Points to keep in mind to go from a simple web page to a site of knowledge gathering to an actual community:
  1. What goals do you have? What do you envision the wiki to look like? What access to computers do you and your students have?
  2. Be up front with your vision and expectations. Students are more likely to appreciate change if they have a vision of how it makes learning different.
  3. Decide what will be on the wiki and how you will organize it (the best part is that it can always be changed easily.)
  4. Create the skeletal basics of the wiki.
  5. Model how to use the wiki in class.
  6. Make the wiki a routine in class.
  7. Creating wiki value - a worksheet on a wiki is not always the best course. when it is okay to do so and when it other activities are better. Great idea to keep bringing the content back around.
  8. How to collaborate
  9. Options for providing feedback.
  10. Reflect frequently.

Managing lessons:

mini lesson or directions (notes, demonstration, thinking activity, what the goals of the lesson are), applying work (project, using information, research, labs), final discussion (summary, using information learned in a new way, whole class use and discussion of knowledge, reflection).

Hints for getting students to discuss

  • Assign Partners - Be sure to assign discussion partners rather than just saying "Turn to a partner and talk it over." When you don't assign partners, students frequently turn to the most popular student and leave the other person out.
  • Change Partners - Switch the discussion partners frequently. With students seated in teams, they can pair with the person beside them for one discussion and the person across from them for the next discussion.
  • Give Think Time - Be sure to provide adequate "think time." I generally have students give me a thumbs-up sign when they have something they are ready to share.
  • Monitor Discussions - Walk around and monitor the discussion stage. You will frequently hear misunderstandings that you can address during the whole-group that discussion that follows.
  • Timed-Pair-Share - If you notice that one person in each pair is monopolizing the conversation, you can switch to "Timed-Pair-Share." In this modification, you give each partner a certain amount of time to talk. (For example, say that Students #1 and #3 will begin the discussion. After 60 seconds, call time and ask the others to share their ideas.)
  • Rallyrobin - If students have to list ideas in their discussion, ask them to take turns. (For example, if they are to name all the geometric shapes they see in the room, have them take turns naming the shapes. This allows for more equal participation.) The structure variation name is Rallyrobin (similar to Rallytable, but kids are talking instead of taking turns writing).
  • Randomly Select Students - During the sharing stage at the end, call on students randomly. You can do this by having a jar of popsicle sticks that have student names or numbers on them. (One number for each student in the class, according to their number on your roster.) Draw out a popsicle stick and ask that person to tell what their PARTNER said. The first time you do this, expect them to be quite shocked! Most kids don't listen well, and all they know is what they said! If you keep using this strategy, they will learn to listen to their partner.
  • Questioning - Think-Pair-Share can be used for a single question or a series of questions. You might use it one time at the beginning of class to say "What do you know about ?" or at the end of class to say "What have you learned today?"

Management Ideas

  • Use a discussion.
  • Show basics - editing a page, creating a link, table of contents...
  • Manage the initial use with students: Creating a team name, creating/linking to a team page, creating member pages from the team page, etc. We build slowly on skills until they are ready to fly.
  • Check history to see who is doing the bulk of the work.
  • Require some information to be on individual pages, some on team pages, and some on content pages.