Category Archives: planning

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:

Read

Question

Think

Collaborate

Write

Reflect

Comment

Link

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……

More on blogging projects

I went back to the elementary school where we blogged last year. The classroom teacher is getting her three classes up and going. Here is her class blog, Fifth Grade Web Writers. Welcome her to the world of blogging! She is a terrific teacher and I know she is going to do a great job this year.The student blogs are in the process of being created. I’ll let you know when they are up and going. I had the opportunity to teach a couple of classes today. They spent time browsing through past years’ blogs of previous students. Then we had lively discussions! What fun! Students shared what was relevant, what piqued their interest, and what they noticed about the comments. They really picked up how important the six traits of writing can be while blogging. I am going to try to touch base with these classes at least once a month this year. If any classes wish to communicate through commenting with these students let me know or email the teacher directly on her class blog.

On my high school classes I’ve been thinking about forms to send home to parents and forms for students to sign in regards to our blogging project. I have gone back through a number of my posts and relied (and borrowed) heavily on good sources from Nancy Bosch. Check out the Broken Arrow EL Center and follow links to the blogs. There are a lot of good things going on and one of their dads is building and hosting their blog site. Thanks Nancy for sharing your good work. I also sifted through Susan Sedro and Bud Hunt’s letters and others on his Blogging Polices and Resources Wiki. Thanks to each and everyone of you.
At this point these are the three items I am thinking of using. They are just drafts now because I need to think about them some more. If you see something I missed in introducing this let me know. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have a ParentLetter.doc, Blogging Terms and Conditions.doc, and I plan to use David Warlick’s bloggers_contract.doc . Many thanks to David! I haven’t had a chance to run these by the classroom teachers. I’ll do that next week when we meet so as I said it is in draft status and could change some. What do you think?