Feb 16, 2011

To Blog or not to Blog

So to blog or not to blog?
What have I discovered along the way....
  1. Inspire them - check out other class blogs together, discuss them, whats cool, whats not cool, what rocks their boat, what doesn't? Rate them and follow them
  2. Remove the  'next blog' option from the top navigation bar [you have no idea what the 'next blog' might be and it might not be child friendly] How to is HERE
  3.  TEACH them how to comment - what could they say? what pointers for future learning could they give? what encouragement is needed? this needs frequent reviewing and reminding and sharing of 'awesome' comments [use the data-projector]
  4. Share the LOVE - follow child friendly blogs and encourage children to comment frequently on other classes posts and blogs - they hopefully will return the favour. The more readership the greater encouragement ch'n get to write more!
  5. Give feed forward as the teacher too - encourage and share!
  6. Loosen the reigns and allow children to discover for themselves - everything does not need to be word perfect or punctuation perfect - but checking in first is good
  7. Use social networks to promote your class blog - Facebook, Twitter - your own PLN [professional learning network] are great for getting your ch'ns stuff out there!
  8. Use a variety of tools for your blogs - they do not need to be just writing - voicethread, picture displayers, movies - all look great
  9. Promote with the families of the class - newsletters, flyers and posters - encourage them to be a part of the blogging community and their ch'ns learning
  10. Constantly review and encourage, encourage, encourage!
Of course we are all still learners - at present, having blogged for a few years with Year 5/6 students, I am re-learning and re-evaluating our blogging strategy with Year 4 students - with the essence of above still in the works.

Key for me is the students have got to ENJOY the experience - it should not be a chore or thrust upon them! Having FUN is the key!


  1. Thanks for this great post. There is a wealth of information and advice to be found. I loved the images, they added to the engagement.
    I was particularly interested in your point on sharing with parents. Do you find that parents do get involved in the blogging?

  2. not many no, but some get right on board and posts get emailed to them. sadly it is too busy for some parents - but we live in hope! More follow us [the class that is] on twitter which IS cool!

  3. Hi there! I was a fellow ksyb person, and am hoping to try blogging with my 5th grade (10 to 11 year old) students this fall in our language arts classes. Is your class a similar age? I would love to have my students have some "real" readers from elsewhere in the world, especially because it is a very small class (7 students). I also want them to get experience at making comments as well, so I would have them reading your students' writing as well.

    We will probably be posting our first writing sometime in mid-September. Could you email me if you are willing to collaborate? I can be reached at my work email at lydia dot schultz at ttsp dot org.

    I hope we can try to work together.