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Kids Motivating Other Kids to Blog!

September 5, 2011

As we get ready to start our blogging journey, we decided to host a special event in our classroom. We invited my last year group to share their blogging adventure with us. What would be more motivating for my students than to learn about blogging and commenting from other kids?

It was amazing to see how engaged in the conversation every kid was. It was powerful to see how everyone wanted to participate either to ask questions or to answer them. There were no shy kids, no quiet kids. Everyone had something to say or ask. Blogging is meaningful not just for my former students but also for my group, which is surprising since they haven’t even started to blog!
Since, I can’t share the video, I carefully picked some of the things they said, which show how much blogging means to them and how important it is for our kids to learn things which they are really passionate about.

The blog was awesome. I wrote stories and Marcos, my uncle who lives in Spain, read them and left comments for me! MiliR said proudly.

People READ our blog. Greta read our blog too, but we got comments from all over the world,” said Alex – “Don’t forget, the map!, interrupted Tody.

Oh yes! We had a map and we marked all the places we got comments from. It was full of colorful marks“, said Marti

I loved to write on the blog. I got comments from all over the world. We are famous now“, exclaimed Vickucha.

Then one of my students raised his hand and asked, “What did the blog mean to you?

The blog was the best, I blogged all the time, when I was happy, sick, bored… all the time!“, said Vickucha.

The blog was amazing. We learned and had a lot of fun“, expressed MiliR.

Just then, another boy inquired: “Where did you get your ideas to write?

I wrote stories. I wrote adventure stories“, shared Marti. “Yes, she also drew a map on her story“, added Vickucha, looking proudly at her friend.

I blogged about everything I like: my friends, my pet, my thoughts. I even blogged when I was sick and couldn’t come to school“, mentioned Vickucha.

I blogged about my passion: rugby,” voiced Pipita.

I wrote a song and then sang it in our Singing Fridays!”, Ber said joyfully.

I sometimes didn’t know what to write, but I read my friends’ posts and left them comments”, said Lalo.

I wrote about our country and things that were important to me,” expressed Alex.

I was totally speechless… I just let them lead and do the talking. I savored each and every minute. It has been one of my most inspiring moments as a teacher. Kids teaching kids. Kids encouraging kids to blog. It absolutely blew my mind.

What the kids said speaks for itself. These are my former students’ voices. Seeing them laugh and share proudly their work was priceless. Seeing my students’ beam as they heard the older kids advice and experience was incredible. Needless to say, my students can’t wait to start blogging and to be honest, neither can I.

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159 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2011 12:45 pm

    What a wonderful idea to involve last year’s student in the start of this year’s journey. Their testimonials to what blogging meant to them will surely inspire your new class. Kids teaching kids is powerful. Kids listen to each other. I can’t wait to read and comment on your students’ blogs.

    I am not at the same school I blogged with last year. I hope to be able to inspire some teachers to get started. I am excited to Skype with an elementary staff about 80 miles away. Some staff members were excited about the potential after my presentation at a tech conference this summer.

    Kathy

    • September 5, 2011 9:52 pm

      Thanks so much Kathy! It’s definitely been an incredible experience for us all! I’m pretty sure you’ll inspire many teachers to blog! You’ll see! Let me know how it goes!

  2. September 5, 2011 2:48 pm

    So glad to read this, Greta. I know how important blogging is for your students and how much they grow from it. I hope our kids can exchange comments once mine get their blogs going!!

    • September 5, 2011 9:53 pm

      Thanks Matt! It’d be great if we could exchange comments! I love the idea!

  3. September 5, 2011 3:30 pm

    Gret,
    What a terrific idea! This was a great way to make the concept of blogging more meaningful to your new class. They have so much to look foward to and are excited to begin because of the seed your former students planted.
    Wishing you and your class a wonderful year!
    JoAnn

    • September 5, 2011 9:54 pm

      Thank you JoAnn! It’s been a really powerful experience. I’m SO looking forward to start blogging again! Wishing you a fantastic year too! Thanks for your constant support, it seriously means a lot!

  4. clive (@clivesir) permalink
    September 5, 2011 3:39 pm

    There is actually another benefit I see, which is greater integration between the school years. This can only be good for the school community.
    And not only will the younger kids benefit from the enthusiastic teaching of the older ones, but the older ones will grow in confidence and pride.
    And it all makes for effective learning and growth in the classroom – making a teacher’s job easier too!
    This is a fantastic idea Greta – so many wins all round!

    • September 5, 2011 9:57 pm

      Thank you Clive! Totally agree with what you said! It’s a great way of building community too. Miss your tweets! Hope you get your laptop fixed soon! Thanks for your words & support!

  5. September 5, 2011 4:43 pm

    Greta,

    If anyone is a naysayer to the merits of kids blogging, they need to read this post. I loved hearing what your former students shared with your current students;so honest and sincere. I hope they continue to blog. Please tell your students that I am looking forward to reading their blogs and making comments on them.

    Best always and a big hug too,

    Gail

    • September 5, 2011 9:58 pm

      Thanks so much Gail! So glad to know you’re reading my posts. It means a lot! I can’t wait to get them blogging. I’ll tell them tomorrow you’re looking forward to checking their blogs out. They’ll be thrilled! Thanks again! Super hugs to you!

