Where’d my time go?

Do you ever look up at the bell and realize you lost track of time? I have, especially as a new teacher. Even as a veteran teacher on block schedules (with different class times every other day) I constantly needed to refer to a posted schedule to stay on task. A timer did wonders for my pacing in the classroom. I can’t imagine what I would have done if I had a blog plus student access at home to the Internet!

In my previous teaching roles, I worked in disadvantaged schools where students had little or no reliable access to the net on a daily basis. Now, more and more districts and schools allow access to libraries after school and many students have online access on their mobile devices. You just need to have a mobile-friendly page to allow them to access your blogs from their phones. Plus, the students need to have a desire to go to the blog instead of Justin Bieber’s page.

You can do this by having a safe platform for discussion that allows your students to speak freely and not be penalized for wrong answers. Remind them that this platform is not a social playground, but a place where students can develop a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. It may even be led exclusively by your GT population to set the standards. Once others realize how cool it is to go to school online, others will be knocking down the doors to get involved. 

As a professional educator, remember to monitor responses often and participate with positive responses. When topics get off tangent, refocus them with a new question that continues to provoke the senses. Bring the top discussions back into the classroom when you find they need to be addressed.  If you find that students are abusing the blog for personal issues, then address them face-to-face and follow through with corrective action (as needed). Soon, the kids will be anxious to start blogging and off goes your higher questioning skills to the races!

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