Friday, 11 April 2008

Summer Gap

I've been tossing around an idea in my head. I'm wondering if students would engage on Moodle through the summer and maintain or improve their reading and writing. Since I spend my summer at my cottage, I am not able to tutor those few kids who need to continue having reading and writing experiences in the summer in order to be successful in the next grade level. I don't feel like I am quite done with them yet. What if I had their parents commit them to taking an online class with me during the summer? Would they be excited about being a member of a book club? Could they read and respond to hypertext links if the subjects I chose were interesting to them? Could I put them in groups according to interests and ability. Would this take too much time and support from the parents to entice them to do it through the summer?

Then I looked at the readwriteweb page from the International Reading Association and they are thinking the same thing I am. There are some cool activities to do there. I wonder if there are many other places now that are using this kind of technology to reach kids? Of course I think it would be more optimal for children who are a little older than my second graders. But, if I bring along the parents and help them get the hang of it, who's to say it wouldn't work?

I have already talked to my principal and he thinks it's a great idea. He immediately got in touch with my head of technology. Since I am learning this as I go, I feel like I need a tech support group. There is another teacher in my building and several in my district with established Moodle sites. I'm eager to check them out to see how they are using them to support literacy development especially for the younger set.

I don't want a week to go by when these students are not reading and writing. I want to send them the message early that a vacation doesn't necessarily mean - no reading and writing. I'm hoping to set up a hub for these children to use as a springboard for their learning. Just as I coach children in the classroom and motivate them through my reading and writing, I hope to motivate online. I do feel as though I have a very unique set of parents willing to do anything they need to do to keep their children energized about learning. This opportunity to start with a group and create something that might last could be an opportunity for something great!


marie said...

I just came across your site and I think this is an awesome idea!
I am taking a grad school class on moodle right now...and I didn't know that teachers could also make a class on there! could have a book club thread and a writing thread...they could post a writer's notebook entry once a week and classmates can respons to them
there could also be a thread for book recommendations!
I truely think this is an awesome idea....I may have to do it too!

Claudia Hayes Hagar said...

thanks for the comment-it reminded me to hit your blog tonight.I love your idea and I think that this is a great example about what Daniel Pink, Ray McNulty and many other visionaries are telling us we need to do to make education better--think out of the box, think forward, use technology....we need to do whatever we can. Good for you for thinking so creatively!!
Lovely as always working with you today...