  6. September 5, 2011 6:50 pm

    Greta,

    What a great idea to let your kids from last year share their experiences! I really appreciate you sharing the experience..sounds like a very important moment in your class that affirms your role as a guide while students lead the way.
    Thank you for always inspiring us in your PLN. I can’t wait to read and comment on your students’ blogs. :-) Joan

    • September 5, 2011 10:00 pm

      Wow Joan! Thanks so much for your words, it seriously means a lot coming from an amazing person/educator like you! Thanks for your support! Will your students be blogging too? Would love to leave them some comments too! Super hugs, Amiga!

  7. Mark permalink
    September 5, 2011 9:11 pm

    It’s amazing how motivating it is for students. I would ask why? Is it because writing involves technology, an authentic audience, personal and connected to their own experiences, fun? Perhaps a combination. I did a class blog with my Grade 2 students about 4 years ago and now they are in Grade 5. They still ask me about it and STILL go on it to write blog posts! That pretty much says it all.

    • September 5, 2011 10:03 pm

      Thanks Mark! I’m pretty sure you’re right. When kids find learning meaningful they ARE willing to learn. They love learning, it’s up to us to create relevant opportunities for them. Kids love blogging because they are writing for an audience and they can share things they are passionate about, totally agree with you! It’s a powerful combination, isn’t it?
      Wow, that’s awesome! Sounds like your students REALLY love their blog! Thanks for sharing that!

  8. September 6, 2011 11:20 am

    Kids teaching kids. You’re great, Gret. Nina ku penda ;-)

  9. September 7, 2011 3:50 pm

    I love this! My daughter started her own blog this summer (appropriately named http://www.taylorswiftlover.wordpress.com), and it is like her own personal diary. I love that blogs encourage children to develop a passion for writing, communicating, sharing, reaching out and inspiring dialogue!

    • September 7, 2011 11:03 pm

      Thanks so much! Blogs are great in so many ways! I hope every teacher discovers how powerful it can be for kids! Thanks for sharing your daughter’s blog, I’ll show it to my students! :)

  10. September 7, 2011 3:57 pm

    How wonderful this is! If I ever go back to teaching college English, I will use blogging, for sure! How old are you students? What grade?

    And how excited are they going to be to learn that a post that quotes them was Freshly Pressed!!!!! Too cool!

    Kathy

    • September 7, 2011 11:06 pm

      Thanks so much! My students are in 5th grade. They are all native Spanish speakers, this made the blogging experience way more enriching. Lots of exposure to the English language outside our classroom!
      I’m so amazed that this post was Freshly Pressed, I can’t wait to share this with them tomorrow! Thanks again!

  11. September 7, 2011 3:58 pm

    Wonderful idea…I wish my daughter’s teachers would use this great tool to get the kids excited to write and read others work.

    I help my son write a “journal of his dirt bike career” and he loves to see the comments viewers he gets. He checks everyday to see how many people looked at it. http://www.hcrproducts.com

    Keep up the great work!

    • September 7, 2011 11:08 pm

      Thank you very much! I wish every teacher blogged with their students! It’s an amazing experience for kids and for us too!
      I’ll share your son’s journal with my students! =) Thanks again!

  12. College Eloquence permalink
    September 7, 2011 4:10 pm

    As the times and technology changes, it’s important to foster creativity – even if it’s on an online platform. Encouraging kids to blog and talk about things that they care about or what inspires them is a wonderful idea!

    • September 7, 2011 11:09 pm

      Thank you! Couldn’t agree more with what you said! :)

  13. September 7, 2011 4:18 pm

    Now, if we can only figure out how to improve student’s mathematics, science and English scores and abilities for all of the technology, money and “cultural relevance” our public school systems are giving them.

    True, teachers and the schools aren’t completely to blame for the failures of students to learn the basics they need to know; reading, writing and ‘rithmatic, but they’re not wholly blameless either.

    These might be good outlets for children’s imaginations and relationships, but as a parent, as one who has taught in a public school before, has a spouse who works in a public school, a friend who did work in a public school and other family members who do or have worked in public schools, this rush for technology as the be all and end all of making education, fun, relevant, and motivating to create positive results is malarky. What is the rubric? What is the ultimate outcome? How will blogging truly show results? What results? Tangible or intangible? Do you have research? Did you come up with this on your own or did this come out of some college class or CEU course? Is this only as part of a creative writing class or is this part of a holistic approach. Is this for elementary students or high schoolers? What kind of oversight is there?

    When I see how much children and teens have been using social media and blogging, and more so, saying, it makes me cringe. I can only say I’m glad such things were not around when I was in school. I do not believe most children or teenagers have the mental and emotional maturity to deal with the technology that is available to them and bombarding them, with the push to make every daily aspect of their lives public. I still dread things I’ve said as an adult, years ago online are probably still floating around out there. Is it any wonder we have seen a rise in suicide rates of teens as well as a rise in bullying. Technology has enabled bullying 24/7, in your face at all times, public indefinitely. Compound that with more parents using technology as an excuse, as a replacement, and also of assuming that the educational system will teach the children (my wife is amazed at how many kindergartners she sees who know absolutely nothing going into Kindergarten… not a single letter, not colors, not shapes, etc.) and raise the children for them.

    My eldest is 5 and uses the computer very little – and under our specific, controlled, direction. Much of what he has learned has not come from a computer at all, or only as a research/resource tool.

