Did I learn from this second set of bloggers? And how. They found more creative ways around not blogging than I could have thought possible. Three of the groups found the messaging on Nicenet and had to be led kicking and screaming away from it.
Some of the groups were working really well for the Lit Circles and some had some interpersonal difficulties as is typical with middle schoolers. I think we could have done better if it had been earlier in the year. I am not sure if they would have benefited by reading a novel together and using it for Lit Circles with me picking the groups.Working with their buddies was too distracting for some of the students. The lack of maturity in some of the groups also showed up in their blogging, minimal effort all around. These two groups had some definite problems with absent group members.
On the other hand I found several of the groups ran themselves very well, made adjustments when needed and had a great time with the blogging.
I think I will try this next year as a group blog with my other reading students. I think if I do quite a bit of modeling we might make it a success.
So plans for next year will include continued work on blogs, creating a wiki for my core class and playing with podcasts. I need to think how I can integrate those into my plans. In the meantime I will keep reading the various education blogs to help me get some more ideas.
I need to start planning for the Summer Institute. We now have a waiting list! Wow!