Monday, February 9, 2009

First Grade Wiki

Around the World in 180 Days, The Virtual Learning Adventure is this year's CCE theme. The theme, selected by design each year, captures our school's central focus, and this year is no different. We truly are on a virtual learning journey. Technology is our focus for improved teacher and student connectedness and collaboration. The connectedness and collaborative efforts are far too many to mention, but one that requires special mention is the First Grade wiki.

Years ago, First Grade Learning Leaders decided to create a resource notebook containing all of their units of study and general resources. The idea was to pass the binder along to the next group of incoming teachers as teachers looped classes from Kindergarten into First Grade. The binder would contain information on their Mem Fox and Kevin Henkes author studies, the First Grade Sleepover, homework, assessments, reading/writing/math/science resources to name just a few. The binders were a good idea, a way to pass along pertinent information from one group of looping teachers to the next. However, as you can imagine, from year to year some teachers were better at keeping up with the binders. It didn't take long for many things to get misplaced or destroyed, and a dedicated individual had to be willing to try to collect and repair them each year. The idea of a warehouse was a good one, but one that needed some much needed 21st Century remodeling.

This year, the solution came in the form of a digital warehouse...a wiki. The wiki is the digital binder warehouse of information and resources, but can also do so much more. It can host links, video clips, photographs, and student work products. The beauty is not only can it be passed from one teacher to another, but shared with teachers globally, and built upon from year to year. The wiki also will eliminate the need for a central dedicated keeper and can instead be a shared responsibility. This is a great resource for the teachers now, and I can only imagine five years from now as teachers add and delete and mold how powerful this resource will become. It has the potential to provide all of the artifacts, lessons, links, videos, and student samples that a First Grade Learning Leader could possible need. Enjoy exploring their wiki and stay tuned...I hear Kindergarten and Second Grade wikis are under development.

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