Back-to-School Blogging Topics

The start of the school-year can be a hectic and stressful time for teachers, students, and parents.  Everyone has become accustomed to the summer lifestyle where you have an abundance of free time and a less structured daily life. Getting back into the swing of things at school can be a difficult transition for children and teenagers. As a teacher, I have found that many students are resistant to acclimating back to the school culture, and as a result they struggle with getting any school work done.  Writing, in particular, can be a big struggle for students; many students just aren’t motivated. Our class blog serves as the best transition tool to get students back into school-mode, especially when it comes to writing.

Whether a student is new to blogging or a returning blogger from the previous year, blogging is a fun way to engage students with writing, especially at the beginning of the year. From the first time I introduce the blog to my classes, I encourage all my students to use the blog as a space to do some of their best writing. The idea of choice can be incredibly appealing to students as they return back from summer vacation. Many students haven’t had a chance to see their friends or update them on their summer break activities, so the blog is a perfect space for students to communicate and share their summer memories with one another. Since blogging about summer break is such an obvious and easy way to get students writing, encourage them to respond to each other’s blog posts with thoughtful comments.
Other possible back-to-school blogging topics can include the following:

  • “Favorites” lists – memory, food, trip, person, place (can be all about summer or not)
  • Reflection on student’s writing journey thus far
  • Writing survey- what types of writing are of interest to students (great way to get to know students at the beginning of the year)
  • Interview with another member of the class (great extended icebreaker)
  • Positive/best things about fall
  • What does a community of writers look like?
  • Goal setting- within your class and/or outside of your class

It’s important to set high expectations early on in the classroom in order to set the tone for the remainder of the year. So while students have the choice to write about what they want, it’s essential that the expectations remain high for the quality of work produced. One way to do this is to encourage students to set writing goals for themselves on the blog. I have found that students tend to write more thoughtfully and honestly when they are in charge of setting their own goals. Students can easily come back to this goal and reflect on growth or change in relation to this specific goal as time progresses.

However you decide to introduce blogging to your class at the beginning of the year, I encourage you to be as enthusiastic as you possibly can. In my experience, students feed off your energy and are much more willing to feel invested in their work if you are as well.

About the Author
Originally from Brazil, Priscila Samuel teaches Journalism at Randolph Community Middle School in Randolph, MA. She earned her Master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh where she taught in the Pittsburgh School District for one year before working as an editor of school curriculum for Lincoln Learning Solutions. Priscila returned to her home state of Massachusetts in 2016. ​Journalism is brand new to RPS and Priscila has worked hard to create innovative, engaging, and relevant curriculum for her students. The class focuses on current events, digital citizenship, social media, and fake news. All students in Priscila's class use the blog on a weekly basis in order to engage in digital communication and practice academic digital writing.

One comment

  1. Ray Badger

    I enjoyed reading your article on blogging. This year will be the first time I introduce blogging to my 4th graders. I plan to use kidblog.

    I am the technology teacher, so kids come to me for computer special. I wanted to teach them about blogging. I want them to be able to write with pleasure. Not really sure how to introduce it and what types of rubric to use for their posts for 4th graders.

    DO you have any advice?

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