Over the last two years I’ve eased my way into blogging with my grade 5 students in the classroom. I started with a simple blog where students left comments on a particular topic. It was more of a forum than a blog, but it was a starting point.
I then started to open the blog to comments from more than just my students, inviting other classes and educators to leave comments. I also had my students comment on the blogs of others.
This year I started blogs on the second day of school. My goal is to provide a place for students to write, grow, and express themselves. Sometimes the topics will be very prescribed, other times they topics will be of the students own choice.
I’m using edublogs as my student blogging platform. I choose it for the safe, more protected environment that it provides. I blog at wordpress and at edublogs and I like both. I’ve tried blogger and google spaces, but I like the dashboard editing environment of wordpress/edublogs.
I set up all of the student accounts ahead of time. I used the gmail + method described here to set up accounts. I used numbers and the school acronym as usernames instead of the students’ names to provide a more closed environment. I set up everything a head of time so we didn’t have to go through the process of choosing usernames, email confirmation, and a general headache.
The first day of blogging was learning how to log in, picking a theme, and renaming the title of the blog. Some students are still at this point and slowly making changes. A few are flying and have already written several posts. I gave them a set prompt to write from on the second day, and we all had to learn how to copy and paste from the class blog to their own.
@mswecker and @fivbert were kind enough to leave comments for my students. I can’t wait to go back on Tuesday to see the reactions of the students who see they have comments! They are going to be very excited.