Engage your ELL students with digital tools! The Corwin Connected Educators series is your key to unlocking the greatest resource available to all educators: other educators. ELL students deserve a classroom environment full of choice, inquiry, and creativity. By blending technology with teaching, your students can thrive. John Spencer’s insights will enable you to • Introduce project-based, differentiated instruction in your ELL classroom • Expand your use of innovative technology • Strengthen your students’ English language skills Being a Connected Educator is more than a set of actions: it’s a belief in the potential of technology to fuel lifelong learning. To explore other books in the series, visit the Corwin Connected Educators website at http://www.corwin.com/connectededucators/. “John Spencer is the kind of teacher that I wish my own kids had and that all students deserve. This book shows clearly and practically how technology can be used to give all students greater choice and a more powerful voice. This book inspired me to rethink my own approach and what I’m planning to do in my classroom tomorrow.” Philip Cummings, 6th Grade Teacher Presbyterian Day School “Spencer provides a clear framework for teachers to help students improve their language skills. A teacher can pick this book up and be provided with specific ideas and techniques which can be implemented in a classroom immediately.” Josh Stumpenhorst, Teacher Lincoln Junior High School Naperville, IL
Chapter 4: Writing
Ten years ago, when I first encouraged students to pursue digital writing, I treated blogging like a digital notebook. The results were underwhelming. Students walked in each day and completed a prompt I had written on the board. We had such creative post titles as “Bell Work—January 11th” or “Lab Report—February 3rd.” These were essentially online versions of what I had required in the physical notebooks. The blogs had no comments or pictures or even much of a student voice. After all, my students had no real concept of writing for an authentic audience. It was simply an easier way for me to do binder checks.
Things began to change when a student asked me as simple question.
“Do you ever blog?”
“Yeah, three or four ...