CANTAB

Karen Brennan sparked my thinking today. She presented her work on using Scratch. The programming, games, and stories children created made a large impact on everyone at the conference.

For me it wasn’t the take away of creative computing I found most moving. It was Brennan’s point that making take two things: creating and community. She argued that you can’t have interactive writers without both.

I witnessed this yesterday, but it wasn’t with coding,computers, or even a classroom. I saw the synergy of creating and community in a dingy basement in a dark dusty bar.

Ian and I were heading home after dinner and wanted to stop in somewhere. We like dives. Dust on the floor, ripped stools, and low lights. That brought us to CanTab in Cambridge. It also brought us to a community of creators.

After sitting down we saw a steady stream of people heading to the basement. We asked what was going on. Turns out CanTab is the home venue for the Boston Poetry Slam team. Turns out Wednesday is Open Mic night. Turns out this was the last open mic before Boston hosts the National Poetry Slam.

What we witnessed encapsulated Brennan’s lesson about community. The camaraderie among the poets flowed through the room. Poets did parodies of each other’s work. Talked about revising together. Read about being struggling artists.

For the CanTab crowd community leads to creation, and creation leads to community. This was Karen Brennan’s take away. So what does this mean for teachers and participants at MNLI?

Community of Writers and Readers

When I am awed by quality literacy teachers it always comes back to community. The students in the room feel, no they know, that they are among readers. They know they can turn to other writers for support. Just like the students in Brennan’s study who remixed, offered feedback, and helped each other grow. A great literacy classroom builds upon community.

PLC???

Each year at MNLI some of the administrators choose the creation of a PLC, professional learning community as their project. I cringe a little. You can’t force community. Most PLC’s that exist in schools are simply committees that meet more frequently than others. Can schools use PLC’s? Yes, but they need to be interest driven and faculty lead. They need to have open memberships and recognize and build expertise.

Coding as Poetry

The CanTab experience was a serendipitous connection for me. I have little experience with code. In 6th grade I did a show and tell using Basic and made a rocket ship take off based on a dice role. Then during my dissertation work I had to edit XML files as we made a simulated environment. I do not know code but I do see poetry in code. I see these patterns that somehow standout like stanzas. What I saw at CanTab was the type of creating Karen Brennan wants out our students.

It isn’t just about creative computing and interactive writers. We also just need learning experience that create a community of learners both offline and online. We need interest driven classrooms that recognize student expertise. We need connected learning.

I was sad to miss what looked liked an entertaining and informative #hiphoped chat on Twitter Tuesday night. In celebration of hip hop turning forty the community was ranking the top 40 most influential #hiphoped songs.

I woke the next morning and checked out the transcript. I wanted to think about how I could use the chat for purposeful engagement and  classes. Mike Manderino gave me an idea:

I thought how could I make this happen? That reminded me of Mozilla’s Popcorn. I figured this would be a great opportunity to learn the remix device. Basically you can add in clips from Youtube, change the tracks, remove audio/video, add texts. It turned out to be a wonderfully easy but powerful tool.

Here is my first attempt. I used the YouTube clips posted to #hiphoped feed. I want to throw the caveat that I did not try to match the sound, but I did try to get some theme going through it.

https://jgmac1106.makes.org/popcorn/1a57

Screenshot 8:1:13 10:52 AM

You can see in the image how you overlay different tracks. You can edit and shorten the tracks. Add more tracks. I was able to create a remix fairly quickly.

Classroom Extensions

I wanted to think though how can I make these remixes purposeful. In order to do this I would use the more advanced tools in PopcornMaker.
Screenshot 8:1:13 10:48 AM-2

Students could select the songs and then add in information about the history of the song, historical context of the video, or conflicts discussed in the song. This would be a wonderful Online Research and Media Skills project. First, it requires remixing and creating. Also students would have to conduct an online inquiry project that required online reading comprhension. Finally they could collaborate with each other on reviewing their makes.

Embedding Close Reading in Culturally Responsive Texts

There had been a lot of noise about increasing informational text and analytical reading. This does not mean, however, we have to be devoid of interest driven learning. By creating a #hiphoped remix with historical contexts students would have to engage in close reading activities with online texts.

Students could conduct research online and embed information from the text. The kids could use the maps and create a historical virtual field trip. All of this embedded into a mix tape for the 21st century learner.

I look forward in developing the learning activities for this project and hope to try it out with my Gear Up students from New Haven.

