I'm a firm believer that learning is social. My kids have many opportunities to talk to each other throughout the school day so that they learn from each other and develop their thinking through discussion. We even have discussion boards on our classroom blackboard site (thanks Tree!).
However, sometimes this goes too far. While creating websites for a social studies project many kids added guestbooks. Not a problem - yet. Instead of working on their projects they then began 'conversing' on the various guestbooks.
I'm not impressed with their intelligence as evidenced by this episode. Many are complaining that they won't be able to finish the project in time, but they're using their class time to post on each other's guestbooks. And they're signing their posts! I can't possibly believe that they think this is a valid use of their time on this project. Do they not realize that I can look at them, too? Are they really so clueless that it hasn't occurred to them that I'll be able to tell how much time they spent doing this? Does their self-absorption truly extend to delusions that their comments and these conversations are so important that they should be participating in this during class?