Ideas for Integrating a Student Blog into Your Curriculum

8/6/2014 12:00:00 AM

One thing I have loved about blogging and what it does for my students is how easily it has been to integrate it into our curriculum.  I knew when we started that I didn’t want an extra layer of “stuff to do” because we already have too much “stuff to do.”  So if I were to have my students blog, it had to be as authentic and as meaningful as possible, without it becoming another homework burden.  With that in mind, here are some beginning ideas for integrating blogging into your classroom.

  • Those daily journal responses we have to do as part of writers and readers workshop, those go on our blog instead for those who choose it.  Some students prefer to type, others relish the pencil and paper, I love that they have a choice.
  • Writing about our reading.  I love when students write about the books that they read or give recommendations.  When we blog about that it opens up a dialogue, rather than a static finished product.  Here students can become experts on their books and connect with others that loved it (or hated it) just as much as they did.
  • Science detectives.  I love adding video cameras and digital cameras to our lessons.  They offer students a different way to document their learning and they always provide me with a much deeper insight of what students now versus a worksheet.  So why not post it on our blog for others to see and learn with us.  This is a great a way for parents to see what is happening, as well as for the kids to be questioned by other classes or scientists.  This adds a whole other dimension to our experiments.
  • Editorials or just plain old opinions.  I love when students use their blogs to form, discuss or expand on their ideas.  Our blogs are used to comment on the happenings in the classroom.  I ask the students to become reflective learners and process their role as a student.  It never ceases to amaze me what I learn from students when they open up on their blog.
  • Deepening social studies.  I believe in project based learning and social studies lends itself incredibly well to this.  So I encourage students to expand their thinking about their project through their blogs, as well as to post finished products if “postable.”
  • Group writing.  I love it when students write blog posts together, whether it be for a story or to share a common experience.  Blogging as a team or group shows off their ability to conform to a common voice while adding individual flair.
  • Reporting on events.  When we go anywhere or take a virtual field trip I ask students to share their experiences, show of their expertise, and give me their honest opinion.  Field trips don’t end after you get back, they should be digested and discussed and blogging is a great medium for that.
  • Furthering their mathematical thinking.  I used to have students do exit slips on which they explained something we learned in their own words and while I still use them once in a while, I love using our blog instead.  I have students create a problem that fits into what we discussed and then solve it for, or explain their thinking behind the problem.  We can then invite others into our math class and students get to share their knowledge.
  • Let me know how I am doing.  While not part of our curriculum, this is a huge factor in the success of our classroom.  Students have to have a mouthpiece in education and by voicing their opinions on our blogs we are able to engage other educators and students in the debate.  Change starts with us, so we should be providing students with an outlet for their opinions.
  • Finally, and most importantly, it has started a global conversation in our classroom and brought the world in.  Student blogging is one the easiest ways to trylu help students shape their global citizenry.

These ideas are beginnings, there are so many things you can do with student blogs, you just have to jump in and look for the natural fits in your curriculum.  Students don’t need more work, they need more authenticity in their educational experience.  Blogs can help us do that.

cross-posted at pernillesripp.com.

Pernille Ripp is the the author of Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students, creator of Global Read Aloud Project, and co-founder of EdCamp MadWI. She teaches fifth grade in Verona, Wisconsin, and blogs at http://pernillesripp.com.

 
comments powered by Disqus
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...