Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘Kidblog’

“Write On!” Why I Love Kidblog!

A friend of mine was observed the other day.  Her students were creating mini-books about the selection they read in the anthology. Little stapled books, a square for the picture, and lines for the journal entry they were creating, based on the story they read. However, the principal left a note on her observation sheet,”When do you incorporate writing in your classroom?” Did I miss something?

I have a “writing block”, and sometimes my kids write during the block, and sometimes they don’t. But, my students write all day. A “writing block” is not required to teach writing, writing is required. I am one of those teachers who do not teach grammar separately, my son’s high school teacher is, to each his own. But, I am sure he and I would agree, our students have to write!

There are so many ways to incorporate writing into the curriculum, but my favorite tool is blogging. I use Kidblog because it is simple to set up, kid and teacher friendly, and safe. My students love the ability to have an audience on Kidblog. What better way to motivate students to write well, then to know other people, all over the world, will read what you have posted? (Quadblogging , Comments4Kids, and my TwitterPLN provide an excellent audience)

Of course, this doesn’t happen automatically.  But as time goes on, and they receive more comments, they begin to take ownership of what they post on their page. I sent the link to their parents, hopefully some will write comments. I have a student who edits over the weekend, the weekend! She edited 5 of her posts this weekend. (“Go outside and play!”)

Every day, during at least one subject, my students write. They write in their notebooks first, this gives me a chance to have a conference, if necessary. It gives them a chance to edit and proofread. They might write to explain how to solve a Math problem, tell a story using their Word Sort words, research a topic, give their opinion on an article from Tweentribune, there are numerous opportunities.

But what I love the most, is the question, “Can I post this on my blog?”  My blog. They can post wherever they have Internet access. Our Room82011-2012 Kidblog , is my writer’s motivator! Every student in my class has at least one post so far, but the school year has just begun. I’m looking forward to finding the author in all of them.

Write on,  kids, write on! 🙂


PhotoPeach Makes an Old Lesson Juicy!

I attended a DEN workshop(Discovery Education Network) weeks ago. I always love professional development where I can take away at least one thing I didn’t know. I took away more than one thing, but I am going to share this one, PhotoPeach as a quiz! When Cynthia Brown shared this little tidbit, I knew immediately what I was going to do with it!

At the beginning of each school year, I want my students to learn about me, just as I learn about them. So, I post a brief biography about myself on our class Edublogs page, and then I have my students fill out a question sheet answering the questions. Yawn! Well, actually, until I learned about PhotoPeach, it served it’s purpose. The kids had fun with it, but now…

I uploaded a lot of pictures on Photo Peach, (appropriate of course), of different people, places, and things in my life that I hope will generate discussion about…me. I then created a “quiz” based on those pictures. Hopefully, this video/quiz will get my students talking about…me. The quiz provides the correct answer before it moves on, so they know the “answer”, and they don’t get frustrated.

I want my students to feel comfortable and safe in my room, and knowing a bit about who I am as a human, not just a teacher, should do this. I embedded the video/quiz on Kidblog, and when they are done they could write their first blog post sharing their perceptions of me.

I also intend to encourage them to create their own “Getting to Know You” quizzes at home, so that we can share them with their peers. The great part is that it can be shared using FB, Twitter, email, embedded,and/or downloaded. A little of this, a little of that, and Voila!, I just spiced up that “same old lesson!”

I embedded it on our class blog. Check it out and please let me know what you think! “Getting to Know Mrs. M” video/quiz”

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