Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Scoring Online Journals

Students have been writing in their online journals on Wikispaces since November. They also log their reading at home and in the classroom during SSR on a table in their journal. This is a convenient method for me because I can easily sit down and see how much they are reading, and decide if they are understanding the book they are reading.

This method of Web 2.0 journals is also easy for students because they can access their journal any place that has an Internet connection. If they are absent, or don't complete a journal entry, they can write in it at home, or from the library. Many students take advantage of this and spend the time to add details to their entries outside of class. This is a great way for their extra work to result in higher grades.

Journals are scored using the Online Journal Rubric. We discussed scoring using the rubrics during minilessons. Also, in order to help students better understand the process, they scored their journals with a parent. This proved to be one of students' favorite activities of the year. Most really enjoyed going over their writing with their parents.

As the end of the nine weeks comes up on Friday, I scored journals this week. I used the rubric, and changed text to red in areas that students need to improve. Entries have greatly improved since the first few days. This is partially a benefit of understanding and streamlining the process.

The ever-pressing need for time is evident in many journals. Students sometimes feel frustrated by only having 5 - 10 minutes each day to write their entries. Having journals scored, with areas for improvement so visual, students should continue to make improvements.

For an example of what earns a 4 or A, you can take a look at Heather's Online Journal. Here is an example of one of Heather's posts:

12/16/08 The Problem in My Book
In my book, the kids that are staying at Jenny House, for the summer are having a problem. Well unless you think that Jenny House burning down is not a problem. The fire all started in an elevator shaft. Katie, Lacey and Chellsea thought that Dullas started the fire and they blamed it all on her. Then they found out the truth. The girls all said that they were sorry and she asked why that they thought she did it. So they told her how she was being so mean to everyone. "You said that you hated Jenny House."

Remember that about all of these kids are about 7-18 and they just lost the place they were staying at. The kids that were staying there live all over the U.S.A and they are trying to fined out how to get home. Right now they are staying in town in a hotel.

*

1 comments:

Colin H said...

I think that scoring the online journals is cool even if you get a bad grade.