My apologies to the edublogiverse for taking so long to move from intorductory to post to actual content.

I have been thinking hard about what to blog next, so much so that I have been (metaphorically) oscillating in one place, bouncing around between ideas and thoughts and priorities like one of those virtual ball bearings in a MS Pinball game!! (Have to keep the ICT theme going)

For lack of ideas on how to tackle the deep philosophical issues, why don’t I start with a recent success?

This year I started work in a boys’ school, which is a new environment for me. I am learning about boys’ education, and what kind of fiction tastes boys have a different ages, and I’ve been reading things like Cherub (R. Muchamore)¬†and Contest (M. Reilly) and so on.¬†Promoting reading and a culture of reading is of course one of my goals as a Teacher Librarian, and I am always looking for new ways to do this.

My latest brainwave is to have the boys in Yrs 5 and 6 create Reader Profiles for themselves, using as many useful web2.0 gadgets as I can, and have them saved on the students’ personal intranet pages – this is going to be built up into favourite author lists, favourite books, and hopefully even the occasional book review ::gasp!::

This week’s task is to create a personalised Genre Wordle.

  • We do a fast reminder of what genre is, and then the class collaborate to create a genre list of about 20 headings. Every student saves their own copy of the list. (You could do this as a whole class activity if you can’t access enough computers at once)
  • On the big screen – or on a smartboard – I show the students how to find Wordle, and demonstrate coping and pasting the genre heading list into the text box, and tell them to click on ‘Go’.
  • I then show students how to play with the layout, font and colours, so that they know how to change the image.
  • Then we go back to our genre list, and I show the students what happens if I select my favourite genre and paste it into the genre list another 5 or 6 times, and make a new Wordle.
  • Students then have to try it for themselves, chooosing their favourite genre and putting it into their list multiple times, then choosing their second favourite and putting it in several times, etc. I emphasise that students need to save their Favourite Genres list before going any further.
  • Students now make a new Wordle out of their Favourite Genres list, ending up with a Wordle that puts their favourite genres in beautiful big letters!
  • I show students how to publish their Wordle, emphasising that they should not use their real names because these will be on the internet. We copy the URLs and paste them onto the end of the Favourite Genres Word documents.
  • Next lesson I will show the students how to take a screenshot of their Wordle and paste that into Paint or Word to use in their Reader Profiles.

So far this task is working well, and I hope to build on it by having students share their genre Wordles, and start thinking about why they enjoy particular genres – we may then take the favourite genres and make wordles describing their special characteristics…. the sky is the limit!!