Summer gardening projects allow for a great many hours of contemplation as I pull weeds and tend to my flower and veggie beds. As my thoughts turn to the upcoming school year, I find myself thinking about my last year’s class and how their writing bloomed through blogging over the course of the school year. I would hate to think that their Kidblog adventure would come to an end with a new year and a new teacher, and I’m sure I’m not the only one with this sentiment. I believe we can encourage next year’s teachers to use blogging in the classroom without infringing on their own professional classroom teaching styles and goals. Here are some words of encouragement to share with colleagues in hopes that they will continue blogging with your past students:
Introduce Kidblog to next year’s teacher by sharing last year’s class blog with them, and schedule a time when you can both sit down and look at it together. People unfamiliar with blogging sites can be overwhelmed at first look, so make sure you spend time showing how the blog site works, how the students can easily manipulate it, how teacher-friendly it is to use, and how effortlessly blogging lends itself to any curriculum.
Highlight particular students’ writing over the course of last year whose writing and thought processes grew by leaps and bounds. Speak to the fact that blogging is a wonderful motivator for the student who “doesn’t like writing”, and how valuable blogging is when developing students’ evaluating skills by using peer commenting.
Offer to mentor the teacher throughout the year as questions arise. Having the support of a successful blogging teacher/advocate with past experience can be very valuable to someone new to blogging. Often certain highly skilled students will act as classroom blogging coaches. We teachers know how valuable it is to have a knowledgeable go-to student close by, especially when it comes to technology!
Speak to the teacher benefits to running a classroom blogging site versus using traditional paper and pencil activities. As more and more districts are requiring utilization of technology, Kidblog is a wonderful, easy-to-use tool for teachers to incorporate technology into their classrooms, no matter the classroom subject (even science and math).
Discuss affordability and the different ways Kidblog might be budgeted for if the teacher has purchasing questions. (Even if this becomes an out-of-pocket teacher expense, I personally would rather spend $44 on Kidblog for a year than over a $100 on incentive trinkets!) And, if more than one teacher uses Kidblog in the classroom, the Admin Pro membership option provides additional payment options for your school or district.
Share the Kidblog site’s professional blog, and let the teacher know that there are endless teacher ideas, resources, and support available to them at the click of a button. Make sure to include the teacher webinars when viewing the site together, and to let them know that the staff at Kidblog is always there to help.
Now that you’ve opened up the venue for your past students to continue blogging, you can look forward to sharing this exciting adventure with your new class! Have a wonderful school year, and happy blogging!