It was a great day! I started the day by reading my previous post to the students about connecting with Chicago. The students were elated that they had been noticed by a teacher from Chicago. Now I have to say that my students think really big cause' when I asked them to guess who had written about them the guesses ranged from President Bush to Jimmy Carter to their principal and many others. I love their enthusiasm! They were pleased as punch when they heard the nice words Steve Dembo had written. Nice way to start the day! We discussed the feelings they had when they saw comments on their site. The students were ready to blog!
The first order of the day was to practice the proof-reading skills we had worked on the previous weeks. They had taken a paper copy of their blog home and marked it with proofreading symbols. I taught them how to go in and edit their posts and how to move around their sites. In TypePad they first go to that site, then log in to their individual blog. They have lots to remember like user names, URLs of TypePad and their own sites, and email addresses. After they made corrections, they proofed their blog one last time. Then the fun began!
They read their comments, responded to them, and made comments on the principal's blog, the counselor's blog and each others' blogs. They loved it! They would find a mistake on a friend's blog and would very kindly point it out so that the owner could go back in and correct it. Teamwork was the word of the day!
Next, they got to preview the current events links on their sites. They really liked the sites that had been selected. Their task was to browse, read and think about what was of high interest to them. We shared leads, created some of our own, talked about including the 5 W's and other writing pointers. Once they had made a choice, they learned how to check to see if the site had a print page so we could conserve our printers ink. These kids are quick learners! They were busy as bees and the room was humming with activity. They put their printed copies in their folders and will take them home and write an article to bring back to class to blog about next week. This is getting to the real act of blogging and it is going to be so cool. This process of browsing, reading, learning, thinking and selecting topics will be the first order of the day for each session. I think this is going to work out well.
They really shaped up their weblogs today and are beginning to take ownership and feel pride. The comments to the counselor were interesting. She had written about the responsibility of blogging. She said blogging was a little scary for her because she wanted to write well, pick topics of interest, and do a good job for the school. You should see the comments our kids wrote to her!
This made me think about when I did my first blog.I was scared that anyone can see my blog.I was thinking that if I made a mistake peaple will laugh at me, but this group helped me and taught me it was okay to make mistakes.
Mrs.Halloran, great work on your blog. I get neurves too when I have to wright on my weblog. I just started to wright on my blog this year. I never knew fith graders could do this and teachers. Ilike how you expres your feelings on the weblog and at the same time your helping us.
Mrs. Halloran! I wonder why you said that web logs scare you. Last year, you told me to always have effort of facing my fears. I am writing web logs and I am not scared. Actually I love to write web logs. I bet you will love them as much as I do.
Now that's just three of twelve comments. This is great and I feel charged. They were really starting to get it today!
We also touched on categories today. This is hard for elementary students. We don't give them enough real time practice with it but after a slow start they started coming up with some good ones. We'll work on this some more but this week I'll add the categories we listed.
Who says elementary kids can't blog? Go get some kids and start teaching them how writing matters on weblogs!!!! These kids would love to communicate with you!