Introduction Getting Ready
Learning Circles Teachers' Guide
Open Circle Plan Projects Share Work Publish
Close Circle Overview

Mail Distribution: Print, Read, and Report

Not all schools have computer access for all students. In some schools there is a need to transmit mail from one or more connected computers to the students in the classroom. In some cases the teachers find it necessary to do the sending and receiving themselves. They read the messages in the conference online and make their own decisions about which messages to share with the whole class, to give to a group of students, or to download for students to read on their own time. They also decide which messages to store and how to file them in folders or on disks.

"E-Mail handlers"

Students can also serve as as"e-mail handlers," responsible for reading and reporting on the Circle communication. They have the task of deciding when to summarize and when to read the complete text of a message. They often store a print copy of all messages in chronological order in a notebook. This notebook is open to anyone who wants to keep track of all Circle messages.

Another plan is for the mail handlers to print two copies of each message. The first copy is filed in the notebook and the second copy is given to either the teacher or to a group in the class that is responsible for communications from a specific school. Each week, a group member would be called on to report to everyone, sometimes reading parts of messages that are relevant. They would store the copies in a folder with the school name.

If participation in Learning Circles is taking place from the media center, the second copy of the message might be posted on a bulletin board under the school name. Each week, messages can be taken down and filed in folders with the school names.

Storing Messages on Disk

Some teachers like to keep copies of all messages sent online for the session. They prepare enough storage space on the hard drive so that all messages are saved. As with the print copies there are two major strategies for storing mail. Either chronologically as received or moved to folders according to school and project.

You will need to set up a folder or strategy for storing electronic copies of work sent to you for your project. This is work that you and your students will need to summarize and present to your partners. It is usually helpful to have this information on disk. You might want to identify a special disk or an online folder to save all work that is related to your project.

Finding Messages

An online conference structure is a very good strategy for organizing the message and making it easier to retrieve specific messages when they are needed for publication. Some teachers will be downloading circle postings through electronic mail. It is important to have some conventions for "subject headers" for specific types of messages. In each section of this guide, there will be suggestions of subject headers to make the location of messages easier.

Location:T Intro......
Location:C Survey....
Location: Project ...

So the complete subject header might be something like

CA/USA: T intro Tera Sands here at Jackson
CA/USA: C Survey--The sandpipers are here!
CA/USA: AIDS -- Plan for our C project

To help in creating common conventions, we suggest you use these abbreviations:

C - Learning Circles
T - Teachers
S - Students
P - Learning Circle Project

Return to Phase 1: GETTING READY


Copyright © 1997, 2002, Margaret Riel