Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Using a Blog in the Classroom

Some teachers use a blog as an online "discussion room" where their students go to share their thoughts and respond to their classmates' ideas.  A teacher may post a discussion topic or question to which students write their responses, and students may be asked to write in reaction to their peers' responses, too.  This approach to blogging works well with issues or matters of opinion: having students react to a novel that they're reading, or to a political issue, or to current events in the world of science or technology, etc.

Some teachers use a blog as an online newsletter, often intended for students and their parents to read.  An elementary teacher may assign one student each day to write a blog post that summarizes that day's classroom activities, giving students practical experience writing for a real audience: the children's parents, who can log on at home and read about their kids' day at school.  Or a teacher him-/herself could write about classroom events, share announcements and reminders, post descriptions of assignments, share links to online resources to help with homework, etc.

Some teachers use a blog as a means of interacting with other teachers.  Teachers can post lesson ideas or teaching-related questions and get feedback from other teachers reading that blog.

To practice that last use of blogging, please do two things:

FIRST, read a teacher's blog or a teaching-related blog and write a comment on this blog post that
  1. names the blog that you read,
  2. shares its URL [or Web address: www.imoberg.com, for example],
  3. describes it,
  4. and offers your perspective on its content: for whom it would be useful, how to make use of that blog, etc.
SECOND, read through the other comments on this blog post (the comments left by the other participants in this room today) and respond to at least one of them.  You could share your thoughts about something that the writer has mentioned, or you could skim the blog that the writer is writing about and give your own opinion of it.

You could use your favorite search engine (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) to look for a blog, or you could select one from one of these sources:


Kevin Moberg said...

I will leave the first comment to give an example for you to follow for the "FIRST" part of the exercise and to provide you with something to comment on if you're the first person to work on the "SECOND" part of the exercise.

I read a blog called The History Channel This Is Not, found at http://nkogan.wordpress.com/.

This blogger is a secondary social studies teacher who uses the blog to share his teaching ideas and reflections on what has worked when teaching history to his own students. He shares a lot of history-related photos as well as links to online resources related to certain wars or time periods, etc.

He also shares recommendations for various types of technology that he has found handy when teaching. For example, he provides screen images from his own computer to show how he has used a certain type of software to create a map. He also uses software that allows him to share documents (e.g., handouts from his courses) that can be viewed directly within the blog without needing to be downloaded.

His blog would appeal to a social studies teacher interested in taking advantage of the numerous resources that exist beyond a hard-copy textbook. Any teacher curious about the options for technology use when teaching would find his blog useful, too.

CB said...

The History Teachers Attic
He had many different types of technology to use in the classroom
One that I liked is to research the names of famous people and how they correlate with the baby names of that time period

Anonymous said...

The blog that I read was www.thehistoryblog.com. After searching for nearly 30 years celtic coins were found in a field. These coins are worth millions of US dollars.

I think that it is very interesting to know that they were not 100%sure where these coins were located at however they continued to search in a farmers fild for 30 years.

clars said...

I looked at the blog Learning is Messy - Blog

When googleing this blog came up as discussing using technology to reach at risk middle school students. When I starting reading the blog the 2 articles I read were both talking about standardized testing. I will need to read farther into the blog to find the technology discussion.

I have seen more user friendly blogs but would need to dig into this one to find more information.

lf said...

The blog I found was titled Brain Pro. Because I have worked with special needs students in the past and now am returning to the regular classroom, this site sparked by interest. It is an online reading comprehension program which can be used for students reading below grade level, have diappointing grades, or homework frustration. It claims to strengthen learning muscles by developing cognitive reading skills. Oops! I forgot to get the HTML tags.

Donna said...

Adding with our IPads

Top 20 Teacher Blogs

Students were using (ten frame) for adding and subtracting using the IPads, there were no counters, or any other manipulatives, and no MESS!!!

carol said...

The website I used was www.regurgitatedalphabits.blogspot.com
It was a humorous blog that a veteran teacher shares stories about her students. This blog is an insight to situations we all share in our daily teaching lives. I would use it for enjoyment and encouragement to continue teaching.

