"Messy” Thanksgiving Blogging

Yesterday I mentioned that my 5th graders would blog today … or at least begin the process, about our Thanksgiving Feast experience. Based on how we have done so far this year I figured that 2 to maybe 8 or 9 students might manage to write, edit, and be ready to post today. Well, I was wrong. My students are doing so much better with using correct English and punctuation that almost all of them managed to finish and post today … I was blown away, and I told them so.

Now as I have mentioned recently you would probably not look at the archive of work of many students in my class and see a huge transformation in their writing, but they get to a “reasonable” finished product so much faster now … fewer mistakes during their rough draft, better at finding mistakes and able to inject a bit more feeling and description is what I note.

Now that they have a better handle on the “nuts and bolts” I can start the process of having them inject more voice and polish into their writing (I hope). I also hope to begin to show them how to have more of a conversation on their blogs. More writing about their learning and commenting back and forth … as I mentioned in my K12 Online Keynote that is when I believe blogging will really achieve its power in learning.

One other quick note … we have been blogging a lot, almost every day – sometimes for 1 to 2 hours at a stretch … and they stay on task, they don’t moan when I say we are going to work on our blogs today. I had a student today … a student that is very ESL (second language learner) that struggles with correct English and syntax … got his post done today btw … and when he finished, and he had to work at it a bit but has improved so much … he asked if he could finish editing last weeks post that he didn’t get to finish instead of doing a Funbrain activity others were doing.

Learning is messy!

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3 Responses to "Messy” Thanksgiving Blogging

  1. Wesley Fryer says:

    That is great Brian! How wonderful that you are able to provide sufficient TIME for your students to write, reflect, revise, and publish. There are many elements to the successful use of blogging in the classroom, but like reading, I think the provision of TIME by the teacher for the act of writing is key. I’m going to read and comment on some of your students’ posts now. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Tim Childers says:

    Brian, I watched your K12online keynote a couple of days ago. You are implementing some really cool ideas with your 5th graders. It inspired me to rethink some of my processes for next year. Keep up the great work!

  3. Rhonda Jenkins says:

    Brian, I am so impressed by the strategies you are using with your students. I found you through an assignment I am doing for my Masters studies with Walden University. We are to explore blogging and connect with fellow teaching professionals via blogging. I am not sure yours is the type of blog my professor had in mind but I was so impressed by your use of blogging with your students that I couldn’t stop reading! I will definitely remember this strategy in my own classroom! Thank you so much for providing this valuable insight and window into your classroom!

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