Every once in a while, something funky will happen with Firefox, and I will lose all the links in my Favorites. It is very irritating, given that it shouldn’t happen anyway, because then I have to hunt down the links and save them again, assuming I remember what they were — didn’t I “Favorite” them to begin with because I wanted to find them easily later? Anyway, I’ve given up on saving links that way. I figure it is too much of a gamble. I know some of you folks that know more about technology might be kind and try to help me troubleshoot my problem. Don’t worry about it. I have started saving all of my links to del.icio.us. I have had an account for well over a year, but I didn’t really use it much until recently. I think the last time I lost all my Favorites, I thought, “That’s it! I’m sick of this!” Also, using del.icio.us has the added benefit of being available to me on whatever computer I decide to use, rather than just my home desktop.
Robert shares some of his del.icio.us links on Tuesdays. I decided perhaps sharing my own links once a week might a) give me something to post about at least once a week, which is hard when things get busy, b) enable me to share some things I use and/or learn with other teachers who might be interested.
My first link is something you may have seen if you regularly read The Reflective Teacher. A few days ago, he posted a link to Brian Benzinger’s post “Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 1” at Solution Watch. I don’t constantly bug my colleagues with links, but I thought this one was so valuable, I not only sent it to the entire faculty at my school, but also shared some of it with my students. One of my students told me he has already tried the application Gradefix and loves it. Brian now has Part 2 up, so check it out, too.
Another link that I have used extensively over the past few weeks is this ReadWriteThink lesson plan, “Reader Response in Hypertext: Making Personal Connections to Literature.” The author of the lesson plan suggests using this lesson plan with novels “that contain a strong sense of place, that focus on closeness of characters, and that are metaphorical in character, such as A River Runs Through It, Montana 1948, and The Bean Trees.” Based on examples in the lesson, my assumption is that the author, Patricia Schulze, uses it with A River Runs Through It. I used it with The Bean Trees, which is a summer reading selection for incoming college prep 9th graders at my school, and I have to say it worked very well. Instead of creating websites, however, I elected to adapt the lesson to a wiki, which made creating the sites and editing much easier, I think. You can check out my students’ Bean Trees Wiki and see what I did with this lesson plan. At this point, all of the students are supposed to have four quotes and four writing assignments posted, but there are a few who need to get caught up.