I thought that getting my students to blog would help them in their oral and written communication skills; so I used blogging as a tool to get students to express their thoughts in a manner that was fun and non-judgmental. The idea was that they can transfer their comments into writing and help them improve their writing skills through the use of technology. I compared blogging to Facebook because I noticed that a great number of students were constantly involved with Facebook. Students became excited and anxious to post and read other students postings on a topic. I also thought that by seeing what other students wrote and how they communicated that it would help the lower kids because it would serve as a model.
I started out by posting questions
based on a read aloud shared in the classroom.
I would comment on their posts and give them feedback on how they could
make it better and remind them to use complete sentences. Then I proceeded to post questions about
social issues in which students could share their thoughts and provide evidence
to prove what their opinions were. Being
that I developed rules and my feedback gave them next steps, I noticed that the
blogging diminished and that I would have to bring them back in. I did so by promoting peer editing in which they
would comment on each others blogs by giving warm and cool feedback. Students were into providing each other
feedback and so once again they were engaged in blogging. I noticed many students’ writing improved and
others stayed the same, however for the most part their eagerness was evident
and they continued to blog consistently.
· Goal 1: 75% of targeted students will be able to write complete sentences using correct tenses and punctuation to convey their thoughts.
Outcome Goal 1: 2 out of the 5 students were near mastery of writing in complete sentences. However the other three completed 25% of the assigned tasks. In retrospect I should’ve monitored and made them correct their writing when mistakes were evident.
· Goal 2: 85% of targeted students will be able to build on each other’s comments by agreeing or disagreeing with one another orally and in writing in a safe and comfortable environment. They will be able to quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Outcome Goal 2: All students were able to comment on one another’s comments, however 3 out of the five achieved 25% of the task because they were not able to quote directly from the text although they did comment on their peers responses. 2 out of 5 reached mastery because they both commented and quoted directly from the text to support their answers.
· Goal 3: 75% of targeted students will be able to comprehend and create their own themes for others to respond to in writing. They will be able to Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Outcome Goal 3: All students were able to form opinions and support them with evidence. However 3 out of 5 students were able to not only form an opinion and support it but they were also able to write in complete sentences. However the spelling and verb tenses were still a problem. 2 out of 5 were able to form an opinion and provide some support and did not write in complete sentences.
· Goal 4: 70% of targeted students will be able to integrate their background knowledge (schema) and text evidence in order to make inferences both orally and written.
Outcome 4: 3 out of the 5 students were able to make inferences at least 50% of the time with accurate supporting details. However 2 out of the 5 students’ inferences were off most of the time and failed to provide evidence that would support their inferences.
As a result, this was an excellent means for students to develop their writing skills through their strong ability to communicate orally. They were motivated and conscious of how they wrote for the most part. In retrospect even though I found it to be a great idea, I would definitely have done things differently. I would have set blogging rules more explicitly from the beginning and created a blog rubric that they could refer to on a consistent basis. In addition, I would also model more and show them what blogging should look like. I noticed that when I attempted to make the blogging more formal versus for entertainment purposes, students may have lost focus at times. I also noticed that when the rules were set the students became disinterested in blogging and would respond less frequently. Therefore I had to find other means to engage them and motivate them to blog. I was straight forward in explaining to them that this was in their best interest in improving their writing skills. Students bought into it for the most part. I then added another component and decided to come out of blogging by motivating them to create commercials about things they felt strongly about.
I would definitely use blogging again in order to get students motivated to express their thoughts and communicate through writing.