Saturday, November 21, 2015

Blogging in the Social Studies Classroom - FREEBIE

     I have slowly been working on creating a comprehensive blogging program to implement with my high school social studies classes when I return from mat leave. Although I have blogged with my Grade 8 homeroom during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, I feel like my implementation lacked direction and could have been done a lot better.

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I Think, Therefore I Blog. (2012). Uploaded to Flickr by MarsmettnnTallahass. Available online at: https://flic.kr/p/cHUyJN

     I decided to create a blogging program for my high school classes because:
- these students are already familiar with the program (they blogged with me in their Grade 8 year)
- I can require them to have their own email address instead of using a general class one
- I can build a cross-curricular program with the English teacher so their posts can serve more than one purpose
- they will be more comfortable, to an extent, with their writing

     In this program students will be required to blog at least once per month (for a total of 5 posts through the length of the course: 1 semester) and comment on a peer's post at least twice per month (for a total of 10 comments through the length of the course). Our blog will be hosted through Blogger and students will be added as authors, with everyone's posts appearing on the same blog. Their posts and comments will be used as summative assessment activities so, by having the program already created, my students have more direction with their blogging and I have multiple assignments already created and ready to go!

The package I created for my students includes:
- Blogging Schedule/Tracking Charts (to keep track of their progress)
- Info on:
     How to Sign up for Gmail
     How to use Blogger
     How to Reference
- Writing Prompts
- Writing Rubrics
- Commenting Rubrics
- Tutorials
- Parent Consent Form

     Since I have been blogging personally since 2012, and with students since 2013, I have seen the amazing benefits that blogging can bring. Students are able to:
- Share their learning with an authentic audience
- Catch up on lessons that were missed due to absence
- Review lessons to get a better understanding
- Connect with other classrooms around the world
- Integrate multimedia of all descriptions
- Practice responsible digital citizenship
- Receive feedback on their work
This is why I decided to share the blogging program that I created through my TpT Store for FREE! I hope that more teachers are able to use it and adapt it to their classrooms so that their students can begin blogging too!

You can head over to the Teaching in a Fishbowl TpT Store to 
download this program (25 pages of info) for FREE
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Happy Blogging!

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