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March 05, 2011

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Anne Mirtschin

Fantastic outcomes from your class. The number of comments also bears witness to this. I like how you give your students a choice in the way in which they respond to your prompt - write an individual post, add a comment or add a post on your class blog.
One of the best statements here, is that the students will remember this learning well after the test has gone by. Thanks for sharing this great work.

Janelle Wilson

Another great post, Mrs. R.! Every time I read your posts, you challenge and inspire me. It's great to see how you approach some of the same topics I teach my students as well.

I am curious as to how often you have access to computers for students to work on. We have several labs available to check out for student use, although they book up about a week or two in advance. I try to take my students at least once a week and for longer stretches when working on bigger projects.

Thanks again for sharing! Janelle

mratzel

Thanks for the encouragement. You know it's quite amazing that things work out so well because when I start I'm not sure what I'm going to get at the end. I know where I hope things are headed and I know what I must make sure they know....but exactly how we'll get there and who will rise/fall is always a mystery until we go through the whole thing.

I really do hope that they remember all this long after they leave 6th grade....

mratzel

Dear Janelle,
Like you our school has several labs where we share/sign up. Right now is our big testing window and the labs are inaccessible until after the beginning of May.....May can you believe it?

So I have to piece into the library computers...where we don't have enough for a full class at once. I have several in my room that I've cobbled together from castoffs and grant writing and I bring my home laptop in. In the last two weeks, we've been to the lab twice but for block periods.

I think the prewriting stuff makes the writing time more efficient. When they get to the computers to start their writing, they have a pretty good idea what approach they're going to take and how they're going to answer the question. That has helped make their computer time really about writing and not getting the answers formulated or revising. The big trick we also use is that they type it into Word first...spellcheck and edit it there....and then they paste it into the comment windows. Of course, if they have their own blog this is unnecessary as the blogging software does most of that.

Hope that answers your questions. Thanks Janellle for stopping by...it is fun having another teacher with the same curriculum to look over their shoulder and see how someone else has approached it.

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