Working with Wikis, Podcasts and Words

Argnloth: The time of the day when your eyes turn into donuts shaped like frogs

Yesterday was one of those days where, if the superintendent or top school officials popped into my classroom, I’d probably have some explaining to do.

Picture this: computers are spread out about the room, with students milling about, using our class wiki site. Others are jumping up on the back table, using markers to write on chart paper on the wall. A few more are mingling behind my desk. And I am at my computer, with Audacity up and pointing to students sitting in my comfortable teacher seat. There’s the loud hum of activity and social interaction.

It no doubt seemed like unstructured chaos to an outside viewer. But it wasn’t.

Junglebum– The act of getting stung by a wasp while reading a book.

The task at hand was adding invented words to a multi-year online collaborative dictionary project. At the computers, the stations were set up around letters of the alphabet, and students were editing the wiki pages to add their words and definitions. Later, I will have some student “editors” go in and clean up any grammar or other issues.

Quangadoodle –An animal that can draw anything in less then 3 seconds

At the back of the room, they were adding their words to the chart paper, so that this year’s crop of invented words would also exist in physical space, so that all four of my sixth grade classes would have access to the words (for a writing prompt and just because they are always interested in what the other classes are up to).

And my desk was our “podcast” station where I was recording them reading their words and definitions, and creating MP3 files, which have been uploaded and will be connected to their words in the larger dictionary project. And that project is a creative way for us to end our entire unit on Word Origins, and our inquiry into how words make their way into the English language.

It may have seemed like chaos but there was rhyme and reason, and rationale, behind it all. Really.

Wumpyflapy– amazing, engrossing, fantastic. example: This book is so wumpyflapy!

Peace (in the words),

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