As a personal professional development and learning tool, I began this blog during the spring of 2009 as a means of connecting to the web and the world in the most personalized manner possible. After experimenting with Twitter, Delicious, and an English Department blog at work, having my own blog seemed the natural course of things.
This year I have brought my class into the fray. A two-year program for gifted high school learners in our district, our class tackles English, Socials, Science, Math, Leadership and Planning curricula, with added notes of community service projects and cultural events in and around the local community. At the best of times, it can be trying (for students, as well as the program’s two teachers) to stay on top of the class’ varied passions, interests and government mandated topics. But with blogs, I began to think as my own online communication took shape over the summer, each student could present, record, and reflect upon their individual learning, as well as support one another in a fluid and ongoing conversation around topics of interest and course materials. As teachers in the program, our goal has long been to blur the lines between our diverse subjects as often as possible – supporting essay theses with biological arguments, using math analogies during the study of history, and many other as-yet-undiscovered connections – and have so far been astounded by the depth and individuality in the class’ blogging, only a month old at the time of this introduction.
Here are some of the class’ memorable learning experiences as shared on this blog:
- Classroom Doors, Open to the World: an English assignment shared via student blog links.
- To Find Your Own Way: Teacher reflection & summary of grade nine Eminent Person Speeches.
- The Interviews Take Flight: Student summaries of success in finding expert testimony for Eminent Person Study.
- It Takes a Village: this brief summary of results from our TALONS-parents interview process is a testament to the benefits of community upon education.
- If a Student Asks a Question in a Classroom… : summary of Katie’s quest for primary source information to construct her Night of the Notables speech that spans the globe in less than 24 hours.
- Eminent Person Wrap Up: Student examples of learning centers, interviews, and speeches abound here with many links.
- Wordle as Discussion Synthesis: As part of a Social Studies discussion of the English Civil War and Canada’s Colonial Society, TALONS students used Wordles to synthesize the range of topics covered in the various discussion threads.
- TALONS Debate the “Good” Books: A class conversation of the ongoing relevance of “The Classics” boiled over into a Facebook thread between many of our grade tens debating the nature of “good” literature.
- A Rash of Ravishing Student Blog Posts: The fruits of a weekend near the end of the TALONS Novel Study, this post links to the majority of the class’ exploits.
As well, our individual bloggers are listed with links below:
Grade Ten Blogs
- Kiko’s Blog
- Clare’s Blog
- Julie’s Blog
- Katie’s Blog
- Louise’s Blog
- Andrea’s Blog
- Darren’s Blog
- Jordan’s Blog
- Ariana’s Blog
- Saskia’s Blog
- Nicholas’ Blog
- Justin’s Blog
- Steven’s Blog
Grade Nine Blogs