Blogging with Elementary Students

The school district has given you your blog, and you’ve set up your profile; customized the theme; and added a few key widgets (Pages, Categories, Recent Posts, Recent Comments, Archive, Search, ClustrMap, and Subscribe by email).

What no one ever tells you about blogging

Photo Credit: Andy Piper via Compfight

Introducing Students to Your Blog

So the next step is introducing the students to your blog. I like to introduce students with these first steps:

1) Discussing Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship through the blog — then create the Guidelines Page.

  • Note: If you have already created a Guidelines page in the past, then I modify the post to have us inspect our Guidelines to see if anything should be added or changed.

2) Having students explore About Pages, then creating your own.

  • Note: If you have already created an About Page, then explore it to see how you can modify or improve it.

3) Discuss Quality Commenting.

  • If you don’t have enough devices for students to all have one to comment, have them write comments in a journal, index cards, or sticky notes to give them the opportunity to compose a comment. The teacher can also model these comments for the class.
  • Note: If you’re working with experienced bloggers, then give your students the task of creating a post or video with tips for others. Perhaps they could create sentence starters to help others start their sentences.

Here are common lessons I use to introduce classes to blogging:

Primary Grades Upper Elementary Middle School
Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship
and Guidelines
 My typical post and afterwards I create the Guidelines Page My typical post and afterwards I take their comments to create the Guidelines Page My typical post
About Pages  Post on Mrs. Tucker’s Blog Post on Ms. Ruiz’ Blog
Quality Commenting  Mrs. Yollis’ post Quality Commenting Audit Meme

How will you incorporate blogging into your class routine?

Here are some tips for incorporating blogging into your class routine so it is not an add-on or a thing to do just if there’s time:

  1. Make blogging part of the regular routine. Use the first 15 minutes of class or the first 15 minutes after lunch for blogging. Set some blogging goals as well such as publishing one new post each a week.
  2. Spend 15 minutes each day exploring the class blog, reading the latest posts and comments; investigating the Clustrmap to see where your visitors are from; or writing new comments on the blog or on other blogger’s posts. Initially, it might be done entirely as a whole group lesson. As students become experienced bloggers and independent readers and writers, more scaffolding of the blogging responsibilities will occur with some students writing posts, some replying to comments, others reading new posts on other class blogs to leave new comments, etc. Still, reserving time to have class discussions on the quality of comments (and posts), as a whole class is important (plus, it brings in the Speaking and Listening Common Core Standards).

Resources:

 Questions to Ponder

  • Has your class contemplated digital citizenship and Internet safety, About pages, and quality commenting?
  • How will blogging become part of your class routine?
  • What questions do you still have?

This post was written for professional development for SMES Collaboration Coaches.

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