These last few weeks have proven to be an exciting opportunity for my students.  Overall, they LOVE blogging.  Whether they have stuck to completing only the writing assignments I’ve given them or have posted multiple posts on their own, each student has proven to themselves (and to me) that they can write quality work when they are interested and invested in the writing.  And it can only get better from here.

My students have been posting and commenting so much that I find myself constantly needing to go on and approve all sorts of things.  Just now, I opened up my own blog (this one) to start writing, but got sidetracked by the multiple posts and comments that have popped up in just the last 12 hours.  My students are on fire!

Some students have caught the blogging bug.  One girl is not only posting 3 or more posts each week, but she has infected her older sister (a former student of mine) and her mother as they are both using her log in to create comments themselves.

One of the greatest parts about this blogging is that it is naturally differentiated.  Students can write the minimum of assignments (I have been assigning one post topic per week) or they can post more.  Students can write as many comments as they want and of course it is catered to their level by how much they actually write.  I’ve even been surprised by some of my otherwise weaker writers.  One boy who tends to rush through writing assignments to get them over with, has actually taken it upon himself to post a summary of each of his baseball games.  I am so proud of him!

Another great thing the students are learning is how to make comments.  This is not only a blogging skill, but a life skill.  Instead of simply writing a one or two word reaction to a post topic, my students are starting to understand the value of a good, complete comment that actually STATES something and continues a conversation.  In fact, I won’t even approve a piddly comment, but will ask a students to embellish it first with more ideas.  I think this is the first time some of these students are understanding what it means to support your ideas with details.

Enough of what I have to say.  Here are some direct quotes from my students’ final blog post about blogging from our last day of school.

I like blogging very much this year.  I was nervous about it when I did my first blog then I got the hang of it so I did pretty good.”

“I love to blog.  It’s one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. I love that you get to read and write, and online which is bonus points for me. Also you get to state your opinion.I really hope we can continue over the summer.”

“What I did like about blogging is that you could blog wherever you want, whenever you want. Also you can edit a comment or post that you made and you can also delete any comments that you don’t feel comfortable with that someone else wrote.”

“I loved blogging.  I liked posting new posts and commenting on others.  I can’t believe I actually liked the assignments.   I liked going online to write posts about a recent event.  I just wish we blogged for the whole year. “

This has been a great journey for both my students and me.   We started with Paper Blogs and assuring our safety online and then took the plunge to go online and learn about all the blogging features before starting to write.  Now, I just can’t stop the momentum!  I’m looking forward to do this again with my students next year.

My hope is that these students continue through the summer and be interested in blogging in the future.  My next step is to figure out what happens to the students’ blogs once I have a new class.

Have you blogged with your students?  Please share!  If you haven’t, you need to join the movement!  It’s one powerful way to get students writing to deepen their own learning.

~EMP

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