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Blogging in a 3rd Grade Classroom - NICE Mini-Conference Presentation

Amy Kenyon

Email: akenyon@nscds.org

Blog: amykenyon.edublogs.org

School: www.nscds.org


What is a blog and what can you do with it?

1) you can share your writing and ideas easily with a larger audience
2) you can give and receive positive comments and/or ask questions about blog posts

Thinking of Starting a Blog? Questions to Think About

What do you see yourself using it for?
  • information only
  • posting a commenting – teacher only
  • posting and commenting with students
How much access to computers do you have?
If you students are posting, do they have keyboarding skills?
Will your district and/or head of school allow you to set up a blog?

Blogging Tools

Before you begin looking for your blog's host be sure that your administrator does not already have a space available for you to use.
Class Blogmeister
  • All articles and comments are directed to the teacher for approval before they go to the Internet.
  • All the students are listed in the one space so it creates a learning community.
  • David Warlick (who runs it) is a well respected educator who knows the issues that teachers face and offers support through an online group.
  • The Collaboration Tool - you can use Classblogmeister to colaborate with other classrooms all around the room if you wish to.

Edublogs
  • Designed for teachers
  • Lots of fun templates to choose from
  • Easy to “figure out” but lots of tech support as well

WordPress
  • Similar to Edublogs but a larger and more diverse blogging population

21Classes
  • Like Blogmeister, you can set up individual student blogs and moderate comments

Blogger
  • Comments can be moderated, but not student posts
  • “Next Blog” button can take kids off the site easily
  • Can often be blocked in districts and schools

My Parent Night Packet Information

Blogging: Communication and Collaboration: This year we will introduce the idea of journaling on a classroom blog. Although we value the importance of paper and pencils, this form of writing is becoming increasingly important for our students to learn. Students will begin by reading and commenting on blogs from other classrooms around the world. When they are ready to create their own posts, the 3rd graders will use this blog for creative writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc), reflection, sharing research, problem solving, and critical thinking. Students will also build on their technology skills and learn what makes a good “digital citizen” in today’s interconnected world.

What I Learned (From My Mistakes!)

  • Make sure they choose names and passwords they can spell!
  • Use the same computer they are (DUH!)
  • Have them type posts onto a Word document first because it's easier to evaluate progress, you have a back up copy for posting mistakes, and it is less distracting for the kids to look at as they are typing.
  • Teach them how to copy and paste during the preparation phase
  • Use the teacher post for the assignment instead of the “assignment” feature
  • Don’t allow them to format because it doesn’t translate well

Commenting Tutorial Video for Parents

http://www.screencast.com/t/XANxY8wwJf

Great Blog Examples


Lesson Pans

Paper Blogs
Blogging Unit For Download
Responsible Blogging Lesson Plan

What to Blog About (brainstormed by my 3rd graders)

10 (or any other number) random facts about myself
Favorites (hobbies, books, movies, songs, pets, sports, etc.)
Ask questions for others to answer
Write a short story
Recommendations or reviews of books, movies, video games, websites, plays, etc.
7 (or any other number) things I don’t like
My favorite holiday
Memory object stories
Family stories
My weekend
Jokes and riddles
What I got for Christmas, Hannukah, or my birthday
Birthday stories
About chorus (or other school or after school activities)

Networking Sites

Ning
ePals
Skype
Twitter
Facebook

References

Bruce, Adrian. "Free Blog Hosting - Which One to Use?" http://teacher-toolbox.blogspot.com

Cassidy, Kathy. http://primarypreoccupation.wordpress.com/
“It is all about audience. My students can tell by the ‘reads’ feature that people are reading their writing and it inspires them to write and to write better.”

Crosby, Brian. "Schools Need the Change - But When?" March 2006. http://learningismessy.com/blog/
“When students design their work to teach or provoke meaningful discussion that’s when the content is leveraged by the tech, which is when those of us that have witnessed it happen get so excited and ‘tingly’ about it.”

Lazar, Stephen. "Responsible Blogging Lesson Plan." May 2005. http://outsidethecave.blogspot.com

Richardson, Will. "Blogs At Their Best." July 2006. http://weblogg-ed.com
“It’s network creation, connective reading and writing, conversation that anyone can engage with."

Tolisano, Silvia. "Blogging Unit For Download." December 2008. http://langwitches.org/blog

Warlick, David. http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/