A Teacher of Technology in Education


Hello Everyone,

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Last Wednesday Year 3 students @ both the schools I teach in were introduced to email as they now have their own school email address.  They were all VERY excited to finally see what their email address is!

The first task the students did was to create an email signature. They were quite amazed that the email program we use adds an email signature to the end of each email they compose! :)

The next area the students learnt about was ‘message highlighting’ whereby the students  select a colour for incoming messages from 3 friends in the class, their own name and next week we will add their teacher’s name to message highlighting!!

Next the students were asked to write a letter to themselves asking themselves a question. However the students were to use the genre of ‘letter writing’ to complete this section.
Sample I used today…As we were running out of time this email was a very simple one :)
Hello Mrs Grasso
What is for dinner tonight?
Please reply
From Mrs Grasso

The students used their own email address to email themselves ensuring they correctly typed their email address in the TO field. I explained to the students that it is important to fill in the ‘Subject’ field.
(Email protocol based on letter genre writing) 

It was great to see the Year 4 students remember how to complete this task from last year and add their new friends names in the ‘message highlighting’ section!

In the next few weeks the students will explore ‘Email Etiquiette’ – what is appropriate and not appropriate to say/type in an email!

The students will compose 3 emails to different students in their class asking a question to encourage a reply!
We will cover how to correctly reply to an email as well!!

To complete our unit the students will then email a family member or member of staff sharing their new skills in emailing and sharing their new learning!!

Assessment: I have found a couple of samples on the Internet to assess student knowledge of emailing:

1. Rubistar Sample 

2. Email Rubric Sample
My thoughts so far…

  1. is email still useful in this world of Web 2.0?
  2. How can I use email to engage students in their world?
  3. Should appropriate letter writing protocols be taught to students using email?
  4. Is my role as an ICT teacher to explicitly teach the ‘mechanics’ of creating an email /should I be using the genre writing approach? 

I’d love your thoughts and ideas of how you use em@il with your students/class/school?

  • Do students in your school/class have their own email address?
  • When do students begin using their own email address?
  • How do you introduce em@il to your students?
  • How is email incorporated into your curriculum? 
  • What email etiquette do students at your school follow?
  • Do you use a rubric to assess student email skill ?

Cheers Raff 🙂
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Comments on: "Introducing Em@il To Year 3 Students" (8)

  1. Hi Raff,

    This is a really interesting post. As you know, I’ve taught Grade Two for the past couple of years. The only students I introduced email to were the ones who earnt their own blog.

    Being in Grade Four now I’m wondering if I’ll do what you did and introduce the whole class to email. I’m not really sure what the precedent is so I’ll have to check it out!

    I think it’s really important to give children explicit lessons on using email like you did as they’re going to go home and use email anyway. So we’d be doing them a disservice if we didn’t teach them how to email properly and safely.

    Thanks for a great post,
    Kathleen

  2. I see a link between letter writing genre and email. We usually use email when we have a purpose and teach it within that context. If they need to contact someone to get information, we devise the email and use that as the teaching moment to apply protocols etc.

    I try and model by sending the students emails in relation to their studies and requesting they reply.

    Interestingly as you mention, I wonder how relevant email will be in their futures, it is definitely used in business but increasingly people are using other tools. I guess similar rules apply to other on-line communications so similar lessons apply ie appropriate language, cybersafe behaviours etc. Teaching the mechanics is tricky as there are so many platforms.

    • Hi Celia,
      Thanks very much for your comment! I really value other teacher input as at times I feel I ‘flying solo’ as an ICT specialist ie that it is up to me to ‘teach’ the students how to use email, however it can be out of context as I am simply going through the mechanics, without a real purpose. I am on the hunt for a real purpose to bring my unit together. In one of my schools I was ‘instructed’ to teach ’email’ to the students in my ICT specialist lessons. I am trying to pull it together by asking the children to email other children in their class/level asking a question to encourage a reply and also to get to know other students in their class/level.

