In2edu I.C.T. Resources Enhancing Education & Learning

Blogging with my Class

Writing for meaning, writing to release "voice". 
"Comment Save" Blogging Extension

My Year 5 boys have started the year well. Each boy has two blogs started, one for published writing (public to the world) and one for reflecting on learning (private to our class and parents), and we also have a class blog and a "positivity" blog up and running.

Some thoughts on how I have gone about this.

  1. Each boy has setup different blogs each rather than one whole class one. This enables some creativity in design and template. 
  2. Our class blog tracks common activities  reflects on new classroom initiatives or learning and celebrates what we have been doing. The quickest and most efficient way of doing this is to use the Blogger app on an iPad, take a picture, quickly comment and upload as quick as a wink. This is a favoured "job" in my class. Comments again should focus on the success criteria for the session where possible.
  3. The boys have created a "Draft Copy" book in Google Docs which has been shared with me so I can edit and comment and track changes on each boy's writing. They then copy and paste to Blogger to publish their work, add their success criteria and a public domain picture (or their own picture) with credit.
  4. The boys have a "Writing Muscle" Google doc where we are trying to write quick unpublished "Daily dashes" around our focus for improvement in writing. A quick timed five minute writing on a writing skill. See these cards for Editing and Proofreading Ideas for Writing Muscles.
  5. We are part of quadblogging. Groups of four classes take turns visiting each other and commenting on the blogs/entries that pupils have written. We are looking forward to our second round of this. Motivation for this is high and the boys are learning good Digital Citizenship skills as we respond and comment on others work.
  6. We are using Chrome on our computers so the extension "Comment Save" is great for for saving and tracking comments so both boys and teachers can record history of and improvements in comment making.
  7. I decided to write and blog with the boys to show them my 'voice'. We have talked a lot about finding our story, our voice as we write.
As I reflect on our progress in two months, I am already wondering what will we do with these blogs when the new year in 2014 rolls around. Passing them on to next years teacher will provide a wealth of information for them. I am trying hard to link our spelling, reading and writing closely together, but in a private school with periods and exam demands it is tough.