Blogs can be used many ways. Here are just a few uses. I use my classroom blog for everything on this list.
Blogs can be used to inform parents of important dates and reminders. I, personally, use my classroom website to post important reminders but if the blog is checked daily this might be a better way to share information with parents. If homework assignments are posted on the blog then absent students can see what assignments they missed. Classroom rules, procedures, or other documents could also be linked on the blog.
I use my classroom blog mainly as a journal. I write about what we are doing about 2 times a week. I like the fact that I can then look back at what I have written in earlier posts as a reminder of what we have accomplished during the day.
One of my colleagues uses her blog to post future writing prompts. Children check the blog to see what they will be writing about next. They can write to the prompt at home as well as in school.
To display pictures I often use collages through Picasa. I also post edited pictures (as seen on right) to ensure that one of my student’s is not on the Internet. I also use Smilebox to make slideshows and scrapbook pages with pictures. At a later date you can print off the blog entries and you can make the blog entries and pictures into a memory book.
Through searches a few teachers have found my blog and we have connected and shared ideas. You can work on online projects together and students can become pen pals by writing comments on each other’s pages.
Some features of the blog setup include: 1 – related links – where you can post links to other blogs, websites, etc. I have posted links to a Glog I made as well as a Google Earth virtual field trip. 2. You can create class lists if you have more than one class. I have my regular class of 21 students and then I have another class of second graders from other homerooms for ELO at the end of the day. I created separate lists for each class.
3 – Student entries are listed on the left hand side of the blog. They are dated with the most recent entry being at the top. These entries are then also listed on the Classblogmeister main page so you can browse the most recent posts of any student around the world who has posted. When clicking on student entries you will be taken to the students’ individual blog page. Student’s names are not litsed – a single letter is used. Students create their own “alias” names for posting on the Internet. 4 – Teacher entries, or articles posted by the teacher, are listed above student entries. You can choose to list the 5 most recent, 10 most recent, or all of your recent posts. These posts are also dated and shown on the front Classblogmeister page.
My first grade colleague uses a lot of videos in her blog. She uses videos of the kids and educational videos as well.
Students have their own blog page that they can design. They can custom color their pages as well as add images and other widgets such as Wordles or Vokis. Anything that a student tries to post MUST be approved by the teacher. Students can also comment on other student posts. As the teacher you have the ability to deny comments should they been inappropriate and you can also edit comments if need be. So anything a student puts on their blog has to go through the teacher for approval. Search – on the main page of Classblogmeister you can search for people by searching where they live or you can do a grade level specific search. By searching you can connect with other classrooms. Two other teachers, one from Canada and one from the United States, have already found our blog and now we are following each other’s blogs and sharing ideas.
To set up your classroom blog you must register your school if it is not already registered. Then you will be given a numerical code that you have to enter in only one time. After you enter the code in you then register your school and enter in information about you and your class. Once you are registered you can start posting!
Blogging In The Primary Classroom
By Alison Snyder
What Is a Blog? <ul><li>A website used to share information or news </li></ul><ul><li>It is called a weblog, but is shortened to “blog” </li></ul>
How Can I Use a Blog In My Classroom? <ul><li>Communication tool </li></ul><ul><li>Online journal </li></ul><ul><li>Writing Prompts </li></ul><ul><li>Online writing portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Digital scrapbook </li></ul><ul><li>Connect with other classrooms </li></ul>
Communication Tool <ul><li>Important dates and reminders </li></ul><ul><li>Homework assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom rules and procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Links to classroom documents </li></ul>
Online Journal Share daily classroom happenings with parents
Writing Prompt <ul><li>Teacher can give future writing assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Students follow prompt on their blog </li></ul>
Online Writing Portfolio <ul><li>Student has own blog page within teacher blog </li></ul><ul><li>Posts are dated </li></ul><ul><li>Student posts are listed on individual blog page and sidebar </li></ul><ul><li>Great for sharing with parents at conferences </li></ul>
Digital Scrapbook <ul><li>A place to collect pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Create picture slideshows </li></ul><ul><li>Printout for a memory book </li></ul>
Classroom Connections <ul><li>Classrooms can connect through blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers can collaborate </li></ul><ul><li>Students can be online pen pals </li></ul>
Benefits of Classblogmeister <ul><li>Easy to navigate </li></ul><ul><li>Students have their own blog page </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to approve and edit student posts </li></ul><ul><li>Can search specifically for other bloggers at your grade level </li></ul>
How Do I Get Started? <ul><li>Go to www.classblogmeister.com </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up your school and get a code </li></ul><ul><li>Enter your code and register </li></ul><ul><li>Start Blogging! </li></ul>
Picture Credits <ul><li>Slide 3 – free clipart from Pete’s Powerpoint Station www.pppst.com </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 15 – Classblogmeister logo taken from www.classblogmeister page </li></ul><ul><li>All other pictures taken directly from my personal blog and my colleagues’ blogs </li></ul>