Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blogging Buddies!

It's time for the K12 Online Conference! In case you are new to this one, it is a conference for teachers by teachers, where presenters put together 15-20 minute talks that can be viewed or downloaded. I enjoy it because I gets tons of great ideas, for free, from the comfort of my living room!

After viewing “We Like Our Blogging Buddies: The Write Stuff with Blogging Mentors” my mind started to spin! First graders were paired with college students (aspiring teachers) and they became blogging buddies. First graders blogged, college students commented on their blogs. It was a positive learning experience for all involved.

Last year I had my third graders blogging, but in small groups. We used blogging as a reflection/reporting tool. I could see some real possibilities for collaboration here! This would be a wonderful opportunity for students in a practical writing class! The high school students who typically struggle with writing could actually become mentors for younger students. In this way, everyone is writing for a real audience, with an authentic purpose, bonds are being formed, and, everyone is learning! This could be an opportunity for some struggling learners to feel helpful and needed.

In the presentation each student had his or her own buddy and they exchanged pictures. I think I would have my students describe themselves to their buddies and vice versa. They could draw pictures of each other, and then do a meet up on skype. In my future elementary classroom there are 3 laptops so this could be done with a learning center approach, after modeling and guided practice.

The high school students could also benefit from this revising, editing, and commenting process because it could be a great opportunity for review lessons on specific skills. hmmmmmmmmmm

Until I get a chance to try this out, I might have to attempt to recruit a friend or two. I would love to see this in action! Well, back to the conference!

3 comments:

Scott said...

Lori,

Your post is very much along the lines of what I was thinking about immediately after I listened to that K12 Online presentation. Think of all the possibilities her: secondary pre-service teachers coaching high school kids, high school kids coaching middle school or elementary kids, middle school kids coaching elementary kids, and seniors coaching freshman. There are numerous possible pairings that could conceivably work here, and all are incredible in the thinking, self-reflection, and guiding they would teach.

As an English teacher, I've ofter maintained that I didn't truly "get" grammar until I had taught it for awhile. By having to learn how to explain to students what was wrong with their writing, and I had to be sure I understood what was wrong and put it into words they could understand. By having our students do the same via a "blogging buddies" sort of activity, we can probably have them raise their own levels too.

My own blog post on this is brewing in here someplace now too. Thanks for Tweeting your original thought Lori, sharing your CFF email with me, and then developing this in to a full blog post. It reinforced my thinking and let me know that what was running through my head wasn't crazy talk!

Kristin Hokanson said...

I am SO far behind in k12...haven't gotten a chance to listen to ANY or participate live at ALL. One of the greatest things from this conference though is the ability to use the network as a filter.
I know for sure I will check this one out
kh

Anonymous said...

Lori,

When you return to the classroom next year this is something that we can do together! I will have English 3 Practical, 2 sections. Sometimes it can be challenging to get those students motivated to write and work on their mechanics. Perhaps, if they have younger children to mentor... they might be more motivated. What do you think?

Jen