A colleague and I decided to take a technology jump and incorporate emailing into our literature circle curriculum this year. Our students are currently reading chapter books in literature circle groups. While planning, we talked about the importance of having the students journal about the books that they are reading, focusing on their thoughts, questions, and reactions to the book, rather than simply summarizing what they have read. In discussing this, we decided to have our students write us a response, in letter format, for each section of their books. Then, we had a “brain sprinkle”, as my father used to call it. Why not have the students get metacognative via email?
According to the TEKS (LA 5.22.B), students in grades 4-8 should be able to “correspond with peers or others via e-mail or conventional mail”. Even beyond that, in order to be successful in the rest of their educational career, our students will need to know how to compose, edit, and send emails to teachers and various authority figures (group leaders, professors, community members, employers, etc.). The more prepared our students are for the global world in the 21st century, the more successful they will be.
That being said, my colleague drafted this amazing assignment and the kids are just getting started. Due to time crunches, they will only write one response email a week for the next three week. I have promised to email them a response within one day. Eek!