Nudging and Worrying

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This week I celebrate our initial blogging steps. Thank you to Ruth Ayers who provides a place for me to share celebrations with others.

After worrying about how we could actually get this off the ground…

After waiting and waiting and waiting for their teacher (me) to set up the account, and get the tech forms sent home, and signed… and talking about what a blog is and is not, and netiquette… and my hopes for the stories and opinion pieces I will be reading! Oh the joy! The anticipation!

…We started blogging in earnest this week.

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The kids were VERY excited.

Fights erupted over our measly five computers and my personal iPad. We had to negotiate scheduling.

“Can we stay in at lunch and blog?”

It made me happy to see such excitement and interest. Follow the energy. This level of engagement is good. It can give us an infusion of fresh energy during this long, strange, not-winter-California-style winter.

And what are we blogging about?

“What’s your favorite candy?”

“What is your favorite color?”

“Which app do you like?”

“Have you been to the horse or car races? Put which one and yes or no.”

Uh, yeah… hardly a festival of academia. But, it is a festival of inquiry. And that is what I have been after all year long. I gave them a platform on which to write, and they did! Not exactly what I hoped, but they are writing a lot of questions, and answering each others… So I asked them to do something with the results of their surveys. Compile the data, write a summary… I teacherified it. Can’t help it. If I don’t nudge a little, they won’t stretch. It is always difficult to find the balancing point between getting students to work a little harder and think a little differently, while not squashing independence, interest and motivation. I will let you know how that next step goes.

One of the most interesting parts of this week was noticing who showed up. B, who often (always) needs a reminder to write during writers workshop, has been the most active. Switching from paper to device turned a disengaged learner to a fully active one. Worth the extra time and the $30.00 I spent on a “premium account” with Kidblog? YES.

I am thrilled about the excitement my students are experiencing, the trails they are blazing, and the writing and reading they are doing while having fun. I wish it were deeper. I wish there were more stories. But I believe it will happen, if I keep nudging. Gently nudging.

Finally, I saw this post and got a little worried. How much censorship would I have to do? I don’t want to be a censor. And then I read it.

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I didn’t nudge that! And I am not really worried anymore.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Nudging and Worrying

  1. Awesome Cathy! How exciting that they’re engaged and motivated not only to read and write in community but also to come to school for inquiry and friendship. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey and for going the extra mile to get them blogging! That’s quite a celebration!

  2. It sounds like you’ve made a great start, & time will make it better. My students are older (middle school 6,7,8) but it took them a while to get going & to decide how they wanted to go about this new thing. Best wishes to you in this new adventure.

  3. It’s all good. So happy for your kiddos and you.

  4. Love this Cathy! I know too well the ‘balance’ of which you speak. I love the word nudge. We set up kids to practice and then we nudge them! Beautiful!

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