Should Students Blog?
Mrs. Shepherd 7:14:00 PM
Why yes of course!
Tonight I participated in a Twitter chat with 4th grade teachers. BTW if you are not signed up on Twitter you are missing out!!! Tonight's topic was blogging and several people shared wonderful ideas on how to get parents to buy in, teaching parents to comment,and how students benefit from blogging. Cool Cat Teacher has an excellent blog post stating 12 reasons to blog with your students. My favorite of the 12 is #2 Blogging Encourages Voice. My students have a hard time incorporating voice into their writing. Hopefully, through weekly blogging students will learn more about themselves and adding voice to their writing will come naturally.
When you first introduce blogging to students you must first collaborate with them on guidelines to follow. Here are a few guidelines another 4th grade class developed. After students begin practicing with blogging, then commenting on blogs would be the next thing to discuss.
How do we comment?
Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog has a wonderful post on "How to Compose a Quality Comment". She even showcases students stating how to write a quality comment. I love this!
Finally, if you want parental support you must get them to buy in. A colleague of mine Paula Naugle hosted a blogging commenting party last year for her parents. She had the students present to their parents why blogging is important, its purpose and then to teach their parents how to make a quality comment. Check out her flyer here she sends home! Here is Blog Intro Letter to Parents.
In addition to the Blog Commenting Party for parents, I also plan to tack a roster of students next to the computers and every time their parents comment they will receive a star next to their name. The student with the most stars at the end of the month will receive a reward.
My favorite idea shared tonight was having a student take a few photos around the school and post them for students to blog about. I plan on having a Tech Star of the week in my class so this would be a perfect job with a big responsibility.
My kidblogs are set up and I can't wait to get started with my new students!