Sunday, August 26, 2012

Assessing What Counts

Blogging is now an integral part of my elementary classroom literacy block.  Like many teachers, such as  Kathleen Morris and Pernille Ripp, I have come to see the benefits of blogging with my students and wouldn't miss including it as part of our daily activities.

Within the first few months of introducing it, I added blogging as an independent choice for journalling, creative writing or completing reading responses in our Writing Workshop.

The importance of how we presented ourselves was established much like teacher Mrs. Yollis does with her Grade 3 class.  Having standards for 'publishable writing' is not a new concept in our school.

That being accomplished, and I have to say blogging was appreciated by the students as a 'cool' way to share their lives, their interests, and their book selections, it became a question of how do I use the blogs as part of gathering information about my students' learning?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What and How to Value


I have spent a significant portion of this summer holiday reading and re-reading journal articles, book chapters, blog posts and tweets to become familiar with the practice (and questions) around assessment, 21st century skills and blogging in our classrooms.

Since introducing blogging to my students only two years ago, my thinking has changed as I came to understand several things about what its potential for teaching and learning holds.

In that time-frame I have begun to move from using the blogging screen as 'paper-and-pencil' replacements for school assignments/journalling, though I still see that as part of what can carried on.  Instead I have begun to establish my students as members of blogging communities, whether it's in our school or through interacting with other bloggers much farther away!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A New Name - A New Start

I have a new name. Well not me but this blog.

Peonies, Pedagogy and Other Points had fine alliteration and it did mean something to me when I chose it however having the word Peonies in the title just hasn't fit how this blog has evolved.

This is just one of my peonies!

When I started here in February 2011 (as partial requirement for a grad course) I thought it could, would hold more than 'just' my thoughts about my pedgagogy as I began to blog with my students.

I am a gardener too. I had intended to infuse the blog with personal anecdotes about gardening along the North Atlantic but it just didn't materialize. (I'll have to find a different space for that!)

This blog has had a steady, if not as frequent as I wished, focus on blogging. (Still as grad student and I would love to be blogging more often instead of researching but it is worth the sacrifice!)

I wanted to document and share different aspects of the journey I have taken as a elementary teacher who was determined to incorporate technology into the curriculum. I wanted to articulate and reflect on my own thinking as I moved to establish blogs with my grade fives.