One Super Idea to Encourage Student Writing! Student Blogging!
One common denominator among all educators: we are all trying to add more writing opportunities to our school day. Unless we suggest a super fun topic or have the best outlet for the assignments, we often are met with (sometimes more than) a little moaning and groaning. When I think about ways to encourage writing, I think about what gets me writing? My first answer…blogging, of course!
This fall, my fifth grader will begin her own private blog and post weekly. She will write about the books she reads for school and for fun. Prior to posting, she will write her rough draft on paper for continued penmanship practice and for editing purposes. At the end of the week, she will post her writing. We hope to have her long distance relatives read some of the books with her and respond to her blogposts.
In addition to improving her writing skills, another goal for this portion of our school day is to begin to develop critical thinking skills in regards to literature. I hope to work with her on thinking a little deeper about the books she is reading and observing themes, morals, plot twists and other aspects of literacy. Only after she has wrestled with her text well, will she be able to post online.
As with all technology and children of any age, close parental supervision is not just suggested, but necessary for this additional school activity. Choose a secure blogging site, enable to strongest privacy settings, and be sure the student logs on only when you’re around. Also, be sure to give instructions on the family members who will post responses on the blog.
To make this weekly assignment work well for my family, I need to prepare her reading list ahead of time. I plan on creating this list based on her history lessons, suggestions from her fellow blogging relatives, seasonal interest topics and classic literature appropriate for her grade level.
Blogging can be a great way for a student to practice writing, strengthen literacy awareness and a useful tool to encourage reading, as well as computer skills.
What do you think, fellow educators? How frequently should we post? Would you have your fifth grader host a blog? Do you have any book suggestions that would be a great addition to my reading list? Are there blogs out there written by children that you already follow?
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.oaksreplanted.blogspot.com.