Kidblog to Excite Students about Writing

Creating this PacadaVision blog got me thinking, what if I started my own classroom blog to get my students excited about writing?

Watch this video as I navigate my way through

Great Features:

  • Teacher sets up class usernames and passwords
  • Teacher has control over what gets posted
  • Teacher can block outside visitors from leaving comments
  • Teacher upload library is available for students to pull media from
  • Teacher can select certain students to become a moderator
  • The moderator can be in charge of approving comments & posts
  • This site is FREE and easy to use!

Next-Step Lessons:

  • Teach students how to compose appropriate comments to my posts
  • Come up with a student created rubric for scoring and grading comments
  • Teach students to create their own posts
  • Come up with a student created rubric for scoring and grading blog posts
  • Teach students about appropriate comments when responding to classmates’ posts
  • Teach selected students about the moderator role

Goal for my students:

I want my students to know about the seriousness of publishing their absolute best work on the internet.  By being able to read and respond to their classmates’ writing, I want to motivate and encourage my students to be come the most creative and best writers that they can be.  It can even be a way to have my students to continue to write over the summer break.  I can’t wait to start using this in my class this week!

17 thoughts on “Kidblog to Excite Students about Writing

  1. Awesome job on this review! I am really stoked to try this out with my students. I teach a middle school computers class, and although many would claim to be experts on posting, they struggle with appropriate responses as well as uploading files and moderating. I like how the teacher has so much control over what the students can do. This isn’t just one of those “mindless” assignments that so many teachers hand out. This has a real life application that students can use right away. Plus, it might just get them doing school work outside of school, which is always a bonus. You made a great point, it can keep students and teachers connected over weekends and breaks. Thanks for sharing this awesome resource!

    • I do like how I have control over what gets posted onto the blog. Students are excited to see their writing on the page and I am finding that some of my quietest students are finding their voice, contributing insightful thoughts to our discussion. As I think we’re seeing with this ETC class, approving comments and replying back to them does take a good amount of time and effort on our part. Thanks for the comment! I’m glad that you see a usefulness to the site.

  2. looks like a cool easy to use site. Quick question… I noticed you wanted to use it in your classroom, how was the experience? I agree with the comment about the video narration, it was a great and easy to understand explanation. I do believe that colors in your text would have really made the blog post pop.

    • My students were really excited to use as their writing assignment for the week. I posted the question, “How do you feel about technology? What are the things that you like and don’t like about it?” This generated a great discussion among my whole class. I made sure to reply to each of my student’s comments, and without me asking them to, students started replying to each other’s comments, starting discussions about the importance of taking time to go outside and play instead of sit in front of a computer or t.v. screen. There were some comments that I had to un-approve because of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. If they need help with editing before they post, I’m encouraging them to find classmates to help them. It’s been a great experience so far!

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    • That’s a bummer, Ketsana. But, I can believe it. For a few years, every new technology (especially Web 2.0 sites) that I tried to incorporate into my teaching ended up being blocked. I wonder if there is a way to override the block. I don’t mean breaking the rules, I mean, working with the tech support to create a work around for that particular website, even if you have to do it every time you log in. Just a thought. (That was how I eventually was able to use in my classes–through a daily override.)

  4. What a great find! It’s great to see full featured tools that are free and aimed for education. The video review was paced well and a great choice. (I overlooked the restriction on visuals and used too many photos in my post) The student moderator function is a great feature and I think having your students use this tool will really help them develop collaboration skills.

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  6. I like a lot of my classmates seem to really be intrigued by Kidblog. Your preview was really interesting and functional as well. I have been wanting to set up a blog not for each student in my classes, but for each class. As modeled in our current coursework, a way for students to get to talking about the subjects we are learning in class. I would post a link to each of my 4 biology classes on our class website and that way it could also spark discussion in between classes as well. As we are currently discussing evolution in my classes this could be a great tool for sparking interest and debate. Do you think this tool is too low level for high school students? If so, do you know any other tools that may seem appropriate to an older age group?

    • This week I had my students read my first post and respond back with a comment. As I was replying to their comments, I noticed that my blog wasn’t set up for students to reply to each other’s comments. When I started searching through the settings to figure out how to fix it, I got to know the site a little better.

      As a high school teacher, you are able to set up different classes. They even have a “Bulk-create” link when you go to set up users. After each class is set up, you have the ability to allow them to change their username/password later (if you want). Then, in your “Post Settings” you can allow all 4 of your classes to read your blog, creating a discussion among classes. Just make sure that in your “Comment Settings” you enable threaded comments 3 or more levels deep. This will allow your students to keep a great discussion going. I think this can be a great tool for your biology classes!

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