    • September 8, 2011 12:44 pm

      I agree that when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom, pedagogy must indeed come before technology. There are probably moments when technology is simply as an end in itself, which does not necessarily benefit student achievement.

      That said, as someone who has objectively studied blogging as an instructional technology, I must support the approach of blogging in the classroom as it is done by Greta. In my research, I found that, when coding student statements, students who were blogging and who commented on each other’s blogs had more statements indicating higher levels of metacognitive abilities. That is, students who were blogging about their experiences were more likely to reflect on their experiences by revisiting them in their writing. We know that deep learning comes not from simple experience but from reflecting on our experiences. Blogging allows students the opportunity to not only reflect on their experiences but to learn from others who provide additional, alternative perspectives about our experiences. It’s not just about writing down whatever comes to mind, but about writing for an authentic audience and testing our ideas in a real-world environment.

      Granted, it is most definitely possible to make significant faux-pas, and doing so on a blog does make it all the more public. This is precisely the reason why a moderated class blog, one that is monitored by a competent professional, is such a valuable part of learning. Students who have early experiences with blogging, and who, predictably, make mistakes in a safe environment are less likely to repeat these same mistakes when they are out using the technology on their own. And, make no mistake, they *will* be using the technology on their own – whether it is at recess at school, or at a friend’s house, or on a public computer, our children today are growing up in a world where technology is ubiquitous. It is essential that they learn to make responsible decisions with respect to its use, and who better to learn with than such a dedicated, compassionate teacher such as Greta?

      By its nature, technology has a motivational aspect, which, though it cannot be the sole reason justifying its use, certainly must count for something. Research has proven the link between the level of student engagement and achievement. In this example, Greta’s students, who are English language learners, are obviously so engaged with the activity that they almost seem to forget that they are practicing their English written skills of their own volition! If practice makes perfect, and these students are obviously getting lots of practice, my guess is that student achievement in the English language is definitely a positive result of Greta’s students’ blogging activities.

      Is it important to be careful and purposeful in how we let our children/students use technology? Absolutely. Is keeping them away from the technology hoping the problem will go away the solution? In my humble opinion, doubtful. I believe that it is educators such as Greta who make a point of teaching kids about the responsible use of technology and the weight their words, images, and sounds may carry that will help our students be better prepared for the future.

      Keep up the great work, Greta! Your students, and your PLN, are incredibly fortunate to be inspired by you!

    • September 8, 2011 12:57 pm

      “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” – John Dewey

      (I’m sure gret can weigh in on her own, but part of the blog process is the opportunity for interactivity within the comments.)

      @wadingacross —
      I’m unsure why you, being a parent/ex-teacher/spouse and friend to public school employees, needed five paragraphs to get to such a simple point. You might have just said, “I fear these changes because I don’t know where they will lead.” That wouldn’t be as verbose, pedantic or domineering, but it would encourage more sympathy with your views. Brevity and clarity are important if you want to use English effectively.

    • September 8, 2011 6:50 pm

      I think you are coming to this conversation with valid concerns but are somewhat misguided in your worry. I will be succinct and simply ask you consider this, which I paraphrase from Steve Wheeler: Kids are going to eventually have to cross the street, and we need to equip them to do it safely.

      The same is true for kids and technology. Whether you like it or not, your children are eventually going to find themselves using technology. So do you want them to learn how to do it safely, or do you just want to set them free to do it as they please?

      Greta’s use of blogging accomplishes two important things. First, she gives a voice to students who wouldn’t otherwise have one. I have seen this in my own experience using blogs. Sometimes the quietest, most insecure kids are the ones who contribute the most. It is an outlet they find comfortable and Greta’s experiences are similar. Second, almost as a side effect, Greta is preparing her kids for the world as it is developing. Having technology proficiency is going to be a prerequisite to so many jobs in the very near future.

      I also take exception with your assumption that Greta – or any proper thinking teacher – sees technology as a “be all end all.” There is a prodigious community of us who are all interested in technology as an ENHANCEMENT to our students’ educations, rather than a substitute.

      As for your wife’s experiences, I can only imagine she works – like most – in a high poverty school where parents don’t know how or can’t prepare their students for school the way they need to.

      You made many assumptions in your comments without knowing about some of the variables behind all of this, and I hope you consider my response.

    • September 9, 2011 10:09 pm

      I understand your points, but don’t quite agree with many of the things you’ve said.
      I teach English as second language in a Spanish speaking country. Blogging has gave my students the opportunity to get more exposure to the English language outside the classroom. I don’t grade their blogs, I just want them to have a space where they can share their stories, find their voice and connect with a global audience. Blogging has helped us create a wonderful learning environment in our classroom. It has also helped my kids in many ways. I’ve seen shy kids find their voice, kids with confidence issues build leadership skills. All this thanks to the blog. I’m not a teacher to follow a curriculum, I’m a teacher to help my students flourish.
      I would never bring technology into my classroom unless it has a meaningful purpose. Therefore, I do research and I keep learning about different ways and tools that can help me give better opportunities for my students.
      The world has changed and so has learning. If I don’t adapt my teaching to the real world I’m not doing my job. I agree with what you said about many people not using technology or social media effectively. Technology and social media are today’s reality and they are here to stay. So it’s my job to prepare these kids to use it properly. We can be happy about it or not, but I think we have no choice if we really want our students to succeed in today’s world.

