. I want to bring more of those types of practices into my classroom so that their learning becomes even more meaningful to them so they carry it into their futures.