Getting my sixth grade students set up with their own individual blogs was a lot getting myself in the water for the first time on a beach day. The worst are the days I never make it into the water- I regret it all the way home! And just like when I finally take the plunge at the beach, once we set up our blogs, I wished I had done it sooner.
What worked? To start, I really wanted printed out step by step directions to hand students. In order to make them as accurate as possible, I created a practice web page using my dog’s name, and took notes throughout the process. These tangible directions seemed to be valuable. Many students were able to help themselves, as well as their classmates by referring to the directions. It was interesting, and also not surprising, to observe how differently students relied on and made use of this valuable resource. (I was reminded again how important it is to carefully teach students to use their resources, help themselves, self-advocate, and be problem solvers!) I sat students in clusters and worked with 8-10 students at a time. That was a manageable number, and students really helped each other. We have not published our first posts yet, but my students are really looking forward to it! We have so much to write about, and I want to be sure we stay focused and honor the writing process. We are just getting Genius Hour off the ground, so their proposals may be their first published posts. I imagine giving students permission to press publish for the first time will be another plunge, but I will be sure to jump right in!
photo credit: massimo ankor via photopin cc