Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And Finally... My Kindergarten and First Grade Students Are Blogging!

It's been on my list all year: Set up KidBlogs.

But also on my list: prep everything for new student, prep everything for another new student, develop new materials for the Common Core, rearrange schedule because it just doesn't work with a combo, try another new schedule, tweak guided reading time, prep for another new student... sleep, eat, teach, repeat!

So much to do and so little time. But it's done. I added my current class to KidBlogs. I taught small groups how to get started. And bazinga! They are blogging like... like... well, like little bloggers!

The best thing I heard today? "When I'm done with my math, can I go blog?" LOVE.

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KidBlogs is very easy to use. The teacher sets up an account, and then adds users. Each user needs a screen name (I used first names only) and a password. For my students' passwords, I used the same passwords they use to sign into everything else in our district. So that was very simple! It took just a few minutes to enter all 30 of my students.

But before I let them use KidBlogs, I showed my students some blogs that I like. I showed them a couple of cooking blogs that I read, and another teacher's blog. Together we explored a craft blog, and a photography blog, and a gardening blog. I pointed out the titles of each post, and tried to define a few terms. We talked a bit about how to comment, how to see older posts, and the permanence of everything that a blogger writes.

Next I had my students sign in and create a new post. I let them choose their own topics and titles for their post, and told them that they could share any ideas! It was interesting. My students were definitely excited to try something new, but there was a little hesitation. Could they really write what they wanted? Could they write about video games, even? How does it work? Who will read what they write?

But once they got started-- Omiword! The excitement spread so fast! I have ten computers in my room, and today at one point... every single one was being used for blogging! So I've got to share some examples!

One of my kindergartners posted this yesterday: (her first post!)

I can do the mokeybars.

And another first attempt:

I like to pla video gams.

And then today, the comments started!

One girl posted: I can read a book that is abot dogs.

And a classmate commented: I hat doogs because thay are crase.

I squealed!! That comment? That's opinion writing... just what the Common Core ordered! And there were lots more exciting comments. Students started asking each other questions in their comments, and making connections with each other! Oh happy day!

Of course, I'm going to encourage my students to discuss books, as well. One student already used a book for inspiration. He had this book sitting on his desk, and he wrote, "I like rain." And someone commented, "Do you have an umbrelu?"

Meaningful writing for an audience--check! Collaboration is on the way!

Do you use KidBlogs with your students?

 

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