So April 1, 2013 I put my plan into action. Since I seem to be going against the grain, starting on April Fool’s Day is almost fitting. I took all my classroom reading objectives for the week and found technology we could use in the classroom to replace worksheets…..the staple of the Pearson environment. I wrote the objectives on the board and told my class the plan. In 17 years of teaching, I have never seen a class so excited!
My first goal was to introduce them to a form of Wordle called Tagxedo. I found Tagxedo easier to save. We were creating word pictures and having fun with our spelling words in no time! My next goal was a little loftier. I introduced them to our classroom blog.
I have to say I did not expect the excitement of the class over a blog! I mean, a blog means writing, and my class has not been overzealous about writing. We brainstormed together what our first post should be, knowing that their writing would be published to the world prompted correct sentences, grammar, punctuation, everything! They helped each other. They helped me! The class did not want to go to PE because they wanted to stay and work on their blogs. (Of course I made them go so I could catch my breathe).
Did we bet all of our Wordles and blogs published? No. But we will. We learned together. My class was a talking, working, organized group of learners yesterday. I can honestly say it was the best, most productive day ever. Every student was engaged every moment. I call that day a success.