As most readers will know, blogging is a big part of my Grade Two classroom. Over the past few years I have worked out strategies and processes to make blogging work for my seven and eight year old students.
While my students are young, I have found with explicit instructions, high expectations, clear routines, parent involvement and peer tutoring they can achieve amazing things with blogging and ICT.
I have been asked a number of time whether blogging can work with students younger than Grade Two. The answer is yes.
In my class we follow this process throughout the year, starting with students learning about quality commenting before moving on to posts and finally earning their own blog.
While younger students might not move along this continuum as quickly, they too can do amazing things. There are so many students around the world as young as five who are gaining the benefits of being involved in educational blogging.
I thought I would include links to just a few Prep (aka Kindergarten/Reception) and Grade One blogs but as you can see, this list is quite long and definitely not exhaustive!
Prep and Grade One Blogs:
Learning Together – Mrs Kennedy’s Prep Class in Blackburn South Melbourne.
Discovery Den – Miss W’s Prep Class in Melbourne.
We Love Learning – Prep S’s Class in Blackburn South Melbourne.
Room 2 Rockets – Miss Revell’s Grade One/Two class in New Zealand.
A4 – Good Things Come in Small Packages – Prep/One class in Auckland, New Zealand.
A3 – All Things Great and Small – Year One class in Auckland, New Zealand.
Mrs Cassidy’s Classroom Blog – Mrs Cassidy’s Grade One class in Canada.
Open the Door to B4 – Mrs McKenzie’s Prep/One/Two class in New Zealand.
Grade 1B and 1C - Miss Hunichen and Mrs Hollands’ Grade One blog in New Gisborne, Victoria.
Grade 1/2’s Epsom – Mrs Davey’s Grade One/Two class in Epsom, Victoria.
Look What’s Happening in Room 102 – Mrs Lynch’s Grade One class in Quebec, Canada.
Mrs W and Prep/One/Two @ Harston Primary – A class in Harston, Victoria.
Prep Learning Unit – A Prep blog from Bellaire PS in Victoria.
A Peek Inside - Mrs Dowling’s Prep/One blog in New South Wales.
Miss Dunsiger’s Class – Links to Miss Dunsiger’s Grade One’s individual student blogs (2010).
Trish’s Troops 1TD – Grade One class in Ballarat, Victoria.
Many of these classes have found different ways to make blogging work for them. Some of these strategies include:
- Getting parents involved – A blog is something that parents can sit down and comment on with their child at home. Blogs can create a bridge between home and school. There is numerous research which suggests that family participation in learning is one of the most accurate predictors of a child’s success in school and beyond. I have written more about getting parents involved in blogging here.
- Using lots of visuals and multimedia - Emergent readers can connect and contribute to the blog with voice recordings, videos, slideshows, VoiceThreads etc.
- Having student quotes in posts (typed by the teacher) – These comments are colour coded so beginner readers know which colour comment is theirs when they go home and show their parents. The example below is from the Prep Discovery Den blog.