New-Orleans post Katrina Sept 2005: house busted by Katrina's wrecking ball

flickr photo shared by Gilbert Mercier under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

We want every student to leave Gear Up knowing they have a voice. They are “active players and not spectators in life” as Walter Dean Meyers., the author of Handbook for Boys wrote (our shared reading this summer). To this end we had students explore what it means to be a lost voice through poetry.

As many of our readers know I am also interested in exploring how the pedagogy of poetry can be enhanced with the use of digital texts and tools. Over the last six years, my colleagues Sue Ringler-Pet and Ian O’Byrne have been exploring the intersection of poetry and technology. We present a project at NCTE celebrating a poet laureate through technology.

This year we chose Natasha Trethewey and her work with documentary poetry. Trethewey says she attempts to find lost voices in historical events. This seemed like a perfect project for the 100 students attending our Summer Academy.

The lesson plan we used appears below:

Step 1: Read “The Elegy of the Native Gaurd” and “Beyond Katrina”

Step 2: Then discuss the following prompt in the Google+ Community: Trethewey in explaining why she writes said her purpose is, “giving voice to the groups and individuals blotted out of public memory.” In these two poems what groups and individuals were brought to the light? What words, phrases, or stanzas capture the emotion or plight of these voices?

Step 3: Annotate the text using the PDFZen. Identify key events, characters, and emotions

Step 4: Record and upload your poem (written in Language Arts) to SoundCloud
-Set up a Soundcloud Account
-Post your Account Name to Google+
-Follow everyone in the class
-Record your Poem
-Upload Your Recording to Soundcloud

In order to make the projects manageable the students coule pick from the following historical events: Slavery, Civil War, WWII, 9/11, and Katrina. They then had to create a narrator for their poem, draft, and record the poem

Here are a few examples:

My Thoughts

Overall the project went very well. Yet it is not over. These poems will be used as models, and a few as mentor texts, for middle school students in Hartford who will complete the same project this Fall. We will share these voices in Boston at NCTE.

The lesson also demonstrates how good analytical reading does not need to favor informational, narrative texts, or poetry. In fact the best lessons will result in some type of performance piece (the poem) that required students to question and annotate a variety of sources for a variety of reasons.

9/11, with Katrina as a close second, seemed to be the most popular theme among students. I wonder if this is a due to proximity to New York (almost all know of a life touched by the tragedy). The boys (shocking) seemed to gravitate to lost voices in wars.

The poems are a good, but many have an overarching sense of prose, rather than poetry to the stories. Now I cringe at giving students rules when teaching poetry (in fact I asked teachers not to require stanzas at all let alone a minimum number) yet in the next iteration I want students to try to find more poetry in their voices. I may ask students to write their lost voice as a narrative first and then convert this prose into poetry. This had worked in the past as well.

Our Summer Academy is about building bridges to the future in the hope that the entire New Haven class of 2018 is college bound. I hope by exploring lost voices, we helped students find their own so they lear not to be “spectators in life.”

A firestorm broke out when a study released by Hewlett Foundation suggested that automated scoring systems can produce scores similar (have a high correlation) with those scored by us human folk.

Based on the reactions posted on the #ncte and the #engchat feeds you would have thought armageddon was upon us and Pearson merged with the  Cyberdyne Systems Corporation.



It is affirmative. We do not need to fear the robots. In fact they can be our friends (I will not go into the methodology and limitations of automated scoring systems…mainly because I cannot do a better job that Justin Reich did in his three part treatsie).

Basically the cries over the rise of robots was misguided. It seemed to fall in two strands. The first was they cannot recognize good literature. No one is asking the robots to do this. Basically they are being asked to identify textual elements n patterns that replicate what their human trainers would do.

The second big fear was that the scoring systems could be gamed. Students could  use long sentences and big words but write gibberish. This does not concern me in the least. If you show me a student who is creative enough, and has the ability to say nothing while stringing together a massive vocabulary and complex sentences–well you are showing me a very talented writer.

Overall, automated systems will improve HST testings as it can include the assessment of more complex and open ended questions. However you feel about HST moving away from bubbles has to be a good thing? Right?

High stakes tests and accountability do not get at the practices used by good writers nor does it enage stduents in connected learning. I think the robots, however, can also help on this front.


