How can blogging improve the
quality of sentence structure?
By: Kristen Hartley
“…students who blog also write
more and write better.”
“Teen bloggers are far more prolific
writers than their non-blogging
There are many reasons to blog…
◦ Technology can be an attention grabber compared to
the usual paper and pencil route of writing
◦ Students can hide their identity using pen names
written down by the teacher or by using their class
number, which can decrease anxiety.
◦ Students receive immediate feedback from their
classmates and the outside world
Teacher’s time is limited
◦ Students get instant gratification of publication, but
when knowing others will read and comment,
students will typically take time to edit work
◦ Blogs “foster collaboration in the days between
weekly meetings” (Glogoff 2).
How to use blogs in the classroom
Depending on the grade level and school
policy, there are a variety of ways to use
blogs in the classroom
Teacher posts questions while students reply and
comment on other responses(teacher approval
needed before posting)
Teacher creates a page for each student to post
their work only (Teacher approval needed before
How to use blogs in the classroom
Middle School/High School
◦ Use previous stated, or teacher can connect
links to student pages, having each student
create their own user name and password
◦ Check school and county policy
◦ Penrod (13-14)
Examples of various classroom
How can I connect blogging to
So many students know the different sentence
structures and types of sentences, but do not
practice or put their knowledge into use.
Activity 1: (Sentence Structure)
◦ Prewrite: What are the different types of sentences
we use in our writing? What are some examples?
Why is this important to know and use?
◦ Complete this on Kristen’s Blog.
Activity 1 continued
Take the graphic organizer, and in pairs,
tally the number of simple, compound,
complex, and compound-complex
sentences in the Apple paragraph (titled
paragraph for lesson) posted on Kristen’s
Write a short response about your
conclusion. Discuss when everyone is
Reflection on lesson
Students should concentrate on ideas first. However,
students also need to be aware of the variety of
sentences and how it can effect their writing.
By the 5th grade, students are already familiar with
simple and compound sentences. Before this lesson,
students would have had a lesson on complex, and
“Building background knowledge is important
because students with greater prior knowledge about
a text are in a better position to understand it more
deeply” (Zawilinski 656).
“Blogs should be part of a program that is focused on
building a writing community of students, teachers,
and other educators” (Ramaswami).
Review responses and graphic organizer.
Assignment: Rewrite the “paragraph for lesson” on
Kristen’s Blog in pairs, focusing on sentence structure.
How can you vary the sentence structure to make
this paragraph more interesting? What can you add?
To differentiate: Include a website by linking it to your
page. Bold the important words in your paragraph.
Find a picture to include. Give credit if taking it off
the Internet as opposed to clip art.
Post your paragraph once finished. You may use you
Grolier, Galileo, or picture books to add details and
other information to make it more interesting.
◦ See rubric for grading information
25 20 15 10
Sentence A variety of At least two One type of Fragments
Structure sentence different sentence is and run-ons
structure is types of used are used
used within sentence throughout throughout
the written structure are the the
assignment. used. assignment. assignment.
Topic The paper The paper The paper The paper
stayed on had one or starts on does not have
topic two topic but then any sentences
throughout sentences ends off topic to support
its entirety. that were off the topic.
Completed Student One day late. Two days late. Three or
On Time completed more days
assignment by late.
25 20 15 10
Organization Material is Material is Material has a There is no
organized organized topic topic
with a well with a topic sentence, but sentence or
developed and supporting supporting
topic and supporting details go off details.
supporting details. topic.
“Blogs mix pleasure with information to
create an information reformation.”
“Bloggers find themselves continually
drawn into deeper layers of the
blogosphere, searching for new
information to include on their sites.”
Scour, Filter, Post (Trammel) Based on Blood’s
book The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on
Creating and Maintaining your Blog
Students who need to scour the internet
for information become more invested in
the information, becoming an expert
Students must pick and choose what is
important to include
Then, students post the best information
related to their topic in their blog or blog
Collaboration and Cross-Curricular
Activities with blogging
“Blogs make more sense as cross-curricular
tools. Students should think and write about
what they learn across all subjects and grade
levels. You want them to have learning and
reflective activity in all situations.”
Once students understand the concept,
show them a basic paragraph on Civil War,
Cell structure, etc.
Give a list of acceptable websites or search
engines to use if in elementary grade levels
Share others posts with the class and tell
what you like about it.
On the blog, post feedback of sentence
structure on a minimum of at least three
other posts. Give constructive feedback:
◦ Yes-I loved the way you combined your first
two sentences into a compound sentence. It
sounds much better than the simple
sentences used previously.
◦ No-Your first sentence sounds cool.
“The critical skill of writing is central to the
act of blogging. Because the blogging format
encourages students to engage with
positions divergent from their own, blogging
can potentially enhance analytic and critical
thinking skills.” (Ellison 105).
By students reading others blogs and/or
posts, students gain insight on different
perspectives, receive more knowledge on
the topic being read about, and can gain
better perspective on their own position.
So, how can blogging improve the
quality of sentence structure?
Blogging can be integrated into part of the writing process
Technology can help engage students in writing and help with
differentiation (i.e. the more advanced students can add the
links, pictures, videos, etc.) The more engaged the student is,
and the more they are writing=more practice!
Students receive feedback from not only the teacher, but
others in the classroom, making their work more valuable to
themselves and others (Students can directly comment on
sentence structure if the assignment permits!)
Students become experts on writing material because of the
research they conduct
Students who write more, will write better
Ellison, Nicole and Yuehau Wu. “Blogging in the Classroom: A Preliminary
Exploration of Student Attitudes and Impact on Comprehension.” JI.
Of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia: n.p. (2008) 17(1), 99-122.
June 12, 2010.
Ferdig, Richard and Kaye Trammell. “Pedagogical implications of classroom
blogging.” T.H.E Journal: n.p. Winter 2004. June 12, 2010.
Flatley, Marie. “Blogging for Enhanced Teaching and Learning.” Business
Communication Quarterly 2005. June 12, 2010.
Huffaker, D. “The Educated Blogger: Using Weblogs to Promote Literacy in
the Classroom. AACE Journal 12(2), 91-98 2005. June 12, 2010.
Penrod, Diane. Using Blogs to Enhance Literacy. Lanham: Rowman and
Littlefield Education. 2007. Print.
Ramaswami, Rama. “The Prose of Blogging (and a Few Cons, Too).” T.H.E
Journal. November, 2008 pages 1-5. June 16th, 2010.
Zawilinski, Lisa. “HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote
Higher Order Thinking.” The Reading Teacher 62(8) pp 650-661:
International Reading Association 2009. June 16th, 2010.