Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wikis and Word Work in the Daily 5

In the district where I work, teachers at the elementary school level use the Daily 5 management strategy for their Language Arts instruction. One of the 5 activities is word work. Students traditionally do some spelling pattern activities during their word work time. Yesterday, I had the privilege of working with a 2nd grade team who wanted to do more with word work. Our technology integration strategy was to incorporate wikis into word work time.

In my district, we use Microsoft SharePoint for our teacher websites. As a part of this package, teachers can setup a wiki within SharePoint and control who has access to edit the wiki. Now kids are doing their usual word work activities on the class wiki.

As you can see above, students are adding words to the wiki that follow the spelling pattern for the week. This teacher had each student choose a different font style to delineate who added words to the wiki. The teacher can look this up in the history, but this strategy provides a visual reference too. The kids love choosing their own font style as well!

One item I stressed to the 2nd grade team was to take advantage of the completed wiki at the end of the week. By revisiting the wiki at the end of the week, the class can review the list, make corrections, and delete words that do not belong. They can also have any further discussions about the spelling patterns. Revisiting the wiki also makes the work seem more worthwhile to the students. Otherwise, this assignment could have been done on paper and turned into the teacher.

An activity like this could be done with any wiki site. PBworks and Wikispaces are great places to check out if you need to setup a wiki for your class.

This is technology that actually works!

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