Saturday, November 19, 2005

An Online Writing Center

In his book Room 109, Richard Kent sets up a collegesque writing center in his high school and starts a by-invitation class for skilled student writers to tutor stuggling ones.

Our composition class at the college pairs with students in Fleming, New York, and Fort Collins to offer students feedback on their writing.

Could these two ideas be melded? Is there research showing benefit for an Advanced Composition class helping students in Basic Composition edit their work? Is an online writing center as effective as one that helps students face-to-face? Which are students more likely to use?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Arrrg . . . so far no luck

My test podcast file didn't upload properly, so they're trying to figure out what happened. We'll see how things go . . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


It's been a long time since my last post. I've been looking the past week into doing some podcasting, and I'm starting to line up some "guests" for the first few casts (is that what you call them? Casts?).

There are some great programs for those who are looking for free production and hosting. Audiacity is a free licensed program I found last year while trying to make a CD of a band I played in. We never made the CD, but using this program along with a .wav to .mp3 file converter works great. The reviews for this one aren't great, but I haven't experienced any problems with it over the past two years. It checked out for no adware/spyware as well. You can run multiple tracks and use numerous input devices.

The hosting took a little bit longer to find, but I just tested OurMedia and Internet Archive in the hopes that they'll work out. They've also teamed up with Creative Commons for copyrighting and ccPublisher for uploading (although the uploader experienced some error when I tried it.)

So I haven't completed the process yet, but in theory the production and posting will remain free all the way.

Monday, November 7, 2005

IEPs for Every Student

So my student teaching application got declined from Preston Jr. High School. It's a bummer, but I'm attributing it to my good looks: I was just too handsome.

I did write a fairly lame philosophy of teaching, in one part saying that every student should have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan).

I hope this wasn't interpreted in the wrong way. I'm just saying that every student should have a chance to tell everyone what works best for him/her, and if he/she doesn't know, then the parents, coaches, friends, and other teachers can be there.

I think I got this idea from Terry Deniston, who I think suggested this very thing.

The time such as process would take, even if informally set up by the teacher, is enormous. But wouldn't that be cool, if every student could have some things that work out well for them implimented in the classroom. Some teachers already do it informally, but why not put it on paper so all the students' teachers can access it? Something to think about.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

On Demand Publishing

With a little bit of money, maybe from parents or a grant, this might be possible.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Multigenre Graphic Blogging

Instead of working on my assignment for class, I was poking around on Blogger and found this site. With all the pictures, I had the idea that maybe students could use Picasa to do some sort of multigenre project to publish online. Just a thought.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Publishing in our Classrooms

I've been thinking a lot recently about publishing and education. It started in E 402 - Teaching Compostion as we were talking about the writing process. I was curious about how publishing could work in classrooms without spending large amounts of money but still fulfill the purpose of lending importance and professionalism to students' work, something that they could look back on and be proud of.

My stream of thought continued when Bud Hunt, a teacher at Olde Columbine High School in Loveland, CO, spoke to my teaching methods class. Bud has a great deal of experience utilizing technology in his English classrooms, and he is a member of the Colorado State University Writing Project. The possiblity of publishing with blogs and podcasts intrigued me.

I'm still processing all this while working with Rebecca Fox, another member of the CSU Writing Project and an amazing teacher at Fort Collins High School. She teaches composition and advanced composition and has been kind enough to let me teach some lessons.

So I decided I'd give blogging and podcasting a try.

How do you promote publishing in your classrooms while maintaining a tight budget?

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About Pedagogy in Practice

My name is Ben Bleckley and I am a teacher. I have a spouse of 12 years, Jennie, a four year old, Fletcher, and a one year old, Alder.

I started this blog as an English education student at Colorado State University in 2005. My initial goals were to learn more about educational technology and its use in the classroom. It has evolved to become my own form of professional development; writing and reading education blogs makes me a better teacher. My purpose on this blog is to write about the science of teaching English language arts.

In spring 2006 I taught eighth grade English and seventh grade study skills at Boltz Junior High School in Fort Collins, Colorado as a student teacher. I returned to school in the fall to complete a linguistics class. In spring 2007 I was a substitute teacher in grades K-12 for Poudre School District.

In July 2007 I departed for South Africa where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Schools and Community Resources Project. I helped teachers implement the government's Outcomes Based Education and Revised National Curriculum Statement, improve classroom management and instruction, and share American culture with South Africans.  In other words, I played soccer, ultimate, or blob tag [pictured] with a bunch of kids every Saturday.  You can read more about the projects Jennie and I completed at our Peace Corps blog, Jennie and Ben's Excellent Adventure.

During the 2008-2009 school year I was a temporary language arts teacher at St. Helens High School in St. Helens, Oregon, about 30 miles north of Portland along the Columbia River. I taught 9th grade language arts and 11th grade American literature half-time and continued to substitute in Portland area districts for all subjects and grade levels.

In the 2009-2010 school year I taught a literacy workshop course at St. Helens High School to incoming freshmen for three periods each morning and began my graduate degree in education and reading at Portland State University.  I taught for six years total in St. Helens School District, with brief stints at Health and Science School in Beaverton, Oregon and Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon.  While I've taught language arts in all of these schools, I have also taught reading intervention in many.

To be closer to family, we moved to Colorado in the summer of 2016 and I worked for a year at Lake International School in Denver.  For the 2017-2018 school year I am working as a language arts and reading teacher at Lakewood High School.

Thank you for visiting Pedagogy in Practice. I appreciate your readership and your comments. Feel free to send me an e-mail at benbleckley [at], follow me on Twitter, or be my friend on Facebook or Plurk.

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