  14. September 7, 2011 4:21 pm

    Hi, a schoolteacher friend and I (who teaches at university) am hoping to do a project involving blog exchanges between secondary school students here in Norwich (UK) and in Zinder, Niger. As I don’t have any experience of teaching/motivating that year group, I will be keeping an eye out on your blog. Useful advice!

    • September 9, 2011 10:10 pm

      Thanks so much! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help! :)

  15. September 7, 2011 5:11 pm

    Like some of the kids, I am fascinated by the global reach of blogging. I love seeing all the countries I get comments and suscribers from.

    • September 9, 2011 10:11 pm

      I agree with you! It’s such a great feeling to get comments and readers. It’s powerful to write for a real global audience, isn’t it? Thanks for your comment!

  16. September 7, 2011 5:41 pm

    I’m a twelve (going thirteen) year old blogger, writing about my experience of school, my life, and my ideas. I’m still relatively new to blogging, but intend to post daily. I would really like some feedback from my blog or at least just a few hits. It’s called: thoughtsfromtheclassroom.

    • September 7, 2011 6:01 pm

      A 12-year-old writer! Can’t say I am not impressed! I read your posts, and you are amazing. I started writing at an early age, too. I think I was 10 or 11 when I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I wrote furiously, neurotically. Of course, at the time, no one read my work, save for my maternal grandmother who would nod in approval every time, although my grammar was flawed and my figures of speech all over the place. You, on the other hand, get to be a creative 12-year-old in a time when it’s so easy to share your thoughts/ideas with the world! How lucky are you! Would you believe I have been writing for years, but it wasn’t until this year that I decided to blog? So kudos to you for having the courage to start real early! Is there anything I would want to change about your blog right now? No. Perfect the way it is. My only advice is: Keep on writing. Write about your aspirations, your inspirations. Your audience will eventually find you. More often than not it’s going to be people who are inspired by the same things that inspire you. If you’re really lucky, it’s going to be people who are inspired BY you. So, yeah, just keep on writing. Someone out there is waiting to be inspired by you. I was one of them a while ago, and then I found you, and it looks like, for today at least, I don’t have to look any further. :)

    • September 9, 2011 10:13 pm

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your blog! I’ll definitely check it out and share it with my class! :)

  17. September 7, 2011 6:07 pm

    Awesome idea!

  18. September 7, 2011 6:07 pm

    Fantastic! I’m trying to get my kids blogging but according to our school policy they can’t have an ‘open’ blog, it has to be restricted to school members, which limits their audience. Did you have any child protection issues?

    • September 9, 2011 10:21 pm

      Thanks! I haven’t had any protection issues, I sent parents a letter explaining them what we would be doing and they signed an internet safety plan. I based it on this example: http://mrspripp.blogspot.com/2010/08/so-you-want-to-use-kidblog.html
      Platforms such as kidblog.org are really safe for kids. Teacher can moderate comments and posts before they are published, so there’s really nothing to worry about. Hope this information is useful. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. :)

    • September 9, 2011 10:22 pm

      Thanks! I’ll bookmark them and check them out!

  19. September 7, 2011 7:29 pm

    What a great learning tool. Not only do the kids learn how to put their thoughts together in a meaningful and understandable manner, they get to learn a bit about geography and how small our world really is. Good luck with this school year.

  20. September 7, 2011 8:07 pm

    I blog and I’m only a kid! Check out my blog!

    • September 9, 2011 10:22 pm

      That’s so cool! I’ll visit your blog and share it with my students! Thanks for your comment!

  21. September 7, 2011 8:16 pm

    what a great post – great idea

    -grace

  22. September 7, 2011 8:24 pm

    This is absolutely wonderful. Kids teaching and helping other kids is a powerful thing. Great post.

    • September 9, 2011 10:24 pm

      Thanks Nicole! It has definitely been powerful. Not just for the kids, but also for me!

  23. heedra17 permalink
    September 7, 2011 9:18 pm

    This is a fantastic idea to get the kids involved with writing! Writing and blogging means the world to me and I’ve always wanted others to experience what it’s like and enjoy it as much as I do! I couldn’t help but to smile when reading this post. : ) It seems like these kids are very imaginative and talented. Great work!

    • September 9, 2011 10:26 pm

      Thanks so much! These kids are awesome, I’ve learned so much from them! :)

  24. September 7, 2011 9:22 pm

    Aw, that’s so cute. :-)

  25. September 7, 2011 9:30 pm

    This is absolutely wonderfu
    http://www.galnjd.com/

  26. September 7, 2011 9:42 pm

    I loved this post. The enthusiasm and energy these kids show is truly inspirational. What age group are they from?

    I’m volunteering for an organization in Costa Rica which helps artisans to make money from their traditional crafts, and I’m in charge of a marketing workshop which starts tomorrow. I’m going to propose a couple of ideas such as blogging and setting up Etsy shops: I sincerely hope I get as positive a reaction from the participants as you did from your kids. I think blogging is a fantastic thing to get involved in, from all angles, and I hope I can put this across in the workshops.

    Thanks for reminding me that I’m definitely right to encourage blogging!

    • September 9, 2011 10:29 pm

      Thanks so much! They are 10/11 years old. I hope you can get them involved in blogging. It will definitely be a great experience! Good luck!

