Six Easy Steps to Start Student Blogs (Part 2)
Here’s part two of a mini-series on how to get your blogs off to a speedy and meaningful start. Be sure to catch the first post in the series below.
Lesson 4 – Logging On – When you hear the words “starting a blog,” this is the lesson you are picturing. Students learn to log-in to their blog, change their password, set up their profile, and then create their first post. To motivate students to do a great job, I always show them statistics from previous years. They get very excited to know their writing could be read around the world. Beware – your slowest typers might need additional time to finish.
Lesson 5 – Post-It Comments – The paper blogs from Lesson 3 come back out for today. First, we discuss the importance of the opportunity to write comments. Comments give the students chance to have global conversations, communicating with students around the world. I teach five types of comments: agree/disagree with a reason, ask/answer a question, add more information, make a connection, and give a specific compliment. We discuss how these comments are much better than “You’re cool” and “Awesome, dude” because those comments don’t add to the conversation. Then, each student gets a pad of Post-it notes, walks around the room, and adds comments to other students’ paper posts. At the end, I ask students to choose a comment they received that was particularly meaningful and share it with a partner.
Lesson 6 – Blog Comments – Today, students get a chance to make comments on other students’ actual blogs. We review the five types of comments, and then I turn them loose. After I answer any questions, I try to sit at my desk to view and approve comments that come in. If necessary, I’ll pull a student up to my desk and show them how to add to a comment to make it meaningful.
These six lessons will give blogging a jump-start in your room. More lessons can follow later in the year, but these six lessons help lay the groundwork you need to have a successful year of blogging. Good luck!