Saturday, March 4, 2017

Spring into Saturday: Thinking about My Writers

Azaleas in Bloom
Signs of spring abound in Florida these days. I have always felt that we should have summer break during spring here so that we could enjoy the amazing days of spring.  Spring break hardly seems long enough.  There are so many options for this spring morning, but I spent the first part of it responding to my future teacher's blog posts.

I have crafted a mini-blogging challenge for them over the course of the semester as part of our class Teaching Writing in Middle and High Schools. I have built blogging as an assignment in this class since 2013 (after my 1st experience with the Slice of Life Story Challenge in March). We post bi-weekly and respond to each other.  Each person has an accountability partner (stolen from my Camp Gladiator experience) to ensure that they get at least one comment from another student as well as don't get behind in the posting.  I feel it defeats the purpose of the assignment if a student waits until the end of the semester to do all of the posts.  Although I comment on each student's posts, they end up assessing themselves and giving themselves the final grade.

What I love about this assignment as part of our class is that they get to experience what being part of a digital writing community feels like, remembering the difference between assigned writing and totally free choice writing aka open posts, explore the possibilities digital writing as opposed to paper-based.   What I've loved most though is the conversation and thinking that is cultivated in the commenting section in response to each other's post.  It let's me see tracks of their teaching thinking that aren't always so evident in class because of the numbers in class.  It's powerful.  This past week, they explored tech.   Check out their posts here.

With my feedback done and this slice complete, we are heading out to the Plant and Garden Festival offered by the UF Agriculture Extension in Orlando.  My seventh grader's school has a community garden now and she has earned a plot.  I will save this topic for another slice!  Enjoy your Saturday!


  1. Love the azaleas. It is a glorious time of year for sure. You do great things with teachers to be! The Knight Writing is such a rich experience for them.


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