We have set up this site for the benefit of our students. With your help we hope to use it to improve students’ writing skills, and to develop an awareness of their responsibilities in relation to internet safety.
We are using the ABC news show “Behind the News” as a springboard for discussion about current events. Many of the issues presented have two sides, giving students practice in providing the background information, detailing both sides of the argument, and forming an opinion based on the facts presented. This is a skill they will find useful during their secondary education.
In their writing, students are increasingly resorting to spelling abbreviations and poor punctuation. By putting their writing on display, we hope to make students more aware of the need for correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Read their writing. Much student writing is only ever read by the teacher and written to please the teacher. Please read their writing and make comments to show them that they have a wider audience.
Comment on their opinion. If they have presented a weak argument, encourage them to provide evidence or support their argument with facts. If they have presented a strong argument, acknowledge their efforts.
Comment on their spelling and punctuation. (Gently) remind them that it is not only teachers who demand that language conventions are followed.
Offer ideas for improvements to the site.
A major part of this exercise is internet safety. Children are explicitly taught skills to increase their knowledge of safe and unsafe practices when using the internet. A link to a site that guides them through safe practices is also included on the home page, along with other useful links.
If you do not want your child to participate in this project, please contact your child’s teacher immediately.