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Community comments on blogs

Started by Emma Watts 31 Mar 2011 4:24pm () Replies (19)

How do we get our community more involved with our blogs?

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  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2011 9:58pm ()

    What worked for me last year:

    • Co-constructed letters home - write a letter with your students after you have started your blog.  Include the blogs web address and ask parents to comment on your blog.
    • Follow other blogs within your school.  As part of your reading programme students can read other class blogs and make comments on them. 
    • Commenting on others blogs and following othet class blogs encourages them to follow your class blog and make comments on your student's posts

    What will I try this year:

    • Follow and comment on class blogs outside of Tahunanui School
    • Send a 'mini-note' home with the children who wrote the blog post encourage their family to make a comment on their child's post

    Successes:

    Last year my class blog had 13 followers:

    • 6 parents/family members following the blog - 3 who regularly commented
    • 1 student who had their own home blog following his class blog!
    • 2 teachers following
    • 4 classes from Tahunanui following our class blog

    Watch this space to find out what happens this year Smile  Our blog address this year is:

    www.room9-in-2011.blogspot.com follow us and make a comment!

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2011 10:09pm ()

    If you would like to follow some more Nelson blogs there are plenty to chose from here...

    http://linklearning.wikispaces.com/Contacts

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2011 10:27pm ()

    Hi Emma, as always I really enjoy reading your comments and posts. Great, practical ideas for linking school with home.

    Rocky Jensen has also been unpacking the idea of an authentic audience and blogging with her kids @ http://rocky11.blogspot.com/2011/03/comments4kids.html

    Jill Hammonds created http://blogalong.wikispaces.com/ to help schools promote using blogs as a social collaborative tool and there's the international blogging challenges to look forward to in September.
    http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2010/08/08/students-time-to-register/
    http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2010/08/16/teachers-register-class-blogs-here/

    All-in-all a great part of reading and writing programmes.

    Tess Smile

  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 10 Apr 2011 10:19pm ()

    Thanks Tess for the links.  I will definately explore comments4kids further.  Discussion with other teachers provides great ideas for getting whanau involved with our schools online environment.  Tonight for example (via facebook - which I rarely use!) I was chatting with a friend about blogging.  She gave me some excellent tips and ideas for my blog.  So I had a play and created some pages on the blog not just for student learning but parent and whanau learning too.  I have parent interviews this week and will promote it then, as well as send a letter home to promote how parents can get involved.  I've also created pages on digital citizenship and how to comment on blogs.  I have also created links from our class blog to our school wikipages for parents, students and teachers.

    My friend Fiona's class blog is http://room3ncs.blogspot.com/

    My updated and improved blog is http://room9-in-2011.blogspot.com/ !

  • Isaac Day (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2011 8:11am ()

    One thing that works well for our family (from a parent perspective! Smile) is that our son has his 'fun' reading homework on a Thursday.  Usually this means that he has to get on to the class blog and make comments or ask questions.  This is also good for my wife and I because we get to go on there and see what is going on with him... especially good for Dad, because he doesn't really know what is going on at school, apart from lunchtime soccer and rugby practice!! Smile

    Both my wife and I now follow the blog, but the only time we are really on there is when we are reading it with my son every Thursday, and along with him, we have to contribute to this blog through comments and questions.  Seems to work well and there are often a number comments on most entries.  Actually has had a 'double' effect as my 5 year old has bookmarked his class blog and shares his learning with us through this too!

    Just thought I would share from a different perspective! Smile

    Smile

  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 10 Apr 2011 10:23pm ()

    Thanks Isaac - its great to have a different perspective and from a parent point of view too!  I like the idea as setting it for a 'fun' homework activity.  At Tahunanui we open our library to our families after school, including the e-space (computer suite) so even parents who don't have access to the interent at home have the opportunity to access the class blog.  I'd like to run parent 'training' session - where students and parents can learn together. 

