Wednesday, March 27, 2013

KidBlogs


For a couple of years now, I've been journaling with my students. They received their own journal for the quarter and we would write back and forth about their weeks (I only have time to read and respond once a week, if that!) and more importantly, their academic learning. However, as things get busy at curriculum and professional development and meetings and assessments and benchmarks and you get the idea...it was definitely hard to keep up with it. But I did it and oftentimes received entries that were mediocre. Most of the students would talk about their plans for the weekend or what they did on the weekends and I wanted more meat. I wanted to learn what they were learning and what they thought of it. I wanted to be able to read it on the spot and respond to their entries as soon as possible!

I had entertained the thought of students blogging when I was a teacher in Chicago, but we didn't have the resources to start it at school nor did the students have access to a computer or wifi at home. So I completely forgot about my dream of students blogging.

But, lo and behold! My colleague/teammate/mentor/friend had blogged with her students from last year and was blogging with this year's students! I had to jump on board right away! And I have the resources at school now with a choice of using laptops or even the iPads! Wow!

So, how did we start? Well in December, students first had to learn about blogging, commenting, and internet safety! So we an open conversation about what a blog is and what it means to comment on someone's blog. In retrospect, I wish we made anchor charts that looked a little like this (via ipadsatburley.blogspot.com):
 
But that's okay! Now I know what I want to do next time around!

After all the discussions of what a blog is and how a blog represents who you are, students went and made a paper copy of a blog. Once decor was finished and they "posted" a new post, students commented on each other's blog on post-it notes! What a great experience to get accustomed to the idea of blogging (props to Jen Bearden, that wonderful colleague I mentioned before for that idea)!
Now unfortunately, we haven't been blogging as much as we would like (hm, that sounds familiar from a personal stance), but we look forward to blogging more once we go 1:1 with iPads tomorrow! Now we can have immediate learning posts and have more meaningful conversations online!

So, please check out our KidBlog and leave us comments as we continue our endeavor of learning!

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