When I was in High School I remember teachers giving me worksheets when I finished a lesson task early. Sometimes teachers would ask me to simply “research more” or “write more” to extend my learning. These “extra” activities were designed as extension activities; however, the result was that I learned to hide the fact that I had completed lesson tasks early!
I think it is important that teachers design extension activities that are authentic and valuable. A strategy that I commonly use and I have found to be very successful, is to ask students to REFLECT on their learning on their personal Edublogs websites. This of course requires that you first get students to learn how to create and use an Edublogs website.
This week is the end of a Year 10 software programming in Alice unit and I informed the WHOLE class that if they wanted to extend themselves they could reflect on the blogs that they created last term. Many students were excited about this idea because they enjoy sharing posts and creating work that is publicly available; this is commonly called ‘produsage‘. Below are screen-shots of one student’s reflective post:
Students can include images of their work and people are able to comment/reply. I have found that using student blogs in teaching has been an easy way to deliver quick feedback to students through the comment/reply functionality.