Giving students an authentic audience by having them blog about their writing is a powerful tool. Try some of these sites below as options to start inspiring your students to share their writing.
Link up with your PLN to share your students' writing with other students. Use the hashtag #comments4kids and the example websites below to get connected with other teachers whose classes blog.
Introduce students to blogging and commenting by using this fun Paper Blogging idea by @mcteach.
Acclimate students to the blogging platform and posting by having their first post be a "Hello World" post. Here is the assignment I gave my students. And here is an example student Hello World blog post. You can see other assignments I've posted on our class blog - click on the "Assignments" tag.
Provide your students blogging and commenting guidelines to help them learn the online etiquette and digital citizenship needed for blogging. I compiled this list of Blogging Guidelines from several sources last year. Feel free to borrow or pull from these!
Teacher, student, or classroom websites or blogs
Pros: Offers extensive options for classroom websites and professional looking blogs. User friendly and easy to navigate for both teachers and students. Student blog comments and posts can be monitored by teacher using edu accounts.
Cons: Edu accounts limited to 40 students before having to pay for more.
Pros: Safe site for students of any age to blog. No email addresses needed to sign up. Built in monitoring of posts and comments. All student blogs curated on one homepage automatically.
Cons: Only has basic editing features and does not provide extensive choices for theme and personalization. Free account restricts single classes to 50 students and does not allow students to chose their own themes. Upgrade per class for $25/yr or for $2 per student. Pricing Details
Teacher or student blogs
Pros: Intended for educational use already so offers safe environment for student bloggers. Offers Wordpress platform for editing, which allows for creativity and customization.
Cons: Only the basic features are free. Blog monitoring and mobile features only available when linked to a Pro account ($40/yr). Pricing Details.
Example of blog designed using Edublog by @jaimevanderg : Breaking down the Walls of the Classroom
Teacher or student blogs; teacher, classroom, or student websites
Pros: It's FREE!! Links directly to Google accounts. Easy blogging platform with basic editing tools. Teachers or students have freedom of website creation by creating multiple pages on their blogs.
Cons: Each student has their own site that is not censored or managed by the teacher. One way to overcome this is adding a teacher/admin to each blog site as @mathletepearce suggests in this blog post.
Classroom websites for sharing materials with students.
A free student information system that offers features similar to a social networking site within a protected environment. Offers grouping of classes and groups within classes, also offers options to give students quizzes, surveys, polls etc.
Teacher or classroom websites
Pros: Free account offers user friendly editing features and multiple templates to choose from for classroom website options. Includes a blog feature as well.
Cons: Not specific to education, so doesn't offer monitoring if you choose to use for student websites or blogs.
Scholars in Room 239 (@joykirr) - 7th grade classroom website and links to students blogs via blogger
What's Going on in Mr. Solarz's Class? (@paulsolarz) - 5th grade classroom website, e-portfolios, and educator links
Wolfpack English (@alcp) - 7th grade classroom website and link to Kidblog blog sites
Globally Connected (@pneid) - 7th and 8th grade classroom website with links to student e-portfolios via blogger
Barnes Class (@markbarnes19) - Author of Role Reversal. Middle school Language Arts classroom website with links to Kidblog blog sites