Monday, Tuesday--May 7/8

This is my 3-year-old granddaughter Madison, working hard on her version of learning.

Mr. Nemenic, please remember to leave me a note of which class was the most well-behaved all around for you during my absence.  I would appreciate your rating on all of them, if you would kindly give them a 1-5 score with 5 being the best.  Thanks!

Students:  If you did not get your draft of (6th) Glogster Autobiography, (7th) Ancient History Timeline, and (8th) This I Believe Essay to me, you are late and should do that immediately during WARM-UP time.  Remember, if you are using GoogleDocs, just invite to your document.  If you are making a Glogster, don’t worry—I can see it with my log in.  If you made an essay draft in Word, you need to email it to or

7th Graders: Here’s a fascinating timeline of the human race, Humanline.


This week you will set aside your projects to do some other shorter assignments with Mr. Neminic.  Please remember that he is in charge and respect his wishes.

Last week I mentioned to you that research on learning shows we learn better by figuring out answers for ourselves. Here’s that article. I’m wondering what you think about that, so I am posting this adapted article, which you must read and consider:

Debate: Scaffolding vs. Struggling – Can Teachers Be Too Helpful?

Thanks to and quotes directly from The Edublogger’s Author: Ronnie Burt, who was recently debating best instructional strategies in the classroom when working with students.

Some teachers believe (and much research will show), that students will remember more and understand better when they struggle with concepts and new ideas. Learning experiences that provide students an opportunity to play with concepts and figure out on your own are best.

The other teachers (with good reasoning and research to back it up too), believe that students who struggle will shut down. They believe the better approach is to provide as much scaffolding as possible – activities that walk through information in a step-by-step manner.

No doubt that to some extent this will depend on the learner, content, environment, and more. But there is a general philosophy at play.

What Say You? What’s Your Best Way to Learn?

I think you—my students—will have great insight into helping with this debate.  Let’s turn this into a blogging discussion!

Here’s what I’d like you to do:

  1. Draft and finalize a comment to me and your schoolmates about this topic.  You should draft your comment and finalize it in M.S. WORD. Share your thoughts, opinions, experiences, reasons, details, examples, your own research – or whatever you’d like — that’s directly related to the topic and is school-appropriate.  You must write between 50 and 100 words in your comment, except ELL, IEP, 504 and ILP’s may write 30 or more words.  Specialized learning plans can also ask a teacher or paraprofessional to help them if they wish to say the comment while the adult types it.
  2. You must include at least 2 hyperlinks to information about this topic which helped you form your opinions on how you learn best.
  3. Copy and paste your comment below (onto this blog).   DUE MONDAY BY 9PM.
  4. Tuesday in class you will draft, edit, finalize, and post a second comment in response to another student’s comment.  You need to say something new to that student in direct response to what they said in their comment. This comment should be 25+ words. Do not merely repeat your first comment!
  5. I will read, grade, and summarize your posts here.

Keep in mind these commenting guidelines adapted from the Grammar Girl blog:

  • Determine Your Motivation (Why are you writing and what do you wish to say?)
  • Provide Context  (Who are you?  What brings you to the topic?)
  • Be Respectful, Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Responsible, Be Prepared
  • Make a Specific Point
  • Know What You’re Talking About (Do the research to find your 2 hyperlinks.)
  • Make One Point per Comment  (Don’t tell me more than one main idea per comment.)
  • Keep it Short (Yours needs to be between 50 and 100 words, except ILP, IEP, 504 and ELL’s who must write between 25 and 75 words).
  • Link Carefully (Make sure your hyperlinks are correct and functioning.)
  • Proofread Your Writing and Then Edit and Finalize It!

I expect you to write quality comments.  By “quality comments” I mean:

  • writing the comment like a letter (greeting, body, closing, signature)
  • using correct spelling, punctuation and spacing,
  • reading over the comment and editing before submitting,
  • complimenting the writer in a specific way, asking a question, and/or adding new information to the post,
  • writing a relevant comment that is related to the post,
  • not revealing personal information in your comment.

We don’t need or want any comments that are short and generic, as in: “I like your blog!!!” or “This comment is so not cool.”  


Need more guidance?  Here are some links that may help you. You may not use these hyperlinks in your own writing.

  1. The More You Struggle With New Information, The More Likely You Are To Learn It.
  2. Kids learn better if they figure it out themselves: study
  3. What is Scaffolding in Education?
  4. Six Scaffolding Strategies
  5. How to comment like a king (or queen!)
  6. Blogging? It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson!