Spending time in my favorite Grade 3 class is always magical, but yesterday it was taken to a whole new level by @mswift . Her class blogs all the time. They’ve taught me so much this year about how blogging can be used by students of this age (and any age) as a tool to support literacy, critical thinking, collaboration and reflection.
During my visit, the initial plan was to spend some time with the students while they finished up their blogging for the year and to document some of their thoughts on the process. As they often do in education, the plans changed. The grade 7 and grade 3 classes had been trying to co-ordinate for quite some time in order to do a shared blogging activity. All of a sudden their schedules worked. Rolling with the changes, the grade 7’s came in and the magic began.
Students were given the task of creating a blog post or commenting on other posts (on their own class blog or the site 1000awesomethings.com) in pairs (one grade 3 and one grade 7). As we watched the grade 3’s demonstrate to their grade 7 buddies how to post, how to comment, how to embed files and what the “rules” were (including digital citizenship rules and that a blog post needs to pose a question in order to generate discussion), I was memorized by how engaged the grade 7s were. Once the pairs decided what to post or comment on, the grade 7s became more confident and lead the grade 3’s to extend their thinking and writing to more closely match some of the abilities of the grade 7 students.
One group of three girls decided to join their three names together into one nonsensical but personalized name to sign off their post with. The whole experience lasted maybe 20 minutes, but I can’t think of a better way to spend the last 20 minutes of a week. Thanks @mswift!