Promoting blogging in the classroom

I have a bit of a blogging problem. At the turn of the year, I vowed to continue my class blog, this blog, a blog about music, one to write with, and one to keep track of recipes I’ve tried. Yes, that’s right, recipes. I eventually decided on just a music one.

I also have wanted to set up more blogs at school; sports achievements, individual for SEN children, gifted writers…maybe even a governor’s blog. Who knows?

As well as this, my children must be sick of me talking about it. But the message is sinking in. Since we started our most recent round of Quadblogging (January 7th), our blog has received over 1000 visits, as well as over 80 posts from the children and hundreds of comments from all over the world. The children are now seeing the power of the blog – a global audience. We have had comments from the fantastic 100 Word Challenge team; teachers from elsewhere in the UK; lecturers in Primary Education; parents, siblings, cousins from far-flung lands…The children love seeing the different countries we have through our map, and were especially excited when we had 5 different countries on at once.

One of our Quadblogging partners, Laura Taylor, has created a simple but effective display to highlight how many visitors their blog gets, so I did what every good teacher does and copied magpied it. Thanks Laura! See her blog here. We still need to add a couple of bits – newest country, total visits etc, but it is a reminder to the children that their work is valued all over the world.

Still a work in progress...

We have also started to tweet about our learning at the end of each lesson (please follow us!) This idea is another of my own somebody else’s; this time, Simon McLoughlin, whose you can find here. The children are really into this, having had replies from other schools and teachers. It also allows them to think about what they have actually achieved during the day, and enables parents to see what we have been up to. I have adapted Simon’s display slightly.

Sentence starters to get the children thinking

Finally, we have also started a ‘Blogger of the Week’ league table. I decided to start this to appeal to the more competitive children, especially as we had the same children blogging, all but 2 of whom were girls. This still remains an issue, but the boys are starting to fight back!

We agreed a points system for a quality comment, post or entry into the 100 Word Challenge, as well as a bonus point for attending our weekly lunch-time blogging club. The winner gets to spin the wheel and wins a prize. Nobody has won the ‘choose your own lesson’ yet…

As you can see, the points have been amended in order to encourage more participation. Last week only 9 of my 33 children had zero points. These are small steps, but I feel they are definitely making a difference. You can download the spinner here and adapt it should you wish (it is by no means perfect). Please let me know if you do.

The children are now very aware of the fact we have a global audience, and they are really keen to impress. My next step is to get them blogging during lessons to show their learning ‘live’ – at the moment a lot of their posts are after the event. Or about their pets.

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