  27. September 7, 2011 9:56 pm

    My 8 year old nephew has Downs and he knows that I have a blog. When I go to his house, he always tells me that he has to work on his blog and sits down at the computer – he doesn’t actually use the computer (yet), but likes to pretend he does. Both of his parents use reading glasses and they have some sitting at the computer so he has to put those on also for the full effect. I always said that I would love to have seen his teacher’s face the first time he started talking about blogging in school – apparently she would not be as surprised as I thought she would.

    • September 9, 2011 10:32 pm

      aww what nice story. Thanks for sharing it with me. She probably isn’t surprised, but I’m pretty sure she loves it when he starts talking about blogging. :)

  28. September 7, 2011 10:04 pm

    hello teacher.
    this blog just give me a brilliant idea…
    im on my last year in college and by God’s grace, I’ll soon call myself a certified teacher.
    i can use this blogging thing for my class.
    thank you so much.

    • September 9, 2011 10:34 pm

      Hello Pax!
      So you’ll be a teacher soon! That’s great news! Blogging will help you reflect a lot on your teaching and it will also help your students. Please, let me know if I can be of any help! Teaching is a wonderful job. I always think we are so lucky. Not only do I LOVE my job, but they even pay me to do it! Wishing you the very best!

  29. September 7, 2011 10:37 pm

    What a great idea to introduce the joy of writing to kids!

    I think it would be so neat for your students to keep writing in these blogs year after year so they can see how they’ve grown and how much they’ve learned over the years!

    Thanks for sharing this : )

    • September 9, 2011 10:42 pm

      Thanks so much! I would have loved that. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it happen. Not all the teachers in my school embrace technology in the classroom. I’ve heard of many schools doing it. They use blogging as eportfolios. I think it’s an awesome idea.

  30. September 8, 2011 12:07 am

    Kudos to you and your students! My 10-year old daughter started her own blog last spring & faithfully posts once a week. It has been a wonderful and valuable learning experience for her and I am impressed by her dedication. Two of her subscribers are teachers in her school! They also are among those who comment the most. It is encouragement from teachers like you and them today, that will help nurture the great leaders of tomorrow. Thank you!

    http://www.imthinkinghappy.com

    • September 9, 2011 11:13 pm

      Thanks so much for your words Karen! So glad to hear about your daughter. Seems like she has some great teachers and a wonderful mom that encourage her to pursue her passion. It’s so important! I’ll be checking out her blog and leaving her a comment! Thanks again! :)

  31. September 8, 2011 12:19 am

    Was this your idea? It’s awesome! An actual hands-on experience in schooling nowadays =P

    It sounds like they loved it and also learned a ton!!

    Hey, you’re on the front page of WordPress too. WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    • September 9, 2011 10:43 pm

      Thank you! I loved doing this! I thought it’d be more meaningful if they learned about blogging from the older kids than from me. They really loved it and I must admit, I did too! :)

  32. September 8, 2011 12:28 am

    The child protection issues are real. If I was parent, it would be simply be better that the blog was kept “private” to a limited audience of just the immediate school population.

    Keep in mind for the resisters: Blogging technology can be used whereby the child could use a pseudonymn to write if the children are young ie. under 14 yrs. or so.

    It truly is important to remember that a blank page on the screen is the same blank piece of paper. Just another vehicle for words that require careful skills in composition, word usage and style. The school should make it safe to protect the children’s names from the whole world.

    Also to teach children how they can write ….for their family a story. Another consideration.

    • September 9, 2011 10:48 pm

      Thanks for your comment. I know child protection issues are important. That’s why we sent home an internet safety plan for kids and parents to sign and read carefully.
      We used Kidblog.org which is a really safe platform for kids. I moderated absolutely everything that was posted (comments and posts) Kids used nicknames and personal information was never revealed.
      We also invited parents to be part of the project. Kids wrote their parents posts for Mother or father day for example. Parents kept commenting and we also shared important events from our classroom on the blogs.
      I feel keeping the blogs closed or private wouldn’t be as meaningful as reaching a real and global audience. That has absolutely made a difference for my students. Thanks again!

  33. September 8, 2011 1:36 am

    I’m gonna watch out for your succeeding post. Kids motivating kids to blog is simply captivating for a teacher like me. The things those students said about blogging blew me away too. Each of the things they said is truly inspiring.

    Good luck and congrats for being freshly pressed

    • September 9, 2011 10:49 pm

      Thanks so much Sony! I must admit, I’m still thrilled about the experience. I have learned a lot from it too. Kids are so wonderful :)

  34. September 8, 2011 2:13 am

    Blogging is good for the soul.

  35. September 8, 2011 2:14 am

    Excellent motivating idea… They are fortunate to have a teacher like you…

  36. created2bless permalink
    September 8, 2011 2:24 am

    This was fabulous! It has inspired me to challenge the troubled youth I work with to begin blogging as well. I have always valued the written word as a writer, and I have always known journaling to be enriching and beneficial, and now I realize that sharing thoughts, ideas and a vision is best envisioned and experienced through blogging. Thank you for sharing! :-)

    • October 2, 2011 9:26 pm

      Wow! Thank you! You’ll see how awesome it is. I’m always surprised by my students. =)

  37. vaneza4 permalink
    September 8, 2011 3:44 am

    this is really inspiring we teach people with our views by creating and posting blogs through the internet, but eventually we also learn from them. blogging nowadays plays a very important role in our computer generated world and thank you for this because I expand my communication with various kinds and levels of people. this is a good tool for motivating our young ones and even us. thanks a lot

    • October 2, 2011 9:27 pm

      Thank you! I totally agree with you. Blogging is a powerful communication tool. Conversations happening on blog posts always lead to deeper reflection and learning. :)

  38. thetravelingreader permalink
    September 8, 2011 3:57 am

    This is such a novel idea. Will be sure to pass this along to my teacher friends. Thank you! ;)

  39. September 8, 2011 4:00 am

    Wow Gret, this is such a beautifull inspiring story. How old are they? This story totally different when I was kids, I even dont know bout the internet. I really love ur post. Kiss for kids :)

    • October 2, 2011 9:28 pm

      Thanks so much! They are in 6th form now 11/12 years old. My group is in 5th 10/11 years old. I know what you mean! The world has changed and so has learning!

