So there I was, fumbling through Joyce Valenza's Information Fluency wiki and David Warlick's wiki only to stumble into a wonderful link from MathReflections called Moving toward a Flatter Classroom.
After reading and reflecting on this blog entry I then realized that I too have slowly begun the shift to a flatter classroom. How have I been doing this?
One way is that I have created a class website through Blackboard where I have incorporated a "Discussion Board." There are many limitations to this way of communicating however, it is a good starting point for me to begin to model how to use these tools to have a dialogue.
With that said, students are finding themselves on the Discussion Board posting original stories, original questions that they have, and reflecting on books that they are reading. The shift has begun but very slowly.
These kids are really fired up about writing their original stories and have begun to realize that they do indeed have a voice and a story to tell. The students are realizing that they do not simply need to write and keep their journals buried in the depths of their desk, but they can share. I find that children love to share their stories and due to the lack of time the Discussion Board has allowed the students the opportunity to be heard.
I cannot wait to get permission from all the parents to allow this group to have their own blogs. I believe that their motivation to contribute and take charge of their own learning will increase even more. Wish me luck!