Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some common reading

Everyone who works for our school, and the board of trustees as well, has been charged with some summer reading: The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner. I am not familiar with the book, but I think it's a good idea for all of us to latch on to something that can give us a common ground for conversation about education. I look forward to the discussions that the book will generate in the fall.

And I confess, as a religion teacher in a Catholic school, that I wish we could do the same with something about our mission or spirituality, too.

Review wiki

Yesterday and today we used Wikispaces for a review. I put the study guide, basically a list of topics or points, on a separate page for each chapter and for each essay topic, and let students sign up for pages to work on. The plan was to have a thorough document to study from, and also for them to engage with the material and ask me questions as they went.

It was partially successful. There was a problem when too many students tried to sign up for the same topic, so I have to have a better system for that. I had to go through the wiki to make sure the information was accurate, but it was not too time-consuming. I tried to send out invites to have all students join the wiki so that I could keep track of individual contributions. But many did not get the invite and I ended up just making it public so that we could get going on it.

Some girls had already worked on the guide, so they completed their information quickly today. Some had to be nudged to be productive. But most did their part.

We'll see how they do on the exam...