Friday, February 11, 2011

Thing Seven - Wikis

I am not sure if I see a wiki in my class this year but I do want to explore the options for future years. I read Vicki Davis' blog (Wiki-wiki Teaching) about her first experience with using a Wiki in her classroom. This was amazing and I loved how the students had a vested interest and started the "buzz" in the school. other classes and students wanted in on the idea. However, I do believe this was in a high school. Working in an elementary school provides a few more challenges for using a wiki.I am thinking that VoiceThread may be a better way to start with younger children so they can record and then transition into typing.
I looked through quite a few Wikis with 1st grade in mind. There was one actually listed as a 1st grade wiki called Schools in the Past. I did enjoy reading this but feel it would have to be read by the teacher to the children. I do like how it is broken up in sections that students would find interesting. I wonder if there is a way to make the font size bigger for younger kids and possibly add pictures or drawings that help explain the differences.

Another Wiki that I looked over was Primary Math. I thought this site came a little closer to meeting the needs of younger students. Most of the pages had pictures which I think appeals to younger students, plus it provides a visual representation which is very beneficial. I did notice that all the "Teacher Tube' videos that were embedded did not work. It would just take you tho the Teacher Tube page, not to the specific video that the creators wanted you to see.

The Let's Go West Wiki was one of my favorites! There is a lot of information on this site, including time lines and pictures that help the lesson come alive.I also like how they had their first name included under the headings of the sections they worked on. I Think this might be a good Wiki to use as a teaching wiki on how to post and also how even young children can learn to cite sources. With elementary students, it might be good to create a new wiki with each year, but show previous wikis to help them get started.

As far as professional learning goes, I enjoyed looking at Grazing for Digital Natives. I think this wiki is close to what we will probably create as our class wiki. I am not sure I have seen everything on her wiki as of yet but am finding some of it hard to maneuver. I think I tried to click on her embedded blog about United Streaming and ended up finding a wiki (and PBL) about plants. I am teaching about plants right now and this looked similar to a web quest. I feel there is so much to learn and not enough time. I am also having trouble remembering some of the sites I have happened upon but did not bookmark or feed to while browsing. I hope I can become more comfortable with use of these tools so I can share with others.


  1. I also checked out Schools in the Past, and thought the same thing. Probably because we know First Graders so much, but I would have like to have seen more of the Kids in there, and less typing/reading. Wouldn't it be fun if the kids illustrated most of the wiki? I think it would have been more meaningful to the kids as well, to see their art work on the internet. Did you happen to save or bookmark the wiki on plants? I would be interested in checking it out, since we too are teaching plants right now.

  2. Yes Rachel, it was in wiki spaces and it was called Group3Plants. I tried to post a link but I guess when posting a comment as opposed to a new post, it doesn't work the same way. Here is the website so you can copy and paste.