Our First Blog Posts! (yeah!!!)

It’s been a long time coming, but my new class of 4th graders posted for the first time on their blogs today. Our new MacBooks are up and running, we’ve learned how to turn them on, find our class wiki page … and now how to post to our blogs.

We have been doing an activity I’ve blogged about before, but this time I’m following the lesson plan from the Writing Fix website (This lesson idea was proposed to WritingFix by NNWP Teacher Consultant Kim Polson) a bit more closely because my current students are less experienced writers than my 6th graders last year.

Their posts are simple paragraphs about topics of their choice that follow a pattern from the book “The Important Book” by Margaret Wise Brown. Later we will “expand” these first examples into much more descriptive paragraphs … and eventually drop the “pattern” and develop other language pieces as well as write multiple paragraphs on the same topic. But this is a great starting point for us, everyone was successful … and thrilled. Note: my 4th graders are very “at risk” … 90% free lunch and 90% second language learners (and most are not close to fluent in their 1st language either).

My students were excited to say the least, and the few that have internet at home were making sure they knew how to find our blog online so they could show their families tonight.

Learning is messy!

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4 Responses to Our First Blog Posts! (yeah!!!)

  1. Steven Kimmi says:

    That’s great Brian! Wierd though, today my students made their first post as well, it was a student survey of how I’m doing, part of our appraisal system here.

    I’m adding your class blogs to our Blogroll, hopefully you will see some comments after Winter holidays!

  2. Leslie Doukas says:

    Congratulations! and it’s only December :-)

    Thinking about expanding simple paragraphs – check out this, from budtheteacher’s twitter: http://www.telescopictext.com/

    Happy Holidays to you, your students & your family, Bri!

  3. Julie Nourie says:

    What a great idea to have your students post a mentor-text writing assignment to a blog! I, too, use the Writing Fix website as a resource for language arts activities and have even used “The Important Book” in an assignment for student voice, but I haven’t yet taken any kind of technological spin with that kind of writing.
    Maybe the fact that your students are younger than my 8th graders makes them more willing to put themselves “out there” with their writing. I find it difficult to get my students to share what they have written in class because they are at a very self-conscious age, but I wonder if they would feel a sort of anonymity in leaving their work on the Internet. Leastways they won’t have their classmates “judging stares” boring into them while they share their work!
    Having students comment positively on each other’s original writing pieces might also be helped by posting this writing to a blog; 8th grade self-consciousness also materializes in their reluctance to give each other positive feedback on what they’ve created.
    Like I said, what a great idea! Thanks!

  4. Brian says:

    Hi Julie – So imagine if your students had started blogging and being “out there” when they were in 4th grade (or younger)? They would be used to this by now and would be less self-conscious. My last class grew so much in their public speaking skills (because we present to others students world-wide over Skype video-conferencing) and they really learned to embrace being articulate because they had to. Food for thought as we talk about changing schools. Thanks for your comment!

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