The fifth graders have begun a unit in the library on blogging. This unit incorporates many skills including typing, adding media, writing (for an authentic audience), editing and revising. Students are learning digital citizenship and awareness of their own digital footprint while blogging as well. As part of writing their posts they learn how to elicit responses from readers and how to comment well on others’ blogs. Also student posts and all comments are moderated before publishing for public viewing to ensure student privacy.
I have the Student Blogging Challenge to thank for this wonderful unit! i came across this blog while researching blogging for my fifth graders and thought it was the perfect opportunity. The challenge lasts for 10 weeks and a new post with activities is published each week. I modify the activities for my classes so we can complete at least one activity in our library class time, though students are encouraged to do more of the activities outside of library if they want to. The first week students chose an avatar and wrote a post about who they are online versus offline as well as interests they have. The next week, which we are still working on, is commenting. Students are learning how to make good comments and the importance of reviewing their work before publishing.
Yesterday, my students had their first comments from Sue Wyatt (or Miss W as she is on the blog), the person who started this blogging challenge over 10 years ago. She took the time to comment on each post of my students, providing valuable feedback and engaging the students in commenting. Having comments for the students to read will excite and motivate them to do more. I am eager to let both classes know they have comments. I was certainly excited to read the comments! Please check out our student blogs at 5M Library Class and 5R Library Class. Perhaps you might even want to leave a comment!