I talked in an earlier post about the evolution of the use of blogging in my classroom. Whenever I mention starting a classroom blog to teachers, or do professional development sessions that involve blogs, there are a few ways to use blogs in the classroom that I seem to always mention. Here’s a list of a few ways you can use a classroom or student blogs in the classroom.
- Blogging is writing, so it’s pretty obvious that the go-to use of blogs is to have students write. A blog is a perfect place for students to keep a learning journal, reflection log, or writing notebook! For this, a service such as Kidblog is perfect for creating and managing blogs for younger students. Older students or adult learners could use Google’s Blogger easily for this. This is a blogger blog !
- When I was in the elementary classroom, I loved using my class blog as a center activity. Students rotated through the blogging station through-out the week. Each week there was a discussion question for them to answer or reply to. I posted the topic or question, and they replied back through comments. There were quite a few reasons that I loved using blogging as a center. Let’s be honest- as a teacher time is the one thing you never have enough of! Each week, the only setup I had to worry about for this center was posting a question or topic. Also, depending on the need, the question or topic could be from any content area or subject! Finally, it was great seeing students answer the question and then be excited to reply back to others in the class!
- Another thing that my students always loved was looking at the stats from our class blog. In blogger, you can view your page views broken down by country. It didn’t take too long to get page views from countries around the world…and students were so excited about that! So not only were students motivated to make sure their writing was up to par with being seen around the world, but I could also use the stats as a way to engage students in learning about other cultures, countries, geography, and more. We could even pull mathematics in by using the measurement tools in Google Earth to measure distances between different places, or in upper grades by using the page view numbers and converting them into the fractional or decimal parts.