Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Elementary Wiki Ideas


What are some ways to effectively use the collaborative aspects of a wiki with elementary curriculum? I've been pondering that question and jotting down some ideas. I'm thinking of setting up a class learning space wiki with pages for each subject area. My thinking so far...

Writing - Introduce the six traits of writing by posting an excerpt for each trait. Students change the text to improve upon the trait in focus. We can refer back to these examples as we apply the six traits to our writing over the year.

Spelling - Our spelling lessons are organized by rule. Wouldn't it be interesting to post the rule, then ask students to find words that reflect that rule? As the year progresses, we have documented all of the rules along with examples. Think wiki word wall.

Math - Create number collection boxes in which each student posts a different name for the number. Example: 64 is... 8x8, 60+4, 100-36, a photograph of 64 toothpicks. Another collaborative idea - each student creates a number story. Students go back and solve someone else's story. As part of the geometry unit, students find or take photos representing shapes, parallel, perpendicular, angles, etc. The photos are posted in a visual geometry museum.

Social Studies - We study Florida, Native Americans, and explorers. Students create collaborative journal entries for historical figures or fictional members of a culture. Each student contributes one or two sentences reflecting upon the life of that person. Collectively, we end up with a more complete view of the world from another's perspective.

Still thinking about science and reading. Ultimately, I want to push the collaborative effort beyond the walls of our classroom. There's a lot of talk about this, but it's difficult to get other students and classes out there to contribute without planning ahead. Even then, teachers often have different views of how a collaboration should proceed. So, I'm still noodling it over and keeping an open mind. In the meantime, we'll start locally and encourage others to contribute globally...that's a first step.


David Robb said...

You have some creative ideas!

For science you could have students write their observations or data from an experiment. That way students can easily compare and contrast their results with others in the class.

You could even set this up as a jigsaw activity if different groups of students are making observations or collecting data from different variables.

astevens said...

For writing... what about writing a collaborative story. Start the class off with an opening sentence or paragraph and then assign each student to add a sentence or two to the story. It would be fun and then the students could work on editing and revising the story into a final copy.

Anonymous said...

I am attempting a wiki as an extension of literacy circles in my fifth grade classroom. Students will be discussing books and posing questions about the books on our classroom wiki webspace.