To Do for the New School Year: Start Blogging!

Common Core State Standards: 
Speaking and Listening
Instructional Strategies: 

From cooking blogs to travel blogs, there is a blog on every topic—written by every kind of person, young and old. Why not your students?

Writing blogs can help increase motivation for writing and help your students learn how to adapt their texts for different audiences, tasks, and purposes. Improving on writing skills and learning to use media in a variety of situations are critical to helping your struggling students and students with disabilities to meet the Common Core State Standards for English language arts. Learn more about the research supporting classroom blogs in our Tech Research Brief Writing for the Web

Check out this great video of how one second-grade teacher uses blogging in her classroom:

Learning Online in the Second Grade: Linda Yollis on Vimeo.

Getting Started:

  • Most blogging platforms are free and it’s easy to get started—you can have a blog up and running in minutes!
  • Think about what kind of blog you’ll create: Will it be a place for you to post assignments and classroom news? A place for students to write? Will each student have his or her own personal blog?

Expert Tips:

  • Some websites offer educational features that allow you to create individual student blogs, while giving you, as a teacher, complete control. This ensures that blogs remain appropriate and under your control.

Ideas for Classroom Blogging:

  • Do your students often forget their homework or notes? Post assignments, notes, handouts, and reminders on your classroom blog so that your students can access the material if needed. This is great for parents, too!
  • Make video lectures, slide shows, and other relevant materials available so students can review them multiple times if needed.
  • Post discussion questions and topics on your blog and have students respond in the comments. This can be especially useful for students who may struggle with in-class discussions.
  • Use your classroom blog as a digital journal—this can be a place for creative writing, taking lab notes and observations for science class, or writing a math journal. The benefit of having it all online is twofold: You have an easy way to assess student learning over time, and other students can review their classmates’ writing to help solidify their understanding.
  • Encourage your students to respond to and critique each other’s writing (after a discussion on commenting etiquette!).

Are you using blogs in your classroom? How? What are your favorite tools?

Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Lina Breslav for helping to prepare this post. 

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