Our 4th graders are going to start blogging using Kidblog. Not only do the students LOVE the idea of blogging and connecting to others online, it also fits into several of the Writing Standards within the Common Core.
W.4.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
W.4.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
W.4.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.4.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
And the last Writing Standard that I want to highlight....
Blogging is perfect for this one! They will be producing posts and publishing them online with KidBlog. They will also be connecting and collaborating with their classmates and other young people globally through writing, sharing, reading, commenting, and even responding to comments made on their posts.
(By the way....the screen shot of the Writing Standard above is from the Common Core Standards app from MasteryConnect, which I love having so handy all the time.)
Before the students start using Kidblog, they have to learn what a blog is, how to write a blog post, and how to comment and respond as well.
First, we used the new interactive eBooks from Rosen Publishing to work on creating a great blog post with text and images. Within these eBooks, students work through steps on each page to create a blog post, one of the digital content creation tools included within these eBooks. This really helped the students think about the structure of a blog post, along with what makes one interesting so others will be excited to read it.
At the end of the book and when the students have created their very own blog post, they can be printed off to use with the next step of the activity.
It is time for others to comment on the blog posts.
But FIRST, we must work on commenting and responding to comments. This is where paper blogging comes in. With paper blogging, they not only get much better at writing an interesting, "hook the reader" type post, they also become comfortable sharing their work and looking at others work with confidence and care.
The 4th graders created their paper blog posts right before Thanksgiving. They could write about anything personal and that they thought their classmates would be interested in hearing and learning too.
The first time back from break and it was time to share all of their great work! We went around the room and read all of the blog posts to get started with our day.
I explained what a comment was and how to write them. We talked about what would make a meaningful comment and what would not. They would take a sticky note, write their comment, and place it on the outside boarder of the blog post. They had 3-4 minutes for each comment and then they were to pass it to the person sitting next to you.
Everyone of the students LOVED making comments on their friends blog posts. It was so much fun watching them get excited about which blog they were going to read next and the seriousness about the comments they were writing.
After they read the comments, they took more sticky notes and responded to the comments that were made on their own blog.
And something really awesome happened during this part too....
They started passing around their blogs again so others could also respond to the comments. It was so much fun to watch this happen on its own.
I loved what happened in the library today. It was a great success for many reasons....educationally and socially; the students could individualize their learning; the students collaborated and created with others; and most of it....
I saw 23 fourth graders get VERY excited about learning. It was so exciting and inspiring to see.
Then we will be setting up their Kidblog's and adding a post about themselves. We will share their work so all of you can enjoy it too. And don't forget to look for the hashtag #comments4kids as well.