How It Will Be
This school year, 2001-2002, Middle School Kidz will have a new and different focus. Now in its third year of existence, Middle School Kidz will be a fully interactive web site. This year's class consists of a heterogeneous grouping of REGULAR Education students of varying abilities.

Unlike previous years, we will totally integrate the digital technology and internet experience right "into our classroom." This means that the teacher and students will not only use the website to merely "exhibit" classwork as in Year 1 , or to "complete" selected activities as in Year 2, but Year 3 students will use this website as their own portal - a personal classroom where they plan, process, document and evaluate their own learning experiences, and those of their classmates.

We will post an "Online Family Technology Survey" for our students' families to complete to assess the level of technology available in the home (and snail mail it to make sure all families receive it).  Only a single iMac will remain in our portable classroom and we will continue to have access to the 24-station iMac computer lab in the main building of the school (which still is NOT connected to the internet).  

In anticipation that this class MAY not have the same level of technology at home as the two prior classes, we will ADD 6-8 recycled (looking for donations!) and networked Pentium-level PC workstations with dial-up internet access (we are working on a broadband solution).

Our greatest challenges for technology "in the classroom" will be:

  • limited technology in the students' homes

  • Pentium class PC workstations

  • internet access

  • bandwidth

  • financial resources

But our Online Classroom is still scheduled to open on the first school day...

What We Will Do
This year, while my students will continue to display their Writing Portfolios, Projects and Literary Critiques, They will also participate in NEW online learning activities.

Year 3 students will actually "participate" in an interactive online learning classroom where they will "process" and document their learning experience digitally.  They will

  • learn how they "learn best"

  • individualize their learning experience

  • receive their assignments from the website

  • plan and organize their assignments using technology tools (Outlook)

  • find, research, use, and assess "quality" resources

  • work cooperatively in teams

  • complete their assignments using technology tools (MS Office, other software, browsers, search engines, etc.)

  • submit assignments via e-mail and other digital means

  • receive feedback from the teacher and other classmates via e-mail and threaded discussions

  • document and exhibit their learning experiences

  • and have a lot of FUN learning!!!!!!!

Additionally two other colleagues will have areas on the web site to share with others the work of their students in sixth and seventh grades.

A 30-Year Teacher's Reflections
The use of technology in the classroom opens up a myriad of educational opportunities for students. Teachers, the undisputed instructional leader in the classroom, can now expand their capabilities and use the world’s resources in delivering instruction to their students.

Who would have thought that the everyday classroom teacher could literally go on a "field trip" to the British Museum in one day, tap into their resources, see their astounding collections and have their students participate in seeing artifacts and answering questions on Ancient Civilizations prepared by the museum?

Middle School Kidz is a personal web site. It is not provided by or supported in any manner by my school district.  It was, is and will continue to be inspired by the work of my students.  Seeing their efforts within our "portable" classroom inspires me to share the Middle School Kid world with others.

My interest in technology - “this new, new thing”, led me to create this site.  It is my hope that in future years, Middle School Kidz will continue to grow in providing students an opportunity to use technology fully.

Sheila Gatling,
Sixth Grade Public School Teacher (since 1971)

Click here to take off with the 6th Grade Class of 2001-2002's very exciting and trail-blazing Online Classroom!