Starting our Blogs in 1st-3rd grades

I have the privilege of working with the classes of Bonnie Barrett (1st-2nd grade ELL combo class), Marcy Saggio (2nd grade), and Laurie Gateb (3rd grade) on blogging. Due to their ages, I have 20 minute blocks of time and work with them once a week. Here is the progression of introducing the classes to blogging:

1. Introduce your blog, and discuss internet safety and digital citizenship, and establish guidelines

    1. Prep: Create a blog, set your theme, create a blog title, check on non-disclosures with registrar, and have an internet safety video to watch
    2. Activity: Ask what they learned and shape it into guidelines (it’s best to write it on a new page)
    3. Teacher to do: Look for a few other blogs similar in age/grade, that would be good models of guidelines

2. Explore and create “guidelines

    1. Prep: Find a few other blogs open in other tabs that are good models of guidelines
    2. Activity: Compare your guidelines you established during lesson 1 to those you saw today; revise your guidelines
    3. Teacher to do: Publish your guidelines as a new page and review them with the class

3. Explore “About Pages

    1. Prep: Find a few other blogs open in other tabs that are good models of About pages
    2. Activity: Explore the About pages and discuss what we liked about them and what makes them effective; discuss what we want on ours
    3. Teacher to do: Create an outline for your about page and any text you are sure you want in it

4. Create “About Pages

    1. Prep: Have an outline for your about page and do any prep needed based on their brainstorm of what they want on theirs
    2. Activity: Work together to improve your About page
    3. Teacher to do: Publish your About page and share it with the class

5. Explore Quality Commenting

    1. Prep: Have Mrs. Yollis’ post and video ready to view (hit play before the lesson so it has time to load [buffer] and check the sound to make sure you can hear it okay)
    2. Activity: Outline what makes quality comments; and as a whole class, create a quality comment to leave for Mrs. Yollis (or Mrs. Morris)
    3. Teacher to do: Publish a post about quality commenting

6. Introduce students to 1 point vs 2 point quality comments

    1. Prep: Find a blog post that you like for a class around the same age/grade
    2. Activity: Review quality comments; rate blog posts on the quality (1 means it’s just a comment, 2 means it connects with you, adds to the conversation or starts a conversation, teaches us something new, or starts a conversation); point out safety when placing comments. Note: idea originally comes from Mrs. Yollis; create a quality comment on a post.
    3. Teacher to do: follow up on any comments made back to you and rate the comments on a different post (or your own blog). Also, if you make a connection with a class, place them on your blogroll. Note: I recommend to not move to the next step until this has been modeled many times. So, please continue with this step until some students are ready to try it with teacher help.

7. Commenting procedure (written for non-iPads)

    1. Prep: Put blogs on your blogroll that you want to build connections with — Search here for a class (or use classes in district); Write a post your students can practice commenting on.
    2. Activity: Review quality comments and introduce the procedure for placing comments; reviewing and discussing safety and personal information is essential; discuss tech device management & procedures
    3. Teacher to do: follow up on any comments made back to you and rate the comments on a different post (or your own blog). Also, if you make a connection with a class, place them on your blogroll. Set up RSS.

8. Commenting procedure on iPads

    1. Prep: Have at least 7 choices on your blogroll to visit (See list of  classes for possibilities — also look at their blogrolls too); use the iPad connector to display to whole class (or your doc cam); Write a post your students can practice commenting on.
    2. Activity: Review quality comments and introduce the procedure for placing comments; reviewing and discussing safety and personal information is essential
    3. Teacher to do: follow up on any comments made back to you and rate the comments on a different post (or your own blog). Also, if you make a connection with a class, place them on your blogroll. Set up RSS.

9. Connecting with families

    1. Prep: Create an email and a flyer for parents about your blog; have a topic to post on for activity and a visual (such as a photo or video of students engaged in their learning or the student work — Note: double check the non-disclosures first with the office)
    2. Activity: Write a post together about something they are learning and are excited to share with their families; discuss how to get families to comment on their post
    3. Teacher to do: Inform/remind parents about your blog; create an avatar for yourself if you haven’t done so already
This post will be updated as we go, but here is the plan for now.
Do you have any feedback or questions based on this post?
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