Monday, September 23, 2013

Folders of the Week (FoWs)

Considering many teachers have adopted the Article of the Week (AoW) format for classes, why not try using a Folder of the Week (FoW) concept if you have access to technology?

FoW builds on the model I learned about through Kelly Gallagher's challenge to his students to read more than novels:

To help build my students’ prior knowledge, I assign them an "Article of the Week" every Monday morning. By the end of the school year I want them to have read 35 to 40 articles about what is going on in the world. It is not enough to simply teach my students to recognize theme in a given novel; if my students are to become literate, they must broaden their reading experiences into real-world text.

Concepts built on digital read and writing is not an either/or proposition, but an also/and shift in education.

My use of a digital folder on Google Drive includes short videos, articles, podcasts, and infographics. This morning I cobbled together a folder on Somalia for any students who wanted to read and explore this issue.

The idea gives students additional exposure to various models and mentor texts of expression and information. As Troy Hicks puts it in Crafting Digital Writing:

To help Instead, I argue that the types of craft elements we insist our students create in the alphabetic texts can be complemented--or, better yet, extended--by the types of craft elements we can use given the availability of digital writing tools.

Of course, anyone who teaches or studies writing knows, Hicks' assertion includes into digital reading as well. Good readers are good writers.

These types of digital texts brings real-world issues to students where they have some control to explore and access the information in an order that best suits their needs. I have seen and heard this encourage further exploration. Students have told me that by looking at an infographic or two that they are more inclined to perform a close read of an informative or persuasive article of the same topic.

As the FoWs are becoming established in my classroom, I will encourage students to contribute their own polished products to the folders (blog entries, essays, videos, presentations, etc). So, if you subscribe to any, you will see the folders grow with a combination of professional and student-generated texts throughout the year. Currently, students are writing about the issues in their notebooks or on the classroom blog--these options will expand and grow throughout the year.

So far this year I have created FoWs on P.E.D.s in baseball, issues with the coral reefs, and Syria. Access to those are listed below--feel free to use the links for yourself or your students.

List of Folders of the Week


Coral Reefs


Baseball and P.E.D.s

No comments:

Post a Comment