This year I'm creating a classroom blog for the first time. Needless to say, I simply love it! I have truly become a blogaholic. Creating a blog for your classroom will unlock the doors to a new world of communication. Read on as I introduce you to this virtual learning community and guide you through the steps for creating your own classroom blog.
What is a blog?
The word "blog" is the shortened term for "weblog." It is an online journal that allows users to post content and get feedback via comments.
What are the benefits of a classroom blog?
I use my blog to extend the walls of my classroom for my students, their parents, and other teachers. Parents and students can sign in to the blog and be updated on all the classroom happenings. Blogs can be accessed anytime and anywhere. I like to think of my classroom blog as my online filing cabinet. I no longer spend time copying newsletters, homework, lunch menus, and other information. I simply add it all to my blog, and presto, it's at all my parents' fingertips.
I also do a weekly post spotlighting classroom activities, projects, books, and more. I'm in the beginning stages, but I also plan to provide my students and parents with activities and Web sites to reinforce skills we are working on in class.
Is having a classroom blog a lot of work?
Fortunately for teachers like me who are not very tech savvy, blogs are surprisingly easy to use. You need no special software or extraordinary tech skills to be a blogger. All you need to get started is a computer with Internet access. I suggest you start small and build as you go. Find a technology person at your school to help you get started. I was lucky to have the help of a phenomenal 3rd grade teacher at my school, Mrs. Jessica White. I highly recommend you take a look at her School Is Cool blog. It is breathtaking to see this group of highly motivated students learning and having an awesome time doing it. This site also offers a wealth of information for teachers.
Take a look at these steps to get started:
1. Select a blogging site.
2. Decide what information you want to include on your blog.
Your classroom blog might feature
- a teacher page
- a newsletter
- school news (calendar, lunch menus, etc.)
- parent resources
- links to other sites
- recent comments
- weekly posts
3. Spice it up!
To spice up your blog use pictures, slide shows, videos, and more. Check out these blogging tools:
For additional tips and ideas I invite you to view my classroom blog at kinderkicks.edublogs.org. You might also check out some of my favorite kindergarten blogs:
Make sure you have a signed permission-to-blog form from your students before posting. Take a look at this permission-to-blog form created by Mrs. Jessica White.
No matter how you use blogs in your classroom, the tools I've provided should help you get started, enhance your experience, and bring the students and parents into the fun. I would love to hear from you regarding your blogging experiences!