Sunday, November 30, 2008

Commenting vs. Writing on Paper

Emma, a sixth grade student recently asked, "would you rather comment on the blog or would you want to write out a comment on paper?" She was talking about everything we do on computer in reading workshop. We just added online journals and reading logs to the daily routine, and she was trying to decide if she liked the change.

I thought it would be interesting to see opinions about computer use in Reading Workshop. Please take a minute and participate in the poll in the sidebar. Also, feel free to comment with your thoughts about the results.

From a teaching standpoint I see many benefits with computers in the classroom. Online journals make it so much easier to keep track of what students are reading, and what they have to say about their books. I can check online journals and know how SSR is going for each student. This means I can check them more often, and leave more comments. It also means no lost papers, where students lose assignments, or their reading record.

From a student standpoint, no low grades from lost work is an obvious benefit. There is also the opportunity to view peers journals and comment. Commenting on the blog is a writing assignment that lets students share their thoughts and opinions to a world-wide audience. There is also the issue of writing out on paper or typing, Some students prefer one way, others another.

Thanks for your participation in the poll. I look forward to learning about your feeling about computer usage in the classroom.


Anonymous said...

I teach 5th and 6th grade and have checked out your students reading logs a couple of times. I have been thinking about my student's reading logs. I had a weekly form that they filled out and turned in to me. I felt that that system was not working well since students were misplacing it or forgetting to fill it out etc. Plus there was no spot for me to respond to their thoughts. I passed out spirals last week. I planned on collecting them a couple at a time. I like your idea of the response logs being a wiki. Then I can respond to them without carrying them around. Plus your wiki logs have an added bonus, your students can respond to their classmates logs. Wonderful. Keep it up. Sara

Mr. McGuire said...


Thank you for the comment. I am interested in students' responses to the poll about whether or not they like doing it online.

We had a weekly reading log too, and it was a pain for students to keep up with, and for me to check.

Clix said...

Does your class take place in a computer lab? or, how do students get regular access to computers?

Mr. McGuire said...


We have a desktop computer for each student in our language arts classes. Originally I just wanted a few computers for word processing, but I kept finding new uses and needed more machines. Luckily I had a supportive administrator, and we found low-budget machines.

Anonymous said...

I think that we should use the computers but not as much as we do. The reason I think that we should get on the computers for the online journal and blog please blog. The reason why I do not want to use the computer is because sometimes it is just boring on the computer. An important example of why we should write sometimes is because some of us cannot write really good so when we go to middle school the teachers don't say "Mr.McGuire did not teach you how to write!!Well this is my opinion