Sticky Notes

Charts have always confused and alienated me– I really struggle with creating them. Charts in English, especially, never made any sense to me; visually structuring words that way into bubbles and columns really bamboozled me. To be honest, it still does. In my writing process, I have never benefited from structural charts, so I never made them. However, now that I will teaching others, who really would/could benefit from such structural aids, I realized that I really need to start trying to understand and build them. Here’s my attempt to create a diagram of writing an essay. Although there is room for improvement, I must say I feel accomplished in wrapping my brain around creating one without the aid of found-examples (I resisted that urge!). This was a good experience because it made me aware that my weaknesses are not everyone’s weaknesses, which is to say: I will not be teaching myself.

I had fun fiddling around with Padlet. My wall is a silly, non-academic topic, but I can see how it could be used in the classroom. In my fake-classroom, I would use Padlet as a sounding-board for students to post their “personal opinions” of the books we read. Not only would this be a creative and non-graded outlet for students to express their (strong) opinions, but this could also serve a classroom management purpose; if a student yells out, “Ugh! This book sucks!” (which happens), then at least I could redirect him/her to the proper and appropriate avenue for them to express such a thought (but let’s find a better word for “sucks,” please.). I could also see myself using Padlet as a “democratic space” to make classroom decisions, this way students could think and express themselves in an individual space, but then see the collective feedback of their classmates. OR (I have one more) Padlet could also be used at the beginning of the school year; I think it’s a neat idea to have students find the kinds of projects they would like to do, and then you take those projects and apply them to your content. This way, the students have ownership over what is expected of them.

Needless to say, I liked the Padlet thing. The reason I like it so much is because it’s simple, easy to use, but gets the job done. These are also the reasons I like Twitter. I believe it a valuable skill to be able to get to the point, to fit more meaning into less space. Not only is this a critical thinking skill, it’s also just a practical one; in an interview, how successful would a rambling applicant be? Besides, this is how our Digital Natives are communicating already– short and sweet– we might as well meet them halfway. School is boring enough, and these are simple, fun things that would really make school a little more bearable for students.

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