  • DaveP (View all users posts) 09 Apr 2011 7:12pm ()

    I try and promote the blog by including links to all the websites we use as part of our e-learning in class.  The kids use these live links at home a lot...especially the studyladder link as parents have been informed that this includes the 'set tasks' section that run alongside what is being targeted in class.  They check out the new additions to the blog while they are in there usually. We also include books we have enjoyed together. I also send a letter home explaining how to get into the blog and what it is for.  Then a few weeks later they get the address sent home again just to remind them that it exists. The children are asked most mornings who has gone into the blog...whether at school or at home and if they haven't then why not?   The blog is used as part of our independant work during guided reading and we follow other classes blogs.  I have always seen the blog as basicaly a bridge between school and home /  family. This was especially true when we had a Christchurch student with us and her family informed me that it was really helpful for them to be able to follow what we were doing via the blog.  Dave.

  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 10 Apr 2011 10:26pm ()

    Great ideas Dave - particularly links to websites that you use in your class. 

  • Anna Fitchett (View all users posts) 12 Apr 2011 2:37pm ()

    I believe the main tools for getting parents on the blog are the kids!  If they are interested and want to get on it at home the parents almost have to have a look.  We encourage our kids to comment from home and school and this will also get the parents involved.  As Dave mentioned we have websites linked from our blog that the kids use at school and home to get safely to different sites.  This has certainly been used at home.  The challenge is getting the parents interacting with the blog.  So now it is my turn to look at how I share the blog with the kids so they are motivated to get on there at home and start contributing! 

  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 12 Apr 2011 11:04pm ()

    I agree Anna.  If the students are engaged in the blog then it encourages parents too!  I think directing parents to the blog as a hub for home learning is also key.  So having links for good educational websites is key.  I promoted the blog with parents at this week's parent interviews - recommending it as reading homework, a way to keep in touch with families in other countries or parts of New Zealand, a place to find good websites for practising mathematics.  I've also added information pages for parents on the blog.  So far so good...3 parents are now following the blog and 2 made comments!  So tomorrow I will work into my classroom programme reading and responding to comments (reading and writing with a purpose and an audience!).  Note my parent interviews ended at 6pm tonight!

  • Anna Fitchett (View all users posts) 13 Apr 2011 8:07am ()

    Including in the reading programme at home and school is an excellent way to get them using it daily.  I am thinking about my kids that don't have access at home and how to balance this out with those that do.  Access before/during/after school on top of what is already happening?  Not sure yet.  First task is a survey of parents - who does have access?  

    6pm sounds like a good finish time!  Well done!

  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 13 Apr 2011 9:42pm ()

    Definately - I think that we need to acknowledge that not all families have interent access at home.  One way we try to support families at Tahunanui School is opening the Library and the e-space after school 2 days a week.  Students and their families are welcome to issue books, use the internet and have a cup of tea!  I guess other options to promote are public libraries which have free interent access.  It can be hard to provide access onto of other things that happening but your post has got me thinking - should I open up my classroom & the computer before school from 8:30?  I often have parents in chatting at that time, why not put the blog onto the interent and invite parents & their children to look at it?  Could I send out invites to parents? Maybe I could have regular morning spot once a week or perhaps a couple of times a term?  Thanks Anna.

  • Anna Fitchett (View all users posts) 14 Apr 2011 6:04pm ()

    That has me thinking now!  I've been getting our pod into the classroom so the kids can have access between 8.30 and 9.  I could try and combine this with a focus on getting parents on line.  Set up some kids to help them become followers, add posts etc.  Something to think about!

  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 14 Apr 2011 9:02pm ()

    That's a neat idea too!  Student experts showing parents in the classroom before school.  :) 

  • Andrew (View all users posts) 11 May 2011 11:07am ()

    The idea of using the time before 9 and after 3 is a good one. I'm now wondering if I can use these times more effectively.  Currently I may randomly suggesting to children that they use ICT at those times and their parents become passive viewers. If they had a task.....

  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 11 May 2011 6:35pm ()

    Good point - perhaps sharing the blog and making a comment could be that task Wink

    Perhaps even co-create a blog post...Smile

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