SMES Classroom Blogs and PD

rabe comment tipsOne of my highlights of the week was working in Susan Rabe’s Kindergarten Class because her students were excited to compose quality comments on two blogs. It’s rewarding for me because at this point, I barely do anything, and get to reap the rewards of watching Mrs. Rabe work with her students on quality commenting. My part was to help find two classes in different countries around the same age as Mrs. Rabe’s class with some posts that might be interesting for her students. I also helped a tiny bit with what pieces of information to leave in the comment (such as the URL back to Mrs. Rabe’s blog and to write down Arizona, USA because that is interesting to other classes).

Click here to see the dialogue that has occurred!

Resources and ideas: Quality commenting and posting 

Some classes for you to connect with from the Student Blogging Challenge:

What are your goals for your class blog?

How is blogging part of your classroom routine?

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38 thoughts on “SMES Classroom Blogs and PD

  1. At this time blogging isn’t as much a part of my classroom as I’d like it to be. I would like to incorporate it more into my daily lessons.

      • Actually right now in Social Studies we are talking about the Colonies. My stduents are going to be doing a mini research project on an aspect of the colonies so perhaps we can use this as a jumping off point. Once they complete the research and the paragraph they can then post it on the blog.

        • Hi Ms. Bean,

          Great idea. One thing I’ve seen that’s effective is for the teacher to take snippets of the best, to publish on the class blog, or to stagger it so only a few are published early in the week, and another few are published later in the week. Then, the students/families respond to just a few at a time and know where to focus the conversation.

          I look forward to learning from your students about Colonies!

          Kind regards,

  2. My goal for the class blog is to incorporate blogging on a weekly basis and teach students how to create quality responses quickly.

    I have currently been using the blog more for links and find that many kids start to comment but run out of time to complete responses.

      • Tracy,

        I taught a mini lesson last week on how to create quality comments. I created a poster reminding the students to 1. use only their first name, 2. use my email address if necessary 3. use proper grammar and academic language 4. re-read, edit, then submit!

        I have also been using my blog to enourage quality work and have been using it like a show case to present quality work. This seems to really motivate the students.

        I think the more we practice this the quicker students will get at it. Thanks for everything that you do!


  3. Our Title I goal is to form communication with our SMES families. Encouraging families to collaborate on answers to post on the blog.

    Currently it isn’t a routine but we would like it to be a monthly interaction.

    • Hi Jayne,

      I loved the suggestion I heard from the group today for you to send an email to the staff with a link to your post and the prompt so others could find the time to respond. It does not require others to have a blog, which is the beauty of it. That way, classes without blogs are still participating in the blog discussion.

      I also wanted to remind you about the amazing posts that come from Mrs. Yollis’ Class Blog. She does a terrific job at incorporating content standards, seasonal/holiday relevance, and open ended discussions so all can participate.

      Have you tried emailing the link out yet? If so, did it help?

      Kind regards,

  4. My goals for classroom blogging are to involve the students in each post, get the students excited about posting, and to keep students accountable for their replies. For now, I am posting a question or topic each week. THe students are given time to reply to the post. Some need to work together on this, but it has been good collaboration for those who need extra help.

    • Hi Mrs. Herron,

      Kudos to you for getting that routine established. Have you thought about having students chose to reply to you or to reply to a peer’s comment? I wonder if that would help students realize that the comments are not just a discussion for teacher-student/student-teacher, but also student-student.

      Kind regards,

  5. My goal is to use blogging in all my classes with all my students. It is not a part of my routine yet, but I plan to incorporate that as soon as I can. Tracy, can you make some time to come in & do a session with my kids? Let me know what would work for you, or if you’re not able to do that. Thanks!

    • Hi Elaine,

      While I typically only work with Collaboration Coaches, I will bend that rule for you because of your willingness to learn, try, and implement. You’ve come to all of our trainings because you’ve wanted to be there, so yes, I would be delighted to go into your room and help establish what quality comments are, model those, and let them try. It would work best to have a 1 hour session to start off, then to schedule three half hour follow ups. Could you find four weeks (starting in January and ending in February), with specific days and times for this?

      Kind regards,

      • Thanks so much! I am in a unique situation because I have 4 different classes of Language Arts for 1 hour 15 minutes each. Is it too much to ask that you come to each one? If that is not possible due to your schedule, I can choose one & try to replicate your instruction myself in the other three. Let me know & I will make plans from there. I appreciate your expertise!

        • Hi Elaine,

          What I would like to do is come to your first rotation to model the lesson, then in the second rotation, I’d like to watch you present the lesson, and I will be there to support you. Then, by your third rotation, you might not need my assistance. Would that work for you?

          Kind regards,

          • Tracy,
            That would work just fine! I will find some possible dates in January and get back with you. Thank you so much!

