As a member of this Online Book Club, you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Brainstorming Authentic Audiences & Projects

Image from: http://www.relatably.com/q/brainstorm-quotes
I’ve been trying to think of ways to create more real, authentic tasks and audiences for my courses for next year since that has been a key take-away from the Lattimer (2014) text and some work I’m doing for another (online) summer course this year. In this post, I’m going to throw out a few ideas I have for one of my classes, and hope that I can make them happen and/or get feedback and build connections to make them even better.

The main thing I’m struggling with is that I know that I want and need to have students write some full essays because they need practice writing and need support and feedback in how to write formally, but I still want them to think there’s more of an audience than just me. Is this where I bring in peer feedback circles? Or something else? Do all of my assessments have to be “authentic” and have “real” audiences? How can I do that while also still having students practice writing essays or backing up claims? 

For 8th grade, I’m lucky enough to have iPads and was at a conference for similar schools with our grant this summer. I connected with some other American history teachers, and we’re hoping to connect our classes this fall to have students interview each other, share work with each other, and generally work as sort of long-distance partners or pen pals. I hope this will pan out and help to make their audience broader than just me, but if not, I’ll need other ways to build these connections or make it more real.

Please let me know what you think, what questions you have, how I can improve these, and whatever else you’re thinking!

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