Category Archives: Beginnings

Reflective Voices

“Reflective Voices” is the name of the class blog I am using this year with the elementary bloggers. The classroom teacher’s blog is “5th Grade Reflections”. This is a great group of kids. I can tell it’s going to be a good experience. Drop by and welcome the students to the world of blogging!


I will be working with the class each Tuesday. We’re really focusing on “bumping up” the reflective skills of the students. Mrs. Emmert talks more about that here. I have been reading every thing I can get my hands on in that area. We’ll learn a lot from these students this year! Join us on the adventure!

Photo Credit: Through a child’s eye from Downtown Pictures’ Photostream

Beginning blogging sessions with elementary students

I’ve had two more sessions with the J. H. House students. Briefly, session one consisted of discussing blogging as a process in which they will:









We discussed the “craft” of commenting on blogs. The students commented on my previous post. They loved reading Harley’s welcome and made comments back to him. All this is summarized on my previous post.

Then to the student’s amazement they heard from Karen in New Zealand who invited them to come visit. This led us to Room 7 Tamaki Primary School and Tamaki Primary School Writers Group. What great blogs! It looks like there is much more to explore on this site. Unfortunately, we could not see their intriguing movies but I will work to see if they are blocked or what the problem is. There was no time during class to do this so the students just promptly got to the business of commenting and they loved reading the blog and making replies. They are jumping in and learning how to comment, how to invite response, and share the joys of blogging. Wow! Making connections is so much fun. First, Harley, then New Zealand – we have a fantastic beginning. We can only imagine what will follow! We had to adapt our commenting to New Zealand in that you had to have a gmail or blogger account. Harley’s blogger account let us just type in first names and urls. That was much easier but I will contact Karen and see if it’s possible to change that. Learning all the ins and outs of blogging takes time in the beginning but these students are quick studies! I can just tell it’s going to be another incredible year. The plan this year is that Mrs. Emmert will have a class blog with the students and I will expand their horizons in other aspects. I have lots of ideas. I plan to introduce the students to possiblilities and get their feedback. Developing reflective voices is a high priority. We have to figure out what is blocked and what is not and figure ways to share their learning, both in and outside the classroom. Mrs. Emmerts sends me her lesson plans and I can see that one of the things that they have been heavy into is the 6 traits of writing. That’s a perfect place to start. Now I’m off to create a new blog for this project! I’ll direct you there as soon as we get this reflective blog, the classroom blog, and student blogs going.

Any blogging classrooms out there who would like to connect???? Any others interested? Leave a comment……

Let those connections begin!

It feels so good to be back blogging with the J. H. House students in Mrs. Emmert’s fifth grade class! I wish you could have seen their faces as they read Harley’s great, big “woofing welcome”! This group peppered me with questions about Harley and his owner. They loved the creativity aspect of this type of blogging and they let their imaginations run wild. I asked them to think about things they were learning in class and what characters could make for interesting blogging. One clever student said he wanted to be a cell and inform others of all the good things he was doing for our bodies. Good thinking, huh? Lots of creative thoughts were flying around the room!

If any of you have student blogs already up for this year let me know and I’ll have my students comment on their blogs. Last week they commented on Harley’s blog. I did a quick intro on comment starters. The students are going to create some comment starters of their own so we can “bump up” the thinking when we comment.

One of my goals this year is to help them with their reflections and start that process of learning from each other. I need to rethink and add to this previous post, “Bumping up reflections”. I can’t wait to get these conversations started. Join in with us!

Harley barked to us ever so softly,

“I hope when I read your blogs and comment and ask you good questions,
then you’ll come here to read mine and comment to me. We can learn so
much from each other when we collaborate and make connections!”

So Harley gave us such a warm and “woofy” welcome!

Thanks Harley!!

We’re ready!

Let those connections begin!

boy and world

Flickr photo, “Atlas, it’s time for your bath”
by woodleywonderworks’ photostream