10 Reasons to Start a Class Blog
When a friend of mine first invited me to participate in her group blog years ago, I was a little baffled about how to use it. And I couldn’t decide if I liked the format. The Bookity Book Book Club would hold online discussions of—yep, you got it—books.
Even though I love reading and discussing books, my participation was minimal because I just didn’t get how to use the program, and, sadly, I was scared to learn something new.
But then my husband and I started having children while living far from our families, and suddenly blogging took on a new importance.
It was a way to stay connected—to show parents and grandparents what was happening in the lives of our daughters. And it was a way for me to share my feelings and ideas with a broader audience than just “dear diary.”
There are other ways to use blogs beyond family life, and teachers around the world have discovered the value of classroom blogging as not only “an avenue for their communications, but also as a tool for giving voice to what their students are learning and how they are learning.”
Have You Considered Starting a Classroom Blog?
Maybe you’re not quite sure if it’s the right thing for your class, or how to start, or if it will be worth the effort when so many projects already tug at your time.
To help out, I’ve done a little research for you.
Here are ten reasons to have your class start blogging:
- It gives your students a reason to write.
Students may be motivated to write their best when they know their stories and ideas will be published online for the world to see.
- It introduces students to a new genre.
Blog posts are a unique type of writing, typically using short sentences and paragraphs and including pictures.
- Students have more motivation for using the writing process.
While blog posts can be informal and don’t always need to be revised and edited, students may find a greater incentive to polish their work when they know it will be on public display.
- It provides an opportunity for students to practice proofreading skills.
You can have your students take home a copy of their post and mark it with proofreading symbols. Then show them how to edit their posts.
- Students can share their work with family members and friends around the world.
Students love to receive comments on their posts, so you can encourage parents and other classes to read and comment. You can also set up the blog to show where in the world viewers and comments are coming from.
- It’s an interesting way to keep up on current events.
You can have students browse current events and post about topics that interest them.
- It can be a good opportunity for online discussion and literature circles.
Have students comment on each other’s posts and discuss their thoughts about what they’re reading and writing.
- It can motivate your reluctant readers.
Posts can be a great source of high-interest, non-traditional literacy texts. A new reading medium might be just the thing to pull them in.
- It can help students become better readers and writers.
As they learn to formulate their thoughts, students' vocabulary and comprehension skills can improve. This could also be a great tool for helping your English learners improve their writing skills.
- It encourages students to see themselves as writers.
Many students may not like writing when it comes to essays and reports, but blogging might help them see that there are types of writing they do enjoy.
When one young blogger was asked, “How does blogging advance your learning as a fifth grade student?” he responded:
Blogging has actually made me a better writer and reader. It has excelled my vocabulary skills. I have learned new words that I would have never thought I could use. We brainstorm a lot, so we have to use thought-provoking ideas. Then we use better words to make better writing— to make it stand out more, to make our readers more surprised, to draw them in to want to read what our post is.
If you’d like to read more about class blogs, here are some additional resources:
- Educator Brenda Dyck talks about her reasons to blog
- BBC News: The Seven-Year-Old Bloggers
- Mr. C’s Class Blog from Noel Elementary School
- Blogosphere video