Sonita said...

Kids learn Spanish through Repetition
This would be a good idea to have students create a page with basic information to reference later (colors, numbers, basic phrases, etc. . .) This could be expanded to have students create other types of these pages for their binder to help them remember. (Ser vs estar, preterite vs imperfect. . .)

Robin S said...

I can across a blog titled "Reflections of a High School Teacher" that listed the tips/tricks on the latest technology available to teachers, ideas on a digital textbook, a video teaching a conics lesson, and finally his 13 reasons why he is thankful for being a teacher!

Peggy S said...

Mrs. Cassidy's classrom is the blog i appreciate because its hands on practical of what kids and the teacher are doing in the classroom with pictures of the kids actively doing stuff in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

I read a blog called Learning Is Messy found at http://learningismessy.com/blog/

In this blog a teacher talks about integrating technology into her classroom using Google Docs, Skype, Tweet, Wiki, etc. She has been able to go all over the world with her students and enhance their learning.

She shares pictures and ideas she has done with her class.

tk said...

Let's Play Math

I looked at other ways of teaching math facts. Other strategies were discussed in order for students to remember tricks when working with subtraction equations.

ks said...

I found this blog titled "4 the Love of Teaching". The URL is http://4theloveofteaching.blogspot.com/2012/06/monday-made-it_25.html

On this blog, I have found some fun art ideas to get my students geared up for reading. I can't wait to start saving some misc. food boxes around the house to get started on this project before the school year arrives. I can't wait to read more about her creative ideas.

Mary R. said...

Mary R. says.....
I read the article: The 1:1 Classroom "The War on Childhood"
In review of this article many people are in concern of our Education Systems striving to look at Standardized Testing. A reflection on where our country no longer values the experience of childhood. Our Education System needs to place kids needs first above that of adults testing results.
Interesting to read if worried about where we are heading as a society and what things we maybe missing and forgetting.

CB said...

Kevin, I liked the Timeline he provided on The History Channel this is not, and how the political parties have evolved over the years.

carol said...

Robin, I think that I could also use Mrs. Cassidy's classroom to gain practical ideas for active classroom.

clars said...

CB researching baby names of famous people would be very fun for a class to research. I think you would get a lot of interaction with the students.

Vicky said...

I have also had some experience using google docs, and many other google programs. They keep telling us that everything is in the cloud, and so far it really is looking like that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that blog. I think we all have several stories we can share! Maybe I should start blogging....

Sonita said...


I too liked the website that you found regarding the veteran teacher!! Sonita

sm said...

I found A Year of Reading very interesting. It discusses reading and writing. A suggested tip was to sketch before writing and during writing. This helps the students understand character, setting, and plot. I think this would be very helpful at all grade levels. http://readingyear.blogspot.com

Amy said...

I agree with using ipads for math..I also used ipads during Math and it was amazing how the kids related to them and how quick and easy it was to set up an app for them (and Yes, all with NO mess!!)

Anonymous said...

Brain Pop has a lot of great information. The program for purchase is really valuable in many contents through out the curr.

Anonymous said...

Clars - Because testing has been in the spot light to evaluate how well teachers and schools are doing educating the of today, I will look into this sight and hope to find some useful information.

Anonymous said...

I read the article on QR Codes how they are used. Ipads and cell phones can be used to follow links, or even pay this way. They can be found on almost anything products, posters, signs etc.

DR said...

Letter to Obama by NSBA’s President


A letter written by the President of the National School Board Associaton to President Obama. About how we don't need more tests to show us what we are not good at but more ways to teach the material that we have. Pointing out the faults of NCLB and Race to the Top. That we are overtesting the kids and putting to much empahsis on it. They need excited, motivated, passionate teachers who feel challenged, supported, and encouraged to try new approaches, who share with their students a learning environment that is limitless

Mary R. said...

Hey Anonymous...I like your comment on the teacher that used wiki, google docs,skype, tweet in her classroom to communicate around the world.
Good Ideas!
Mary R.