I’ve always been a gal who appreciates gold stickers and awards of all kinds. Even seeing awards for movement on my phone makes me feel that virtual pat on the back, a nod of approval. Recognition for a job well done. Awards and digital badges mark your progress and recognize your efforts.
Since implementing the Classroom SOLSC with my third graders, I have used digital badges to motivate students to keep going during a long month of writing. I’ve written about my badges previously in this post. This year, everything is different. My students are learning remotely, as are most students, due to COVID-19. I had to explain the Classroom SOLSC to them from afar and change some of the systems I put in place to keep track of who has earned badges.
While I was rethinking some of these aspects of the challenge, I considered the badges I created. This year, I am really trying to teach students about personal narratives while they are taking on the blogging challenge. Some of the badges were for poems, reviews, and being inspired by an object in the room. If I am really trying to teach them how to write quality personal narratives, could my badges be more reflective of the craft moves I want them to learn and try?
I updated the badges to reflect students using effective leads, endings, dialogue, punctuation to create voice, onomatopoeia, repeated line, and showing not telling. My updated badges are in this document. (The document still shows all the badges plus the new ones. This year I am not using the Grateful Blogger, Object Inspiration, Poetry, and Review badges.)
I made a video explaining the badges to my class.
My next step was to make a video explaining a craft move. I began with the “Hooked on a Lead” idea to show students the different ways they might begin their personal narrative.
My plan is to continue making videos for each new badge so students can see the craft move in action.
I hope that these new badges will push students to try to infuse writer’s craft into their writing. I kept many of the badges that encourage consistent writing and commenting and I am excited to see how the quality of writing improves with the addition of these specific lessons and badges.
How are you supporting your writers from afar right now? Have you used digital badges before in the teaching of writing? Please share your ideas, comments and questions.