Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Elementary Wiki Ideas
What are some ways to effectively use the collaborative aspects of a wiki with elementary curriculum? I've been pondering that question and jotting down some ideas. I'm thinking of setting up a class learning space wiki with pages for each subject area. My thinking so far...
Writing - Introduce the six traits of writing by posting an excerpt for each trait. Students change the text to improve upon the trait in focus. We can refer back to these examples as we apply the six traits to our writing over the year.
Spelling - Our spelling lessons are organized by rule. Wouldn't it be interesting to post the rule, then ask students to find words that reflect that rule? As the year progresses, we have documented all of the rules along with examples. Think wiki word wall.
Math - Create number collection boxes in which each student posts a different name for the number. Example: 64 is... 8x8, 60+4, 100-36, a photograph of 64 toothpicks. Another collaborative idea - each student creates a number story. Students go back and solve someone else's story. As part of the geometry unit, students find or take photos representing shapes, parallel, perpendicular, angles, etc. The photos are posted in a visual geometry museum.
Social Studies - We study Florida, Native Americans, and explorers. Students create collaborative journal entries for historical figures or fictional members of a culture. Each student contributes one or two sentences reflecting upon the life of that person. Collectively, we end up with a more complete view of the world from another's perspective.
Still thinking about science and reading. Ultimately, I want to push the collaborative effort beyond the walls of our classroom. There's a lot of talk about this, but it's difficult to get other students and classes out there to contribute without planning ahead. Even then, teachers often have different views of how a collaboration should proceed. So, I'm still noodling it over and keeping an open mind. In the meantime, we'll start locally and encourage others to contribute globally...that's a first step.