Assessing the Stream


I recently had the pleasure of setting on in on  #ConnectedLearning Google+hangout panel with Paul Oh, of the National Writing Project, Ellen Middaugh,  Associate Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College, and Howard Reinghold. We were commenting on the work of Anetero Garcia is doing wonderful things around agency and active involvement.




A question from the audience came up asking how do we bring in principles of connected and participatory learning in classrooms so focused on student achievement . While these two outcome do seem dichotomously opposed they do not have to be. And the robots can help.


The digitization of literacy creates a lot of data. Achievement folks love data. They salivate for it. Teachers can use this as a hook to demonstrate that participatory learning can lead to gains when you assess what Dan Hickey calls the residue of learning.


Basically, as Justing Reich pointed out in his third post, automated scoring systems can provide wonderful formative assessment data. This also involves assessing the growth over time and looking for gains more in the process and social practices of writing rather than a final product.


Imagine if an automated scoring system could look at drafts of an essay and analyze the amount of sourced material (already possible). You could take this further and what if blogs could be analyzed for their use of having a clear main idea, media, and supporting evidence. The analyzing the stream would allow you to look at discurse patterns in online discussion.


All of this can be used to inform your practice-the essence of formative assessment. The robots just make it quicker-the challenge of most formative assessments.


Replacing the Teacher


Does this mean the teacher isn’t necessary? Of course not. No one said this. All the humans are not gone. You will still conference with writers and set individual goals. That is the heart of what it means to work with young writers. The robots, not even a T-800, would could possibly complete such a feat.


The robots, when trained, can just find elements in a text that we want students to use. I do not think this is a bad thing.











poetry

flickr photo shared by Rudolf Getel under a Public Domain Dedication Creative Commons ( CC0 ) license

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h3 class=”MsoNormal” style=”line-height: 200%; >Rosenblatt’s Transactional Theory

Rosenblatt’s
literary theory (1938/1995; 1978) diverges from the New Critical perspective that readers examine texts in order to extract “the meaning.” Rosenblatt states that during transactions with literary texts, readers draw on past and present literary and life experience to create meaning and posits that “'[t]he poem’ comes into being in the live circuit set up between the reader and ‘the text’” (1978, p. 14). Faced with traditional curricular and new highstakes testing requirements, today’s literacy educators are pressured by technology’s promise to expand the repertoire of students’ literacy experiences. At this juncture, Rosenblatt’s theory offers an important reminder thatregardless of, and perhaps even becauseof increased pressures, it is the role of the teacher to “fosterfruitful… transactions” (Rosenblatt, 1995, p. 26) between readers and allkinds of texts.  Transactional theory also highlights the active, recursive, and multifaceted nature of reading andresponse, creating a model of classroom reading that values students’ initial responses as a significant first step in meaning negotiation toward mature,
considered responses (1938/1995; 1978).

Transactional Theory and Technology

Bridging Rosenblatt’s theory with 21st-Century technologies, McEneaney (2003) explored hypertext as rooted in transactional theory, suggesting, “[a] transactionalview of text structure… requires us to reject the notion of structure as aproperty of text in the same way [the transactional] theory rejects the notion that meaning is a property of text” (p. 273). As students make meaning fromtoday’s variety of texts, they transact linearly, laterally, and
unsystematically— not only with words but also with infinite combinations of images, sounds, and videos (Kress, 2003). Thus, today’s teachers must not only help students respond to text but also must acknowledge that when students transact
with literary texts, they do more than establish a “live circuit”: they add new transistors and switches (McVerry, 2007).

Transactional Theory, Technology, and Poetry

To enrich the content and affect of the poetry classroom, technology may seem like an unwelcome stranger. Research has found, however, that “multimedia texts and multimodal composingmay actually shift classroom culture toward a more learner-centered paradigm” (Chandler-Olcott & Mahar, 2003, pp. 381-2).  Thus, with careful embrace, technology may create fertile classroom conditions; robust, dynamic new texts, contexts, and representations show promise to crack into marble of New Critical and five-paragraph essay monuments that historically mark reading and writing in English classrooms (Pirie, 1997). We propose that by responding to poetry through non-verbocentric activities and becoming authors of multimodal texts, students will not only explore and refine 21st-century skills, but also, by building contemporary live circuits, they may benefit from new understandings of poetry and a powerful means of self-expression.
craftivism workshop at The Royal Standard arts collective

flickr photo shared by craftivist collective under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Many of us agree that we need to align our classroom activities with the digitally literate lives our students lead. Yet we still hear of many classroom simply focusing on technology integration.

