Sunday, October 14, 2012

Paper Blogs

During the last two weeks my students have been taking lots of tests.  Fortunately we have also managed to get some writing in.  We are trying to get our blogs up and running.  I use Kidblog with my students, so they will soon have their very own blogs.  Before they are ready to go on-line, however, we do our first blog post on paper.  

We have been working on personal narratives using our Being a Writer curriculum, so that was a great place to start with blogging.  After my students wrote their personal narrative, they mounted it on card stock.  We talked about how blogs use design to add interest and information to their writing, and to make people want to come back to their blog.  

After we have our first blog post ready, I hang them around the perimeter of our classroom.  Armed with sticky notes, students walk our gallery of blog posts, reading and commenting.  Before we get started, however, we learn how to write good comments.  To do that, I share a blog post and video made by Mrs. Yollis and her students in California.  Here is a link to that post.  

Students read blog posts, and leave their sticky note comments along the edges.  After about 30 minutes, we took a break and let students go back to their own blogs to read the comments.  Some wrote responses to the comments, before we moved back to reading and commenting on other blogs.

This is a really fun activity that clearly illustrates the interactive conversation that a good blog post can generate.  Let's face it, every writer wants someone to read and respond to their work.  I always learn more about the kids with this activity, and I love watching the excitement grow as they receive comments and feedback from the rest of the class.

The original idea for Paper Blogging comes from middle school teacher, Karen McMillan.  You can read more about it on her blog, Notes from McTeach.

We have Parent/Teacher Conferences coming up. I plan to hang our paper blogs in the hall, so parents can read and comment on our posts.  By that time we should have our first real blog posts published on-line.  I hope we can get more parents commenting on our Kidblogs this year.

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