The school year begins here on the 1st February and for the third year, I will embark on the blogging journey with my new Grade Two class.
As my class will still be called 2KM, I have decided to keep my 2009 2KM blog and customise it to my 2010 class. If you are setting up a class blog for the first time I would recommend calling your blog something that you can reuse for several years. In 2008 I taught Grade Three and my blog was called 3KM blog. In 2009, when I began teaching Grade Two, I called my blog 2KM blog. In hindsight, if I had just called my blog “Miss McGeady’s Class” or something similar, I could have modified my original blog for every new class.
Teaching younger students, I find having a class blog as opposed to individual student blogs an excellent way to introduce students to blogging and appropriate online behaviour. There are some students, such as Riley from my 2009 class who are capable of maintaining their own individual blog although in lower primary years, this is the exception to the rule.
Throughout the past couple of years, I have learnt a lot about how to best manage a class blog and here are my thoughts on how I’ll approach this in 2010.
- Many of my students won’t know what a blog is so I will introduce them to the concept by showing them around the 2009 2KM blog and discuss new vocabulary such as post, page, dashboard, categories etc.
- A pivotal part of blogging is the interaction with others and I will try to convey this to my students. I will introduce my students to comment writing and we will compose comments as a group on some of our favourite blogs such as Mrs Yollis’ Class Blog and Mr Salsich’s Class Blog.
- Successful class blogging involves a home-school partnership. In order to introduce parents to the world of blogging I will provide them with a guide such as the one I distributed last year “You Guide to Getting the most out of 2KM’s blog 2009“. This year I would like to encourage some homework tasks involving commenting on our or others’ blogs.
- I will begin the blogging process by writing posts myself and having students leave comments. I will then progress to writing posts as a class on the Interactive Whiteboard and writing posts with small groups. When some students become very confident with post writing, I will allow them to write posts themselves which I will check before publishing.
Next time I will write about how I will set up blogging guidelines in my class and introduce students to the world of appropriate online behaviour.