The end of the school year means to me wrapping up everything, hurrying to get everything finished, making sure everything is ready for next year. But it also means pulling out all of the work from the whole year that got stored in the dusty closet, dark storeroom, or bottom of the backpack to put together and polish the portfolio for each student.
For the past few years, Kidblog has helped my students in the creation of their portfolios. The work is all in one spot. They can go back by dates or topics to check about a piece of work, and many times the reflection is already with the work in the comments. The students themselves are able to see the progress they have made throughout the year.
Presenting to the parents at Student Led Conferences is common practice, and Kidblog facilitates this presentation. The parents can see the growth with the student throughout all subjects. With Kidblog, the students can immediately access their work. Parents can see the progress for themselves. All of the work is in the same spot. No more dusty closets, dark storerooms or bottom of the backpack. My students like showing off what they have written in the blogs. It is personal, and it is there for others to see; it is authentic.
For the last blog of the year I have my students write a letter to themselves 10 years in the future. As they are 7th graders, most will have graduated college in 10 years. Then, please keep it a secret and don’t tell my students, but I enlist the help of the parents to give the blog to my former students 10 years in the future. I have had nothing but positive responses from the parents. They are excited to hear what their child wants to say to him or herself. They are thrilled to share in the growth I have seen in their child and to keep a little piece of who my students are right now. As an extra surprise, I add in the first blog the students wrote for me, allowing the parents to make the comparison from the beginning of the year to the end.
This activity, through the use of Kidblog, has allowed me to not only transcend the classroom, but also time. I am able to reach into the future and support my students, an action that very few other activities are able to do.
Kidblog has cleaned my closets for me and allows the students to clearly see this growth I have known to be there. It is my desire for my students to take this with them, to continue to use this record keeping, reflection-oriented group of work through the use of Kidblog for their future.