Skip to main content

Never Quit Growing


Each year I set at least one goal for myself as a teacher.  Last year it was to start my own blog and to commit to blogging each week.  I did it!  The previous year it was to embrace technology in my classroom.  I did it!  This year one of my goals was to find a way for students to publish their writing-to have an authentic audience.  I did it!
What our blog looks like

I started off my looking into online literary magazines.  I tried a few but it was a lot of work for me.  I had to upload each piece of student writing.   To do that for every student was extremely time consuming.  Also, it wasn't visually appealing.  So I spent last weekend researching a solution online and found one-a classroom blog!  After researching a few student friendly platforms, I decided on kidblog.org.  It is reasonably priced, EASY to use, and students have numerous choices of avitars and banners. They can also comment on each other's writing!  
Student comment on another student's writing

Student comment



This platform is quite safe.  Only my classes or people I invite, can see the content.  Ideally, my students will blog with students in other classes here at Diegueno.  Better yet, they will share their writing with students in another state or country!

My students uploaded their first piece of writing this week-the six-word memoir they wrote at the beginning of the year.  Eventually, the blog will serve as an online portfolio.  Students will be required to post some pieces but also be given opportunities to post what they want to post.  

I am beyond excited about this latest endeavor.   My students seem really excited too!

Popular posts from this blog

Ditch those Reading Logs: Try Flipgrid Instead

If you've read my posts or follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about pointless projects and homework!  This year I made it official and ditched homework.  It's the best decision I've ever made as a teacher.  My students are loving it, I am loving it, and I think most of their parents are loving it! I have completely transformed the way I run my classroom and feel like my students are more engaged and excited than ever. 

Student Example (Click to watch)

Like homework, I never felt quite right about assigning reading logs.  Whenever my own kids had to read a book on their own for school, they were initially excited. First, they were told they had to read twenty minutes each night. Then the dreaded reading logs began.  They had to write  down what pages they read, as well as a summary.  Urgh! I can only imagine lying on the beach with my own book and having to complete a reading log.  No thanks!  And I am not going to lie. I just might have signed one of my son's read…

Have a Dance Party Before Class Starts

This year I decided to play music as students are entering my classroom and before the final bell rings.  I had no idea what a difference it would make!  Why didn't I do this before?  It creates a positive, upbeat mood and seems to energize my students and ME! 



At first I thought they'd complain when I blasted disco tunes by artists like Chic, The Bee Gees, and Vickie Sue Robinson ("Turn the Beat Around").   I thought they'd groan when I played Bon Jovi, Journey, and Whitesnake. I thought they'd roll their eyes when I played clean versions of songs by Tupac and Snoop Dogg.  I really thought they'd lose it when I played Gypsy Kings.  NOPE!  They loved it!  I had NO idea that my kids would react they way they did.  Here are the results:






If I don't have time to put the music on, several kids will ask, "Where's our dance party?" I really like Pandora because I can create my own stations.  If you're looking for a way to create a positive vi…

Getting students to RESEE their writing

When students are asked to write, they often want to "get it done" and turn it in as quickly as possible.  I often ask them to look over their writing and look for places they can improve. Sometimes I even have them read each other's work and provide feedback.  Yet, even after I do these things I receive papers riddled with errors and flat out bad writing.  For years I have provided students with feedback (I try to offer as much positive feedback as I can).  I tell them, "Good verb choice. Great imagery. Fantastic argument. Wonderful hook."  However, I am frequently frustrated that  I am also continuously making comments like  "Sentence fragment.  Run-on.  Verbs aren't consistent."  You get the idea!  What's even more frustrating is that even though I make these comments telling students what they did incorrectly, the make the same errors on future assignments!

So, two weekends ago, I dedicated some time to researching add-ons available on Goog…