Simply put this is a mistake. When we look at the shift from page to pixel in terms of technology integration rather than an ever shifting and dynamic text we create a horse race environment where technology never improves learning.

It’s like the old Orbitz commercial where a refund is delivered by hovercraft instead of mail.

Just because you have technology does not mean you need to use technology. Instead always ask yourself, “How do these emerging text enhance or inhibit my pedagogical goal?” Do not simply use a hovercraft because you have one.

Multimodal Poetry

One area that I have been working on for the past five or six years is to integrate digital texts and tools into my teaching of poetry. There is something rewarding about using the oldest genre of litertature with the newest forms of text.

I also think poetry, as a potter’s wheel of the soul, is a great place to shape ideas about design effecting meaning making. Each word, phrase, stanza, image, or metaphor continuously redesign meaning as a new audience stumbles upon the poem.   The rich words and guttural reaction to poetry allow for a conversations around topics such us color scheme, image placement, font, etc.

Finally I have too often seen poetry taught so poorly that generations of new writers may have never discovered their poems from within. We do not let students work with one poem over time, or to play with meanings. Instead the focus in on literary elements, i.e. find me a one poem with a metaphor, one poem with alliteration, etc.

The humanity is lost in the hunt for the mechanics

Celebrating Poet Laureates

It was decided then that at each year at NCTE we would submit a proposal to celebrate the work of a Unites State Poet Laureate through multimodal poetry so we could get away from what Billy Collins (our first featured poet) called teaching children, “To beat the meaning out a poem with a hose.”

In 2009 we highlighted Billy Collins by exploring new ways to respond and author poetry with images.

In 2010 we featured Kay Ryan and went through #Twitpoems and multimodal retellings with iMovie.

This year, in Chicago, we brought in the works of W. S. Merwin and connected to using poetry to make the world a better place. That is our definition of critical literacy-words in action to change or question the status quo for the greater good.

W. S. Merwin and Poetry for Change
 
W. S. Merwin is also an interesting choice as he has developed a natural suspicion to many things digital. We wanted to show that there is just as much poetry in the design choices students make as in the words they add or leave off the page.

Basically we read some Merwin poems as mentor texts. Next we took ideas from Probst and concentrated on converting prose to poetry. Students had to choose a social justice issue. Then we took he project into two separate directions.

One group of students completed an internet inquiry topic around their issue. They wrote a collaborative paragraph. Next they highlighted important words or phrases in the paragrpah and used those a basis for a poem. Students then, using Audacity and iMovie, created a multimodal version of their poem.

Another group of students went out into their world to find a social issue. They collected cell phone pictures to document the problem. They then searched for similar images online. Using search engines they connected back to the websites that hosted the images and “found” texts they wanted to use in their poems. They then used iMovie or MovieMaker Live to create the poem.

Moving Forward

Poetry has been a great avenue to explore multimodal design elements. We hope to continue our work at NCTE next year, or by simply sharing our work with other teachers. 

I always feel so revitalized when I get back from NCTE. It is great to be around a group of teachers who truly get the paradigm shifts involved in new literacies.

I was struck by a question from an audience member during our presentation on supporting striving writers through non-traditional narratives. He asked if our work in digital narratives supported traditional writing.

I went through the normal caveats (well most measures of writing our single item assessments, what exactly is good writing, etc). I then concluded by saying instruction in digital writing has to improve traditional tools for communication but simply providing writing instruction using paper-based tools ca not improve important new compositional skills.

You see I am a true believer that real meaning is found in the negative space and not copy. Unfortunately most writing instruction makes learning about meaning making a negative space instead of learning to make meaning with negative space.

I came to this conclusion rather serendipitously. It was actually at my first NCTE conference in NYC. I was sharing a room with Doug Hartman, whose command of literacy theory always blows me away. We were looking to kill a few hours and shield ourselves from a blustery October wind. I read that the local school of design (not sure which one) was hosting a museum exhibit to honor Steven Heller, a man who has touched everyone of our lives with his art.

I realized before new literacies were on the radar those in the field of graphic arts had come to many of the same conclusion literacy theorists are still lumbering towards. I picked up his book Design Literacy. Heller writes:

True design literacy requires a practical and theoretical understanding of how design is made and how it functions as a marketplace tool as well as a cultural signpost, which takes years of learning and experience to acquire.

