Sunday, March 20, 2016

Blogging - Why Kids Love It!

This year each student in our district was given a Chromebook. It has been a wonderful tool for many reasons, especially for writing.

I have always tried to provide my students with an authentic purpose for their writing. I've also encouraged my students to think about their audience when writing. Most teachers do these things, but even though I've taught my students to keep these things in mind, writing has never really felt truly authentic in my classroom.

That all changed this year when I was introduced to blogging, though! After my students finish a piece of writing, they post their final draft onto our class blog. My kids love posting on the blog because it provides them with a true publishing experience. My students are no longer publishing their work just to share with me, or just to share with their family members. They are actually publishing their writing to the world, and for my fourth graders, this concept is pretty powerful!

The real fun starts after my student's have published their writing. In addition to posting on the blog, my kiddos are able to comment on their peers work. We have had great discussions about what a quality comment is, and how to use good digital citizenship when commenting. My students use a commenting template to guide their thinking. By commenting on each other's work, my students actually communicate in more meaningful ways than I have seen when sharing their writing in other ways. Parents, other classes, our librarian, and even our principals have commented on my student's work too!

(Click on the image above to download my quality comment template!)

In our classroom we use I really like Kidblog because I can control who sees my student's work. It has great privacy settings that make me, and my students feel comfortable when posting online. There is a 30-day free trial, but after 30 days you must subscribe for an annual fee of around $39.00 (which I think is totally worth it)! Try it out, and let me know what you think!

What do you do to create authentic writing experiences for your students?

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