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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Going "Paperless"

Here's the last quote I'll share from Donald Graves' new collected works:

"Dishonest writing is not good writing.  How easy it is to teach our students to write dishonestly to fulfill curriculum requirements.  Indeed, a student's entire diet from first grade through high school can be a series of one dishonest piece after another.  Sadly, the student can even graduate without learning that writing is the medium through which our most intimate thoughts and feelings can be expressed" (62).

So sad but so true!  It's hard to see kids going through the motions when nothing they write really engages them.  I guess the key is variety?  Coming up with assignments until you find the ones that really elicit honest responses?

One of my beginning of the year activities is to have kids make a PowerPoint about themselves.  On the first day of school, I present a PowerPoint about myself and my life, complete with an MLA works cited slide for all the pictures I've taken off the Web.  Then all my kids do their own version.

It's a cool activity because I get to see how proficient they are with technology and what facts they choose to share about themselves.

It's also a major pain in the neck, from a grading standpoint.  I don't want to print 120+ PowerPoints nor do I want to save them all, so I just look at them online, but I'm finding it a difficult task to organize.  Between two email addresses, and the fact that everyone names the file "powerpoint," it's hard to score them easily.

Next year, I need to do a lesson on labeling files so that this task runs more smoothly.  I love the activity because I get to learn so much about them!  I am also hoping to become more paperless this year.

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