I came to realize exactly what the New London Grup was going for in terms of design and (re)design. We had to recognize that digital writing in terms of making meaning on the world is a process. We also have to stress the importance of design in digital composition.

That’s why I view Heller’s book as a must own for all ELA educators. It is not a how-to. It doesn’t go over different design no-no’s. Instead it is a collection of essays on important works of graphic art that have had an impact on history. Its a great read in the classroom or the porcelain library.

It is time to teach students about negative space and instead of making writing a negative space for learning.

As a sixth grade teacher I pushed the boundaries of technology integration. You know the type of teacher. They come in early and sign out the computer labs months in advance, they spend hours on building teachers websites, and they integrate digital texts into the literacy curriculum. The first two units I taught that focused on digital literacies centered around mythology and poetry. I just found it so rewarding to juxtapose the worlds’ oldest genres on emerging texts. This week I share ten ideas to integrate poetry and technology.

Too often teachers view poetry as unit of study. Its a two week assignment that has to be done. Often students are even worse. They view poetry with disdain, loathing, and fear. As an educational community we must share the idea that poetry is a text for life, not a unit of study. Technology provides an avenue for such an understanding.

Online Communities
The first place to start is to include a discussion board or classroom blog in your poetry units. In my classroom the poetry discussion page received the most monthly when compared to my other webpages.

In a class forum you can create different threads for specific genres of poetry. For example have a page for antithesis, haikus, etc. You can also create a spot for collaborative poems where students add a line at a time. Teachers will quickly discover the threads developing a life of their own.

On a classroom blog emphasize the growing voice of poets. Have each student create a poetry blog, or a page on their blog specifically for poetry. The young poets can add poems and others can offer feedback and advice using the comment features.

Poetry Mash Ups
Students will find mash-Ups, or the idea of taking content from many places as the ingredients in a new recipe, as a perfect tool for developing an appreciation of poetry. Using PowerPoint, Imovie, or Moviemaker kids can easily take an entire poem, a specific stanza, or even a word and create a new work. For example students could select a poem by a canonical author and then rearrange the words with images and movies found online. Then using one of the tools online create a digital mash up.

Twitter Poems
I never tried this as a teacher, but follow some wonderful Twitter poets. Having students try to write a poem in 140 characters or less is a great way to teach students that the power of words often resides in both their scarcity and in the silence between stanzas. First (bacause Twitter is blocked in most schools) print out some great examples. Simply search for #twitpoems or #twitterpoems. Then model with the class writing a poem. Finally give students a chance. For an extra challenge try writing Twiakus!

Lyric Hunt
teachers have used song lyrics for poetry instruction for years. The Internet, however, has given access to unlimited titles and allows students to find texts that interest them. Song lyrics are a great way to teach poetic devices and reinforce Internet searching skills. Simply challenge students to find examples of poetic devices in the lyrics of their favortie songs.

Found Poems with Google News
So many teachers bemoan our cut and paste culture. I say when it comes to poetry why fight it. Use Google News and the idea of found poems to teach students both poetry and the use of specialized search engines. Students can search out specific topics, take words from the headlines, and create found poems.

Respond to Poetry with Images
This lesson is always a hit with teachers (for materials visit our NCTE presentation. Basically you have students circle words in a poem that affect the meaning. Then they search the Internet looking for images that capture that meaning. Finally they arrange images on a tableau to represent the meaning. This is a great lesson that not only focuses on poetry, but also introduces the idea of design affecting meaning.

Xtranormal Slam
The folks at xtranormal proudly say if you can type you can make a movie. I always thought it would be fun to do an animated poetry slam. Students could write poems, then have their characters challenge each other in a virtual poetry slam. Xtranormal really makes it that easy. If you can type you can create a wonderful movie.

Multimedia Metaphor Poems
This is another lesson that students love (for materials visit our NCTE presentation). Basically students create an extended metaphor poem and use both words and images to share their poems. I found, when teaching this lesson, that often it is the images that drive the words, and not words driving images. It was a great way to introduce the idea of design literacy.

