Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blogging through the school year, part 2

Yesterday I posted Blogging through the school year, part 1, August through December 2005. Below are my memories of important high and low points while blogging with my third graders this past school year, from January through March, 2006. The red links below point to my posts on, the classroom blog, and green links point to entries on this, my personal blog:
  • January, 2006 - we start off the year posting our Personal narratives, basically a copy/paste from Word docs. An attempt to wed our writing program with the blog. Not so great, as only about half the class did theirs in Word. For those who did post their writing, it looked great, because they had more than one or two paragraphs - but this was after a couple of months(!) working on the piece. Lucky writers? just happened because of a Friday the 13th, a teachable moment that a few kids really got into. Nice comments was just a hint of a big boost we were about to get... Teacher writes about Amazing student bloggers

    (I'm realizing at this point I simply must leave out huge chunks, just to get through this. Also, readers must understand that, compared to the time we spent on more traditional stuff - math, art, gym, music, cursive writing, social studies, etc - blogging activities took up a very small part of the school day, and we maybe only gave time to the blog one or twice a week.)

  • February, 2006 - it's not quite as painful as it first was to think about, but there was a big buzz in Seattle and on our student blogs, with Super Bowl Excitement. It actually spurred on our first attempt at podcasting, Seahawks Cheers - podcasts! Teacher posts A good week Then we lost, of course, and there was an outpouring of feelings on student blogs (More on the game ). It was a good time to go back and revisit the Blogger's Contract. One of the moments that most amazed me with my class was Third grade tech problem solvers. One of the moments that most amazed my kids was Room 12 - in Texas! And this one event just supercharged the rest of our school year. Teacher posts The Winter Olympics! on the classroom blog, hoping for students to blog from home, while on vacation - one or two takers, a flop...

  • March, 2006 - I held a Family Internet Night and left the PowerPoint and podcasts on the school blog at Podcasting - finally! I had an incredible experience with The New Story - The Skypecast Another remarkable moment in the classroom came with Comments, articles - and podcasts! ("how come the girls get more comments than the boys?"). A downer came with Blocking Flickr - can't get past it, as I was counting on incorporating those images on our classroom blogs (had promised it, actually).

End of part 2. I'll try and wrap up the school year in the next installment.


Cheryloakes50 said...

Hello Mark,
I'll also share part 2 tomorrow. I told people about Billy and Ziggy so they can incorporate that in their blogs too.
Great to have this information to share. Have a great time getting to part 3, I am waiting to read yours, then when my class is done, I'll reflect on my year blogging.

Mark Ahlness said...

Cheryl, thanks so much for your feedback. As you know, it means a lot. I am looking forward to writing part 3 like you can't believe, because there is just SO much to share, SO many incredible moments, SO many positive things.... can't you just feel it coming? To me, this is one of those posts that will write itself - I've written it in my mind so many times. Good news, positive feelings, great accomplishments, and the happiness that comes from knowing you did a good thing with your kids... - Mark