            Happy Thanksgiving…

  6. My goal for our class blog is to incorporate the blog into the routine and make it a natural part of how my class thinks about communicating with others outside the classroom.

    Right now I am still struggling to find the ability to be consistent with incorporating the blog into our routine. I am able to post for our class (not as often as I would like) but I have not gotten the individual student element in as I want yet.

    • Hi Robyn,

      It takes time to establish blogging as part of the learning routine, and it takes consistency. Even though the end result is to have individual students involved in writing and commenting, it starts with whole group time to model the process (and purpose). That whole group modeling is so important, and needs to occur many times before the students would even know what to do on an individual basis.

      Let me know if you’d like help with getting that whole group routine established. If so, please let me know what days and time of day would be best for you.

      Kind regards,

      • Hi Tracy!

        I am thinking that during my class’s PBL block the class and I could write (together) a daily thought on one new thing each group learned during their work time. I think this could be a really good beginning for having the blog become a daily (at least during the PBL) post and it wouldn’t be too overwhelming for me to type as the closing activity for the day.

        I would love to have you come in (when you are able) to see what the process looks like and to give thoughts/pointers. We would be hitting this part near the end of the day (around 2:25). Hopefully it won’t take more than 10 minutes to pull the blog up on the SMART board, log in, and get our daily blog post put together.

        ~ 🙂

  7. My classroom blog is we talk about our blog challenge on Monday afternoon and then do our writing together on Tuesday mornings and then we meet with you on Tuesday afternoons. Will you be able to continue to come in for awhile to my room? I think you are only scheduled for one more time.

    I like seeing and experiencing the excitement with my students. We are going to reply to our friends from New Zealand this morning. We have been practicing our speaking sentence parts for our Bat presentation.

    I plan on continuing with the blogging on Tuesday afternoons since this has been on our weekly schedule.

    • Hi Susan,

      Yes, I will keep you in the schedule to help with that routine. I love what’s occurring in your classroom, and that I am able to support you with it. What is encouraging to me is the amount of support (or how I support) looks different over time because you are taking on more and more ownership. That’s a win-win for both of us. 🙂

      Kind regards,

  8. My goal is to have it become a routine in our classroom. I need to make a point to schedule it each week. I would like my students to blog with others from other countries or different states in America besides blogging back and forth with just me.

    My classroom routine needs to be consistent and I need to schedule it as a routine in our classroom. I am considering including it on Wednesdays so that the students know and understand that it is the expectation.

      • Tracy,

        Some routines that I have put in place consist of working together at their table groups to reply to posts. I have one student who does the typing and uses their email information to login for the post. The student that I choose is one that is higher and knows good sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling.

        My goal going forward, is to tie in googleaps so that we can type posts into a googledoc to share with other blogs. I am going to try dioctopus so that I have all the information in once document. We will also search as a class some other blogs and see if there is one that we can connect to in regards to our PBL, westward movement.

        Mrs. Barrett

  9. I have many goals for my class blog. I hope to do a mystery SKYPE with my class again. Last year they loved to interact with the other students from another state. I would also like to start to visit other class blogs in our school as well as out of the country. I think I am at a point where we can start commenting on others sites and receiving comments back. I would also like to start having some of my more experienced “blogger” students write the comments on my blog.

    I have a 15-20 min blogging slot at 2:15 every day. At this time the students know to get a computer and blog about one of the topics I have posted. I feel that this is very effective and a great end to the day! I hope to incorporate more time at the end of the week for others to go and comment on other sites.

    • Hi Brian,

      The dialogue on your blog is strong. It is evident in the comments that it is part of the daily routine. Awesome!

      I’d like to set up the Mystery Skype for you, and for your team because I recollect their saying they wanted to give it a try also. Would you do me a favor, could you meet with your team to decide on a timeline for when you would like the Mystery Skype (perhaps in December?) with a specific day and time slot?

      Kind regards,

      • Hi Brian,

        I emailed you about the Mystery Skype because I have a teacher ready for you.

        Although, I would still need your help with coordinating Bean’s and Herron’s classes since it will be their first time.


  10. My goal is to just get started with blogging in my classroom. I would like to make time for blogging in the class at least once a week, but have not begun to address blogging in my classroom, even though I intended to by now. I think I need some help getting started I feel a bit scattered about how to begin and would welcome some concrete suggestions and/or modeling.

  11. In my class I have been working with students to write quality comments on other blogs across the district and other states. My class has been very excited to look at other blogs especially from different states. Soon, my class will be preparing for a Mystery SKYPE with another class. We are very excited for this opportunity. Our class will be working hard to become experts in geography so we can guess their state! We have also been posting comments on our own class blog in response to issues in the world as well as our content in class. I really feel the blog allows some students to express what they want to say in a way that they feel comfortable. We are very excited to continue blogging and writing quality comments.

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