As I talked with a friend today about some ideas I had for writing about digital writing, she asked me what my purpose was in blogging with my students. It was one of those questions that made me think and then ask myself even more questions. As teachers approach me about beginning digital writing in their classrooms, I find myself suggesting we start a blog. Why is it that I suggest starting there?
I can think of many reasons to blog with students, but one of the main reasons is the audience a blog provides. Blogging gives students a wider audience with whom to share their writing. For those of us who have been blogging for a long time, we know the power in receiving comments. It motivates us to continue writing, it validates us, and we begin to build relationships with others outside our immediate community.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to experience first graders receiving their first comments on their blog...
As Mrs. Klochak brought up the site, an immediate murmur began winding its way among the students. I could hear giddy whispers of "Six. Look we have six." Some of them recognized the title of the post I had typed and saw that we had 6 comments. I'm not sure who was more excited, Mrs. Klochak and me or the kids.
Then we started to scroll through the comments. I will never forget the looks on their faces. Beaming smiles filled the room.
I read the name of a commenter, and someone someone said, "Hey, that's my mom." We repeated the process 8 more times as I read comments from parents. You could feel the excitement in the air. I wish I had turned on a video recorder, it was so powerful.
Needless to say, the students can't wait to write their next post. I am returning on Friday to support Mrs. Klochak as she composes the next blog post with the students. It'll be her first blog post!
If you have a chance, please take a look at this first grade post on Good Fit books and leave a comment for the students. Knowing their words are being read by so many people will be a great motivator for them to continue on this blogging journey.