Making Over Third Grade!: Ready! Set! Connect!
 photo Untitled_zpse7ecd2cc.png -->

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ready! Set! Connect!

I have been trying to get blogging to take off in my class for a while now. Last year we had a few classroom connections and some of the kids blogged, some didn't. I wasn't able to get them all excited about blogging. I vowed
that this year would be different and we would all be proficient bloggers by the end of the school year.

Well, once again, I ran into a brick wall of student resistance. I tried using it
as our morning question, as our nightly reading summary writing, and as an in class option. Nothing seemed to work. I wanted to get my students excited about blogging but with a limited audience they just were not interested in writing and I was starting to let go of my blogging dream then something happened. That something was "Would you rather" questions.

A quick look at how these questions work in my classroom: We think about our response and share our responses with our partner. Then meet in like minded groups and share reasons why we made our choice. We then pair up (or get in groups depending on the number of students with a given response) and try to convince our new partners to change their minds. After all of this we blog about our response to the "Would you rather" question. Of all things, this is what lit the blogging bug for my students.

So now the question is how to keep them excited about blogging. Of course we commented on our classmates' blogs but we needed a bigger audience. MUCH BIGGER. But how to make this happen? Well, we needed to connect to other classes of course!

I had connected to two other classes via Kidblog through connections I made on Twitter (#S2SBC) but considering how large my various PLNs are (Twitter, Facebook groups, G+, and Voxer) I was frustrated that we didn't have more class connections.

This needed to change! But how? Interestingly, last year when I first began to get frustrated with student blogging I was talking to another teacher (Josh Harris, whose blog can be found here) in my district who had moved to an Ed Tech position. We decided we needed a spreadsheet to collect class information for teachers with class blogs who were also seeking to increase their students' audience. What started out as an idea that would start in our district became so much more. We now have a means to create a global (we hope) database of class blogs in order to create student connections.

By adding your class information to this database you then gain access to all of the other teachers who are listed there. This will allow you to create new class connections for your students, increase their blogging audience, and give them the power to be heard on a larger (perhaps even global) scale. You can sign up for this database by clicking the image above. We look forward to connecting with you!

 photo hw8_boy6_zpse8a2e789.png
 photo hw8_divider3_zps676e7fb5.gif