Monday, August 17, 2009

Blogging Class

Hmmm, blogging. Still feeling about a 3 on a 1-10 scale. Knew blogging existed, have responded to blogs before, read a few examples of blogs in class, and have now created one. Do I really know what to do with a blog and how to utilize it yet-not really.

The blogs I read were varied in content, style, and types of responses. For example, one blog was written by Will Richardson and discusses whether stores should charge for plastic bags. The blog was short and to the point. Brought up an interesting point though-should we punish those who continue to be dependent on plastic bags by charging them a lot of money per bag or encourage the use of reusable bags by taking money off their bill. Kind of like education-which plan should we use; rewards or punishment.

Another blog I read was about why a high school math teacher did not believe in giving homework. It was like listening to my husband, who also teaches high school math and doesn't give homework. For the past two years I have done the same thing. However, the high school keeps saying that "if you do your homework you will pass" when they speak to my students. So, this year I am returning to giving homework. I did like one of the responses though. One teacher said they give homework but each assignment has three parts; practice, regular, and challenge. All students must do regular and one other part. Might have to try it.

Also read a 14 year old's blog on brevity over length in writing, about why Anne Davies uses blogs in her classes, and how educational structures will keep another Leonardo D'aVinci from happening (that was too depressing for a beautiful summer day, although fairly accurate).


  1. Cristin I really liked the three phases of homework, too. I also found the Leonardo blog right on...but how do we make a creative education fit within the current structure? Also a heavy topic for such a warm day.

  2. Cristin, I have been rethinking my ideas about homework too. I would be interested to hear more about your year without homework. I have a book that I will read soon on Rethinking Homework. I will share with you if you are interested. Debbie

  3. It might be interesting to experiment with the homework thing. Assign one class homework and another no homework. Take the classes through a unit of study. Give the unit assessment. Compare the results.
    For what it is worth, I assign home work so that the students will engage with the content outside of the classroom, practice skills and maybe see a new facet of a concept. With the block schedule at the high school, the students are only exposed to math in the classroom every other day. That does not seem to be enough...

  4. I didn't know you were rethinking your homework policy this year. I'm interesting in talking to you about that, too!

  5. Richardson's blog post about bags is a good example of genuine writing; the author begins or continues a debate topic, really. Develops comfort with personal voice and encourages clarity of expression. What if a kid's blog about his pets gets noticed by others who fuel his thinking by commenting and cross-linking to other such thinking on other blogs...and sends him off on a great personal project? Or if a girl's blog posts get comments that simply reinforce her value by agreeing with her ideas, even if only by kids in the same school? Not sure where those things are in the curriculum map, but I'd sure take them.