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?