Please check out Part 1 of this series “Getting Started is Half the Battle”
When starting blogging in the classroom for the very first time, I found that my students have varying backgrounds when it came to the Internet, let alone blogging. As teachers who use technology every day, don’t take for granted that your students do too. Some of my eighth graders have several Tumblr pages, while others don’t know how to successfully navigate around the World Wide Web. Yes, really.
My first step was a little show and tell. I showed students this blog and used it as a “mentor text” of sorts. It was a hit. Not necessarily the content, but the actually blog? Insert high five emoji here. I showed off the main parts of a blog – title, heading of post, content of post, categories, comments, etc. You can have students point these out too.
Next I asked students to do a super quick brainstorm on what their blog’s theme would be and then do a quick pair share with their table mates. Definite student buy in at this point!! I then gave students pieces of 11 x 17 paper and asked them to design their blog using the main parts and include at least one post. They worked on it for almost a whole period and then were asked to bring it back completed in two days for our next step.
Gallery Walk time!
I love gallery walks around the room for assignments like this. When we do gallery walks, students are 1. given 3-5 post its to write positive comments on them to stick on whatever they are sharing and 2. it is silent so everyone can focus. I also mention that we should make an effort to make sure everyone has comments on their project, which seems to always happen.
I love this intro to blogging and it really helps out with formatting in the long run. It gets kids excited and ready to jump to their own space online! Next up in this series will be Part 3: Where Should We Blog?