Tag Archives: reviews classroom blogs

Review of Classroom Blogs

22 Jan

Classroom Blog #1
The Ripple Effect
The Ripplers, as these 6th & 7th graders are called, are located in British Columbia, Canada. The purpose of their blog is to share the class’s day-to-day activities. The latest post is an Animoto about angles. It is very cool! I’ve tried Animoto before but only the 30 second free version. I found another post titled “Why are we silent?” that is truly inspirational. I have a reading group that just finished reading No Talking by Andrew Clements and they were competing, boys against girls, to see which group could say the fewest words in an hour. I told them about this site I’d stumbled upon and how they could be silent to raise awareness for children around the world whose voices are silenced and whose rights are not being upheld. They were very excited about the opportunity to do something that would help others. The Ripplers get a lot of views on their blog based on their flag counter; so, I deem it to be effective in meeting their goal of “learning with and from each other”.

Classroom Blog #2
Into the Wild
Sabrina De Vita is an English teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She created the blog to use with her fifth graders and this is a culmination of activities related to their animal unit. This is a wonderful way to encourage students to practice their newly developing English language. Sabrina has a post that displays how students used Blabberize to get pictures of their assigned animals to tell facts about themselves. Make sure to check up all of the various animals blabbering away. She also had her students read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and create photostories. Again, this is a creative and engaging method to get students to use their new language. Her blog is highly effective in engaging her students.

Classroom Blog #3
Look What’s Happening in Room 102
Room 102 is located in Quebec, Canada and is comprised of 21 first graders. The objective of this blog is to share the adorable activities the students participate in and complete. The teacher, Mrs. Lynch, does a good job hosting the site. There are numerous comments throughout the blog. Mrs. Lynch and her students created a class ABC book and published it using Voicethread. What a great way to incorporate technology! She has numerous postings about her trip to NCTE conference in Florida where she got a signed copy by E.B. White of Homegrown House, a book of poems by Janet Wong and illustrated by E.B. White. Finally, Mrs. Lynch shares their author study on Mo Willems and the vimeo of what the students think Pigeon wants to do next after begging to drive a bus. She also posts online games to practice concepts like adding and subtracting.

Reflection on Incorporation of Blogs in Educational Settings
I would incorporate blogs in my school library or classroom by posting books I recommend, activities to promote reading, newsletters, links to essential sites like the public library and authors we study, upcoming events, and current technologies. Students and staff would be able to read and comment on the blog. I need to find out what my county’s policy is on students participating in blogs but I envision including video of lessons & units taught and students actively engaged, student book reviews and discussions, and book order requests to name a few.

As a future school librarian, I would like to share with fellow teachers and librarians the camaraderie and collaboration that comes with blogging. It definitely puts one into contact with other professionals all over the world who want to share ideas about education. These are people who are highly satisfied in their career and want to spread best practices. I would suggest to my colleagues to start with just visiting blogs, set up a Google Reader account, and then move to creating their own. Everyone has a strategy or information to share. Obviously, I would begin by sharing my own blog. I could present the benefits of blogging as one of the pre-service breakout sessions.

Using blogs for professional development can be very beneficial. Documenting the information gained to increase student achievement can show commitment to furthering knowledge in your field. Administrators sometimes ask what professional articles you read during an evaluation. Blogs can serve as professional readings. On the other hand, posting to your own blog is even better, because you are the one in control over what professional information you want to share with the world. Your principal would be very impressed.