Since starting my class blog (see the original post here: Class Blogging – The Future?)I have been working hard to find time in an already overflowing curriculum to show the children not just our blog, but other class blogs as well. We all know that as soon as you stop mentioning things, the children can forget about them and then the benefits are not harnessed as much as they can be.
Currently the way I manage blogging in my class is:
- I have a rota in my classroom for registration time, when the other children are reading or doing early morning work, where two children each day get to go on the blog (apart from Monday’s see blog post: ). I have paired stronger readers with weaker ones to make things easier.
- Extension work – if a child is close to finishing a piece of work or has finished it I may ask them to do a blog post.
- Showcase – if a child has done some particularly good work I will ask them to record it, photograph it or blog about it to share it with the world.
The majority of time when children are on the blog during registration they’re reading posts and commenting on them. If I know someone has posted something as extension work or I have asked them to showcase it then I will make sure I show the whole class at some point to encourage them.
This was working well and it was motivating the children but they were getting minimal chance to read other classes blogs and therefore did not really have any ideas for what they wanted to post about. Then I had a brainwave. Guided reading is a time for children to read a range of texts and answer questions on them to check their understanding of what they have read. Surely blogs are a great way for children to experience the real work benefits of blogs? After all the majority of my day-to-day reading is blogs unless I have a holiday where I have the luxury of spare time to read a book.
I again made a blogging timetable, the group which I was reading with each lesson could not have participants reading the blogs as I needed to hear them read so I rotated the day on the blog and then chose two members from within a group to be on the laptop each lesson. I use Google Chrome for my browser as it allows me to create a separate profile on my laptop specifically for the children which does not have any of my passwords or accounts automatically logged in. It also allows me to create a set of favourites specifically for the children so I can have a folder full of class blogs that I have checked are suitable and frequently updated. The children then have these instructions to follow:
For the first 20 minutes of the lesson
- Choose a blog to look at
- Click the link to take you there
- Read through the blog and see what you find interesting.
After 20 minutes I will tell you it’s time to choose 1 blog post to focus on.
In your book:
- Write today’s date in your book
- Write the title ‘Blogging’
- Tell me about the blog post you found interesting.
- Which post was it? What was it about?
- Why did you like it?
- What was your favourite thing about it?
- Anything else you want to tell me about it.
So far this has worked well, I believe that the children gain a lot from choosing what they read about and the fact that it is something ‘real’ to read. They certainly don’t miss out on anything using the time to read and write about blogs instead of answering comprehension questions and it gave them that experience of what other classes and other children across the KS2 age-range were blogging about.