Angela Kemp, one of our 8th grade English teachers, is using part of the library’s Moodle environment to have students discuss more in depth The Diary of Anne Frank. I just started following along and the student insights are amazing. I know that this does not come by accident but by laying out your expectations ahead of time.
Here are her guidelines, reprinted without her permission:
Anne Frank’s legendary diary didn’t start out that way; in fact, its purpose was merely to record the thoughts and feelings of someone who was once just an ordinary teenage girl. Anne Frank had no idea that the sentences she scribbled in her diary would become famous.
The purpose of this project is for you to take some time to explore the world around you in the written word. Instead of writing these thoughts in our journals, I’d like to give you the opportunity to communicate with your peers- especially some of those peers that you normally do not converse with in or out of school.
Before you being your blogging, please take note of some important assignment guidelines:
1) You should be prepared to respond to each prompt in well-developed paragraphs. Please try to elaborate your answers in at least two full paragraphs (5-7 complete sentences) in order to earn a grade of 10 points.
2) “Texting” language is completely unacceptable. Uz it n i will not grade ur work! K?
3) After you have answered a question (in two paragraphs) you are welcome to respond to your classmates. When responding to others, you do not have to write in complete sentences. You may add short comments or questions. For example: “Good point.”
4) Please keep all responses appropriate and respectful. Anything that would not be acceptable in class is unacceptable here.
5) Be brave! I know some of you are nervous about sharing your thoughts in a forum, but just remember that your input is valuable! I am always impressed with the amazing ideas in your journals; this is your chance to share that brilliance with the people you have sat with in class for the last six months!