Technology Integration Learning Plan: Fostering Authentic Writing through Blogging in the Classroom

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1 Technology Integration Learning Plan: Fostering Authentic Writing through Blogging in the Classroom I. Overview: This unit will address students understanding, performance, and achievement in literacy by bringing the writing process online. Students will work with web tools to create a blog as a publishing tool to display their writing. Within this unit students will work on numerous goals, including, but not limited to: Using spoken, written, and other visual language to accomplish their own purposes Use a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and create and communicate knowledge Applying knowledge of language structure, language conventions, media technique, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features These standards were selected because they are NCTE language arts standards that align well with Missouri state standards as well as CCSS. Full list of standards addressed can be found at the end of this document. My ultimate goal is that students grow and progress as writers, developing skills to better communicate via written word. My wish is to do this through development of interest in authentic texts. By authentic texts I mean writing that a student is doing out of personal desire, interest, and passion, and written in the natural language of the author, rather than as a response to directed assignment. A secondary goal is literacy reinforcement, aiming to get students interested in reading and writing. I believe this can be done by giving students an outlet to develop an online presence as a writer. Often students are writing for no audience, simply to receive credit. I believe that previewing the power of blogging and showing students how you can build an audience and receive immediate, dynamic feedback can be a very engaging activity. This is directed through the creation of, and response to authentic texts created by students and their peers. Goals will also be to acclimate students with writing in an online environment and develop a comfortable relationship with using the internet as a platform for creating and displaying their written work. II. Analysis: Needs Assessment: I will give a survey to see how many students read or write authentic texts, and in what types of formats students are accessing these texts (ex. Books, magazines, blogs, etc ) I will also include questions about their experience reading and writing nonfiction texts. Survey will also address the type of writing a student enjoys by asking about topic preferences (poetry, stories, notes, journaling, etc.) Using my students experiences with nonfiction texts in a technological setting, I will able to better guide my instruction in ensure all students meet the learning objectives.

2 Instructional Purpose: The purpose of this activity is to help students develop as writers of authentic texts. Skills taught will include: Writing for a purpose, developing texts based on research drawn from the web as well as other texts, and develop stronger understanding of conventions of writing (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.). Scope: Unit will take approximately ten 50 minute blocks of instruction, but this initial setup will be carried on throughout the school year as support for writing instruction in general. III. Design and Development: Desired Learning Outcomes/Objectives: Students develop and publish writing for a purpose Students will use research as well as personal opinion to develop writing for a purpose Students will use technology as a tool for publishing of their writing Students will comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts Students will develop stronger conventions for writing Resources: Computers Internet access Blogger.com Blog Exemplar Webquest Blog Creation Steps Checklist Spellcheck.net Dictionary.com Thesaurus.com Structure and Sequence of Learning Activity: This unit is scheduled to consist of eleven class periods of 50 minutes each. A basic rundown of the schedule is lined out below: Pre-unit conditions: All students at our school have been through a class teaching how to safely and responsibly access the internet and use the web. Students have also signed a technology use agreement allowing them to use and post information of their creation to the web. Day 1: Assess needs of students. Survey will be given to students to assess their acumen with writing and reading authentic text. Survey will also help determine students level of comfort with technology.

3 Day 2: Blog Based Webquest. Students will independently complete a Webquest where they will be looking at different types of blogs and assessing for themselves how blogs work and how they are effective forms of written communication Webquest will feature a multitude of websites for students to use and peruse to help decide the ultimate content and design principles of their own blog. All blogs will be verified as appropriate and screened to be accessible, even through district firewalls and content filters.. By the end of this class students will have decided on the type of blog they will be developing. Day 3: Setup. Students will set up a blogging account on blogger.com. By the end of the period students will have created their blog and designed its look, feel, and title. Students will choose the purpose and direction of their blog. Examples might be: Sports, Politics, Current Events, Music, Fashion Trends, etc. Students will begin planning their direction of their posts. Day 4: About Me: Every good blog has a section where you can read about the author to find out about who they are. Students will be tasked with creating an about me section for their blog so their audience will know more about them. During this session students will plan their About Me section for their blog. This will be done in accordance with school and district rules and policies for personal information. Students will have filled out a use contract to be able to use and share their personal details on the web. Day 5: About Me II: Students will compose and post their About Me section. As a class students will visit each other s About Me sections to get a feel for blog navigation and to learn more about their fellow authors. This will be a chance to check for understanding on how students are integrating with the technology, or if we need to reteach technology goals and expectations. Days 6, 7 and 8: Research and Development: Students will begin the task of creating their first blog post. Students will research a topic and use information from the internet and other print and nonprint sources to create an on topic post that is authentic in nature. Students will complete the entire writing process of Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing, and Publishing. Students will work independently and with groups to get their work ready for publishing. This will also be a chance for the teacher to meet and conference with students about their writing, see how they are developing as writers, and answer any questions about blogging. This is a chance for an informal assessment of growth. Day 9: Compose and Post: Students will compose and publish their first blog post. This class will be spent getting their post online and presenting any additional media to support their information; pictures, videos, sound clips, etc. Day 10: Commenting/Gallery and Celebration: Students will have a chance to look at their classmates published work and comment. The commenting system native to the blog will be utilized. Commenting will be used as a method of soliciting feedback on the quality of work and authentic interest in the topics presented. Lesson will be geared on how to comment effectively to make feedback useful and constructive. This day will also be a celebration of a completed piece of writing. Students will be able to their blog post link out to friends and family members to check out and receive comment from them as well. The main scope of this day is to view, comment, and receive comments on published pieces of writing as feedback.

