Blogging isn’t a new thing. I have known about it for years, but until I started I had no idea how neat it was. I work with great teachers, but it’s nice to connect with others outside of my school and district. Blogging lets me do that. I love reading great posts from others and sharing a fun idea when I have one.
So this got me thinking… Why not use blogs in the classroom? So I tried it and I really liked it!
Here are 5 reasons why blogging was so successful in my WL classroom.
1.) Every student has their own account. They use their name as their login info so it’s easy for me to see what they are writing/working on.
2.) Everything they do has a timestamp. I can tell when they finished a task and these can’t be changed.
3.) It’s a great way to show off what they do in class. During the clothing unit, they made Frankenstein Models and labeled their clothes. Since my students usually lose “notes” or anything on paper, I had them take a picture and save it to their blog. That way they could access their notes from anywhere! Another day they found and posted a picture of an authentic menu from a Spanish-speaking country. Some posted a vocab sheet they made on an iPad.
4.) They got lots of opportunities to practice different modes of communication…
Interpretative Listening – I posted commercials, songs, or clips that included unit vocabulary on my blog
Presentational Writing: Some days students respond to a question I ask on my page and other days I give them something really open ended to write about on their page like “Describe tu familia.”
Interpersonal communication skills/Reading skills:
For those students that seem to always finish faster than others, I would let them log on to WordPress and respond to other’s comments. They can talk to each other face to face, but it was more exciting for them to leave a funny comment instead! Plus, a lot of students would read other kids’ comments before putting their own. I think it helped them feel comfortable using the language when they saw someone model it for them. It became good reading opportunities at the appropriate proficiency levels!
5.) Finally, and most importantly, I liked our blogging experience because it happened both IN an OUT of the classroom! Half of my students had the WordPress app on their phones and would ask permission to take pictures of their work with their phones and upload the picture right away. Plus, I could leave a comment or check recent activity from my phone while I waited at the post office or when riding in the car (not driving… RIDING). It is really convenient!
I only did this for a few weeks this year, but I’ll definitely use it in class next year. Students had a new way to communicate and could basically do it on their own, which freed up time for me to work with small groups. I loved having a WORDPRESS station. Try it next year. You’ll LOVE it!
P.S. Imagine how great it would be if our students could write each other – comment back and forth through the blog! It would be like modern pen-pals! Let me know if you want to collaborate. 🙂