Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Conference Recap #3 - Blogging & Critical Literacy

Who else started cracking up you saw this little gem? I lost it last night. Not only have I been called Mom but Grandma as been slipped in there a few times too. The best part is the kid's reaction after it happens. Usually " I mean Ms. Furnell" is followed by flushed cheeks.

This week, I've been blogging about my awesome literacy conference that I attended in St. Louis last week. Catch up on the conference fun with these links:

Today, I'm going to share the information I gained from the Critical Literacy and Blogging session. The presentation was done by educators from Georgia State University. First, they outlined what critical literacy was and how it was relevant to their research. I snagged this quote from their powerpoint, "Critical literacy is the use of language in powerful ways to get things down in the world, enhance life in school, and to question privilege and injustice."

After an in-depth look at what critical literacy actually is, one teacher-presenter shared how she used blogging the classroom. She used it as a tool to respond to deep questions after books. I was hooked! What a great idea. The teacher posed a question on the blog and students would respond through comments to one another and the teacher.

To begin this process, she started basic with paper and pencil. Then, moved to the bloggy world with a simple question about the holidays. After the kids became familiar with how the blog worked... they were rollin' with communcation.

I plan to utilize this strategy in my room next week. My question is this:

How do YOU use blogging with your students? Do they post? Respond? Please share! I would love to hear how my fellow teachers are using technology.


  1. Hi Jordan!
    I loved the "did I just call my teacher mom" picture! That happens so often!
    I used with my 2nd graders for the first time this year and it was great! My goal was to get them more engaged/excited about writing and to expose them to the concept of blogging to communicate, learn, etc.
    This year, I'll introduce our class blog first (all on kidblog) during the first week by modeling how to blog, what's appropriate, etc. At the end of the day, we'll recap the day's learning/events whole group and I'll actually type our class blog. After they understand the blogging concept and I've had time to teach some critical digital citizenship skills, they'll have their own blog. I'm thinking the kids' blogs may also serve as their digital portfolios, as well as a place to collaborate, and write.
    Happy blogging!

  2. I wish I could get my kiddos to blog...but I guess 3 is too young-lol! I do keep a classroom blog though, mainly for the parents and I share it with the kids up on the SMART Board each time I do the post to recap the pictures. Here's a link to it:

    Ideally I'd update it every 2-3 weeks, but sometimes it's more like once a month. The parents seem to really appreciate seeing the pictures of what their kids are up to. It gives them something to talk about at home. ( :

  3. I used blogging with my 2nd graders this past year...I LOVED it. I started on paper first too. Then we had a writing blog where they responded to a prompt which was a great way to provide students with instant and specific feedback and encouragement from me and their fellow classmates. I also posed questions in our Reading Blog and Math about things we were learning in class...which was a great way to check for understanding.

    I HIGHLY recommend it! I actually did a video for my school/disctrict on blogging with your students. You can watch it here:

    I look forward to reading how it goes for you!


  4. I used blogging with my 4th and then 5th grade students. There are so many different things they can do with it. I mainly used it for them to respond to literature. I would put questions about our reading aloud or skills we were working on. I might have them describe the character or setting in the independent reading book. They could make predictions, inferences, connections... I also used blogging with science and social studies but not as often.

    I agree with Mindy that it is a great way to give students speedy feedback. The kids love doing it as it involves technology. A couple management lessons I used with my students are to emphasize that this is an academic tool not social networking and that blogging is not like texting. They need to write properly.


  5. I'm going to try KidBlog this year. We don't have the best access to technology at my school, but I'm determined. I hope it all works out and mostly I hope I don't let it fall to the wayside when we inevitably will ramp up the reading and math.
    The Teaching Thief


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