Classroom Blogs: Ideas for Staying Connected
Yesterday we talked about starting a personal blog and why it can be a great way to share your knowledge and experience with others. Today, our focus is on the classroom blog and how you can use it with your students and their families. A classroom blog can be created quickly and easily using Blogger or WordPress and is a great way to stay connected to those at home.
A class blog can be a useful tool for helping share what is going on in the classroom. Post updates about upcoming projects, when permission slips are due and other reminders that may get lost in the shuffle of everyday travels from home to school. Parents can check the blog weekly or daily for updates. You can even post a poll or question on the blog to encourage parents to interact with you and with one another.
Make your classroom blog a resource for homework reminders. Post the daily homework assignment on the blog, so that parents and students can refer to it at night. This may cut down on missed assignments and help students stay on track.
Want to make a class story even when your students are not in class? Encourage them to participate in a class blog story. You start the process by posting the beginning of a story and students leave a comment continuing it. For example, you can begin with a post that says, “While walking around the playground, Sean found a brightly colored disk on the ground. He picked it up, turned it over and there on the back was….”. Students then build the story based on their own imagination and what has been written before their comment. It is a great way to build rapport and encourage creative thinking even while at home.
Things to Consider
Write posts telling families about special projects, post pictures of completed work and encourage them to get involved. One golden rule about class blogs, however, is that you should not post pictures of your students or mention their full names. This a safety issue and one that you may not think to consider. No matter how useful a blog is for disseminating information, you want to keep your students safe, so be vigilant about the personal information that you post.
If you are considering starting a class blog, work on it this summer to get a feel for how to post. By the time school is ready to start, you will be able to welcome students back to school from your blog and even post pictures of the classroom. Technology, with all its pros and cons, is a part of today’s culture and the means by which many parents communicate. Making use of a classroom blog is just another way to stay connected.
Watch for our Really Good Stuff Class Blog contest coming in September! We will be encouraging you to show us your classroom blog and one lucky winner will be chosen by her peers as having a Really Good Classroom Blog! So, get blogging and stay tuned!