Blogging has become widespread among educators, but many teachers have become resistant when it comes to using it in the classroom. I know I was one of those skeptics. I was worried about ease and accessibility, my students lack of typing skills, and safety. At the same time, I was looking for a way to amp up my students writing portfolios and give them a platform to write about their reading. I came across a simple solution to all of these issues earlier this year: Kidblog!
There are many blogging platforms available for free use. I found Kidblog works the best for classroom teachers for these main reasons:
How Can I Use Kidblog in My Classroom?
- Simple set up
- Simple security settings
- Enough options for multi-media blogging without being overwhelming
- No need for individual email accounts for students
- Completely free
I had a major struggle during my reader's workshops earlier this year. My students LOVE to read, but were having trouble seeing the value in writing about their reading. they were demonstrating that they had the ability to think on high levels during class and group discussions. The problem here is, there will never be enough time for everyone to share their thoughts and ideas orally. They were having trouble buying into the whole "Make your thinking visible" concept. I needed a way to make writing about reading more exciting for them. I realized that blogging was a perfect solution to this.
At the end of every mini-lesson, before students transition into the work-time portion of reader's workshop, I began requiring a 10 minute Write About Reading time. Each day, 5 students would blog, in place of writing in their notebooks. I only have 5 computers in my classroom. They could use this time to create their own blog post or respond to a classmate. This really helped them buy into writing during reading. Not only have they increased their writing about reading time, but their reader's notebooks never leave their side while they are reading, both at school and at home. They use their notebooks so much more now, especially for quick jots. This helps them to be prepared to for their blog day, knowing that their classmates will be reading their posts. The students have loved the idea of blogging their thoughts so much that they are doing it beyond the confines of reader's workshop. They blog about their reading at home and during free times at school.
Using Kidblog during reading became so popular and effective, I began using it in writing. In place of binder portfolios, students are able to copy and paste their writing into Kidblog. Each of my students has their own blog where they collect their writing. I love this idea, because it is something that will last a whole lot longer than a binder and can easily be added to continuously beyond this school year.
One of my students even created a page for book recommendations.
The thing I love about blogging with students is that the sky is the limit. There are ways to use it throughout all content areas. How are you using/do you plan to use Kidblog in your classroom?
Begin using Kidblog with your students today: