According to Teaching Today one reason for creating a classroom blog is for the purpose of collaboration.
“Blogs provide a space where teachers and students can work to further develop writing or other skills with the advantage of an instant audience. Teachers can offer instructional tips, and students can practice and benefit from peer or parental review.”
I believe the following blogs not only provide a place for collaboration but also invite parents in. Most parents are eager to support educational efforts the classroom, if they understand what is going on and how they can help. Blogs with pictures or videos give parents an instant peek into the classroom that will hopefully inspire parental involvement.
Students will also be eager to contribute to the blog in one way or another. Blogging could be a way to inspire writers, photographers, and artists in your classroom to thrive and publish their own works and thoughts.
The purpose of this blog is to share with parents and the world what is happening in 4th grade at Leopold Elementary in Australia, the only school in Leopold. Teachers and students alike are excited about sharing what they are learning.
Types of post include:
· Pictures from events like a celebration in which parents were invited in to see how their children interact with technology during the course of their school day. This a great way to increase parental involvement. Not only do parents get a snapshot of the day, they also interact with the technology and software that their children see on a daily basis. This a great opportunity for parents to see how education has evolved since they have been in school giving them a better understanding of how their students learn.
· An explanation of their 2 hour literacy block. She explains how students should pick a good fit book and read silently. Parents can benefit from this information as they visit the public library and will be to help their children choose a good fit book. Students also get an opportunity to discuss what they are reading with their classmates. This discussion will help the reader understand what they have read as they share the details of the plot and how the characters interact with each other. The listener gets a review of the book that will help them decide if it is a book they would like to read to next.
· An explanation of idioms as a review for students and to inform parents what they are learning in class. The posts defines the difference between literal meaning and inferred meaning. It also provides a slide show of student work where they explain an idiom through illustrations.
The educational value of this blog showing parents supporting their students in class is great way to raise their self-esteem and confidence when they know they have parental support. Helping parents understand what is going on in class empowers them to support the teacher and their children more fully. We now have a community invested in the education of the students, therefore we all succeed.
The purpose of this blog is to share real life math problems that the class has been working on solving throughout the year. One post acknowledged that they have had 100,000 visitors to their blog from around the world since starting it 2 years ago. They are also undergoing some changes and invite visitors to vote on their new logo.
· A mini golf course that they built using their knowledge of perimeter, area, angles, mean, median, and mode. They planned and constructed the course and then they of course had to try it out. The end of the year project required them to work together in small groups to plan their hole for the course. They had to test and revamp as needed. Once constructed, each member of the group had to play the course and keep track of the scores to determine the par for the hole. Then they invited other classes to come in and play.
· A field trip to study tide pools and marshes. They also had opportunity to take a look at local wildlife and invasive wildlife introduced to the area. They collected crabs, shells, and seaweed in bins so that naturalists could tell them what they had found. While in the marshes they learned about the different types of plants grown there and how green head flies are trapped and that crabs molt. To end the trip they ate at a local restaurant.
Traditional field day activity is combined with literature to create a day of fun and charity. Students combined their love of The Hunger Games series and physical activity to create Stop Hunger Game activities. Not only did students collect canned foods and boxed goods they also help to create games that mimic those played in the book. Students were able to have fun and help meet a need in the community.
Educational value – It gives teachers ideas of the types of hands on/ real world problems they could use to teach and reinforce concepts taught in class. Students teaching students has proven to be a valuable teaching tool. Common Core and STEM strategies will open the door to more student interaction that will allow students to teach each other.
The purpose of this blog is to teach history. It provides resources for students to use during their unit of study. It offers video with current events and articles about history. It addresses three subject areas American Literature, US History and AP Human Geography.
· Current events that will spark discussion among students. How does our country deal with tragedy? There are videos that will spark a discussion about the Boston Marathon and fertilizer plant explosion in Texas. Since there are many sides to an issue, the teacher could approach each subject from an human rights issue, national security, or government neglect. By uploading the videos to a blog students can preview it or review it as much as necessary to complete their assignment.
· The role of nurses during World War II. What exactly was their role? Will we ever know for sure? Many of the women who served as nurses have kept secret their role never talking about it even after the war ended. She encourages students to speak to older women in their lives to get their first hand account of that period in history.
· The role of Native Americans in World War II and how their presence in the war has been ignored. the post goes on to point out that Native Americans left their reservations in large numbers to fight for their country and that many of the veterans fought for the civil rights of Native Americans in the 60s and 70s. It also talks of the declassification of the Navajo Code Talkers and how instrumental they were in World War II.
Educational value – This is a great resource for research on different aspects of World War II. It is looking at the war from many different perspectives in effort to give us a complete detailed report. The current event pieces will allow for discussion on how our country responds to tragedy, how much are they responsible for and how it rallies together to survive. Providing information in print form and video will appeal to both visual and auditory learners.