Monday, March 1, 2010

Posting Series: Reflections on That Workshop Book #3- Mentor Blogs for Kids

I have introduced my students to blogging!  I have taken the plunge (but not fully as our blog is open only to kids in my class, their parents and other teachers in the building that I have invited as readers) into helping kids understand what it feels like to share their work with a larger audience and receive feedback from their peers and parents.  It has been so exciting to hear their conversations about ideas they want to write about, questions about how to get to the blog, how to find a post and  how to get a picture on their post. With one short week of exploring, there are kids who are already experts. Students are helping each other maneuver their way through the blog.  Some kids have tried posting at home on the blog and one student posted a couple times while in Vancouver at the Olympics with his family ( his dad played hockey for Sweden). He was barely missed as we were able to read about his adventures and see a photo of him.  Blogging is helping second graders feel connected even when a friend is far away.

Samantha Bennett, author of That Workshop Book,  reminds us of the importance of mentor texts and real-world models that put a vision of high quality work in the heads of students.  I knew that I would need some quality blogs that were created by kids to guide our posting. So today I shared a few kid blogs I found after searching last night. I discovered a homeschool blog site where found kid bloggers. This site also offers tips for kids and parents when setting up blogs.  Today I used these blogs:
 Science Mouse
Araya and Avery: Horse Blog
Lego Maniac
Wind Rider


to help my students find a focus for their posts. I know I will continue to come back to them as we dive deeper into blogging.  Check them out!!

6 comments:

Kip Holland-Anderson said...

Katie,

Great post!

May I ask what blogging platform you are using with your 2nd graders? I have been trying out a few different ones with my 4th graders, but haven't found one that I'm sold on yet.

Thanks,
Kip

katied said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katied said...

Hi Kip-
I am trying blogger right now but just found a site called kidsblog.org. I know there is edublog, typepad but haven't researched completely. What have you found?

Mandy said...

What a great idea, finding blogging mentor text for your children to use. It will be interesting to watch how your students respond compared to the paper pencil format.

Kip Holland-Anderson said...

Katie,

Your idea of using a single blog for all of your students is a great idea. I'm going to try that. I had originally thought of setting up indiv. blogs through Blogger, but it seemed like too much work and a little too out of my control.

I've tried using the blog feature in Moodle, Open Atrium which combines blog/wiki/Twitter/doc storage in one - but doesn't allow for public access very easily, and have set up a PBWiki for students to post their writing.

Kidsblog.org sounds like something to check out.

BTW, my 6 YO son really enjoyed the Lego blog you posted. :>)

Take care,
Kip

Sheryl Forsman said...

Katie,

I really like this post- thanks for the links to other kid blogs. It is often hard to find good models for student blogs.