Saturday, October 11, 2014

Why I like Kidblog

He scores!
I started using Kidblog with my fifth grade students and I loved it!  It gave my students an authentic audience for their writing and I was able to make suggestions to help them improve their writing through private comments.  I could even use my cell phone to review their posts while sitting at the soccer field watching my nephew score a goal!
I must admit, I was a little hesitant to begin yet another online program with my third grade class. But I couldn't wait any longer.  We had already connected with our Book Buddies for the Global Read Aloud and it was time to begin blogging about what we were reading.  I had to introduce my third graders to Kidblog.  So, I bit the bullet!

Here are some helpful things to remember with any online program:

1.  If you are going to be using multiple accounts, whenever possible have students use the same username and password for each account they have.   Kidblog doesn't require a username to log in.  The students join our class and then select their first name from the class list.  Once they've done that they just have to enter their "secret" password.

2.  Have students record their username and password in a safe place.  I use their agendas and have them write the information on their birth date, so they can find it.  Just in case they forget.  And they will forget.

3.  Make it easy to find the programs from home.  I link each program we use on our class website and on Edmodo.  When we're at school, we use the apps.

4.  Encourage parents to set up parent accounts for each program.  This keeps them in the loop and they always have access to their child's work.

5.  Start slow.

We first learned about writing quality comments by watching Mrs. Yollis' Class video. Then together we read comments and decided whether or not they should be published.  Next they commented on a post I had written.  I was able to give individual feedback to each student before they started writing their own blog posts.

I check all comments and posts before I approve them to be published.  As I said, this is the perfect way to reinforce writing and grammar skills.  And Yes, the kids love it!

What tips do you have for integrating technology in classroom?

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