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Using the class blog to publish students writing and give feedforward and feedback

My goal is to use our class blog as a publishing tool to allow a wider audience to read and give feedback on my students writing.

I have set up the classroom blog and we have started publishing pieces of work on it. www.thumpingthrees.blogspot.com I have been making comments about each piece of writing - giving them feedback related to the WALT and possible next steps to improve their writing.

I have found that there is now a bit of competition amongst my students as they all really want their work published on the blog and are now working hard to raise their bar and improve their writing! This has been a spin off that I really underestimated! The majority of my students are now becoming very reflective writers who are constantly aiming to improve their writing.

Next steps:

1. Get the students to comment on each others writing on the blog that reflect the WALT

2. Get my students to comment on their peers writing in our Kahikatea Team - this will require timetabling it in and teaching students how to access other classroom blogs.

3. Encourage our parents and community members to comment on their children's writing to increase our audience.

The classroom blog has been a successful tool to make the publishing of writing meaningful. The possibility of having their work opened to the WORLD has been extremely motivating. I have seen an amazing improvement of students wanting to write and wanting to improve their writing. They are proud of their writing and are keen to share it. This is during writing sessions as well as when they are blogging.

My challenge will be maintaining this enthusiasm. I will continue to search for different Web 2 tools to assist with this like voice thread etc.  I will also use other ICT technologies to encourage them, eg. video publishing (not always just writing their stories).