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Common Core Writing Through Blogging

By Kriscia Cabral on January 16, 2014
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Wondering how to get your kids excited about writing? How about offering the opportunity for them to share their voice on the World Wide Web? See how incorporating blogging into your classroom allows for all student voices to be heard.

Common Core State Standards in writing emphasize the importance of students writing for a purpose. In kindergarten through grade 8, students are working on writing in a number of media, editing with peers, and reflecting on their writing based on editing and revising techniques. Twenty-first century learners can gain these learning tools and more through blogging in the classroom.

There are a number of reasons to have your students blog. Giving students the opportunity to blog allows an audience for their words that extends further than the walls of the classroom. While students share their work on a blog post, I have the opportunity to both enjoy their writing and work with them on ways to improve it. I can monitor a student's growth from the start of our blogging to the end.

Here is a wonderful slideshare presentation on Kidblogs: For Students created by Dan Gibson that is a great tool for getting started. With Gibson's ideas as my foundation, here are my tips for creating your own classroom blog in four simple steps.

Step 1: Start With Reading

Top Teaching Blogger Rhonda Stewart shares tips for encouraging students to write in her post "Using Picture Books to Inspire Writing Ideas." I have created mini-lessons using my own favorite books that share meaningful messages about words, perspectives, and why your story matters. After each book is read, students share pieces from their writing notebooks. It is also important to discuss the idea of being able to share your writing with more than just your class. Imagine the possibilities!

Step 2: Introduce Existing Blogs

Start with an "ever wonder?" question: "Ever wonder what it would be like to share your writing with the world? If you could, what would you write about?" Show your class other student blogs. Here is a list of classroom blogs I pull from to share with my class. This is just to get the idea into their heads that kids are amazing writers too.

Step 3: Define Expectations

Decide what expectations you’d like in place for your class of bloggers. Again, borrowing from Gibson, I shared a number of his forms with my class and we discussed what our purpose would be. In your class, lay out your expectations prior to starting the blog with your students. This is also a good time to talk about digital citizenship and what is appropriate on the Internet.

Step 4: Just Write

Our first attempt to blog took place in the computer lab. As a class, we went over how to post and how to comment. We also learned how to format our pages and make changes to our blog post title page. There were a number of times during this lesson that I was learning more about this process from watching my students. That is what I loved most about the whole experience. Let your students be your guide.

I encourage my students to try their hand at different writing genres such as persuasive, informative, etc. I find this encourages creativity.

While the ideas for how to incorporate blogging in the classroom are endless, here is a short list of ways I plan to use blogging in my room.

 

I will close with purposeful words shared by fifth grade student Rowan and her reason for blogging, "I think everyone sharing their thoughts is a great way of bringing us closer. Our voices can be heard without having to speak."

What ways do you plan to use blogging in your classroom? I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading!

Smiles,

Kriscia

Common Core State Standards Addressed:

 

              CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1a Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1b Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1c Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1d Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2a Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2b Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2c Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2e Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 4 here.)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9a Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9b Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text”).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

 

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1a Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1b Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1c Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1d Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2a Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2b Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2c Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2e Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3a Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3b Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3c Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3d Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3e Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Production and Distribution of Writing

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 5 here.)

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

•                CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

◦                                  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9a Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).

◦                                  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9b Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]”).

Range of Writing

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Comments (4)

Ana,

Hooray! I'm glad my words have inspired you to get those kids going! They are going to love blogging! There is a special show of pride when students are working for their own purpose.
Have fun!

Thank you for sharing!

I use a subscription service at www.prepdog.com to blog in a safe environment. The difference is the system has a quiz creator that allows me to create quizzes or tutorials. You can upload videos, audio, images, and enter text. Once the students complete the assignment, which is auto graded, I send out a message or topic for the students to discuss. This way they get to reflect on the assignment. The students love it, because they ask questions they would not have asked in class.

The company that created www.prepdog.org is the same one that created the new system they are calling a collaboration platform. They are a bunch of teachers creating material and features for teachers. I have been on the system since August. I love it.

Hi Bob,
Thank you for reading. I will definitely look into prepdog.com for my class in the future. A safe environment is always best when kids are involved. I like the idea of reflection and asking more questions.

Thank you for sharing!

I have had an account to Kidblog for the last two years. Your post is Just what I needed to get Kidblog started in my classroom!

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