Wow! Where did the week go! This past week has been very busy for me because on Monday, October 5th our division had a Professional Development Day and our school brought in a fabulous presenter Jeanne Corrigal later on during the week. She talked to the different grades in our school and taught our students about some Metis and First Nations teachings that she learned from her father’s friend Jim Settee and her family. My students learned a lot from her presentation and as a class we created a blog post telling everyone what we learned from Jeanne. I was so impressed with her presentation and how she was able to keep our Kindergarten to Grade Two students engaged while delivering her message. I am excited to extend her lesson and teachings into my classroom with the resources that she provided us! It is so important to bring teachings from different cultures into the classroom often throughout the entire year and not just special events or holidays. This week my class also created a post showcasing what they have been learning about during the week throughout their day. During this time I have been modeling to my students about the blogging process and I have been showing them how to navigate around our blog. We have also been exploring and looking at other classroom’s blogs so they can see what different classroom blogs can look like and what their classroom blogs about. Next week we are going to begin to co-create criteria together about what a good blog post looks like!
Near the end of the week I have been busy working on creating my student’s individual blogs. I have been waiting to get all my student’s blog permission forms (Permission Letter to Parents About Using A Blog 2015-2016) back before I began to create their blogs. As of right now I have fourteen out of sixteen student’s blog permission forms back. I decided to create those fourteen students blogs and I will create the remaining students blogs when their form gets handed into me. Last year I had all my students hand in their forms and everyone was allowed to participate so I am hoping for the same outcome this school year! When I was beginning to create my student blogs I could not remember what I did and what that process looked like. Thankfully I blogged about this process last year so I was able to look back at my blog called “Approaching The Starting Line…” When I looked back at my old blog post and I clicked on the Edublog link that explores and outlines student blogs and tips on when creating student usernames. I could not remember what I did when it asked for my student e-mail addresses. Since my students are young and only seven or eight years old I did not want to create individual accounts for each of them. On the Edublog website it gave helpful information in how to create student accounts using one email account. When I read over the information on the link I was happy to remember that my students did not need their own e-mail accounts. The Edublog website has been a fabulous resource for as I have been using my classroom blog again. I am looking forward to my students creating their first blog post! My students have been asking me many times when they get to blog so I know they will be excited to get started this week too!
This week I also decided to add in another widget onto our classroom blog. I created a flag counter widget! When someone from a different country visits our blog this widget will showcase the country flag of the visitor onto our blog page. This widget will allow students to view different flags from a variety of countries. I am hoping that it will open up conversations about places around the world like the ClustrMaps widget does. The ClustrMaps widget puts a dot on the world map of where the visitor lives who came to read and view our blog. Last year my students enjoyed getting their agendas out and exploring their world map when we looked at the ClustrMaps. In grade two students need to learn about mapping skills in social studies so this one widget provides a great learning opportunity for the social outcome-DR2.3. When I went to create the flag counter widget I could not remember what to do since I created ClustrMaps widget last year wither. I read through the Edublog support for adding in widgets and then Youtube came to the rescue again as I found a video that walked me through how to add the new flag counter widget onto a blog. That is the beauty and power of the Internet! It is amazing that I am able to find resources and receive support at the click of a button.
This week I have a few goals set out that I would like to accomplish:
- Begin to co-create criteria with students about what they think a good blog post looks like.
- Have students draw a self-portrait of themselves so they can use their drawing as their blog avatar.
- Have students choose their own favourite art work that they created. Students can create their background picture for their blog using their favourite drawing.
- Students will write in their journals to plan what they want to say in their about page for their blog.
- Along with our learning buddies we will review the Going Places Safely lesson and have open conversation about what they learned about.
- Give students time to do their first blog post!
My blog post “Approaching The Starting Line…” gave me inspiration for the title and the direction for this blog post “Slow and Steady…I am Continuing My Race!” I believe that blogging is a never ending journey! My students and myself might cross the finish line by reaching some goals or tasks that were set out, but there is always more to learn about. I only created my first classroom blog last year so I have so much to learn! I am looking forward to a busy week with my student!
Please check back later this week to read about my progress with teaching my students about digital citizenship and the blogging process. If you have any recommendations of other great resources and supports regarding digital citizenship and blogging please let me know. I always look forward to learning new things and expanding my ideas!