Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog with Third Graders

Please, do not crash on me! I have homework due in a few hours!
I am a third grade teacher and my students have just started to learn the proper way to type in their computer class. I am encouraged that if I introduce them to Blogging, they will practice their typing everyday, and not just once a week when they have a computer class.

The purpose of a Blog in my class would be for students to interact with their teacher and peers outside the classroom. If they forget their homework or just want to comment on how tough or easy the homework is, this would be a good forum for them. If I introduce these third graders to a Blog now, by the time they reach high school they will be experts at doing more with Blogs.

The Blog will be an excellent place for students to interact about content. At first, I will start a kid friendly Blog like Edmodo ( or kidblog ( After the students try these blogs and get comfortable with them for a few months, I would graduate them to the Blog that I created in BlogSpot.

            The Blog would be a good place for them to showcase their work, and could become a library of exemplars for students to look at when they need to reference content matter. The experience of someone else, for example their Principal, commenting on their work could be very exciting for these third graders.

Initially I will not open the Blog to a larger community, but limit it to just the parents and teachers in the district. After a few months, when students are comfortable with their interactions and know the rules of being safe on the internet, I will let them share their thoughts with a larger community.

Using a Blog enhances the lesson because this generation of students loves technology. If I take the help of a blog to teach a concept or a skill, these students would be more involved and will grasp the content better. When I teach a lesson with the aid of a smart board, the students are more attentive because they want to be called upon to participate in an interactive activity on the smart board. I would use the blog for students to write just as if they were writing in a journal, and then their peers would comment on their writing. This would greatly enhance their writing skills and give them the confidence to interact with others.


  1. Preeti,

    I really like the idea of starting slow. I also posted that thought in my blog. With younger children I believe it is always important to start with less and slowly introduce more. You don't want to lose them if you start explaining too much. Sometimes it can be hard to put yourself in a child's mind because we understand what we want to say, but we have to figure out the best way to deliver it to children. I really like the idea of the children showcasing their work. Children LOVE to share, so this is a great way for everyone to have a chance!

    You mentioned that you could make the blog a place for children to share their concerns about homework or simply comment on various things. I think this could get fairly disorganized quickly. Also, I think children may be unsure what to write since it is a broad section. I think to organize it a little more you could post questions such as, "Did you feel the geometry worksheet helped you understand shapes better?". I think my creating specific questions, children will be better able to respond.
    All your ideas are wonderful!


  2. I enjoyed reading your post. Yes, it is true that you want to start slow with the students, but you will be amazed at how quickly they learn how to blog. I was reluctant to begin this with my third grade students, but they love it. I agree that they do need structure on the blog. If not, then they have very random comments. If is helpful to really guide their posts, especially in the beginning.

    I use blogs with my third grade guided reading groups. They are responsible for posting comments about their reading before we meet as a big group. They can also respond to each other. They love this. I also know other teachers who post a weekly math challenge on the blog. They have the students post their solutions and explanations of their thinking. I have yet to try this, but I want to. Good luck implementing this in your classroom. The students really enjoy this and look forward to checking their posts.

  3. I really enjoyed your post Pretti. My biggest concern when I read wonderful ideas that involve students working on computers away from school is how will you incorporate the students who do not have a computer at home, or do not have access to the internet. I understand that depending on where you live or teach this is either a big issue or a non-issue, but from my point of view with respect to where I teach half of my students do not have a computer or internet. Additionally, half of those students have parents who do not have transportation or a license to drive those students to the local library. I live in an area where a third of the students in my school have parents who are undocumented and therefore do not have some of the priviledges many other students have.
    To be honest I really do not have an answer to my own question because if I did my classes would be far more enjoyable. I would certainly use much more technology in my classes and for their take home assignments. Is there an answer to this problem? If so please share any and all ideas.

    Heriberto Adrian Lopez

  4. Response to Lyndsay,

    Thank you for your advice on posting the comments about students sharing their thoughts about homework. I agree, I should ask specific questions for students to answer. I guess I need to put some thought into how to make this work efficiently. I am excited to start using this tool in my classroom. Good luck with your blogging.

  5. Response to Sara,

    You have given me the confidence to start blogging with my third graders. I will first start with an introduction page where students write a few lines about themselves. The question that I will post on the blog could be “write a few sentences describing yourself.”

    Later I could start with posting a math or reading question for them to respond. I was thinking of posting a new question every Sunday and asking students to respond within a week.

    In my classroom, I have only one student who does not have access to a computer in her house. I can let her use the classroom computer during free time to respond to the questions.

    I also like your idea of students being responsible for posting comments about their reading before you meet with them.

    Good luck with blogging in your classroom.

  6. Response to Heriberto,

    I can understand the challenges you face in your classroom. Perhaps your district can apply for a grant to get extra computers for your classroom. I have no concrete advice for you at this time. If I come up with a good idea, I will certainly let you know about it. My district has applied for many mini-grants. A good source is the NEA foundation and their URL is
    The process is very time consuming but might be worth a try.
    Good luck with everything, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. I really like your idea about creating a blog for students to interact with each other and with other students about course content. Students do like technology and they are fast learners, so incorporating this into your classroom would be an excellant way to keep them envolved. Starting slow and steady will give all students the opertunity to participate in all activities. Making everyone feel comfortable in the classroom with give students each student confident they need to achieve. So as an professional teacher we should make it our business to learn about the difference. Making sure we are well aware of all the newest technology and making sure we are use it on a regular basis. This will help with familiaring your self with nuch as possible.