Blogging gives my students the opportunity to connect with other students in authentic ways. This year we are, once again, participating in a Primary Blogging Community with a group of teachers that I met on Twitter. Our blogging community includes four classrooms from different parts of the country and around the world. Two of the classrooms are in Canada. The third classroom is in Seattle and my classroom is the Michigan connection. During the first week of the event we visit the classroom blogs of our Primary Blogging Community friends. This gives teachers the chance to model how to navigate a blog and how to leave comments. During the next four weeks we focus on our students' blogs by visiting a different hosting classroom each week.
My classroom was the "focus classroom" for the first week of the event. We received over 100 comments from the other classrooms. It was quite exciting and very motivating for my students. You can probably imagine some of the comments... "Look everyone, Libby has 20 comments on her blog!"
Last week, we started leaving comments on the students' blogs in the other classrooms. This was easily accomplished by signing up for a few extra days in our school's computer lab. I add the classroom(s) that we want to visit to the Blogroll on the home page of our Kidblog site. It makes it much easier for my students to navigate. If it sounds like a daunting task…don't panic. It's not. My first graders always amaze me at what they can do, when given the opportunity. The are fearless! They are willing to take risks in order to learn new things and that, in itself, fills my heart with joy.
Tips for Blogging with Students:
- Use the computers in your classroom by creating a blogging schedule.
- Allow students to blog during Daily 5 or other centers.
- Start by creating simple posts like this, "Things I Like…"
- Create easy passwords they can spell and remember.
- Teach about blogging safety and digital citizenship.
- Create a blogging community at your school or grade level.
- If you have access to iPads, Kidblog also has an app. I use it on my personal iPad which makes monitoring the site quick and easy to do.
I'm going to use my own advice. So here's my question for you. What tips do you have for blogging with students? Please share them by leaving a comment below.