Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've got this idea...what do ya think?

I've had an idea floating around in my head for about a year and I've finally done something about it. I am looking for some thoughtful feedback about my idea before I present this information to my administrator. Thanks for your time blogging buddies!

Here goes...

I wanted to create a blog for the teachers in my school to use as a tool for teaching students how to write about text. I created a prototype blog that I would like to present to my administrator and hopefully the staff at my school. Obviously I'm not too attached to the title, etc. but its a start.

I called the blog Meridian Book Bits (my school name is Meridian Elementary). I chose "book bits" because the summaries or recommendations will be "bits of info. about books". Too corny?

I wrote a sample introduction and created static pages along the sidebar defining the various genres. I also included a page for teachers, listing some possible ways to use the blog with their classes. I think that at this point, teachers will have to be the only ones with login access, meaning students may post from school only. They will be able to comment from home though. I thought parents would like to be able to comment as well. I envision primary kids creating a written recommendation or summary as a class and then having the teacher post it. Intermediate students can post on behalf of their class, small group, or as individuals. Teachers can then use the posts as formative learning or use a grade level rubric if they desire. I wouldn't want this to replace any required classroom work, just be an additional publishing format with an authentic audience.

I created this by myself but if this sounds like a good idea, I'd like to present it to my admin. and then go from there. Hopefully, if I can get teachers on board, they will have their own amazing ideas to lend to the blog. Please let me know what you think. I really could use some feedback so I don't embarrass myself. Is this something you could see your self using, regardless of grade level? Do you think teachers would view this as a neat tool or just something tedious? Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

Here is the link to the blog prototype:

Meridian Book Bits Blog


Mrs. Magee said...

I think it's a wonderful idea! Just make sure you set it up so that comments must be approved before displaying. I think some teachers might be releuctant to participate at first, just because they may see it as "something else" they feel required to do. However, if you're careful about how you "sell" the idea, you may have some really positive feedback! Good luck with it! There was a school in my district that started something similar (the librarian did it I think). Not sure if the blog still exists, but it was around for awhile!


Fun2BinFirst said...

I agree that it is a good idea as long as the comments must be approved before showing up. Also, you will need some way of teaching the kids about the expectations. The teachers may need some help too.

csturch said...

I think this is a fantastic idea! This could end up being a tremendous resource for teachers, students, and parents and what a fantastic way to integrate technology into the classroom! Well done. I would definitely present this idea to your administration!


Mrs. Morris said...

Sounds like a great idea!

Simply 2nd Resources

Julie said...

I think it is a wonderful idea and you are awesome for spending your summer on it! Don't worry about the ones at school that don't want to do it. Give them time and space, let them see the fruits and they will eventually come along. I bet many at your school including the parents I don't think you have anything to loose but your time and you are kind and generous with that!
Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher

Julie said...

Well, that sure got messed up! I bet many at your school including the parents would LOVE it and jump right on board!
Julie :)

Bigbird (Robin) said...

I think the whole concept sounds great! Not only would it be an avenue whereby teachers can share, but it would open up the world of blogging for those who are new to it (like me). Good Luck!

Katie said...

I love the idea! Student written blogs are something I want to use for next year too! I agree that you will need to have some way of checking the content of posts and comments. You might also need a parental permission form for students who are going to be writting the blog. Keep us updated with your progress. Oh and I also love that the students will be able to access posts based on genres!

Mrs. Lochridge said...

It's a great idea that would incorporate many skills!! Our librarian has our students review books that they've read. I think our school purchased some kind of database that facilitates this process.

First Grade Factory

Jennifer Lewis said...

I love this idea and would love to steal it for me school! I have a question. Are you going to have people leave their reviews as comments? Or send them to you to add as separate blog posts? Also, will the reviews be added to the genre pages? Thank you!!!

Fern Smith said...

I started something like it this year with just my class.
Fern Smith’s Reading Class Reviews!
Sooooo, I think it is a wonderful idea & it looks great! One thing your admins might have to "think over" is when an entire school is using a website/blog, it is not leagally covered in the Accecptable Use Policy of a school district. Your school might have to make a parent permission slip for each student & any new students that enter. So you might want to be prepared for how you will address that.
Also, how will the student's info be on the site? Too much info identifies them as students at your school since you named the blog after your school, so be ready to address that with your admins too.
Good luck,
Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!

Leah said...

I agree with the suggestions from others, but what a great idea! This could be very helpful for students and teachers. I also think it is a great way to get students writing and excited about reading! Great job! :) ~Leah

Mrs. Shepherd said...

I love the idea.

Megan said...

Great idea. One of my colleagues used blogging as a way to hold students accountable for independent reading. They were required to write a certain number of posts and responses. There are sites that already exist for this type of thing. KidBlog.org is one that I'm going to try out for next year. It takes care of the problems of watching over posts and privacy.


Pat's Paper Passion said...

Great Idea...
1. Get parents' permissions before publishing
2. Have certain criteria for publishing--no 'awesome book' only comments
3. Do you have a book club/noon time readers that could promote this idea. We have book buddies and this could be a project to have the older students help the younger readers post a comment
4. I find the font hard to read on the background (line paper). I think it's because the font doesn't match the dotted lines.

I'll stay posted this fall to see how this project evolves.


A Time to Share & Create

Mrs. Mac said...

This is such a creative idea! I agree that you'll have to talk with your administrator about whether each child would need to sign an internet agreement - but our school does this anyways, because we have accelerated reading. We get them all back, too. Hope this helps!
First Class With Mrs. Mac

Kelley said...

Thank you all so much for your time and thoughtful comments. I knew I could count on you all for your support. You have given me some important things to think about that I may have forgotten about. I put in an email to our IT department about acceptable use. Because the blogging will only take place at school under teacher supervision this may make the permission unnecessary but I'm doubling checking. Fern, I changed up the name of the blog and got rid of the link back to our school site to eliminate publishing info. about our school and the link to students. We can ask for students to only use first names or teacher names when publishing. I think I'll leave it up to teachers to ensure that we get thoughtful comments-no "great book" only comments but I'll definitely have to mention that if I go forward with the idea. Again, thanks so much to you all for your advice and suggestions! You rock!


Anonymous said...

Hey Kel- I am definitely in! I have been truly inspired to get into blogging with the kids this year. I am fortunate enough to be your teammate and get to "steal" ideas from you personally but would love to share this idea.

Love ya! Steph

Kelley said...

Thanks Steph! I'm glad you like this idea. Hopefully I'll work up the courage to pitch it to our staff.


Cindy said...

I second the kidblog.org comment! I just created one for myself and it seems really amazing. I'm trying to decide how to use it next year. The general idea is that kids can all make their own accounts to comment - all comments must be approved by you. Your blog is the homepage, which branches off into their blogs. Guest accounts can be created by parents. I just can't remember if it's private without an account or not. I think it is.

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