Kids are blogging their brains out
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Should we have more homework or less?
It was a recent question to third-graders in Shellie Dix’s class blog at Glenwood Springs Elementary School.
“I want less homework,” Maia wrote. “I think we are really good at writing so we don’t need that for homework. I think we have the hang of math. I think we could read independently. I think we should have more reading at school and less at home.
“Please can we have less homework?”
But there are more posts asking for more homework instead of less.
“Ms. Dix I want more homework!” Grace wrote. “If you give us more homework we’ll be so cool. I will be 100% more smart. I will tell you the fifth-graders are going to say … wow they are smart.”
Carolina left a comment on her classmate Grace’s post saying, “I thought it was funny when you said: Ms. Dix if you give us more homework we’ll be so cool.”
Maia wrote a post from home for fun about “the Blinch,” the good-natured brother of the Grinch who stole Christmas.
The blogs increase communication and serve as great motivation for writing, teachers say. The elementary school started blogging this year.
“If you give the kids an audience, they’re going to give you their best work,” library and technology teacher Pam Lewis said. “It’s creating that whole idea of, ‘You are an author and people are reading your work.'”
First-grade teacher Barbara Thompson uses the blog as a kind of journal for her class, to post pictures and write about things the class has been doing. Students add their own content, usually as part of class assignments.
But some students are into it enough to write posts from home. Students, their families and teachers can make comments. Everything gets screened by the teacher and only students’ first names are used. The blogs are organized by classroom, with links to students’ posts on each class blog. Some classes have gotten more into it than others.
Josie’s grandma writes comments on her school blog. Josie is a first-grader. Her Grandma lives in Washington. It’s the comments that Josie likes the most about blogging.
“If someone’s far away and you don’t get to see them a lot, you can write to them in your blog,” she said.
Crystal River Elementary School is implementing technology in a similar way with http://www.think.com. It’s a system closed to outside Internet visitors, but technology specialist Bonnie Fischer described it as better than a blog. The Web site says it allows students to publish their ideas and collaborate on projects.
Fischer said one popular feature allows students to conduct polls on things like: What is your favorite car? Or who is your favorite wrestler?
She’s seen students give up recess time to get on the system.
“They’re having so much fun,” she said. “It’s fantastic. They’re writing all the time.”