I created a math class wiki for my classes. The students have been accessing this wiki since the beginning of the year for assignments, project instructions, resources for extra help and other random math links. Last month, I let each student create their own math page on my MathReuls wiki. They not only did a fabulous job with this – they loved doing it! Now, as we do projects, I have them upload their work to their own wiki page. This sounds simple, but it is actually a multi-step process and has been a lot for 6th and 7th graders to learn, especially my ones who are not as technologically proficient. After entering all of the data for whatever project we are working on, they then have to “do the math” to analyze it. This creates their work which they have to save, upload to the wiki, and finally add to their page. I am so proud of them because they have done a fabulous job!
When you are a member of a wiki, you get emails to notify you of any changes that are made on the wiki. You can choose how often you want to get these notifications. Since I like to monitor how often (and what) my students are writing, I get notifications twice daily. These notifications tell me who is editing their page or commenting, what page they are commenting on, what the comment or changes to their page they have made, and when these changes were made. This all comes to me in one consolidated email that looks like this.
Their favorite things to do? Formatting and commenting, of course! They are especially creative with their titles, making their fonts various styles and colors and using hi-lights for the letters. The love to comment also. Some of my pages have over 100 comments! No, they are not all math related. In fact, most of the comments are not math related at all. They are usually the students saying hi to one another on their page, or better yet, complimenting another student on their page. I require that all of the content on their math page be math-related only, however, I do not mind that the comments are not math related.
** The most fabulous thing about students having wiki pages is that they look at them (and even work on them) all of the time! **
This means that even if they are not “working” on math in the evenings, on the weekends, or over Thanksgiving break, they are looking at math via their wiki pages almost DAILY. And I do mean daily. I would never assign homework to middle school students over a holiday. However, my students edited their own pages and commented on each others pages all throughout Thanksgiving break. Many of the comments were complimenting another students page, which meant they were at least looking at and reading math when I didn’t even ask them to.
As a teacher, I consider that success!
Their wiki pages.
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Julie – I love this idea, and would like to try it with my Discrete Math class. What is involved on your end? You just create a home page for their pages? How do you get that chart on the home page for the class? If you create the home page, do the students go and request permission to edit, or do you have to invite them specifically? Another great Julie idea!