I have been trying to write this post for weeks now. I love edmodo. In fact I would have to say using edmodo is becoming an absolutely essential tool in our year 5 classrooms. I want to try and explain some of the ways we are using edmodo in year 5 and to try and explain why I am so excited about how our students are using it. I have to admit though that edmodo being a secure online forum means I feel I cannot show you any examples. Thus making my task a hard one and one I have kept procrastinating about finishing!
Homework: In Year 5, our homework contains spelling words, maths problem solving and a thinking or research question. We give homework out on a Monday and ask for it to be back at school thirteen days later on a Thursday. This year we are posting our cover sheet into edmodo as a link, so that parents can access it. We are also posting links to Spelling city, mathletics and any other program or website we may require or recommend to our students.Using this edmodo group we pose our research questions, problems or puzzles. The intention being that students will respond to these using the forum. We also link through to primary pad or a google docs for collaborative research tasks.
What we are seeing in our homework forum: We are seeing students asking questions and students sharing ideas. Students collaborating in new ways, giving each other clues to math problems. Students assisting their friends and their peers. Students reminding each other when assignments are due and above all students reading and writing for their teachers and fellow classmates.
Reading groups: We read different novels in different terms. Our edmodo forums are sometimes optional and sometimes a homework requirement. Students can also take it in turns to ‘play’ a character from the novel or be themselves. They love this and fight for the chance to role play. This term we have three graded reading groups and our thinking questions are posted in three different edmodo forums.
What we are seeing in our reading forums: We are truly amazed at the quality of the discussions, the questioning and the length of the student’s written responses. The great thing about having three forums is that our extension students can write in depth in their own space and our students with learning needs can feel safe within their space. They are writing insightful and detailed comments.
We also have a Science and Technology group filled with links, ideas, questions and more. An Antarctic discussion group, with an ‘extra for the experts’ link to an Antarctic web-quest. Some of our students have voluntarily joined an ‘e-book’ chat group with classes from Victoria. We have a Scratch group exploring the program scratch. A French group solving a treasure hunt, all in French.
The more I reflect on my classes learning in edmodo, the more I realise we are blurring the lines between home and school. Dissolving the idea of what can be achieved in the few hours a student is in school. We are providing ways our students can authentically connect, assist, share and guide each other. Edmodo lets our students make mistakes in private. Ask questions they may feel silly about voicing in the classroom. Send me messages about homework they might forget to ask during the day. I am constantly amazed at how much time some students are spending voluntarily reading and writing in edmodo.
As I said before I love edmodo.