Saturday, July 01, 2006

Top 10 student blog posts

There was a suggestion by Vicki Davis for edubloggers to list what they considered their top 10 posts on their own blogs during the 2005-06 school year. Well, I don't have much to offer personally, but there was some pretty amazing writing coming out of my classroom. So I thought I'd offer the Top Ten Posts from my students this year. They are not all great pieces of writing, but they are meaningful and important for the authors and their teacher. Here they are, the top 10 posts from my classroom of third graders, in no particular order:
  • My Weekend - Logan was the first to start the practice (on his own initiative) of blogging his "morning journal" at the end of the week.
  • Changing Desks - Jose came a long way as a writer this year. Distinct paragraphs, the addition of personal reflections within a descriptive piece, describing a classroom routine, was nice work.
  • THE WASL - Joey, working on this every day for a few minutes, began to develop a sense that others were reading his blog, so he asked questions of the readers - and got several comments.
  • K.E.T's Escape - Jacqueline wrote this fantasy in two 15 minute periods as Thanksgiving approached. The class was responding to this prompt; "Pretend you are a turkey. How will you escape being served for Thanksgiving dinner?"
  • About My Blog - Jackson, probably the most prolific blogger in the class, had some well thought out reasons for having a blog and included what made it work for him.
  • my golf ball named Larry! - Hannah wrote this one morning, off the top of her head, in about 20 minutes. She does have a gift...
  • THe Last Gift! - Danielle wrote this from home over Christmas Vacation, in response to a prompt I put on the class blog a couple of days before. Wesley Fryer has shared this piece a few times in presentations and podcasts...
  • No presents allowed - Camden wrote this wonderful freeform list in respose to "Besides presents, what do you look forward to most over Winter Vacation?"
  • Don't keep it totally secret - August wrote some very nice pieces, and several longer ones during the year, but this short blurb of wisdom just popped out right before Valentine's Day.
  • Comments - Abigail responded to her readers, letting them know she was doing her best - the life of a third grader can get pretty hectic!

The danger in doing something like this, of course, is that you might hurt somebody's feelings by not including them on the list of your favorites - or that you might overlook pieces that were more worthy of a mention. Elementary school teachers know all too well the importance of fairness in the classroom, and the dangers inherent in singling out a few for special praise...

Well, I'm willing to take the chance here, because the much bigger danger, no - shame - would be if these kids did not get heard at all. They all should have their writing celebrated, so I encourage readers to browse through ALL the authors at

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Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

This is a great post! I have read all of their blogs and they are to be commended on excellent work. I have blogged
about this class and the great gems that you have in these posts.

You are a gift to these classes and their work is excellent. I hope they realize how blessed they are to have you as a teacher. Great work!

Mark Ahlness said...

Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I have been in a reflective mood the past week and thought it important to look back on this year carefully. I even went so far as to do a three part "blogging through the school year" series, 1, 2, and 3, to document high/low points of the blogging process with my classroom. These are pioneer days, in so many ways, and I think it's important to remember and write down the journey, the process... - Mark

ps - I did go back and add that mytop10eduposts tag :)