November 30

Blogging Bingo Challenge

Every year, students participate in a Blogging Bingo challenge to inspire them to write on their blogfolios more often. Right now, all students posts things to their blogfolios that their teachers ask them to; some students independently write posts of their choosing; and some students want to write more but don’t know what to write.

In an effort to inspire and spark creativity while also building new tech and media literacy skills, we have created this Blogging Bingo Challenge.

Students can work on this challenge throughout the whole year. There are some rules, though….obviously!

  1. All posts must follow our guidelines of what makes a quality post in order to be counted towards the challenge
  2. All comments must follow the guidelines of what make a quality comment
  3. Writing and drawings cannot be rushed just to complete the task

And for added incentive, here are the prizes!

5 posts – free Gotcha!

10 posts – Homework Pass or Teacher for the Period

Whole board – Chapters Gift Card]

Happy Blogging!

April 29

Coronavirus Virtual Time Capsule – Documenting History

There has been a lot of talk about how we are living through history these days. The things we document about our experiences learning and working from home will be read and analyzed by students and historians hundreds of years from now. Just as we learn about events and lives of people in the past, their journals, pictures and accounts help us better understand what life was like.

Many students have already taken the opportunity to write journals of their own, but last week we talked about the things we thought would be important to document and how.

Here’s a quick video of the collaborative brainstorm we did on Jamboards:

And our final image of all the suggestions:

Fortunately, we launched our student blogs this year, with this exact (well, almost exact) purpose in mind. We wanted to give students a platform where they could keep track of their thoughts, learning and experiences at this point in time. It will always live there, as a resource for them, and others, to look back at and learn from.

Taking all the suggestions from the students, and also being inspired by this post by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, I created the following image for students to use as inspiration for documenting their experiences. I hope this will bring some fun and smiles into what we know is a less than ideal time.

 

December 2

Blogging Bingo Homework Challenge

We did it! We completed the Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge. Hopefully you had a chance to read some of the students’ posts. If not, the joy of blogs is that it’s never too late to go and have a look, since their work is always there 🙂 You can use the menu on the right hand side to find that blog you’d like to read.

Now that the challenge is over, we will be continuing to add to our blogs in school as we complete different tasks. Students will have voice and choice about what they blog about, and what work they include. Some of them will go above and beyond to write about…whatever they want!

For those who want to write more but need a little inspiration, I’ve created this Blogging Bingo Homework Challenge. The tasks on here are completely optional. They will not replace the other homework we get on a weekly basis. But there’s incentive to completing them!

So when you have some extra time, when you want to practice a skill we’ve been working on in school (academic or otherwise), blog about it!

September 23

Student Blogfolios

The day has come….we are ALMOST ready to launch our student blogfolios!

Hopefully your child has come home today with a letter outlining why we do student blogfolios, and all the different options of privacy.

In case it got lost on the way home, or was eaten into the depths of the schoolbag, here is a digital version. (blog post continues after the embedded document)

I want to reiterate that our ultimate goal is to help students learn communication, reflection and digital citizenship skills, including online safety, that will help them throughout their lives. In case you are still unclear of how this could look, here are some live examples to help put it into context.

Public Blogfolio  – This student has been blogging since Kindergarten. It’s wonderful to see how her learning has grown and developed over time.

Public Avatar Blogfolio – This student has just begun her blogging journey and has chosen to keep her name and identity private. We are still able to see her growth and interact with her on her journey. Notice how students have learned to respect her privacy by using the alias in the comments as well.

Password Protected Blogfolio – This student has shared her name and is open to leaving some posts public, however when she shares pictures or videos, she has password protected the post. Only those who have been approved by her or her parents are allowed to know the password.

Private Blogfolio – This blog is completely private. Unless you have an Edublogs account and have been granted access to this blog, you will not be able to see the content.

 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, I am always available to discuss. If you could please sign and return the permission form by Thursday, that would be greatly appreciated!

May 6

Blogging Bingo!

B-I-N-G-O!!

Here is our newest Blogging Challenge. Students will add to their personal blogs, and are challenged to complete as many of these challenges as they can! We will also continue adding work based on other activities we are doing in class. Students are always allowed, and encouraged, to post about things they are doing in school, in all subjects.

It is my hope that we will have a mini student led conference, where you will come into school and your child will walk you through their blog, including all the artifacts of their learning. More information on this to come.

Please continue to check your child’s blogfolio and comment! Remember to leave your last name off when commenting to help keep the privacy of your child. Asking questions, adding information, and offering suggestions are all great things to include in your comment.

And as always, if you have any questions or comments for me, please leave them below 🙂

April 29

The Student Blogs Have Arrived!

geralt / Pixabay

In case you haven’t noticed the links on the side of our class blog (look on the right hand side, below the yellow Pages “post-it”) all the students’ blogs are linked. They aren’t fully set up, customized, and inhabited just yet, but they will be added to very soon!

As this is new for the teachers as well, we’re working out all the kinks, but I can’t wait for you to see all the incredible work your children will be doing.

I will be posting more updates throughout the week, including a Blogging Bingo Challenge, quality blog writing tips, and suggestions for writing quality comments. The more you read and comment, the more authentic their work will feel! Hopefully you will share the links with family and friends as well.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

April 12

Parents: All Aboard!

(Originally posted on my professional blog. Copied here to share the excitement. If you haven’t already signed the permission form, please do so!)

At this point, I’ve dipped my toes in the documenting waters with my students. I’m ready to jump in and launch individual blogfolios. I have to decide:

  • What will the URLs be?
  • What permissions, if any, do I need to get from parents?
  • How will I manage posts and comments?

I spoke with my Head of School to get the school’s perspective. I then spoke with the documenting guru, Silvia Tolisano. She shared her views, which helped guide me towards other educators’ thoughts and experiences.

Combining all this information together, along with my own opinions and knowledge of our parent body, I have written the parent letter below. I wanted to include information about what a blogfolio is, why documenting learning is important, and offer options that fit our school’s needs and meet the parents where they currently are. The hope is that most families will opt to allow their child to have a completely public blog. If parents opt for one of the other options, the hope is that they will eventually change their privacy settings once they, and their child, see the added value of a public-facing blog.