Monday, February 14, 2011

A New Journey Begins

I was sad to finish the last Edublogs blogging challenge, but it prepared me for this challenge, which will hopefully get me ready to blog with my students.  I now have two blogs:  Thinking Out Loud is my personal blog and Blogging to Learn will be my class blog.

I want to use my class blog to introduce blogging to the teachers I work with.  I want to figure out the ins and outs of blogging with students before I introduce it to the staff.  I can't ask my teachers to try something that I haven't tried.  I have chosen to work with one of the 6th grade classes once (more likely twice) a week.  I purchased a Pro account with Edublogs because the ads are taken out and (hopefully) adding student blogs is easy.  I set the class blog up with bare minimum, which will change as I work with the class and they decide what the class blog with look like.

The journey continues with the help of a challenge...
At the moment, I am struggling with what to have my students blog about.  Right now, I am thinking about having them share the work they are producing in their classes.  Today, I observed a writing class creating persuasive paragraphs.  The students had to convince the students in the class that their group's candy was better.  Each group had a different candy - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Starburst, and Snickers.  I am thinking that they could blog their persuasive paragraph and pair it with a Glog for a visual.

I have been visiting other class blogs and want to highlight some of the aspects I will share with my class:
  • Huzzah! 
    • "Please notice our successes, not our mistakes. Our blog is a invitation to see what we are up to. Some of our work will be polished, and some will be in draft form. Please honour our attempts."
      • I like the focus on attempts.  I don't believe everything written should be in polished form because some things are only thoughts.  Also, students are at varying levels of command of blogging and all that it entails.  Attempts should be celebrated.
    • Commenting Guidelines
      • I plan to bring my students here to share their guidelines as we develop our own.
  • Mr. Salsich's Class
    • Blog Guidelines and How to Comment
      • Another place for mentor examples of blogging and commenting guidelines
    • Format of blog posts
      • He does a great job of embedding media and providing questions at the end of the blog posts to give visitors ideas for comments.

I am going to continue to visit class blogs to find great "mentor text" examples to share with my students.  I am hoping this challenge will also provide great class blogs to visit.

Image Attribution:
Image: 'Compass'


  1. I too am sad that they Teacher's Challenge is over. It really got me thinking daily about blogging.

    I wanted to complete the challenge with my students but we use Kidblogger and there are no bells and whistles. I think you are wise to get the pro account (the ads are so distracting).

    Good luck with your students. I'm sure they are going to have so much fun and learn a lot from you.

  2. I like your idea of getting the feel of student blogging before you show your staff! I feel the same way!

    Great site and features!

  3. There is something to be said about learning all together and not waiting to be the expert.

    I am right now giving a teacher training course to trainees as I learn about blogging. Since our semester just started this past Feb14, I didn't want to wait to blog with my trainees until September, so I have dived in with the class blog although I will be learning to do what I am doing as I do it.

    I have been blogging in a very hit and miss way for several years and loved the past Teacher Challenge to help me set up my blog, this time taking advantage of more Web 2.0 tools. My students know that I am learning along with them and it gives them more confidence to know that their facilitator is not an expert but a continuing learner and educator like themselves. I have gotten the idea that it is very motivating for them in comments they have made so far in

  4. It's easiest to blog about what you're passionate about. My suggestion for your class blog especially while starting out is to get the kids to post on what they are most interested in. If you like, you can even take a step back and post a question that they reply to as comments. Commenting can be less confronting than creating a blog post outright. Here's my post on comments Comment ON which gives you a better idea of why I value comments as part of the blogging process.

    Being part of the challenge is a good way to learn. But being part of it makes you a "resource" as well so blog away. We're all learning from each other.


  5. I appreciate how you are trying the things you want your colleagues to do. This post is wonderful for teachers and students; even the comments have resources. I've added your blog to my "Must Read" and "PLN" blogroll. Thanks for your encouragement.

  6. I very much appreciate your post and think we might have some things in common. I have added you to my Google Reader and look forward to learning from you.

  7. @Sheri @Tracy Thanks for adding me to your blogrolls and Google Reader. I have also added both of your blogs to my Reader. I have learned from both you already and can't wait to learn more.


I would love to hear from you. Let's start a conversation.


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