I recently spent an enjoyable morning working with a year 5/6 class in Redcar. This was in a school that uses ICT regularly to support teaching and learning but they had never tried blogging before. I needed to quickly introduce them to what blogging is, how they could use it and leave them with the skills to work on their new blog after I left.
After sending out a request for ideas on Twitter I got some great advice from @dajbelshaw and @billgibbon, and @Emmadw sent me a link to a wonderful blog post about Learning to Blog Using Paper from Karen McMillan’s blog Notes from McTeach. This helped me work out the structure of the session.
The pupils had time to look at blogs created by other schools and children which led to a good discussion about what blogs are and how they can be used. They then created their blogs on paper. They worked really hard on their own blogs and then got time to read and comment on each others using post it notes. This was a good chance to talk about the types of comments they should leave and the importance of moderation.
After a short break they split into groups, some following instructions to learn how to use Primary Blogger, the others working on drafting their first post on their theme of Children’s Rights. By the end of the morning the class had all the skills they needed to manage a blog and write interesting posts for themselves, their parents and others.
here’s what the teacher said:
I would like to thank you for your time and effort whilst working with my class of year 5 and 6 children on blogging. As blogging is something that is alien to me, I was particularly grateful for your help.
Having the children create a paper version of a blog first and comment on these, was a very effective way of getting across the message of respect for other people’s ideas. The whole morning was well organised and the pace kept all the children on task.
Thanks to your help, we are now raring to get blogging.
Christine Otto (Year 5/6 teacher , Whitecliffe Primary School)