Blogging is a great way to get students to write. Students would love to create a blog including photos, artwork and other artifacts of their learning. Don’t just limit them to the written word.
Reading Student Blogs: How Online Writing Can Transform Your Classroom by Anne Davis and Ewa McGrail generates all sorts of possibilities about classroom blogs and individual student blogs. Although this kind of project takes some planning, it can turn out to be one of the most successful ways to engage students in various kinds of writing.
Give some thought about why a blog would engage your students. Can you give them a chance to get creative with words and ideas? Can they see how everything they are learning is sometimes interconnected? Is is possible to give them space to write free of testing, grading, drilling, measuring and comparing?
Try to find peers, other than your students, to comment on blog posts. Having their words available to all is a great everyday lesson in digital citizenship and the creation of their digital footprint.
Some ideas to create some buzz around content are: “answer burning questions, comment on the news, debate a compelling issue, pick a “pro” or “con” side, or comment on a noteworthy post.” These are just a few ideas introduced by the authors.
Having students comment on their current reading material may be another great way to have interaction between students. What books are popular and cause a stir when reviewed in the blog?
It is early in the year. It may be a great time to start students contributing to a classroom blog. You many recognize some interesting writers in your group.