Thanks to my great colleague, Danita, for passing along this link to a December 3rd BBC News article entitled, “Children Who Use Technology Are ‘Better Writers'”. My favorite quote from the article states, “The more forms of communications children use the stronger their core literary skills.” I couldn’t agree more, and am seeing it in our classroom as we pilot the 1:1 initiative this year.
In an effort to prepare my kids for two upcoming events at the end of this week, we are once again, very busy! The kids are getting ready to take the second of the state’s formal writing assessments. This one must relate to content information they have learned. The fourth grade team chose to focus on Roanoke Island, the Mystery of the Lost Colony. As we were watching a short video and reading an article about the Lost Colony together, they were given the choice to take notes in their notebooks, or on their netbooks using a Word document. All but 1 chose the computer! They will be able to use these notes as they pilot the writing test for the first time on their netbooks. I am anxious to see the results!
Also, we are preparing to enjoy a theatrical presentation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” this Friday. I decided to use this week to study the story as our literacy work. I was fortunate enough to find this wonderful unit written by Kim Meyer from South Carolina. It has some wonderful activities to go along with the story, including creating an old English village reminiscent of that in which Dickens lived. We’ve begun collecting our cereal boxes which will turn into a decorated village! I’m currently selecting some sites with illustrations for the kids to go by, so look for picture of our village to appear soon!