30th Day

An Improved New Teaching

I’m going to take the liberty to interpret this activity for day 30 as if it was a sort of interview made by Michele  Martin to each of us; it will  spare me a precious amount of time, although I’m very sorry for not being able to respond with the deepness this reflective task deserves.

1. What have you learned about the give and take of commenting and how it might apply in a classroom?

R: This “give and take” brings along an human enrichment to individual writing; the fact that you share your thoughts and knowledge opens your inner world to the virtual  presence of others and, without noticing, you begin  to reflect and even to act as a member of a community.

In the classroom I’ve noticed how much young students enjoy to share their own texts reading them aloud in front of the class or silently reading  long answers by their colleagues that I extract and copy  from their tests; since we have started to dwell on-line they have shown their enthusiasm on publishing their writings.

Now we may not only enlarge and multiply our ways of sharing our work, but we may introduce this totally new feature of mutually commenting our written  work, thus generating and enhancing conversations.

2. What lessons did you learn about what it means to “speak up” through comments that is applicable to working with students?

R: To “speak up” trough comments  may allow shy students to find their own “voice” in the “maelstrom” of the class; it may act as a strong motivation to write, read and to create new ways of communicating meaningful content; it will certainly develop new and more rich interaction in the classroom; it may improve class citizenship, the sense of fair camaraderie and eventually new friendships may blossom through these  intense cross conversatios.

Technically speaking one may “speack up” through several different media,  combining audio, video, drawing and so on,  thus enhancing the chances of self expression and  “community expression”.

3. What did you learn about how to deal with dissent, asking questions, communications… that might influence your teaching practices, either on or off-line?

R: I think I will be more careful when managing students reciprocal dissents, questions and communications; I will try to elaborate a more “fine pitched” quality of listening, and I will show them how different connotations of words may inflect the original meanings intended by the authors, thus generating misunderstandings that may harm the union and consistency of the group. We will then reflect upon several different ways to avoid and counteract these issues.

Perhaps they will be interested in dressing a sort of “Chart” listing a good commenter’s duties and rights, clarifying  what it means to democratically  dissent, question and argue, thus preventing or correcting possible obstacles to a growingly free and enjoyable communication.

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3 thoughts on “30th Day

  1. @Miss W. Thank you for the suggestion about using students posts as occasions to improve their writing.
    I hope to profit from their presence at school in June to outline several different projects that will “run” only next year: this sort of “Chart” could include some items of the curricula, as for instance: 1. how to distinguish subjective opinion from objective information; which are the most effective moderation rules during a debate; and I would then add: how should we exert the right to dissent? How come to contradict some one’s reflections may enhance the conversation and provoke deeper reflection? And so on…For the moment I’m still correcting tests; I will come later to read and comment your posts on all these subjects, thank you.
    @Sue, I’ll be glad to share these projects with you; they will certainly be a palpable evidence of the long term fecundity of this Challenge.

  2. This is one task that has definitely stumped me. I’ve not idea of how I might tackle it so will need to reflect for a few days.

    @Sue I think each year you use blogs with students it will become easier as you built on what you’ve gained from previous years.

  3. I like this chart idea, Inpi. Something that would be useful for both students working this year with blogs, but also for newbies starting next year.

    I find I often use students’ posts or comments as punctuation and grammar lessons to see how they could have improved what they had written.

    For me, this year is a way of me working my way through the minefield of using technology especially blogs and wikis, in the classroom and all that involves with regard to internet safety and working with administration and departments.

    Next year I hope it will be easier and can involve some much better planning and learning both on my behalf and that of my students.

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