Websites to Help Teachers

I am glad to see my school district finally developed student and staff policies on the use of social networking sites.  Two years ago I wanted to begin to use a blog like or to have students share thoughts over Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.  However, since we did not have a policy, I went “old school” and students shared thoughts on index cards and posted them on my back wall, which is a bulletin board.

I read a WEB 2.0 article at It was very useful and I have returned to it several times.  The article has links and lessons to learn how to do things in 5 minutes.

I love to use response writing with literature, and I will use a message board for students to respond to the readings and to each other.  This will be part of their participation grade, which is about 10% of their total grade.  (Students will have a copy of my response starters and may use the message board or pen and paper if they do not have access to a computer.)

Another idea I plan to use will be with the getting to know project I like to do at the beginning of the year.  I have done this as an essay, a pamphlet, and a poster.  This year I am going to use to have students create a slide show to share with the class.  This will allow them to be creative, allow me to learn about them, and allow the freshmen the opportunity to get to know one another.

I am excited to collaborate with other Freshmen teachers to come up with more ideas.


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