Well we’re in week two of the blogging adventure in my class. Only one student has opted out thus far. Overall I’ve been really impressed with the posts my students have generated. But, I’ve been more impressed with the thoughtful commentary they given each other and the spontaneous mini-discussions about books.
So far the major drawbacks are the time commitment. Fifth graders type slow and they know that they have an audience so they want everything to be perfect. I’m working with them on finding a balance between home preparation in their notebooks and actual time spent typing and publishing. I guess I have to remember that these blogs posts are considerably longer and more involved than I expected, which is great! But I need to find a way to make it work with my scheduling constraints.
While I felt strongly that I wanted to give my students a choice I’m feeling a little conflicted about the students who aren’t blogging. I think I will offer to let them change their mind at the end of this week, just in case.
Here are some comments from my students about the process so far.
On the process of blogging…
“So far I think that blogging is what I expected it to be, and to me I love expressing how I feel about the book I’m reading and it’s really easy for me.”
“I like it better than letters because everyone gets to see what we’re reading, not just you, and we also get more freedom, we don’t just have to write about what we’re reading right now.”
“I really enjoy blogging and I think of it as a better way to talk about books because you can get your classmates feedback, and thats who you really want to hear from, and it doesn’t take as long as letters did because any of us can go on at home, or at school, or the library, anywhere! And especially because it’s electronic.”
On the challenges of blogging…
“One of the challenges I’ve had so far is deciding what to blog about. But after looking at the class’s blogs, I have solved that problem.”
“I think that the only challenges that I’ve had are when you’re reading a long book, and you’ve read it for the past week, and the present week, so you don’t know what to talk about. But, usually I can find my way, because you can do anything like a regular blog post, to a top 10, to your favorite characters in books, which characters you would want to meet for a certain reason, things like that, so it’s not too hard.”
One of the things I find challenging is writing good comments. It is hard not to say the same thing every time, and finding new good things to point out in every one’s blogs.
On deciding to make our blogs public or not…
“I think we should make these blogs public so people can see what books we like and what we would recommend reading.”
“I agree that we should make these blogs public so the w h o l e world can know about these fantastic books that we’ve read and read them!”
“I wouldn’t really want to make my blog public to people but I can if you want because I am in between if I want to or not.”
“I think that maybe in a couple weeks after we get more used to blogging and we get better and it becomes easier for us we can make it open to the public.”