Remember Your First Time - Blogging with / for Students

I have never used blogging in my classroom before. In fact I never cared about blogging until about six months ago. Thought it was only for people who were experts or people who just wished they were. I have since been converted. However, I have only been blogging myself for a month and don't feel I have the expertise to do something big or rock the boat. I do want to blog this year, so I'm hoping you can help.

My idea is to run class blog and have students post responses. Then, as students get used to that, I can have students be guest bloggers when they have something important to say. They could send their post to me and I can publish it. The judge of important will be them of course. Is it worth doing this way? Is there a better way?

My constraints:
I can not use anything that requres student to give out an email. I know about the google cheat, but middle schoolers aren't known for following directions and I'm not sure I want to risk the outraged parent.

I can not afford any pay services. No money in the department. No money in my pocket. I have a small grant at our school that I can apply for, but don't know if they would support blogging without seeing it in action first.

I teach 8th grade. Many of my students won't turn 13 until the middle or end of the year.

Any advice is welcome.

Tags: blogging

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Heather,

I incorporate a blog with each of my LA classes. I use the blog a means to publish work. I had always had issues with this final stage of the writing process. I use the blog to give students writing assignments. The writing varies from creative to narrative, short stories, and yes lot's of opinionated writing as well. I always give examples. Each student has his/her own blog where they submit their work. I try to make this as creative as possible. Take advantage of the technology, images, audio files, and video. We do film reviews- embedding the clips or trailers.

I'll also use the bog to post background info. on reading selections, authors, etc. What they absolutely need are guidelines. If you want them to post responses, then they'll have to be presented with some very debatable or thought provoking prompts. I use a lot of anticipation guide responses as a pre-reading activity and this tends to work well.

I can understand your concerns... However, there are some options. Take a look at my reading blog and computer applications blog . No email is required, the blog is free ($40 per year if you want the adds turned off), and I use it with my 6th thru 8th grade students and can monitor what finally hits the real world. I also have a "fun" blog that I use withn them. Let me know if you need any addditonal information.

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