  40. September 8, 2011 4:19 am

    This is so cool! I am wondering: do the ‘old’ Kiss continue to blog?

  41. September 8, 2011 4:30 am

    wow!
    :)

    uponatlas.

  42. September 8, 2011 4:42 am

    adults cant motivate kids as kids can motivate each other, because they know what they need and what they want, and i think that your kids thought that the older kids know more than you do, and this what was really great about what you did!!

    and I don’t know if I’m considered as a kid but i liked the “map idea” :)
    i think anyone will enjoy marking countries and places!

    • October 2, 2011 9:30 pm

      Totally agree with you! Letting kids lead is powerful. The map ideas was shared on the blog by a teacher in my PLN. So thankful for that. It has definitely made a difference in our blogging adventure! Thanks for your comment!

  43. September 8, 2011 7:18 am

    The most important thing is to write about something that interests you, the same would be true for kids. There is always someone wanting to read what you’re written. The thing is just to make a start:)

    • October 2, 2011 9:31 pm

      Yes, blogging helps children find their voice. Sharing their passions is also really important in their learning/growing process. Thanks!

  44. September 8, 2011 8:03 am

    An amazing lesson about the power of words!! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed and thanks for sharing this!

  45. September 8, 2011 8:13 am

    It really is amazing how children can grow by motivation from their friends.

  46. September 8, 2011 8:30 am

    I really agree with this post because I am only a adolescent but I enjoy posting blogs. I go to the Evelina Childrens Hospital School, and they have their own blog site too(www.evelinasec.wordpress.com), its fun for all the young people, in and out of hospital and it gives them something to do and talk about and it would be great if other young people could speak about what is on their mind and express themselves. Also it is good if young peoples work is commented on with constructive criticism because it gives them the courage to carry on. Please take a look at our website and please do tell us what you think.

  47. September 8, 2011 9:03 am

    What a great story! Your students sound so interested and committed! Many of my teenage friends blog, and we all visit each other’s blogs and comment, and later, when we see one another, discuss topics that people wrote about. Blogging is a great way to encourage conversation, and it makes people feel good when they see that their writing has been read and then responded to. Go, blogging adolescents!

  48. September 8, 2011 9:16 am

    That is so cool! I’m also a student blogger in Freshman Year of my High School.
    Thank you for this effort to inspire and motivate little ones to write.

  49. sherryriv permalink
    September 8, 2011 9:34 am

    test

  50. September 8, 2011 10:14 am

    I like the idea of kids encouraging one another. I’m a writer by trade and see two trends — people terrified to write for fear of criticism, or blathering on endlessly with no idea that their writing is not simply an outlet for their emotions and feelings — but to clearly and compellingly express thought-through ideas to others.

    The aspect of your kids’ blog I find most compelling is its global nature. I have almost 500 readers of my blog now, and they are literally all over the world. It boggles my mind to know this, and it is a fantastic thing for kids to realize — young — that their words, ideas and insights are of interest to others very far away.

    I hope it also inculcates a tremendous curiosity on their part to learn more about the rest of the world, to explore these countries on the map and learn more about the people there who are reading them.

    Blogging can become terribly narcissistic. I know you won’t let that happen!

  51. September 8, 2011 11:56 am

    nice

  52. September 8, 2011 12:46 pm

    great idea….!

  53. September 8, 2011 2:05 pm

    This sounds like a great way to help kids understand the reach of an audience and get excited about sharing instead of being nervous to show themselves and their work!

  54. September 8, 2011 2:32 pm

    What a great way to engage kids in online community. Love it! Love your header too.

  55. September 8, 2011 2:39 pm

    It is so nice to see a teacher who embrasses our changing technologies. When I was in 3rd grade I was part of the pilot program that used email for the first time. I remember cramming into the tiny closet that held our school’s lone computer and tpiing up messages that would magically be transported to another school in Zimbabwe. It was such a meanful project and certainly helped me see my classroom as a space that extended beyond the four walls. I look forward to reading more from you guys!

  56. September 8, 2011 4:58 pm

    Why can’t kids just spend more time outside?

  57. September 8, 2011 5:16 pm

    This is a fantastic idea! I’m in high school right now, and man I wish I wouldve had this opportunity…blogging can be an ncrdibly useful thing in our ever-changing technological world

  58. September 8, 2011 5:55 pm

    As the mother of a future teacher,I applaud your creativity and ability to think outside the box.

    And who knows, there may be a budding author or two in the mix!

    Blessings!

  59. September 8, 2011 6:09 pm

    Thanks for such a wonderful post.

