Sunday, October 23, 2011

7th grade vs 8th grade

    This is the first year 7th graders have participated in using Moodle.  While the content offered to both 7th and 8th grade is similar (vocabulary forums, for example), how they handle the work is poles apart.

    8th graders explore.  They poke around to see what’s there.  They have been enthusiastic users of the Coffee House forum, for off-topic conversations.  They get involved and post their opinions, seemingly unafraid of what others will think.  8th graders have confidence.

    7th graders follow the rules.  They really enjoy using the Moodle, and go into the vocabulary forums with gusto, enjoying sharing just the right images.  But they don’t use the Coffee House at all, even the student who asked me to include it. 

    7th grade is probably the hardest year in middle school.  Kids’ bodies are growing and changing constantly.  This is the most mercurial and moody year.  Kids are inward-focused, and convinced the entire world is watching them under both a spotlight and a microscope. 

    8th graders have started to get a grip on their changing bodies and emotions.  They are outward-focused.  At least some of the time they are confident, even cocky. 

    Because I'm been feeling my way with the 7th grade, we haven’t done much online discussion yet.  I suspect I’ll see differences there, too.  Can’t wait!

(Note: spelling error image from dozens of website, origin unclear.)

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