      Thanks again for your great comment and helpful suggestions, I am not on the hunt for a more purposeful, meaningful way for the students to engage the wider /global community using the tool of email, even if it is used less and less these days 🙂
      Many Thanks,
      Raff

  3. Hi Kathleen,
    Thanks so very much for your reply and your thoughts! I really value your comments and ideas!! It is a very interesting area, one that is going to need further discussion in schools.

    I have found limited documentation/research on the internet or curriculum materials to support teachers, hence my decision to go ahead through ICT lessons to introduce email. I am now on the lookout for some authentic ideas/global projects etc that would give my students a real purpose for using email.

    I am really keen to hear how you introduce email with your new year 4 students!!

    As a class teacher I think you have the perfect opportunity through Literacy activities/Inquiry etc to incorporate email genre etiquette based on letter writing.

    Looking at VELS documentation -ICT Level 2 Learning focus statement: ‘Students begin to explore contemporary ways of communicating ideas and information by composing and sending simple electronic messages such as emails’

    At Level 3, students initiate and compose email messages to known and unknown audiences and, where appropriate, send replies. Students create folders in their mailbox to organise the storage of email messages they wish to keep.

    This is basically as much as I cover, then the class teachers can take it from there after the students have the basic ‘mechanics’ of composing/replying/saving emails.

    If at the end of primary school; students come away with at least knowing how to appropriately write an email (taking into consideration etiquette,purpose and audience) it gives them the skill to use this great web tool!!

    Look forward to watching how your new class tackles email this year.
    Again thanks for all your most amazing and well presented and resourced information! I always learn heaps from you!!

    Have a great last week of Term One :):)
    Million thanks

    Raff

  4. Hi Raff,
    This is a great post.
    So often we assume that the students just know what to do, especially when it comes to older style technology like email.
    It is still a very worthwhile tool. Now that I am teaching senior students in grade 5/6, it is wonderful that they arevery confident users of email.
    They email me when they have updated their blogs with a new post or if they applying for something at school Certain homework tasks must be emailed also.
    I always email parents when I have updated our blog and in the workplace it is a vital communication tool.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers Verona Gridley

    • Hi Verona,
      Thanks for dropping me a comment and for promoting it on Twitter!! This has been my thought exactly, students seem to use a variety of mediums to communicate in this day and age so I guess I was just putting the thought out there, how relevant is it to ‘teach email’ or should it be explicitly taught in context when the situation arises? I guess there are so many ‘protocols’ with using email, hopefully the students have the basics of using this tool as they move through different stages of their student and work life, (IF this form of communication still exists)
      That is great to see your 5/6 class proficiently using email, love that they email you as their teacher, for a purpose. Your school is such a great example of technology users in real, authentic learning!!
      Thanks again for your insights and experiences.
      Look forward to following your class and students blogs this year!
      Cheers Raff

    • I agree with Verona, We cannot assume that students have the skills. Something else I notice and often speak about is the style we need to adopt when we email depending on who we are writing to. Students seem to naturally adopt a fairly informal writing style no matter who they are writing to, and we have tried to explain that there is a difference between social and academic writing. This applies to commenting on blogs as well as emails, in fact any online communication.
      Their apparent fear of the Shift key (lack of capitalisation) and lack of use letter writing formalities is interesting.
      I believe this is an area that is evolving and sometimes wonder, are we trying to impose ‘old’ rules on new technology? That is not necessarily a bad thing as it imposes the use of etiquette that I am happy to maintain, but I think it will change over time.
      Interesting discussion.

      • Hi Celia,
        Thanks for your idea of email buddies, the Year 4 teacher at my school was just suggesting that last week as I was sitting planning ICT for term 2 and she too felt if students had a ‘purpose’ to emailing they may understand to need to use appropriate etiquette.
        We have two Year 4 classes who are really keen to continue blogging so will be in touch to set this up with you if you feel it would be appropriate with some students at your school.
        Many thanks,
        Raff

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