Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blog into a NEW school year!

Blog? What is a Blog? According to Hot Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking, “A blog, short for weblog, is an easily editable webpage with posts or entries organized in reverse chronological order” (Zawilinski, 2009, p.650). We will be using blogs in our classroom this year to organize our thinking, communicate with others, and practice and display our writing skills. Technology is vastly growing all around us, and we have to get our students ready for the up and coming technological world. Blogging is a way to get your second grader familiar with technology and incorporate it within their writing and sharing.

Our class blog will start off as a place where you, as parent or family member, can keep track of what your child is learning in class. Projects and activities will be posted or linked through our blog. Feel free to leave us a question or comment! I am sure your child will love to answer you from school. Your child will also be using the blog to share his or her thinking about reading. Students who are reading the same book will have a special place on our blog to “talk” about their book. They will be welcome to log on at home to add to their thinking. Students often formulate new ideas from combining the thinking of others with their own.

The article Writing Re-launched: Teaching with Digital Tools talks about how the way we as a society view writing is changing. “News stories are an integration of words, images, audio, and website links. College applications are all online, and some schools are beginning to accept videos in place of essays. A friendly letter is more likely composed on a smartphone than on stationary” (Heitin, 2011). I want my students to begin to feel comfortable writing online and become published writers. Students will learn the writing process, but it will be more engaging for them to practice those basic skills through technology. After doing some reading blogging with students last year, I myself discovered that they were more motivated to write about their reading. It was fun to them and was also exciting for those that came behind them to read their writing and leave a comment. Little did the students know that leaving a comment and reading a comment received were also READING AND WRITING! My students put their focus into their writing instead of the fact that they had to write. With students writing online, not only do the parents get a chance to see and comment, but as the teacher I can see conversations between my students and conversations between students and parents. Through blogging I have a digital record of their growth over time.