From New Bloggers to Published Authors

Blog Post Image Poth Oct

In the beginning of the school year, there are many routines and procedures to be established. The first few weeks of school are often spent getting to know one another, discussing classroom expectations, and becoming familiar with classroom tools and materials. A great way to begin the new year is by taking the opportunity to learn about students within the first few months: their backgrounds, interests, strengths,and learning needs. A great way to help students share these details is through their writing.

To many students, the idea of blogging will be new. A common way to prepare students for publishing blog posts is by first creating “posts” with paper and pencil. I often begin by providing a prompt for the students and having them write for a short period of time. Giving students this opportunity to first practice on paper helps them get comfortable with their writing prior to publishing their posts for a more public audience. I have found it also helps me learn a little more about my students.

Once both you and your students feel ready to publish, create a prompt to help ease students into the online blogging experience. A great beginning prompt will guide students in their writing. It will provide them with an opportunity to think and apply knowledge already learned this year. In my foreign language classroom, a prompt focused on a particular concept or as a review of the material covered from the prior year works well. This also serves as an excellent way to determine what content needs to be reviewed, as well as how to provide some more individualized instruction for each of your students.

Once these posts are published, leave comments to inquire more. Ask how students believe they best learn, what resources help them the most, and other similar questions. These questions help students to engage more in the learning process and provide you with valuable information on each class member.

Blogging as a tool in the classroom provides a way for teachers and students to convey information and communicate understanding. It gives students a voice as it allows for open-ended expression. Students begin to focus on expressing themselves and throughout the year will become increasingly comfortable.

About the Author
I am a Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher at Riverview Junior Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. I am also an attorney and earned my Juris Doctor Degree from Duquesne University School of Law and have a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology. I am the Communications Chair for the ISTE Mobile Learning Network, the President-Elect and Innovations and Resources Co-Chair for the Teacher Education Network and the PAECT Historian. I was selected as the 2017 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by PAECT (the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications in Technology, the PA affiliate of ISTE) and by the NSBA as one of the "20 to watch" educators. I am proud to be involved in several communities including being a Common Sense Media Educator, an Ambassador for BloxelsEDU, Buncee, CoSpaces, Flipgrid, Hoonuit, and an Edmodo Certified Trainer, Nearpod PioNear, Recap Pioneer, TES Ambassador and Ambassador for several other networks. I wrote chapter 3 of the Edumatch book “Snapshot in Education 2016”, and I am a contributing author to “Gamify Literacy” from ISTE. I enjoy blogging and writing for Kidblog and I am always looking for new learning opportunities to benefit my students. You can connect with me on Twitter @rdene915.

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