  60. September 8, 2011 9:25 pm

    What a wonderful idea to have kids blog! How old are they? What an inspiring blog! thanks for sharing!

  61. September 8, 2011 10:46 pm

    Blogging is a very good way for them to express themselves. We can never tell what’s going on in their bright minds. They can also learn many things through writing such as organizing their thoughts, discipline, and of course they can expand their vocabulary. It’s a brilliant idea to encourage them to write at an early age!

    I love teaching kids. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  62. September 8, 2011 10:52 pm

    You are doing something so inspiring and enriching. I am a teacher in Florida and your blog has given me an idea to use in my classroom. Recently in Florida there has been talk about banning teachers from communicating with students on social media websites. To my understanding other states have already successfully passed this law. I was going to use my blog to communicate with students but am so paranoid about the effects that I have only used it for personal use. However, your blog has just given me an idea for a project: Create your own blog! Thank you. =)

  63. September 8, 2011 11:06 pm

    very good idea

  64. September 8, 2011 11:18 pm

    Nice :D
    I agree, blogging is a creative way to express yourself. This is a good idea, I think I’m going to encourage my writing class students to start blogging as well (although some of them had started).

  65. September 8, 2011 11:43 pm

    Wonderful idea. Sharing this with my teacher friends.

  66. September 8, 2011 11:45 pm

    cool!

  67. September 9, 2011 1:52 am

    What grade do you teach?

    • October 2, 2011 9:32 pm

      I teach 5th grade. My students are English as a second language learners. :)

  68. September 9, 2011 2:02 am

    Bex Kitchen is the brain child of a 12 year old lover of cooking and with the help of me (mum) we now blog together…She cooks and writes and I finalise and manage the blog – just to be sure we do not get any untoward comments.

    So I love seeing what you are doing.Its great to encourage students both past and present to get behind the social networking – as this is a HUGE part of their future.

  69. September 9, 2011 2:52 am

    enjoyed reading :)

  70. lewis clinton pulido permalink
    September 9, 2011 3:04 am

    I love teaching……So taht I take BSED…..

  71. river218 permalink
    September 9, 2011 3:35 am

    It blows my mind, too! I like that there is a tangible element too, where the kids drew maps to show where their commenters came from. Cool stuff.

  72. September 9, 2011 3:48 am

    Great post and a great idea behind it !
    Hope you like my poems in my blog ! :)

  73. September 9, 2011 4:10 am

    It is a great idea!!

  74. September 9, 2011 6:05 am

    This is an innovative idea to interact with kids. Very nice.

  75. September 9, 2011 6:48 am

    NIce! you’re just like our physics teacher. He motivated his students to have their own blogs and my blog is proof of his success!

  76. September 9, 2011 6:53 am

    i like your post.. :) congratulations for making it on freshly pressed

  77. September 9, 2011 9:17 am

    Aww.. Cute! :D

  78. September 9, 2011 10:26 am

    What a lovely idea. I like how you expand the scope of activities beyond blogging itself.

  79. Allan permalink
    September 9, 2011 11:33 am

    I’ll be impressed when they think of something to blog about. Otherwise it’s no more of an achievement than what they already do on text. The vacuous comments from the adults here are no better, because it is nothing to comment about.

  80. September 11, 2011 4:18 am

    Wow this is powerful. Any excuse to get kids to write is a good thing….

    http://www.NoahSife.com

  81. Alexandra permalink
    September 11, 2011 11:00 pm

    that’s a great idea!

    xx alexandra

  82. Alyssa Woodward permalink
    September 11, 2011 11:42 pm

    I think that kids teaching kids is even better for their learning with certain things than teachers teaching kids. They seem to listen more sometimes to kids their own age and seem to understand better as well. It is also really cool as a teacher to step back and watch the kids teach each other and see how much they really grasp from doing that.

    @amw071990
    http://woodwardalyssamedm310.blogspot.com

  83. September 12, 2011 5:22 am

    I’m looking for some really good business blogs to add to my google reader that are worthwhile following on an ongoing basis. Can you make and recommendations? I have Seth Godin’s already. Thanks!. . It would also be helpful if you told me why you liked these blogs..

  84. September 12, 2011 5:15 pm

    Congratulations on your website!!

    http://www.kablom.com
    Promote your website here.

  85. September 13, 2011 1:52 pm

    Todays kids are bottling up their expressions resulting in stress…..

    activities like this will sure help to break that cap

  86. September 14, 2011 1:14 pm

    Have you voiced these ideas to your workshop?
    I feel like this activity should be part of the school curriculum…nationwide!
    I’m not a teacher, but I believe students should be comfortable using all sorts of available technologies and have them decide whether its uses would be productive for them.
    But students (former) teaching other students (current) nonetheless is an astounding feat for any teacher, or person!

  87. September 22, 2011 11:21 pm

    Great idea! I love to blogging and vlogging, it’s fun, fun fun! Thanks for sharing this blog! :)

  88. September 25, 2011 4:28 pm

    Hi Greta.
    My name is Meredith and I’m a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. I was assigned to comment on your blog. I enjoyed your post and found it so nice that your former students and current students felt so comfortable talking to each other about blogging. Its encouraging to know that students are so excited about learning new things.
    -Meredith

    • October 2, 2011 9:34 pm

      Thank you Meredith! It has definitely been an amazing experience for the kids and for me!

