English: Class blogging and Future Me letter writing

I am teaching TY English since the middle of November. In my school, TY is an academic year. Even if it was not, I hate when people say ‘Oh teaching TY is easy,  I do not have to do anything for them’. Why do these students deserve less of your time and attention than other years? I have a lovely group of students and we do a lot of work but yet we still have fun! 🙂

So far  I have taught the students poetry, short stories, debating, blogging, biography and book reviews. On Wednesdays we go to the computer room to blog. At the start of the year, I got all of my students to each set up their own blog on WordPress. Some of the students were apprehensive at first. However, they now all LOVE blogging!! Huge success! Blogging is terrific as it encourages the students to write, to enjoy writing and it improves their digital literacy skills.

Each week the students have two blogging assignments to complete.

I give all of the students a set blogging topic each week and then they must also come up with a blog topic themselves and write about it. The girls have really excelled at this. I love reading their unique topics every week! I give the students past Leaving Cert HL English exam paper Qs and also Qs I have made myself that are based on the Leaving Cert course. This is important as it will prepare them for next year. However, sometimes the students have random tasks such as ‘Why should people blog?’ and ‘Look up one Web 2.0 tool that you would like to see used in your school’.

Today I introduced the students to Future me.

Future Me is a website where you can write a message to your future self. How cool is that?! It is free and all you need is an email address. You simply type your message and then you pick a date to deliver the email. You can set it for tomorrow if you are not very daring or go all out and set it for 50 years time.You can set it for private or else public. If you select public then your letter will appear on their website.  You can add a photo of yourself if you wish. It is so simple to use.

I got the girls to brainstorm ideas first. Then we read some of the letters on the website for inspiration. All of the girls wrote a letter to themselves. For homework, I asked the girls to go home and pick one letter from the website that they found inspirational. The girls also had to write down three reasons why they found  inspirational. 


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