Thursday, September 18, 2008

Soaring With Success In Just Three Weeks

One of the pieces of the Teach21 puzzle are blogs (web logs). It was one of the popular things we learned about this past summer at our training, and our teachers really got excited about all the possibilities. Mrs. Byrd, one of our fourth grade teachers, is a natural when it comes to technology. She loves it, sees the power in using it with her students, and her classroom blog, "Soaring With Success," is already setting a high standard for what we are trying to accomplish this year. Mrs. Byrd has already layered her use of technology on her blog with video, Voicethread, and one of the most important pieces - setting up rules and parameters for her students to follow when using their classroom blog.
If you want to see the power of a great blog all you have to do is look at the Feedjit Visitor Tracking Gadget she has added to her blog. The wonderful things she is doing in her four-walled classroom here at Bolton have already spread from coast to coast. She's had visitors from as far west as Washington state, as far south as Florida, as far north as the District of Columbia, and some points in between. On Soaring With Success you'll find students who have memorized poetry, written their own poetry and read it aloud, and you can see a focused purpose to inspire both reading and writing using the blog as a motivational tool.
The most powerful part of Mrs. Byrd's success, in my opinion, is her willingness to COLLABORATE. Her colleagues have seen the things she's doing, praised her efforts, and she has reached out to offer her expertise to anybody who asks. This will no doubt allow these integrative tools to proliferate throughout our school and to many more students at Bolton.

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