In building our classroom community, I think it's important that the students are able to share their thoughts about various school-related topics such as responses to a book they are reading, opinions about topics discussed in Science and Social Studies, tips on study habits, expressing themselves through writing, helpful math tips, etc... In doing so, the students build a community for learning. Every student is encouraged to join our class blog Edmodo, which is a online discussion board in which the students can post discussions, reply to one another, and express themselves online.
This is a completey safe online environment in which our students can build this classroom community. It is protected by a pass key which the students will not need once enrolled and needless to say that proper online behavior is expected on the website at all times. The website is monitored at all times. I encourage all of the students to use Edmodo often to build a true learning community. You can connect to Edmodo here: https://www.edmodo.com/ The course key is:njjtty. The students simply create a user name (ex: kmaffet) and their password should be their student ID number (hint: it's the same as their lunch pin number) and check in the box for aggreeing to the policy. I know many other teachers already use edmodo and it is turning out to be an effective learning tool.
In an effort to go green, some assignments will now be assigned to be done on edmodo.