Sometimes, just giving something a whirl ends up being a classroom changing decision. Kidblog did this for me but better still is what it did for my students, the classroom atmosphere, and to the attitudes toward writing for reluctant writers.
A few years ago, our tech coach mentioned http://kidblog.org and since it was the last 6 weeks of that year, I thought it was a good time to try something new. My class was familiar with using Word so I thought it would be an easy transition. I also knew we would be learning together which was part of the fun. Kidblog made it super easy for teachers to use blogging in their classrooms. I sing their praises all the time! 🙂
We started blogging and the kids loved it. I did not realize its full potential but I was sold on the idea when I saw my students wanting to write over other choices offered.
The next year, I wanted to start blogging right away. I had many discussions with our tech coach and he shared a wonderful teacher’s idea of creating paper blogs BEFORE you try digital blogging. Here is the link to the originator of the idea. 🙂
I had to adjust it for 2nd graders but the idea is a genius one! Thanks @McTeach for giving me permission to share the link and idea! 🙂
Here is an example from this current year.
The paper blog activity helps my 2nd graders understand that commenting is just conversations in written form. Once we do this activity, we are ready to blog.
I use our classroom kidblog in many ways. Here are some ideas to use blogs in addition to using it for individual student blog posts.
- Use it to introduce or enhance units.
I add links to videos, games, online books, and other resources on units we are studying. Students and their parents can click on the links at any time to deepen learning and build interest.
- It is great formative assessment.
I make posts asking a question related to a current unit of study. I like to keep it open-ended to reach all levels in my room. A few examples: List 3 short o words. What do you know about insects? What is a simple machine you use each day? As I am approving their comments, I am able to see misconceptions and errors but at the same time I notice students who are advanced in the skill/concept.
- It is a way to share our classroom with parents, other students and the world.
By writing posts about classroom events, parents are able to see what we are learning and allows our classroom walls to expand past our school.
The best part of blogging is the fact that students realize that others care about what they write. They have a voice and can express their interests in a new way.
If you have never tried blogging with your primary students, give it a try. Once you feel comfortable, ask your students’ past teachers to comment. Ask your administrators and specials (art,music, PE) teachers to visit your students’ blogs. Send out an email asking their parents and their families to visit and comment. When students see others are responding to their posts, eyes light up and they began planning their next posts.
YES, 2nd graders are more than capable of blogging. My classroom would not be the same without blogging. I am so glad I just gave it a whirl. It indeed turned my classroom upside down but in a good way.
We would LOVE for you to visit our blog and see what 2nd graders can do!
Here’s the link:
Don’t be afraid to try! Even if you have ones younger than 2nd, you can find ways to blog!