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Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Creating an Online Community Through Electronic Portfolios
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Lesson Plan Type||Recurring Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Several sessions over one semester|
- Construct a blog by participating in workshop sessions
- Create other forms of media to integrate with their writing, thus learning digital literacy skills as they develop multimedia blogs
- React to and comment on others’ work, improving their own writing skills by giving feedback to peers through participation in online peer editing workshop sessions
- Distribute the handout The Components of Your Electronic Portfolio. Let students know they will receive several handouts, and they should store them all together in one designated folder for easy reference. Explain to students that, through this course of lessons, they will post their strongest work to an electronic portfolio intended to broaden the audience for their writing and help them to see the progression of their own work. The portfolio will also allow them to incorporate multimedia elements into their writing, and engage in collaboration with their peers as they review and comment on each other’s work.
- Pass out the Create a Blogger Portfolio handout, and allow students to work for the rest of the session on setting up their portfolios. Have students begin by creating introductions on the upper right-hand side of the sidebar. Since your own basic class portfolio is already set up, help students troubleshoot any problems that may come up at this time.
- For homework, have students complete their portfolio set-up, including an introduction, and e-mail you the link to the blog and the blog title. If students do not have access to a computer at home, direct them to open lab times at school or the local library with free Internet access.
- After you have this information, incorporate a list of sidebar links to all of the student portfolios on the basic class blog.
Note: Portfolio workshops should be spaced throughout the first two months of the semester.
- Gather in the lab. Begin with a brief tour of the I.B. English website so students can see what their project will eventually resemble.
- As outlined in the handout The Components of Your Electronic Portfolio, have students spend their remaining time writing 400-word essays or book reviews or incorporating links, media, and images into the assignments they have already posted. Walk around to help keep students on track and troubleshoot with them.
- Make sure to set deadlines for students throughout the semester, using the Portfolio Check-Ins sheet to be sure they remain on track.
- You may wish to pass out copies of the Portfolio Rubric at this time, so students can see exactly how they will be graded.
- Gather in the lab. Give students the class blog website so they can see links to all of the other students’ blogs.
- Tell students to review the blogs of the two students immediately following them on the list of links and choose either their favorite piece or the one they feel they could give the most help.
- Have students leave a one-paragraph comment by clicking the “Comment” button below the chosen post. The comment should specifically compliment the piece’s strengths, then offer some suggestions for improvement. It is helpful to model for students how comments should be written.
- After students post their comments, ask them to cut and paste them into Microsoft Word, print them out, and turn them in for your review. This way, you can give students brief written feedback on their comments.
- Continue the Portfolio Workshops as described above. Assist students as needed in creating the multimedia elements (i.e., a podcast, a video, and a photo essay) of their portfolios.
- Review the Portfolio Rubric if students have questions about how they will be graded.
- Students who have posted all of their work may begin on the final round of feedback.
This is the final round of feedback. The instructions are the same as in the first round of feedback, except that students should comment on the two blogs posted above theirs, and they will have more pieces to choose from.
You may also wish to ask students to reflect aloud with a partner or to e-mail thoughts to you as to why they chose the pieces they posted on their blogs and how those pieces reflect them as writers and people.
- Find a teacher at another school or within your school who would also like to create electronic portfolios with students. In each feedback session, have students comment both on the work of a partner at the other school or in the other class and on a classmate’s work.
- Allow students to vote and award prizes to the top portfolios in the class at the end of the semester. Make these “People’s Choice” awards worth extra credit on the assignment.
- Once students have mastered the blog concept, incorporate it into other assignments, like creating a blog for a novel character. Creating Character Blogs would be a good lesson to use as an extension.
- Use your own blog to keep track of class work, posting daily tasks and homework for absent students online.
- Use the Portfolio Check-Ins list to keep students on track in the construction of their blogs.
- Assess students’ ability to successfully create posts and integrate multimedia, using the Portfolio Rubric handout.
- Assess students on their comments on their classmates’ blogs and their own final reflections.