The first few times a person posts to a blog can be a bit nerve-wracking; after all, these words will be viewed by the teacher, many classmates, and potentially anyone with internet access. At-risk readers in particular may feel intimidated. Fear not! I believe in building a strong foundation of blogging knowledge before anything is posted on the internet. Any required blogging will be prefaced with a lesson on the blogging process and a step-by-step guide of how to post. The first few blog assignments will be on topics students are familiar with, and will look at examples of good and not so good blog posts as a class. Also, an excellent resource for those with questions can be found at Mr. Carey’s blog.
One way we will be incorporating blogs is with our literature circle units. Students will be doing independent or partner reading during the week, filling out their role sheets, then posting their thoughts and questions to the blog. This format will allow students to come to the posting already having material in hand, which they will only need to add a few questions and responses to.
It’s important for students to know that everyone’s opinion is important; the blog is a community where we will all learn from each other. No two people interpret a book in the exact same way, and when we listen to what others have to say, we may begin to see a book in a new light.
As for parents, posting comments and questions to our class blog is welcome and encouraged. Knowing that they have an audience outside of our classmates can be exciting for students. It allows them to showcase their learning for others and may help them to think more deeply about a topic.