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Middle School Blogging Strategies


As I've been reading the process of connecting blogs and using labels/tags and categories in Laura Gibb's SummerBlogFest2020, I finally realized I did begin such a process with my students the year we started with Blogger blogs.

Laura's Process

Laura's comment reminded me of our process when she pointed me to her "Biography Assignment." Scroll down to the blue box to see how her students created their response in their blogs-- here's a screenshot:

Middle School Process

In our Slice of Life writing, where students loved writing about themselves every Tuesday,  I wrote about the process and project here: Slice of Life Writing, complete with links to examples and drafts.

Briefly, we followed this process-- every Tuesday, and every day in March:
  • Draft:  A Quick Write, then a Slow Write/Revision in GDocs
  • Review Strategies: Add the writing strategies used with examples from your work
  • Post with title SOL+your topic/title; label: Slice of Life
  • Comment on others' posts -- noting the strategies you see in their writing

Document Directions and Examples:


Notes on Our Work

Nothing works perfectly because kids forget labels and adding titles-- but for my small classes we worked it out. 

During March, students drafted and revised right in their blog posts-- because they wrote every day for only 20-30 minutes. Transferring from docs to blog would have taken longer for them. 

For the rest of the year, students had choices in writing, one of which was to do Slice of Life. Whatever choice they made, I had access to their Google Docs to offer feedback throughout their process, and they shared with one or two peers to comment on their writing strategies applied and make suggestions for adding based on our class writing strategies. Our focus was on content, not editing. 


Since I had small classes, I listed all their blogs in my sidebar -- because I did not know about InoReader! Students could easily find each blog.

More About Labels

Also, students labeled each post with the name of the assignment and any writing or reading label for curriculum, such as "writing strategies," "elaboration," "argument," "poetry," "portfolio," etc.

During conferences students could choose a label and find all their examples. They could explain to parents how they had grown through past and present examples on their blogs. Families were so interested in their content and learning. Lots of laughs and nods of approval.  

That's One Process-- What will you do?

So that's the process I used with my students. Unfortunately, I'm retired, and the district deleted my blogs and the students' blogs where their examples would be. 

I loved how students could draft, revise, and notice and note their improved strategies; they worked together to improve their writing.  With Google Apps and blogs, students became growing writers in a digital world.

Does that help you with organizing your student blogs or assignments?

Notes:

Slice of Life Writing challenges are every Tuesday and every day in March. It was started and is found here: Two Writing Teachers

If considering the creation of student blogs with Blogger, this site is so helpful-- includes how to set them up with templates: Effective Blogging from PT England School in New Zealand.

Images:
What Else Logo by Sheri
Blue Box Screenshot-- from Laura's blog [link above]
Agenda-- from my own slides

Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness... Reflect curiosity and wonder... Live to make the world less difficult for each other. ~ George Eliot

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