As I reflect on the Slice of Life, I reflect on the student part too. The last three years, I had my students, 8th graders at the time, join up and share their slices. I offer carrots from them, allowing those who’ve blogged for 31 days to earn a pizza party back to if you’ve blogged a day, you get a snickerdoodle cookie, a pretty good group of prizes. This is new to them, and I want them to be successful, both in writing and paying attention.
Well, with my 8th graders, there wasn’t as much “teaching” with them, they understood what I wanted. I didn’t have much of an issue with the topics or the writing, they just did what the requirements were and we went forward.
Today, as I was looking over my sixth grade blogs, I will either need to do much more pre-teaching, or simply not do this activity with them. I noticed this early on, when the goal was finding the most awesome header picture, but not documenting where it came from. Next, it was “meme reviews”. And now, we had a student create a meme of another student.
That’s the way of this class, take whatever it is we are doing, and push every envelope possible. I did not foresee this, so it’s partially my fault, but it’s also that assumption by the students that they can do whatever it is they want, regardless of what the instruction may be.
As it is, the meme was offensive to that student, so it was taken down, the offending student will email his parents (both teachers), along with emailing the other student a letter of apology. After that, I’m making a list of acceptable behaviors for blogging. Part of this teaching was done last year as a language arts teacher. Being a social studies teacher, I didn’t feel I could spend a huge amount of time on blogging rules. I was wrong.
However, the teaching I’ve done all ready, we’ve talked about appropriate posts, we’ve talked the fact your blog is viewed world-wide, and we’ve talked about the fact you look at something, THEN click post. DON’T click it if you don’t feel it’s appropriate work! And accept the responsibility when you are wrong. We’ll see if that happens. It just feels like all the work we did for cyber safety and digital citizenship just flew out the window!