  89. September 25, 2011 7:43 pm

    Hi Ms. Greta,
    My name is Eunice and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. Great blog you have on kids motivating other kids to blog. I never knew anything about blogging until I enrolled in EDM310. Blogging is a great learning tool for the students in his/her learning. I will be blogging and recommend others to blog also. Thank you for what you are doing.

    • October 2, 2011 9:35 pm

      Thanks Eunice! Blogging is great! It leads to deep reflection and learning. My teaching has changed greatly thanks to blogging and reading other blogs!

  90. October 30, 2011 10:07 pm

    Hi Gret! Kelly Ficarelli from EDM310 at the University of South Alabama here again. Another great post! I think that not all teachers and parents realize how important it is for students to blog and be able to express themselves and share their stories with each other. Receiving positive feedback from their peers and teachers all over the world is a huge reward for them – I know this because, as a student new to blogging, it is rewarding to me. I will be sure to do my part in spreading the word about the importance of blogging, both in and out of the classroom.

  91. Lindsey permalink
    December 3, 2011 10:53 pm

    Mrs. Sandler,
    I am glad your former students and current students had a great time discussing blogging. It sounds like it made for a very interesting class. Thank you for sharing.

  92. Angela Smith permalink
    February 11, 2012 12:37 am

    Hello, Ms. Sandler!
    It is me again, Angela Smith from EDM 310 and this post was absolutely awesome! It sounds like the children really enjoyed themselves! I completely agree with you, Ms. Sandler of how amazing it is to see children get so excited about learning something new. Blogging is such a great way for students to receive positive feedback from their teachers and also their peers. Blogging is exciting and I hope to one day master it and use if effectively.

  93. March 12, 2012 1:38 am

    Ms. Sandler,
    My name is Eleanor Pomerat. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 Class at the University of South Alabama. I left you a comment two weeks ago on another of your blog posts. This the final comment I am leaving you; after which, I will post a summary of my comments in a blog post.

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post. It’s wonderful to know that there are children excited about writing and blogging. It sounds as though some of your students became writers. I am just now (this year) learning how valuable and important blogging and commenting is for students in this day and age. Have you heard of Comments4Kids?

    Regards,
    Eleanor Pomerat
    My Blog

  94. April 29, 2012 9:48 pm

    Ms.Sanders,
    I am Heather Rigby, a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am currently enrolled in Dr.Strange;s EDM 310 class where I am observing and learning how technology such as blogs and more can be an effective and efficient tool in the classroom. I too think that it is amazing to see students thrilled about blogging and sharing with other students. I believe that your older students struck a inquisitive streak in the others. Seeing this, being an educator like yourself, must have felt amazing and breath taking. Please keep lighting the fire of curiosity under them! Hopefully they too will pass their knowledge of blogging on to other children and family members!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Heather Rigby

  95. Ashley Franklin permalink
    September 20, 2012 9:38 pm

    Hello, Ms.Sanders
    I am student at The University of South Alabama. I am currently enrolled in Dr.Strange’s EDM 310 class. I have read two of your posts “Finding your Voice” and now this post, and I just wanted to tell you that I think that it is a great thing that you are doing for your students. I wish more teachers would take the time and create a Blog and share their students work for literally the whole world to see, but what really makes me just smile from ear to ear is reading how motivated the kids are to learn and read and even help motivate other students to feel the same way. So in short Thank You for sharing!

  96. November 7, 2012 10:30 pm

    Hello Mrs. Sandler!

    My name is Lauren and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 course at the University of South Alabama.

    I just wanted to say that I LOVE this! It is very inspiring and exciting for me to read. I can relate to your students in the same sense. Dr. Strange has introduced us to blogging this semester and I am thrilled about it. Just like your students, I cannot wait to show people I know the things that I have achieved and accomplished in his course. I have showed parents, friends and family all of my videos and posts I have done throughout the semester. I have become very proud of myself and what I have done.

    Blogging allows opportunities to showcase your hard work; and that’s what’s so exciting about this revolution! I loved reading how excited your students were about this. That gives your new students something to look forward to when they see how happy and excited it made your last group of students.

    You are doing great things in your classroom! Keep up the good work!

    Lauren

  97. John Carpenter permalink
    February 8, 2013 12:45 pm

    Hello Mrs. Sandler,

    My name is John Carpenter, and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 course at the University of South Alabama. This blog was absolutely wonderful. I also think that it is great to see students excited about blogging. I think student blogging is a wonderful idea and will help students learn to write and communicate better. Allowing the students to interact with each other while learning to blog is also a wonderful idea. I think this is a great way for students to encourage one another and learn about blogging.

    John Carpenter

  98. Michael Breckenridge permalink
    March 5, 2013 5:18 pm

    Hello Mrs. Sadler,

    My name is Michael Breckenridge and I am a student at the University of South Alabama, in EDM310. I loved your blog post about kids helping kids. The part that stuck out to me was all of the comments that the kids made and how they were so excited to learn. I really like this because when the kids get excited about learning in the classroom then its so much easier and more fun to teach. I hope everything is going fantastic and I wish you would update again because so far I have really enjoyed reading your blog.

  99. April 28, 2013 5:47 pm

    Hello,
    My name is Laura Carpenter and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM 310. I liked your blog post about kids helping kids. I think it is a great idea. I like the idea of kids learning from each other because they form a connection on the same level. I hope you update your blog soon because I enjoy reading your blog.

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