Shane's latest post was titled, "Quality Of Life As A Grade Nine At P.W.A." Shane is a 9th grader at Peace Wapiti Academy in Canada. In this post, Shane described what his school was like. He said that the environment was safe and secure and that there were lots of good teachers and staff at his school. He also complimented the school's required gym time and said that he thought that it was a good idea so that students have more opportunity to be healthy. He concluded by asking the question, "What is your personal opinion about P.W.A.?" In my comment, I told Shane that I have never visited his school but that after reading his post I could tell that it was a good school to attend.
The Age of Exploration Blog
For C4K #4, I was assigned post #4 of the blog, The Age of Exploration. This blog is a compilation of posts from a 10th grade Modern World History Class taught by Mr. Mike Gwaltney at Oregon Episcopal School. Post #4 was written by a student, called themcpatrick (I couldn't find his actual name-I'm guessing it was Patrick.) entitled Group Work. This post, written by a 10th grader, was excellently written and even provided information that I would use with my students and even for myself.
He started by mentioning how group work can sometimes be difficult. Sometimes we deal with assertive personalities and sometimes students simply do not want to contribute their part. Other times you feel like you are doing all of the work while in some groups you remain shy. Either way, group work can be stressful if not done properly. In this post, themcpatrick created a list of guidelines to use in order to make group work more manageable. He says to start with a plan; just so you know what you're doing. Then he says to spend a reasonable amount of time doing research but not too much time and to make jobs that may take longer into individual assignments in order to break them down. In regards to personalities, he says to try not to change someone's personality, just work with what you have and to find a compromise. He also mentions making decisions, not always as a group, but as an indiviual. If the group doesn't like it, it can always be changed if needed. Also, he says not to focus too much on appearance; make it neat and presentable but not a piece of art. Lastly, he says to communicate, communicate, communicate!
I commented and told the author of the post that I enjoyed his idea and that I would use his guidelines in the future. I thought they were very helpful and very impressive for a 10th grade student.
For C4K #5, I was assigned to a student in Mrs. Middleton's Class, named Hannah. The most recent post in Hannah's Blog centered around the topic of bullying. Admittedly, I first posted on Hannah's "About Me" because I overlooked the tab labeled "Journal" where blog posts were kept. I went back and posted on Hannah's most recent blog post to correct my mistake. Ooops!
Hannah posted on the topic of bullying after watching a video about a boy who was bullied in school. The child, a 7th grader, had been made fun of since he was in first grade and had been cutting himself and contemplating suicide for quite a while. Hannah summarized the video by saying that the boy made a video confronting his bullies and posted it on the internet. This way, he stood up to his bullies and also let his friends and family know what was going on in school. He said that after the video was posted he felt that a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. In her blog post, Hannah advocated taking a stand against bullying. She suggested to other students to tell a friend, teacher, or parent if they are ever feeling bullied. I was very impressed with her writing and thought she had a wonderful topic choice.
For C4K #6, I was assigned to Macy's blog, a student in Mrs. Peterson's 7th grade class. In her most recent blog post titled, "Outsiders Characterization: Darry" Macy wrote a description of the character, Darry, and his personality traits. She did so by pointing to his actions, his speech, and the author's description of the character.
In my comment I introduced myself to Macy telling her where I was from and that I was a college student at USA. I told her that I appreciated the hard work that was evident in her post and that her post was well written and very informative. She did a wonderful job for a 7th grader and I was very impressed. I told her that I, too, had read the book The Outsiders as a kid and asked if she liked the book and if she learned any valuable lessons from it.
Special Edition C4K
For C4K #7, we were to comment on Dr. Vitulli and Dr. Santoli's blog Eyes on Ireland. This blog documents their travels to Ireland to attend the Ireland International Conference on Education. I was assigned to comment on the blog post titled, "The Potato Fest Has Begun". I love reading about people's travels so I read the rest of the blog posts as well. I was so intrigued by their trip and found myself wishing I was there, too! In my comment, I told them to continue to have a wonderful trip, encouraged them to try lots of new Irish cuisine, to see many new sights, and to have a safe trip home.