WANDA's Wiki Wonderland

(Wanda = "Works Analyzed Notated Discussed & Archived")

What's a Wiki? According to Wikipedia, wiki is a collection of web pages that allow users to easily create, edit, and link pages together. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites. In fact, Wikipedia is one of the best known wikis on the Internet.
There is a great little video from Common Craft called "Wikis in Plain English" that should give you a pretty good idea of what a wiki is. You can access it here.

What are we going to do with our Wiki?

We are going to use our Wiki for our literature circle discussions. (Thus, the "WANDA" acronym.) Students will still be reading books of their own choosing, forming groups with others, and working out reading schedules and other group work associated with that reading. The difference is that we will be migrating from face-to-face meetings and paper journals, roles sheets and assessments to doing all that (and more!) with our wikis.

The advantages?

  • Assignments, communication and assessments are paperless. (Consider the trees!)
  • Literature circles are not limited to students in the same class (or the same school... eventually).
  • Students learn and practice ethical, safe and effective use of technology.
  • Students have the opportunity to express their ideas in a variety of digital media.
  • Everyone has a equal chance to participate in discussions and site-building.

Wow! How does this work?

For starters, we set up new wikis for groups ready to begin a literature circle, and I'll ensure all the students in the group have access to the wiki. Group members consult the main literature circle page to find out what is required on their wikis, and they use the discussion tab for online conversations about the books they're reading. The really fun part is setting up the wiki page and embedding a variety of media to help describe our books and entice others to read and discuss them.

Wikis remain private, accessible and editable only by group members, until they are ready for publication. When we are sure everything on the pages is appropriate, proofread, and all the proper citations included, we lock all the pages (so they can't be edited further) and make the cite accessible to everyone in the world. Visitors can view all our work and discussions, and we even set up our wikis so that those with a wikispace account can add to the discussions we've already begun.

2011-2012 Literature Circles

2010 - 2011 Literature Circles

2009-2010 Literature Circles

2008-2009 Literature Circles

You can e-mail Ms. Hunt at jhunt@tanq.org (school address) or jennifer.hunt@cox.net (home address).

Works Cited:
"Wiki -." Wikipedia. 23 Apr. 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki>.