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A Blog with "Class"

Writing is something I can remember enjoying since I was in the second grade. I’ve always kept a journal; blogging has replaced my journal and made me a more thoughtful writer. I still prefer to pick up a pen than to type and most of the time I still do. I find my thoughts flow more freely when I put a pen to paper.

Letters are also something I very much enjoy sending; I used to want to be a mailman because I thought what a great job it would be to deliver letters. Handwritten letters are not as common as emails and that makes them a lot more personal and special when received. I love to see someone’s personality shine through their handwriting. I would know my friend Jen’s handwriting anywhere, it’s just so Jen!

I adore children’s journals. They are honest, usually to the point, and sound just as they would if the writer were speaking to the audience.

As a classroom teacher I send a lot of emails to parents. Brief and informative as they may be, it’s still a piece of the day and could be considered journaling/letter writing/or blogging.

More teachers are embracing blogging in the classroom. I think the parents appreciate it because it gives them more personal insight to their child’s day. Teachers are with their class most of the day. When a child gets in the car to go home and the parents ask to tell them about their day, most children will leave out a lot of details if they even get past the word “good!”    

Teachers can show off what their class is doing with a blog? It gives most parents an opportunity to see what you do during the day and sometimes to relearn what their children are learning.

Last year I had my class write a script to share with our French Exchange students. They came up with songs and basic greetings. After practicing their script in a center, they recorded themselves and I uploaded the recording; they created a podcast. That same day, their parents were able to listen to it on my website.

There are plenty of ways to record. My favorite is with my phone because we’re not tied down to sitting at the computer. I use apps called “audioboo” and “voice memo.” These are great for when we’re on the move. We can be out and about, I take out my phone, the kids can record something, and then I upload it and...voila!

Another benefit to blogging is that the parents, grandparents, and other students can comment on a post. This will give kids pride and acknowledgement of their work, and some understanding that there is a world out there other than their home town! My class was so happy when we received a letter or email from our French Exchange students. It’s that same feeling that comes with commenting on a blog; they will love it when people from different places respond, and will especially love it when their parents comment.

Blogging might not be for every teacher! There are plenty of other ways to integrate technology into the classroom. Will blogging add more work to your already overflowing teaching schedule? Yes, because blogs require thoughtful monitoring and timely feedback. Is it worth it? Yes because the blogs add substance to classroom instruction, extending learning to places outside school and country, encouraging students to write and reflect, providing increased opportunities for social communication, and providing a way for parents to be a part of classroom activities.

What ideas can you think of to get parents, teachers, and children blogging? I think you will find that it can be a safe and effective way to learn today’s technology and most importantly…WRITE!

Classroom Blogging Ideas:

·         Share a photograph of your classroom. Explain about the different parts of it and how it is being used. Invite other teachers and classes to write a similar blog post explaining about their classroom. Encourage children from your class to leave comments about what they like about it or even suggestions for changes they would like to see.
  • Publish children’s art work and create a gallery.
  • Publish their poetry and stories.
  • Share your classroom rules. This can be done at the beginning of the year.
  • Share a photograph of a classroom bulletin board.
  • Posting images from a digital microscope for the children to comment on. “What is under our microscope?” Children might ask for people to guess what the image is and to comment on the suggestions.
  • Posting homework tasks like math problems and having children comment as their task.
This is an example of one of my favorite books and a fabulous way to introduce blogging into the classroom.

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