Since the beginning of March I have been serving as a long-term substitute teacher for Mrs. Genny Jenkins, the Rowan County’s Gifted and Talented Coordinator. I have spent my afternoons teaching 7th and 8th grade advanced reading at Rowan County Middle School. During that time the 7th and 8th grade students have been working with the advanced placement junior English students. Click on the pic above to access the Smore highlighting student conferences.
Some of the students also left feedback about their experiences using the Flipgrid app on my ipad.
The students have really enjoyed writing. They could select their own topic and expand on them however they liked. The 7th graders created fanfiction pieces and posted them on their class blog and on Wattpad. Please take a moment and read their fanfiction. You will be very impressed. I was surprised to see that many of the students have posted additional selections onto their Wattpad account. They have also created some very reflective comments to help each other continue to grow as a writer.
The 8th graders decided to create a literary magazine. This was my first attempt directing students and I was unsure how to approach. We decide to follow the lead of the high school students and follow the format of their past literary magazines. To help the stay organized students dropped all their finished pieces into a shared document on OneDrive. Students took on many roles while creating the magazine. They were writers, artist, editors, layout and page designers, proofreader, and they all had input and ownership.
The product is a 30 page magazine that highlighted their inner struggles as middle school students and appropriately titled [Insert Title Here] to reflect their ever-changing viewpoints, perceptions, and appearances.
Not only was the magazine published as a paper magazine I also tried to publish it online. I had a difficult time finding a site that would publish all 30 pages at once. I found a compromise with Flipsnack. I could publish 15 pages at a time.
Here is Part Two
Self(ie) was chosen to be the middle spread for the magazine. After students shared their first drafts they discovered that self-image was a strong theme throughout all of their writings. There was a small group of girls that began to realize how damaging selfies had become. They wanted to create something beyond the magazine to express how they have been affected by hurtful words. This was a totally independent project. They found the app to create the video. I only provided a Youtube account for them to post so that they could place a QR code on the page.
There was also a video created by another student that addressed bullying. That student independently approached the school technology leader and created the video. The video was shared during morning announcements. This was a rewarding experience for all the students and I would enjoy leading another talented group of students again in the future.