This is the second year I have been blogging with my class. I started it because I wanted the grade to have a way to share what we had been doing with parents (and the wider community, if possible) and a way for students to reflect on their learning and achievements.
Have a look at this year’s class blog & last year’s class blog.
Last year’s class needed no motivation to blog! They would walk out the door and be blogging 10 minutes later when they arrived home. We had comments written by students and parents, or assisted by parents (meaning the parents were still reading the blog). It worked like a dream! The next step would have been taking the blog to a wider audience and connecting with other classrooms, schools, experts, anyone!
This year a few kids are excited, but there is nowhere near the amount of momentum and interest that I experienced last year. The teacher in the class next to me has begun a class blog and is experiencing the same thing. There’s been discussion about if what we’re doing is worthwhile. We needed something to get it moving so we decided to try and reinvigorate students with a little competition!
We are pitting one grade against the other in a battle of the blogs! Students will get points for:
- A comment = 1 point
- A correctly written comment = 5 points
- A comment on another blog besides their own grade’s = 2 points
- A comment written by a family member or friend outside of the school = 10 points
As you see we have set it up so that students are encouraged to
- treat it as they would any other writing piece (use correct format, writing for a purpose etc.)
- contribute to others’ learning communities
- engage their personal community in their learning and use them to learn more
We will also be selecting superstar bloggers who will be the students with the most points accumulated each week. These superstars will be allowed to write their own guest blog post on the class blog about anything they like.
We also discussed options for students who don’t have internet at home so that they can participate (FREE MACCAS WIFI! was a somewhat popular option for reasons unknown).
After introducing the idea today the kids seem to be pretty excited… time will tell if our little plan works.
7 thoughts on “Classroom Blogging and the Slump”
That’s interesting how the level of interest in blogging is different between this year’s and last year’s classes. I suppose that can just happen with a different group of students. Have you been able to identify any likely reasons other than it simply being a different group? I like the idea of getting a competition underway to incentivise bloggers. Perhaps once they get into it the intrinsic motivation will build. I look forward to hearing how it goes.
I think a factor is that last year I started blogging mid year, whereas this year we started straight away and I think it got lots in amongst everything else that is introduced at the beginning of the year. It’s also been a bit harder to keep regular dedicated time for it this year – it’s integrated into other areas but I find that students understand what we’re doing with the blog when there is also a specific time set aside to get stuck into blogging. I’m hoping that once parents and others start to contribute more, the blog will become more authentic as a way to interact with the wider community. Thanks for the feedback John – really appreciated!
Your blog looks great, Emily! You have lots of good ideas to get your class motivated. I think your posters and motivators look very exciting. Good luck!
Thanks Helen 🙂
Sounds like a great idea! Look forward to seeing if it works 🙂
Hi Mrs Fintelman!
2A are going to win…. just saying!