Friday, October 9, 2009

Blogging at Forest Park

When I started at Forest Park this year, there was only one class blogging. A Kindergarten Teacher updated (and still does) her blog at the end of each day with students reviewing what they have done that day. Just after the beginning of the year, a first grade teacher set up her blog. Shortly after, I helped a second grade teacher set up one to use with her class. Those three teachers have worked together with some encouragement from me (and the K teacher) to become pretty successful with their class blogs.

Through some year-long staff development trainings and emails/support from me (I created a pageflakes page about blogs that provides lots of examples and good ideas), now all of the 4th and 5th grade classes have class blogs that are posted on our school webpage. In the next few weeks, hopefully we can get more teachers to create blogs.

After some training on blogs, there was a mad dash to sign up for time for teachers to bring their classes to the lab to post comments on their blogs. Some teachers are now letting students work on the blogs in their classrooms when they finish assignments early. One teachers had students ask if she could post something general that they could respond to at home (another form of communication), which she gladly did and is quite pleased with the response from students.

I just had a 5th grade class in the "laptop lab" and they were told they could go to their class blog or look around at some other class blogs. Some students went to class blogs from other schools to see what types of things they are doing. It is neat that these students are willing to do the things that we teachers to do :)
In fact the students saw some blogs with videos on them and asked their teacher is they could do that too. I let him borrow my Flip Video and his students are going to create videos about saving the ecosystems (or something they are talking about in science). The students and teacher were excited about it. He said that he would be able to address standards/objectives in 5 different areas doing this project! That teacher just brought back my Flip and said his students were excited and their videos would get even better with time. He has some students that already want to bring costumes. I think an idea for a Christmas Presentation Project may be forming in his mind!

We have a 4th grade teacher who had baby chicks hatch in his classroom. He had taken pictures and videos to post on his blog for students to respond to. Other classes at the school are keeping up with the baby chicks by looking at his blog.
A 5th grade teacher wanted to have her class be penpals with a class in Florida. We created a penpal blog for the students to use.

Another 4th grade teacher had her class interview other students at the beginning of the year. They used the information they collected to create Bio Books powerpoints. The students and I uploaded the powerpoints into VoiceThread so we could post the projects on their class blog. That teacher also has a VoiceThread project (with just written comments, not audio yet) posted on her blog about the Field Trip they went on earlier in the year.

These are just a few of the things that have happened at FP with blogs so far this year! I look forward to even more great things happening! I can't wait to our next sharing session to find out what other things teachers have done with blogs in their classrooms. It makes me smile to look at the "new" FP blogs and see the great things that are happening :)


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