Student Bloggers to meet the CCSS Writing Challenge

06/14/2013 4:28 PM | Elizabeth Ramos (Administrator)
Many students are reluctant writers. As educators, we sometimes need to hook or "gamify" tasks to engage our students. Blogging has done just that for many educators. Students start to become more engaged when they know their writing is public, even more so when collaborating with students outside of their own school site. Blogging provides a powerful medium for students to reflect on their learning, re-purpose gained knowledge to demonstrate mastery, and engage in historical conversation with their peers. All of this is supported in the CCSS Writing standards which call upon students to produce and distribute, utilize technology, write routinely, and write to inform and argue.

Last weekend I met with some educators for a Coffee Cue in Pasadena. Among the topics we discussed was blogging. Alice Chen, a middle school teacher, shared her experiences in having her students blog. She noted the power in her students writing and the connections they were making by being compelled to reflect. Also, she noted that it was a great medium for the shy students to use their voice and that her students were excited to converse with other classes including international ones. She mentioned a young writer in particular and the introspective examination she wrote about. She also shared a management tool for the blogs. Students are required to blog a number of times in the semester. To help manage this, students complete a Google form where they list the dates they blogged and copy their blog entry and this is done for extra blog posts for additional points as well.

There are a number of blog hosting websites for teachers to utilize. Many offer teachers the opportunity to keep the blogs private, select classes to collaborate with, moderate comment before publishing, and eliminate ads. EdublogsKidblog, and Class Press may be particularly more suited for the needs and concerns of the lower grades. When it comes to high school students, the ability of students to modify and personalize the template, integrate media, and share on their social media networks becomes of more importance. In these cases, Blogger andWeebly offer students more customization. These are just a few options for educators to utilize in their classroom
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