Last week I wrote about the importance of allowing time and opportunity for students to reflect upon their learning. It is this reflection that allows for deep rather than superficial learning to occur.
I reflect on my learning through blogging. The routine I’ve created of having to write an update every week forces me to stop for a moment, think and consider. The process of explaining my thoughts helps me synthesise my ideas and move forward. So it made sense for me to use blogging as a platform for my students to reflect.
On Monday I set each of them up with a blog using the NSW DEC ‘s Blog Ed. It’s not a great platform, but it was one I could start straight away with as the DEC issues an account to each student enrolled in public schools, and the permissions have already been taken care of. Their blogs are private, however they can log in at home if they wish to show their parents what they are doing. I asked each student to write about one thing they had learned this week. or about something they would like to learn.
Here are a few of their posts:
‘I learnt that I need to take my time for writing.’ ‘
I learnt to Do some hand print art. I learnt how to retell a story.’
‘In maths groups some girls and I have been practising finding change. We did a video. It was very fun.’
The posts weren’t very detailed, but they were fine for 7 and 8 year olds writing their first ever blogs. I loved the fact that each one was different. It gave me a good insight into what they valued in their learning this week.
Writing for many 7 and 8 year olds is still a challenging task. I realised quite quickly that this wasn’t really allowing them to reflect in the same way I can while writing – they become preoccupied with finding the keys on the keyboard, working out spelling etc. So I decided to try recording video diaries as well.
At the beginning of the week my maths students chose a learning goal related to our unit about money. At the end of the week they had to make a video that would teach a concept to the other students.
Unfortunately I can’t show you their actual videos, but I’ve used the transcript of one and put it into Xtranormal to give you a sense of what they created.
My students loved making the videos. They also proved to themselves that they learned something new.We’ll be uploading the videos to their blogs this week.
I’m just getting started with this so would love to hear from anyone who is using blogs with their students to reflect upon their learning. Please let me know your ideas in the comments section.