3rd Grade classroom Blog, winner of the 2011 and 2012 Best Class Blog award from Edublog Awards.
I chose to start out by looking at an elementary school blog. Having never used blogs before, it was very interesting to see what people can do with them. The teacher successfully uses the blog for a variety of purposes, including: getting her students involved with blogging and appropriate internet activity and creating a digital footprint. Since the kids are elementary school aged, they need parental involvement. The teacher does a great job of including information on the the blog that the parents can benefit from. There is even a picture of all the parents sitting at their students desks at back to school night. This blog has even gotten international attention with bloggers from Australia commenting on posts and leaving videos for the students. Mrs. Yollis, the teacher who’s blog it is, set up this blog back in 2008 with the intention of posting assignments, however, it has developed into a lot more than that.
A really great part of the blog is the Education Blogging page which includes a ton of resources for teachers on how to incorporate blogging in their classrooms. There are videos, documents, sample blog posts and more. This blog is a real wealth of information.
2. Fabulous 5S
Middle School Blog, nominated for 2012 Best Class Blog Award by EduBlogs
At first glance, the visuals on this blog were not as eye catching as some of the others that I have looked at. However, what it lacks in looks, it makes up for with content. There are a lot of interactive media posts, including videos and soundcloud files of the local high school band performing. The blog does a really good job of breaking up the entries into content on the sidebar, having just about every subject included. The blog also does a really good job of including student materials. There is a lengthy post from a student saying what he learned throughout the year, as well as a video post from a girl doing a project on Just Dance 4. There is definitely a strong support from everyone at the school, which helps keep everyone involved.
Mr. Avery has done an amazing job with this blog. One of the strongest aspects of it is how it connects all the other classes as well. One project in particular has students writing across the subjects. Each class writes a part of a story, then sends it to the next class who adds more to it. What a great idea! Students have created hand drawn illustrations which have been added to the blog as well for the story.
Recently, Mr. Avery took his class on an awesome field trip to this place called 5 wits. 5 Wits is a cooperative adventure that requires problem solving to find your way out . This trip sounds awesome and a great way to build a community within the classroom.
Using a classroom/school blog similar to the ones mentioned above would be a great resource to teachers. I like the idea of the have one blog for the school, and different places where each class can have their own blog. This let’s students see what other classes are doing around the school. It can even work to get them excited about going into the next grade, knowing that they can go on the 5 Wits field trip for example. The P.E. section of the blog could include posts about ways to stay healthy when it gets cold outside, healthy foods to snack on, new sports that are being introduced in class, and more! I think that the P.E. department could have a lot to offer for the blogs that could be beneficial to students and teachers alike!