The school year begins here on the 1st February and for the third year, I will embark on the blogging journey with my new Grade Two class.
As my class will still be called 2KM, I have decided to keep my 2009 2KM blog and customise it to my 2010 class. If you are setting up a class blog for the first time I would recommend calling your blog something that you can reuse for several years. In 2008 I taught Grade Three and my blog was called 3KM blog. In 2009, when I began teaching Grade Two, I called my blog 2KM blog. In hindsight, if I had just called my blog “Miss McGeady’s Class” or something similar, I could have modified my original blog for every new class.
Teaching younger students, I find having a class blog as opposed to individual student blogs an excellent way to introduce students to blogging and appropriate online behaviour. There are some students, such as Riley from my 2009 class who are capable of maintaining their own individual blog although in lower primary years, this is the exception to the rule.
Throughout the past couple of years, I have learnt a lot about how to best manage a class blog and here are my thoughts on how I’ll approach this in 2010.
- Many of my students won’t know what a blog is so I will introduce them to the concept by showing them around the 2009 2KM blog and discuss new vocabulary such as post, page, dashboard, categories etc.
- A pivotal part of blogging is the interaction with others and I will try to convey this to my students. I will introduce my students to comment writing and we will compose comments as a group on some of our favourite blogs such as Mrs Yollis’ Class Blog and Mr Salsich’s Class Blog.
- Successful class blogging involves a home-school partnership. In order to introduce parents to the world of blogging I will provide them with a guide such as the one I distributed last year “You Guide to Getting the most out of 2KM’s blog 2009“. This year I would like to encourage some homework tasks involving commenting on our or others’ blogs.
- I will begin the blogging process by writing posts myself and having students leave comments. I will then progress to writing posts as a class on the Interactive Whiteboard and writing posts with small groups. When some students become very confident with post writing, I will allow them to write posts themselves which I will check before publishing.
Next time I will write about how I will set up blogging guidelines in my class and introduce students to the world of appropriate online behaviour.
6 Replies to “Blogging in 2010”
Hi Miss McGeady,
Congratulations on a very clear post. You made it very easy for anyone to follow your steps where setting up a class blog is concerned. Some of my friends teach primary students and I always had a difficult time trying to make them realize how easy it would be for them to set up and use a class blog with their students. But now, thanks to you, I’ll be able to use your blog and your directions as an example, so hopefully they will understand it better.
How much time do you expect students to read/respond to the classroom blog each week? Do you have expectations for grammar, spelling, complete sentences, etc? As I teach a Middle Years group, I find that they don’t feel confined to such boundaries as punctuation and spelling, and I wonder if I should be more or less stringent on my requirements for posting.
I’m really glad my post helped and I hope your friends find it useful! Class blogging really is a fantastic experience and the feedback I have got from students and parents in the past has always been very positive.
We usually look at our blog as a class each day so we can read comments and respond as required. We do this on the Interactive Whiteboard. Individually, I often give students one task for the week to write a comment about a certain post. I always like to check posts and comments for grammar and spelling. Being only 7 years old, it’s important to make sure my students’ writing is legible! I also like to show them ways to check their own work such as using spell checkers etc.
I’m more particular about checking the spelling/grammar in posts rather than comments. Sometimes I have more capable students assist less capable students with the writing or checking of comments.
I guess in different classroom settings, its really about what works for you and your students. I’m continually learning more about the best ways to do things!
I hope this helps!
The idea of class blogging is great! Your introduction and steps to make it happen help other teachers feel confident in tackling a class blog with their own class. Thank you for including us on your journey and process. I look forward to seeing the results of this year’s class blog!
I really like how you mention the home-school partnership as a part of your blog. You explain what you have done and expect to do so well. I have found that I have had an easier time getting my upper elementary (3-5) teachers to blog with their students than with my lower elementary teachers (k-2). I can’t wait to share your advice and experiences with them. I look forward to learning more about what you do. Thanks!
@ Melissa, you’re right that it can seem easier to blog with older students and I’ve even found that I have to modify how I do things with my Grade 2 class compared to when I had a Grade 3 class. None the less, class blogging with younger students can be done and there are so many benefits, it really is worth pursuing. I hope you can convince your colleagues of this! Kathleen