Utilizing Blogs in the Classroom

I teach all of the content areas in second grade.  I think there are several possibilities to use blogging in all content areas.  To get started with blogging, I would incorporate a blog into my classroom during reading centers.  Blogs engage students to think about what they read through the sharing of ideas, asking questions, and responding to other students’ work (Richardson, 2010).  I currently have reading centers arranged so that when I meet with a group of students, other students are working on The Daily Five.  The Daily Five provides students with choices to practice literacy skills when they are not in my reading group.  The options include read to self, reading to someone, work with words, work on writing, and listen to reading.  I think any of these literacy activities would work well in a blog.

I would want a blog to serve a couple of purposes during The Daily Five.  One purpose I would like it to serve is for students to write about the books they read.  Blogging encourages students read and think more critically to prepare for writing (Richardson, 2010).  Students could share the title of the book, a few sentences about the book, and whether or not they would recommend the book to their friends.  Having students share their reading would enhance the purpose of The Daily Five because it would provide a purpose for reading.  This purpose is established because students will know that after they read, they are expected to share what they have read in the blog.  Using a blog to share books could also get students excited to know what their friends are reading and give me insight as to what my students like to read.

Another purpose a blog could serve during The Daily Five is a way to respond to writing prompts.  When students work on writing during The Daily Five, they are encouraged to write about a topic of interest to them or respond to a writing prompt.  I often find that when I give second-grade students a notebook and tell them to write, I see more drawings than writing.  Student writing also does not get shared with others due to a lack of time.  With blogs, every student has the opportunity to share their work with the class (Laureate Education, n.d.).  I could use a blog to create better accountability for students to write and share their work.  Student writing is enhanced using a blog because students are exposed to other students’ writing to the prompt and would have the expectation to respond to their peers’ writing.  The expectation for blogging responses would require students to post a comment to other students’ posts by stating something they liked, asking a question, providing ideas to improve, and suggesting something they could add to their post.

I am excited to integrate blogs into my reading centers.  I think blogging will enhance student learning by providing students with a purpose and accountability for their reading and writing.  To further enhance student learning, collaboration with other schools to share learning is something I am interesting in exploring.  I think blogs are a great tool to improve this instructional context because it does something different for learning and supports the learning task that students are already doing.

References:

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Spotlight on technology: Blogging in the classroom [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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5 thoughts on “Utilizing Blogs in the Classroom

  1. Stephanie,

    One challenge I foresee with having students provide feedback to each other’s work is the lack of depth in the comments they provide. Students will most likely respond to one another by simply stating that they like what was written. One purpose for a class blog is for students to expand on ideas and carry a conversation that provokes a deeper understanding of content (Richardson, 2010). In order to teach younger students how to properly respond to each other’s ideas, teachers should model and instruct students on how to engage in deeper discussions. This can be done through whole-class scaffolding by providing a sample for all students to comment to while you teach the appropriate level of feedback you require. Students will better understand you expectations of their comments and the purpose of providing feedback.

    Jessica

    Reference

    Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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  2. Jessica,

    Thank you for sharing. I think scaffolding students through the process of making meaningful responses through blogging would help my students tremendously.

    Stephanie

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  3. I think having the students blog about the books they read is a great idea. There are many times a student shows no interest in a book based of the cover and has passed on a great opportunity. Having an opportunity to review a book from a peers perspective might just help peak their interest in different books. I think it might also be a good idea to grade them on their reviews, this way they tend to provide a more accurate thorough review knowing it will be graded for spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    Michele

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  4. Stephanie, one suggestion I have to help with students comments to each other to provide proper examples of what you are looking for. You could create a rubric for them to look at while providing feedback to their peers. Something for them to understand what you are looking for and for them to know they are supposed to be trying to help their classmates improve their work.

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