This week began fourth grade’s Blogging and Digital Citizenship Unit. I am fortunate enough to be a co-teacher during this unit, along with Melissa, our technology specialist, and Bill, the head teacher. Our purpose during this unit is for the students to contribute positively to an online community whilst documenting and sharing their learning and reflections with others.
Their Unit of Inquiry is “Where We Are in Place and Time” and their Central Idea is “Ancient civilizations have paved the way for present societies.” Throughout this Unit of Inquiry, their focus will be on the “Silk Road.” I am so excited to read all of the students’ posts and comments about their Unit of Inquiry! Many of them are are sharing their reflections and asking good questions. Some of them are still developing their understandings about the unit and about how to express their ideas on the blog, but I’m confident that they’ll get there soon enough.
Our discussion today centered around commenting, and how comments are essential to driving the conversation forward and deepening our understanding of the Unit of Inquiry. We had the students read and comment on their classmates’ initial posts. We then reviewed those comments and used them to share our expectations for commenting. Rich conversations about the effectiveness of the comments ensued. Some comments were superficial– I liked your post! Good job!. Some were critical– Good ideas, but you made some spelling mistakes. And some were spot on– I agree with what you’re saying about trade and commerce, but have you thought about how and why trade has changed over time? I can’t wait to check the blog and see what types of comments they made last night. I hope they’re less superficial and critical and more thought-provoking!
I’m excited to go on this journey with the fourth graders, and I’m looking forward to sharing my insights about blogging on the SOLC with them.