Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Publish Student Work Online

The school district where I worked gave each teacher a website. After designing mine, I realized it was great not only for making sure students and parents knew classroom procedures and assignments, but also for showcasing student work.

Each week I picked one writing assignment to use for this purpose. The length ranged from one paragraph for first year French students to much longer compositions for more advanced classes. After students finished their work, they exchanged papers for proofreading. They took the work home that night for editing. The next day, each row exchanged papers and read them all. They selected the top work for each row. Then, each side of the room picked the best from these and submitted it to me.

This meant I was given two essays. I picked the one to publish on the class web site. But before it was placed there, I proofread it myself and allowed the student to make further corrections. Then the composition was emailed to me. When I placed it on our site, I identified it only by the student’s initials, plus the class section, (such as V. T. French 2, Period 3). This allowed the student to be “published” while his/her identity was kept confidential from the general public. Of course, the students in the class knew whose work it was, giving the student bragging rights.

Not only was this a terrific way to encourage quality work, it also lifted up class morale to see one of their papers published on the Internet. It was wonderful PR for the language program as well. People could see the level of work students were producing and also watched as it improved throughout the school year.

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