Blogging

I see student blogging as a wonderful teaching and communication tool that can be used in a multitude of practical ways in my 3rd grade classroom.  Because I have never blogged with my students before, I  will start with a simple activity (after I explain the “mechanics” and we discuss the “essential agreements” of blogging, of course).  I will choose an activity I know my students are familiar with, one that they will enjoy, and one in which I know they will be successful.  My class has spent a significant amount of time this last quarter analyzing poetry and different tools that a poet might use to express meaning.  I will begin our blogging experience by posting a poem and then have the students respond with their interpretations and connections to it.  The students will be sharing what they know, will be learning from other’s observations and will have opportunities to thoughtfully respond to other’s comments.

On pages 39-40 in Will Richardson’s book, “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms”, there is a long list of ideas for using blogging in the classroom and I think just about every one of these may be possible in my classroom.  I am excited at the prospect and eager to get started (right after Spring Break and our TCAP testing!).  My main concern is the time it may take for students to get used to writing online and the fact that they have just started learning keyboarding skills today.  We have less than 1 hour a week of computer lab time and although we do have a portable lab, the computers are very slow.  However, I am willing to experiment and find out what will work for us!  Nothing worth doing is ever easy, right?

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3 Responses to Blogging

  1. Melissa says:

    Good attitude about blogging. Yes, I agree it is going to be difficult at the beginning, especially teaching them how to do it. But just like anything else we teach our children they will get the hang of it with practice. Thinking about it gives me a headache as well, but I know it has the potential to be a powerful learning tool in the end. I look forawrd to seeing some of your ideas come about in class, I also have 3rd graders!

  2. Dan B says:

    This sounds like a great idea. I too am looking for a way to use a blog more directly with my students and not just as another way to communicate with my parents (not that that is a bad way to use one). I already read your post about how it went and thought that it sounded really exciting to see the students respond that way.

    I know that something I will do in my classroom is similar to yours as well. I plan on listing some different links to science articles and have the students respond to them in the comment section. I am glad that it went well. How did your students do with writing online? I think this is a great way to not only incorporate what you are learning about in the classroom, but also helping the students learn to type and writing on a computer.

    I am curious what blogging service you are using. I am looking for a service that I could use with my classroom and one that does not require each student to make their own account to respond to it.

    • butkusfamily says:

      Dan,
      My school district has a SchoolFusion website that I have been using for blogging. Each student already has their own account (user name and password) to log into. They can see their grades and our class website as well. On our website, we have “Discussion Boards” similar to the ones at Walden. This is where I posted my activity. My students have been learning keyboarding skills (they just started this last week), so I wasn’t expecting them to be able to type out more than a few sentences. Because I also want to reinforce proper grammar, capitalization and punctuation, I sent back any comments to them that needed revision. I like this tool because the students are completely safe while they are learning how online publishing works (only students/staff in our district with user names/passwords can view it). They even have code names, which they think is so cool! Every comment has to be approved by me and I can send them back to be revised. Sometime, I might venture out into a more public domain and have the students set up their own blogs, but I would need to get permission from my administration first and would have to find a site that meets our needs.

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