writing

How To Blog with your Students

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Students love to communicate. Allowing students to share what they are passionate about, reflecting on what they have learned, and what sparks their curiosity  benefits their learning on many levels. Students have come a long way from journaling in a spiral bound notebook or a lock and key diary.

If you are searching for an implementation of technology in your classroom, blogging should be at the top of your list.  Aside from being cross curricular, blogging facilitates meaningful learning and provides students with an authentic audience.

Why should your students be blogging?

  • They can write about what the want to write about. Consider adults in the “real world” who blog and blog successfully. They are not given writing prompts or topics, but simply write from personal inspiration.
  • They develop their writing voice. Many students do not know what strong voice sounds like and often student writing lacks voice. Not only can blog writing develop voice, reading blogs can allow students experience in identifying personality and emotion.
  • Blogging promotes reflection. Students should have the time to reflect on what they have learned. Reflective thinking is critical thinking.
  • With blogging, learning is archived. Blogging over a school year(or longer) allows students to see growth and change in their learning.
  • Blogging allows students to develop a positive digital footprint. Stress the importance developing a positive internet presence.
  • Blogging creates engagement. Students enjoy using this non traditional writing format.

Blogging tips:

  • Determine your district policy on blogging.  Keep in mind that there are blogging platforms that are secure, private, and specifically for classroom use.
  • Allow students ample time to read and comment on blogs. A large part of blogging is being participatory.
  •  Whether it be from classmates, parents, or teachers, students need regular feedback on their posts.
  • Stress the importance of a polished entry. Proofread, proofread, and proofread again.
  • Consider starting with one classroom blog where students can contribute. Allowing each student their own blog from the beginning will prove overwhelming.
  • Utilize safe, secure blogging platforms such as Kidblog or Edublogs.

For younger students:

  • Start a class blog in your k-3 classroom and make it a collaborative effort. Solicit content from your students and write a weekly blog post.
  • Invite older students or parents as guest bloggers on your blog.
  • Blog posts with younger children  should include visuals. The post can be based on a visual accompanied by smaller amounts of text.
  • Promote commenting. Younger students can be guided through the commenting process.

If you are considering implementing blogs in your classroom, there are a host of resources and tools to ensure it is a smooth process. Kidblog offers students an excellent platform to begin the blogging process while allowing them a secure writing environment.  Launching blogging lessons in the classrooms will motivate students to write while fostering authentic learning experiences.

Blogging: Giving Students a Voice in the Digital Age

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I admit, this is a topic I am especially passionate about. Simply stated, writing is important. It allows the writer expression, and most importantly, a voice. It empowers one to contribute to the greater good, to connect with an audience, and to advance change. For me, some of the most memorable writing has been writing that I have connected with, forming experiences that have been both comforting and inspiring.

As a classroom teacher, writing has always been crucial. It was through writing assignments that I learned the most about my students and felt simple joy when a student would go beyond writing because they had to, and created a true expression of themselves.

The fifth grade classroom revealed every self-induced writing anxiety. “I am a horrible writer”, or “I don’t know what to write”, or “people will laugh at my writing”. Every writing assignment resulted in 25 students suddenly stricken with writers block.

I faced these challenges by reading good writing by others their age, writing with them, and writing for a purpose. It became clear that without motivation, good writing was going to be a difficult goal. In order for writing skills to progress, students must write, and write a lot.

The good news is that writing can be improved, motivation can be developed, and students can actually publish to an authentic audience. Blogging has become an art. It is a familiar, open forum platform for students where ideas can be shared. Blogging is an invaluable tool. Not only can students easily publish work, feedback becomes an essential part of the writing process.

A simple blogging space offers students a channel to improve their writing while propelling them into the blogosphere where writers are interconnected and ideas are not only accessible but inspirational.