I decided against assigning my Algebra 2 kids their wiki. That class is so divided ability-wise that is would have been an interesting result; I guess I just didn't want to deal with the whining that would have resulted from the assignment. Maybe I'll do it second semester. I think the learning of the tools is an important lesson, as is the actual review involved in getting their pages put together. Hmm.

The precalc kids' pages turned out pretty good. We had some issues with getting it all together, thanks mainly in part to some students (apparently in one of my other classes, not precalc) that decided to hijack it a couple of different times. They were somehow able to log in as kids in my precalc class and then editted their little hearts out. Thank goodness for the ability to revert to previous versions! Needless to say, my precalc kids were not happy about it (and neither was I!). From what I understand, one student was punished for it. It took place at his house, but he claims innocence. He was in alternative school (our version of in-school suspension) for the past 5 days and should be back in class on Tuesday. I'm interested to see if he says anything to me about it or not.

I gave the kids a follow-up to their wiki assignment where they had to go back to the wiki, look through 5 of their classmates' pages, and evaluate them. I wanted them to know what all was on it and what could have been done. Everyone seemed pretty pleased and it was funny to see how harsh they can be on grading. They also had to answer questions for me about what they learned and if they enjoyed the project and if I should assign it again. Aside from remarks about the hackers, most kids seemed pretty pleased with the project, learned some new uses of technology, and would like to do something like that again. Yay! Mission accompished.

Check it out!


  1. I know exactly how you feel through my own blogging/scribing assignments which are done on our school blog. My Algebra II students, Pre-Calculus students, and AP Computer students have little to no problem and don't need convincing of WHY? There is basically no whining; however, my Algebra I students can't even log on. I spend half of the period recovering passwords and reteaching how to submit a post. It is really scary how much students mature from freshman to junior year when it comes to following directions. Problem is that I have them as freshman. I feel your pain.


  2. I love using a wiki...I have not, however had my students create their own. I have one of my own, where I have posted assignments and had my students respond to me. I feel sure that it would be a great tool for my middle school students.

    Also, your blog is great and thanks for posting so many great resources!!!

  3. Mr. Higgins -

    I've enjoyed following your blog - saved the precalc/trig applications for a time when I can sit an enjoy them! We're just starting trig now (_love_ it!).

    I don't envy you with the freshmen - I try and avoid them at all costs. I did have an Honors Alg 1 last year with freshmen; I think they actually did a better job on their wiki than the precalc kids! It was their maturity level that drove me crazy. I think soph. to junior year is the biggest change. I love juniors!

    I'm toying with the idea of the scribing - I've seen yours and Darren's. Need to think it through some before I try it next year.

    Thanks for reading!

  4. Robin -

    Thanks for the comment! It amazes me that people are actually reading this.

    I'd wondered when I read your post about the poker playing in your classroom what level you taught. I was in Vegas this past weekend and started thinking about poker with my general kids when we do probability. Maybe it will help them enjoy it a little more! Thanks for the idea!



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