Internet Inquiry
Internet can also serve as a tool that establishes a community of poets that links to the bards of the past. Another learning activity that highlights the efficacy of the Internet as a text for traditional content while building offline and online reading comprehension is a comparison of poets and their work. Students can build online reading comprehension strategies while developing an understanding that poets and their writing are products of their time and environment. For example, a teacher could assign two somewhat contemporary poets such as Langston Hughes and Robert Frost and contrast the role urbanization had in their work. Hughes captures the jazz beats and tribulations of urban migration, and Frost writes in a style that resembles the windy roads he traveled to escape the city and recapture rural America. Students could search for works by these two authors, and synthesize their critique with information found on biography pages and history pages of the early twentieth century.

Doink Poems
The final technolgy and poetry activity I share today involves a great tool I was introduced to at NCTE. Doink is a wonderful collaborative tool for sharing, uploading, and using animations. Like xtranomral it is easy to use, but has many applicatio0ns. One of my favorites is creating illustrated poetry projects that involve animations created by others. Your students will love thins.

This year was our third session on blogging at NCTE. Each year provides us with new insights. Overall my general impression is that teachers want to blog (yipee!!), but are unsure of their purpose, and have little idea of how to use formative assessment to inform their practice. To that end we had a lively discussion about the affordances of blogging, skills bloggers need, and how to assess blogging skills.

We began the session by letting participants hear from a teacher, Scott Meyers, who recently began to blog. Scott is a third year English teacher and department chair in a Camden, NJ high school.

New to Blogging
Scott wanted to blog in his classroom to motivate students to write. He opened with a wonderful metaphor about writing being like vegetables. His two year old daughter hates vegetables, but loves juice. He found that he could get her to drink her vegetables using V8 Fusion. In his class students moaned and groaned as if writing instruction was a plate of steamed beets. Yet when Scott did anything online they sucked the writing instruction down.

It is this fusion of instruction and technology where many teachers get bogged down and Scott was no different. His biggest challenge was first convincing school administrators to let him blog. Surprise, Surprise. As Scott said, “I was literally stalking the IT guy and leaving notes on his car.” His next great challenge was access. The computer lab was signed up weeks in advance and many students did no thave Internet access at home. These problems affected Scott’s instruction and his classroom blog only materialized into a classroom newsboard sharing events.

Purpose of Classroom Blogs
I feel Scott’s story will ring true to many teachers who use blogs in the classroom. In fact a colleague, Lisa Zawilinski, in her H.O.T. Blogging article identified the four most common blogs used in classrooms: classroom new blogs- for sharing events, mirror blogs-for reflecting on topics, showcase blogs-for showing off student work, and literature response blogs.

While I agree with Danah Boyd, that the definitions of a blog is defined by social practice I feel many teachers still are not unleashing the power of blogs. If you want to share classroom news or school work…create a website. If you want to hold online discussions…use a discussion board. Clasroom blogs however need to move beyond the simple question and comment format and view students as authors and not as repositories of answers.

Blogging Skills
What skills do blogger need and how do we teach and measure these skills. To begin this discussion we started with Jenna McWilliams list of blogging skills and then looked at different student blogs:

Graduate Art Student: https://www.kesmit3.blogspot.com/
6th Grade Blog
4th Grade Blog
7th Grade Blog:
11th Grade Blog:

As a group then we wanted to break into focus groups and create criteria that could be used in rubrics for formative and summative assessment.

The discussion on assessment started off with the annual debate debate about citations. One teacher said linking a picture to the source was enough, a librarian felt full citations were always necessary. I quelled the debate before violence erupted with three points:
-First do not equate synthesis with citation. No way one of the least understood cognitive processes could be reduced to putting a comma in MLA.
-We do not scaffold citations. You can not expect high school students to pay attention to sources when they are not taught K-8.
-Different genres have different discourse practices for citations. A blog is different than a research paper just as an academic blog is different from published research. Different texts, different rules. This last point won her over.

Once the annual fight over citation was over the discussion was very fruitful. Using a GDoc we brainstormed a list of possible criteria that could be used to assess studnet blogs:

Writing Blogs:
Voice
Use of multimedia
Use of hyperlinks
Central focu, thesis, or idea
Aesthetics
Frequency
Content Knowledge
Original
Style and Grammar match audience

Comments:
Depth of comments
Offering insight or critique
Follows threads
Uses examples/details from post
Uses examples/details from outside sources.

We did not have enough time to duscuss what expectation s the group felt there should be for a 4th grade blog, 7th grade blog, or the 11th grade blog. Overall though the participants left with criteria they could us in their own rubrics.

Do you have rubrics you could share? Is our criteria list missing anything? Let us know.