Blogging in the Primary Classroom

Online session in Blackboard Collaborate

January 16, 2013

Student blogging is not a project, but a process. We are continuously striving to refine, improve and re-evaluate.

Students should be exposed to reading blogs, and making comments as a group at first.
Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Blogging QuestionsWhy blog?
1) To meet curricular outcomes
- a integral part of the curriculum - not an add-on - just a new and different way to meet our Saskatchewan outcomes.
e.g. Grade 2 Writing Outcomes (rubric)
  • CC2.1 Creates written texts that explore: identity, community, social responsibility and make connections to own life.
  • CC2.4: Write stories, poems, friendly letters, reports, and observations using appropriate and relevant details in clear and complete sentences and paragraphs of at least six sentences. Use of Strategies
  • CC2.4 (b). Selects and uses taskÔÇÉrelevant before, during, and after strategies when writing to communicate meaning.
  • CC2.4 (c) Understands and applies the appropriate cues and conventions (pragmatic, textual, syntactical, semantic/lexical/ morphological, graphophonic, and other) to construct communicate meaning when writing.
2) To create a digital portfolio/digital footprint

What platform do I use?
Edublogs - need to pay to embed video and audio
Kidblog App
BlogPress (Blogger)
Edublogs App

How should my students blog?

Classroom blog - all contribute
Miss Klyn's Grade One Class - Connaught School
Classroom blog - students contribute via comments
Miss Reeve's Grade 2 Classroom - Estevan
Individual blogs
Mrs. Cassidy's Classroom Blog - Moose Jaw
Combination - student earn their blogs
Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog
How about Quad Blogging ?

What do my students need to know to blog effectively?
You might want to consider this License to Blog process
Students should be exposed to reading blogs, and making comments as a group at first. Guided practice is needed to help students in crafting quality comments that add to the discussion rather than simply "me too" comments. During this phase, topics of cyberbullying and netiquette should be addressed. The next step is commenting individually. Students should be required to comment several times, with a focus on creating quality discussions in the comment thread. When a student masters the language/content of quality commenting, they can then be granted a license to blog.

1) The Keyboard (laptops and netbooks only - these are flash-based)
  1. Keyboard climber
  2. Super hyper spider typer
  3. From PBS - a very mellow typing game
  4. War of the Worlds - blast the letters
2) What is blogging?
  1. Understand that blogging is a conversation
  2. Read other grade appropriate blogs
3) Digital Citizenship - Co-create blogging rules
  1. what to share, what not to share online
  2. to use respectful, kind language
  3. writing conventions and grammar rules
4) How to write a quality comment
Kathy Cassidy: Commenting with Pre and Emerging Writers

Commenting with Pre and Emerging Writers (Kathy Cassidy)
Prepare students for commenting with wall blogging
How to compose a quality comment (video 4:36)

What other tools do I need to know about?
  1. AudioBoo - narration, reading fluency, oral speaking - Kathy Cassidy's Audioboos
  2. Photo storage - e.g. Flickr - Kathy Cassidy's Photostream
  3. Video storage - e.g. YouTube - Kathy Cassidy's Youtube channel
  4. Skype - connecting with others across the division and elsewhere

What do the parents of my students need to know? (example)
  1. That their child will be blogging and why
  2. How and they can help their child learn via the blog
  3. How to find the blog
  4. How to leave comments on the blog
  5. Not to use full name when commenting (identifies child)
  6. How their child's picture and work will be used (our FOIP guidelines)
    1. e.g. images may be used but not along with names (not even first name)
  7. Where to find the blogging guidelines

Useful Links

A list of primary blogs sorted by blogging platform
Everything you wanted to know about blogging!