4 Day 11: Assessment: Students will be given another survey and data will be compared to survey results from the beginning of unit. By analyzing this data as well as performance based data from authentic writing done in blog posts, I will be able to best decide how learning goals have been addressed during the unit. Post Unit/Continuing: Students blogs will continue to be of use long after this unit has ended. Students blogs will become an outlet for soliciting authentic and interest rich pieces of writing. The blog can be used much like a writing journal to check periodically for growth in all areas targeted in learning objectives. Students will be expected to complete one blog entry per week and leave responses to two other students per week. Assessment: Assessment for learning principles will be in place with both summative and formative assessments being utilized to check for students progress before and after the unit has ended. Initial assessment will be diagnostic in nature, used to guide instruction for the duration. Teacher will check with students as progress is made to see how students are coming along toward their learning goals. This will be aided by being able to check on students progress through the development of their work online. Formative assessment will be a final check for understanding and growth after work is finally published. I will know students have made growth by comparing survey data from both ends of the unit and reading the posts of the students. The great thing about using a blog as a surrogate for a writing journal is that the writing is always available for viewing and can be checked for understanding over time. Although this unit will not allow me to see growth from entry to entry, by using this unit to have students set up and learn the fundamentals of blog management, I will have a wealth of assessment data at my fingertips in the matter of only a few weeks. Periodically checking these posts will give me the greatest understanding of who my students are as writers and the growth they are making over time. IV. Implementation: Implementation should be done in a technology rich environment with students having 1:1 access to an internet ready computer. Students will being doing most of their work on the computer, so having constant access is a must. Reservation of a mobile lab or school computer lab will be necessary. Accommodations must be made for students without technology use agreements. Doing the same work on pen and paper will lack the impact of the internet audience, but will provide the same skills practice offered to the rest of the class. Students with disabilities will also have to considerations made for them. Particularly in this case adaptive computer set ups will have to be created for students with low vision or fine motor impairments. They may also make use of an appointed scribe. If technology should fail, work can always be replicated on pen and paper until writing can be published online after technology has been fixed. V. Evaluation: After the unit is complete I will evaluate the effectiveness of the activities by using the following criteria

5 1. Measuring the growth of students attitudes about writing based on assessment of pre and post activity survey. Ideally students will show a higher interest in composing and reading texts that are authentic in nature and a higher interest in using the internet to read and compose their own texts after the unit. Assessed via survey analysis. 2. Measuring the standard of student writing based on standard writing assessment components (development of main idea, organization, word choice, spelling/grammar/punctuation). This will be done by assessing the quality of writing in a given student s portfolio against writing published through the blogging unit. Assessed via rubric. 3. Measuring a student s ability to compile information, synthesize what they know, and publish writing for their own purposes. This will be done by checking over student posts and verifying that students are producing writing with the practiced skills and comparing it to mentor texts and blogs evaluated early in the unit. Assessed via rubric. 4. Measuring the ability of a student to access technology and independently develop and publish pieces of writing on their own. If students can continue to show an interest in creating authentic texts around their chosen topic I would consider the activity a success. Assessed via progress monitoring and evaluation of blog. 5. Measuring the ability of students to read, assess, and provide feedback to their peers through user comments left on posts published by peers. By checking comments students are leaving for other students, I will be able to effectively notice ability to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. Assessed via rubric. In general, this unit is largely Constructivist in nature, meaning, students will be making most connections and understandings on their own based on their own practice on observations. Above all, I am looking for students to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills to help them figure out the best way to make their work be quality. By guiding students in this way, my overall assessment will be a success if I see students producing quality, authentic work that they are proud to publish. I will also do a post unit reflection of my own effectiveness as a practitioner. I will assess how effective the unit was at achieving my goals, assess whether or not students made adequate progress, and assess whether or not this lesson is a valuable use of student instructional time. This will be done via journaling and reflective response/sharing with other teachers. VI. Standards Addressed Missouri Common Core Standards MO.CC.W.6. Writing Standards Text Types and Purposes W.6.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

6 W.6.2(b) Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. Production and Distribution of Writing W.6.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.) Research to Build and Present Knowledge W.6.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources. W.6.9(a) Apply grade 6 reading standards to literature (e.g., ''Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics''). MO.CC.L.6. Language Standards L.6.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. L.6.3(b) Maintain consistency in style and tone. NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics). 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

7 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts. 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge. 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

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