October 14, 2012

Blogging in the Classroom

Hi everyone! I'm really excited to share some information about blogging in my 5th grade classroom this year!

Blogging is something I've done in the past with my classes, usually tied into to Reader's Workshop (through reader's responses). Our blogging back then was pretty limited because the website we were using was a bit tough for the students to navigate and utilize.

This year, I was fortunate to stumble upon the free service Kidblog. It is excellent and so easy to use! (I was not asked to advertise this site...I'm just sharing information because it is great!).

Here are some benefits to Kidblog...
  • It's secure...only the students, teachers, administrators, and parents can see the class blog. 
  • It's easy to set up. There is a Dashboard (under the Control Panel) for teachers to manage posts, student blogs, student passwords, and make customizations.
  • The blogging interface is pretty intuitive (it reminds me of Blogger):
(it lets you upload media as well...which is great because you can include pictures!)
  • It's visually appealing to the students (can you guess how much they loved choosing an avatar??)...
You can also choose a template for your blog AND the students can choose their own designs for their individual blogs...
...which leads me to the best part! The home page is the class blog itself, where everyone can comment. But each student can also have their OWN individual blog (kind of a branch off of the class blog) which is fantastic for those reader's responses!
 
Well, that might be the best part, but there is a bit more.

Since it's so easy to use, we've actually been using the class blog as a reflective tool in other subjects.

Such as review and extension in Writer's Workshop...

Reflection on strategies used in Math...
And responses to text (those I can't show because they are student work).

We're really just in the beginning stages of blogging this year (we got a bit off track during state testing!) but I have a lot of plans to incorporate this within all subjects throughout the year.

On a separate but related sidenote...I've noticed a huge increase in my students' abilities (both in word processing and general navigation) on computers, even compared to my classes just a few years back. Technology is so embedded in their lives at home (even more than it was previously) which is why this blogging in the classroom is so important to me. 

Have you blogged with your students in class? Or do you have a different technological learning tool you love to use with your students?

22 comments:

  1. This looks like a great site Kristen! I've blogged in the past with my kids on our classroom website but I hated the setup. I haven't done it in a year. This looks so much easier and kid friendly. Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

    Swimming into Second

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  2. I just started using Kidblog in my class for the same reasons you list. Thanks for sharing the idea. It is very easy to use and kid friendly.

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  3. Wow this looks great!!! I will have to share it with my 3 and 4 friends who got iPads in there rooms this year!! Have a great week!

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  4. I talked about Kidblog in my conference presentation because I had some extra time at the end! How often do you get to have the kids blog? Do you have to go to a computer lab?

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    1. I'm lucky to have access to laptops in our room, so I try to get it in a few times a week. We got off schedule from testing, so I'm hoping to incorporate it more now that we are back on routine. Your presentation looked great Jill! :)

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    2. Thanks! :) Maybe I can shuffle around some time in my week to go to our lab. I think my kids would love blogging!

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  5. I have used KidBlog for 2 years now, and LOVE it! I talked about it on a Technology Tuesday linkie of some sort. It is definitely a great site. We use it during our Work on Writing time of Daily 5. My kids are still so young that they need just to be given familiarity to typing, etc. It is an excellent site!

    Heather
    Sensational Seconds

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  6. I love Kidblog! I stumbled upon on it 3 years ago and have been so happy with it. It is so user friendly (for my first graders and for me!!)! Have fun with it!

    Laurie
    MorningSunFirstGrade

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  7. Kristen--I've been wanting to blog with my kids forever but life gets in the way. You've inspired me again.
    Also, you've been boo'd--stop by to find out about it :)

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  8. Woo hoo! I knew you'd post and fill me in on how to incorporate this into math. Thanks, girl! I'm heading in tomorrow with on thing on my mind...see if I can get to Kidblog at school. Fingers crossed!

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  9. I was just thinking about starting a classroom blog (through blogger) but this looks so much better! Thanks Kristen!

    P.S. ~ what happened to our Patriots today?!?!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

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  10. WOW! I love this idea! I just signed up and got all my kiddos registered! Now, I just have to wait for them to come back from fall break! I love the idea of having this as an option for work on writing time!

    This might be a silly question: Do any of your students use this tool at home or is it strictly an in-class task?

    Jen @ www.wherelearningisfun.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Jen, thanks for the comment! I use this in class right now, though I may extend it to home as well in the future :)

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  11. Thank you SO much for writing such a comprehensive review! I have been meaning to look into Kidblog. Looks great! Lattes and Laughter

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  12. Love the info about Kidblog. I do have a classroom blog on my district-mandated website, but the kids don't go there unless directed (way too many clicks to get to my page, much less the blog), so I like the idea of Kidblog.

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  13. I also discovered Kidblog this summer, and my first graders are just getting started. They are very excited about being able to share their writing with family and friends.
    Carol
    Still Teaching After All These Years

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  14. I have a teacher-friend that has been trying to talk me into using Kidblog...I just can't find the time to get my kids started!

    By the way...I also just Boo'd you! Come on over to my blog to see...
    Jessica
    The Polka-dotted Teacher

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  15. I wish I had more time with my classes so we could do this on a regular basis!

    I also booed you over on my blog! Come see what it is all about!

    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

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  16. Kristen I love this. Our district has our own district hosted site but this looks so kid friendly. I'll have to go take a peek. Thanks for sharing.

    M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

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  17. nice & impressive article you have posted..Your post have the information that is helpful for me as I am a new blogger.I would like you to keep up the good work..Thanks and keep up the good work.

    Online Diploma

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  18. Looks fantastic..I'm totally checking into this tomorrow!
    How are you my friend? Hope your year is going well :)


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  19. I love it!!!! You know I'm a fan of getting the kiddos to blog. With my big kids I used blogger but didn't think it was appropriate for my 5th graders. This seems to be a much better solution.
    Thank you for sharing my friend!

    xoxo

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