Last year our 2nd grade teachers collaborated with me on a blogging project using KidBlog. Our blog was a way to connect our students with students in Van Meter, Iowa while at the same time showcasing different kinds of writing. This year, the teachers wanted to start blogging much earlier in the year.
Each teacher setup her students on KidBlog by uploading a simple excel spreadsheet with names and passwords. In class, students wrote out their first “post”. This post was very simple. Students have been studying important people from Georgia’s history so each student wrote one sentence about one of these Georgians on an index card. They brought these cards with them to the library to learn about blogging and do their first post.
During our mini lesson, I asked students how many had heard of a blog, and all hands went up. Then, I ask them who could define what a blog is, and almost all hands went down. Our first question of exploration was “What is a blog?” We watched a common craft video on blogging. I paused along the way and asked students what news they might report on as a 2nd graders. They mentioned things like:
- what we do in our classroom
- math problems that people could solve
- what we did on vacation
- books that we are reading
- and more
Next, I showed them the media center blog. We looked at the map of readers, tags, how posts are from most recent to oldest, and talked about my audience.
Finally, I showed them Kidblog and how they would login to do their posts. I stressed the idea that once you click “publish”, your work is instantly connected with an audience. Students brainstormed what they might need to do before clicking publish. They said things like:
- triple check your work
- check spelling
- revise and edit
- read for understanding
- ask an adult to check your work
- make sure you said things the way you wanted to say them
- check that it’s appropriate
Students dispersed to iPads and laptops and began logging in. Adults circulated and helped students as needed, but students also helped one another to find buttons, login, and any other technical questions they had. In about an hour, most students were able to learn about blogs & their purpose, make their first post, and go back to class very eager to write more. The report back from the teachers was that these students are already asking when they will be able to post again.
You can see the beginnings of their work at the following links: