Yes, I have my class blog, but things got really exciting when my 4th grade students starting taking on their own blogs!
It's been six weeks now since my students began blogging on their own. I spent very little time showing them how to navigate the site and then they pretty much figured the rest out on their own. Some have figured out how to hyperlink & crosspost, some figured out how to upload audio files, embed video and even scan and embed their own graphics. At this point, I don't edit the students' blogposts and I do post with minor errors. I also don't publish any personal information or if the student-blogger has included a link to an inappropriate site/video or where the readers will be prompted to register or input their personal information on a form/petition.
If you read some of their posts, you can get a pretty good insight into what's going on in their heads. There's thoughts about upcoming testing, environmental causes, puzzles and more. Recently, some of the students are posting this question, "What should I blog about?"
Here are my top 10 easy topics about which students can blog:
- Blogging can be like a journal. Why not choose a theme for your blog and update it every few days with what's happening? For example, your blog theme might be about your soccer team or theater group. You can update every time your team practices and/or has a game. You can pretend you are a sportscaster and report on the events of the game. Don't forget to pose a question to your readers to encourage comments.
- Another theme example could be an upcoming event, like a party or religious event. Every few days, report on how the event is evolving. Once the event passes, it's ok to change your theme. Remember, it's YOUR blog. (Don't post pictures of your friends and if you post pictures of yourself, be sure you have your parent's permission. Also, if you take pictures from the Internet, check out this tutorial from teacher, John Howell, on how to correctly use images from Google.)
- What happened in school recently? Did you do a science experiment that interested you or maybe didn't interest you? Blog about it! Be specific so that your readers understand what you did in school and how you felt about it. Don't forget to ask your readers if they've done something similar or if they have recommendations for you.
- Did you just learn something new that you've been trying to do for a long time? Write about it. Don't forget to encourage your readers to contribute their thoughts too.
- Are you interested in snakes or something else in nature? Why not make your blog about different types of snakes, birds, insects? Take a look at Santiago's post on The Black Necked Spitting Cobra. Don't forget to pose a question to the readers to encourage comments.
- What's your favorite TV show? Create a "TV Review" blog. Each week, review your show. Post a summary of the show and your thoughts. Don't forget to ask your reader what they think too.
- What book are you reading? Don't wait until you are finished to post about it. Write about it as you are reading it. Better yet, invite others to read it with you and maybe you can get a "book discussion" going on your blog.
- Are you an avid reader? Take a look at Raegan's blogpost where she makes some recommendations for others.
- Is there a cause you feel strongly about? Write a blog post about it and encourage others to do something about it.
- Are you having trouble with something in school? Why not explain the problem you're having and ask for help on your blog. You may be surprised at who may respond and the help you'll receive.