After reading Wiki Wiki Teaching, I really felt inspired. As I was reading this article, I could feel the excitement that the students experienced. I could tell that part of the reason the Wiki site was so successful was because the students were involved and could work together to make it what they wanted it. It seemed like something new for the students that they could use as a extraordinary tool for leaning. It made me very excited about the possibilities that could come from this.
I looked at many Wiki sites. I was primarily looking for Wiki sites that were created by elementary school students and their teachers. I really liked the Thousand Project. This seemed like a good place to start. Each month the class came up with a question. They were hoping for 1,000 responses to that questions. They had some great questions that gave me some neat ideas. It was very simple but I could see how the kids would enjoy watching people responding to the questions. One question was “What are some of your favorite books?” As I read the responses, I could imagine some of the books that were being mentioned- some that I had forgotten about. I could recognize some of the books that were mentioned but I had not read them. I made a mental note in my mind of a few books I would like to read. I always encourage my students to recommend books that they enjoy to other classmates. This way you could recommend books to people around the world. How cool is that? All in all, it benefits everyone. Another question was what are some acts of peace and kindness that you could do as a gift. Check out this Wiki to some responses to this question and others.
Another site I enjoyed was Schools in the Past. This is where the students had to interview their parents and grandparents about what school was like in their time. They had some set questions to ask. Once they got their responses they entered them on the site. It was really neat to see what school was like “back then.” I am sure the kids enjoyed looking over other responses from their friends’ parents and grandparents. Once again this appeared pretty simple but very profound. Our school has a Grandparents day where we invite all the grandparents in the elementary school. We put on a program that involves the whole school. One thing our group of 6th graders did was ask their grandparents questions about what they were like when they were little. They brought their answers in shared them with the class. This would fit perfectly in with the Wiki site stated above. I think the students would be much more excited about it if they could use the wiki site.
Another wiki site I found interesting was Kubler Reading. This was a 4th grade class that had a wiki site on Tuck Everlasting. It was a class effort. There was a place for a character study, summaries of each chapter, connections that they made, and other cool sections. Once I feel more comfortable with setting up a Wiki site, I could see myself doing this. It was a class effort that benefited everyone. I could also see going to this site even if I wasn’t in the class to compare notes as I was reading the book.
I think I was very impressed how kids as young as 1st grade could show basic math skills like they did on Primary Math and third graders could do a complete project on the westward expansion along the Oregon Trail as they did in Go West. This let me know that kids of all ages can participate in this. I plan to commit to doing a basic Wiki page with my students before Christmas.