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Grade 6 and 7 Science Teacher

Blogging in the Math Science Classroom

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I too have been blogging with my students for math and science tasks and I find it really fun. There is a huge divide on interest and quality and I've started to explore this a bit at:

http://teachingaheadofthecurve.blogspot.com/2013/02/6-tips-for-quality-s...

I think that teachers are very instrumental in getting readers to student's blogs. My sixth graders feel that the only readers that they get are other sixth graders in other science classes, so communities like Twitter and Edmodo are great for connecting to other teachers with "connectivist" goals. Will share more later!

High School Science Teacher from Oak Grove, Missouri

A few of my kids chose a

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A few of my kids chose a informational blog to show off their projects for my Mastery Level Lesson Plans and I shared them with the class via QR Codes - check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/cxx7ag2

Pre-service Teacher

What a fabulous blog. As a

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What a fabulous blog. As a pre-service teacher it is wonderful to read and see how blogging can benefit the students. I can't wait to implement blogging for my students when I start teaching.

High school English teacher at Biotechnology High School in Freehold, NJ

[quote]The biggest issue our

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[quote]The biggest issue our school would have would be security and choosing the right platform for blogging. Do you have any suggestions for what would work best? We use Google Docs as a district but our administration currently has the blog application blocked.[/quote]

I'm glad you asked this question; I had more information about this in my original post but cut it because I was way over my word count. :)

Our district moved to Google Apps this year as well, so blogger is what I chose to use. I liked the "official" feel of having the students post from their school accounts. I can see how that would pose a problem if your district blocks the blogging feature. Perhaps talk to them and see if they'll open it up? Otherwise you could check out kidblog.org or ning. I haven't used either but have heard good things about both. Your kids can then blog privately, and I think there's some sort of newsfeed or notification system so you can see when your students post.

High school English teacher from Kansas

The biggest issue our school

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The biggest issue our school would have would be security and choosing the right platform for blogging. Do you have any suggestions for what would work best? We use Google Docs as a district but our administration currently has the blog application blocked.

Ph.D. Student in Education (Teaching & Learning)

Great Assignment

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I love the blog assignment document that you created. It's so well organized and easy to use. Excellent idea with blogging with a buddy/group as well. I look forward to hearing how this assignment turns out!

College Student

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Love this post! As an education major, I just created a lesson plan incorporating blogging into the class cirriculum. I would love to know more about how it went for you. I wish to have my future students create their own blogs. I agree that it relieves so much pressure that formal writing places on students. It's important to help students enjoy, or even just tolerate writing as so much in college and beyond is focused on some sort of writing.

High school English teacher at Biotechnology High School in Freehold, NJ

[quote]Thanks so much for

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[quote]Thanks so much for taking the time to share this. Would you mind writing a bit on how you graded so many blogs? Sounds like most of it was informal and an opportunity to learn as opposed to assess. Is that right?

Thanks![/quote]

Thank you for your comment! You are correct in that this is a more informal assignment, and grading is much more lax on student blogs than it is for formal assignments like literary analysis and research papers.

Each post is worth 10 points (a formal writing assignment is typically worth 100 points, so blog posts are only worth 1/10 of one formal paper).

Students have a list of everything they need to do in order to get full credit (the majority of them are 10/10, though I do take a point off here and there for grammar or not following instructions).

This is what I have written on the assignment sheet for them:

You will get full credit if your posts:
are written in your own personal style/voice
are engaging
are informative, persuasive, and/or reflective (depending on type of post)
are well organized
are free of grammatical/typographical errors (compositional risks are an exception)
are formatted according to the directions (compositional risks are an exception)
include smoothly-embedded links
include the acronym for type of post in each post’s title or tag

Additionally, I take 1 point off for lateness, and they get a 0/10 if they do not post.

I like this system because it's manageable for me, it gives them freedom to experiment and not worry about being "perfect," and even if they lose a point or skip a post, it doesn't affect their grade too severely. They get plenty of comments and rubric-driven grades on work that is more summative in nature, so I don't mind having this assignment built in to add some freedom for them. As you mentioned in your comment, this helps them focus on the learning rather than the grade.

High school English teacher at Biotechnology High School in Freehold, NJ

[quote]Thanks so much for

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[quote]Thanks so much for taking the time to share this. Would you mind writing a bit on how you graded so many blogs? Sounds like most of it was informal and an opportunity to learn as opposed to assess. Is that right?

Thanks![/quote]

Thank you for your comment! You are correct in that this is a more informal assignment, and grading is much more lax on student blogs than it is for formal assignments like literary analysis and research papers.

Each post is worth 10 points (a formal writing assignment is typically worth 100 points, so blog posts are only worth 1/10 of one formal paper).

Students have a list of everything they need to do in order to get full credit (the majority of them are 10/10, though I do take a point off here and there for grammar or not following instructions).

This is what I have written on the assignment sheet for them:

You will get full credit if your posts:
are written in your own personal style/voice
are engaging
are informative, persuasive, and/or reflective (depending on type of post)
are well organized
are free of grammatical/typographical errors (compositional risks are an exception)
are formatted according to the directions (compositional risks are an exception)
include smoothly-embedded links
include the acronym for type of post in each post’s title or tag

Additionally, I take 1 point off for lateness, and they get a 0/10 if they do not post.

I like this system because it's manageable for me, it gives them freedom to experiment and not worry about being "perfect," and even if they lose a point or skip a post, it doesn't affect their grade too severely. They get plenty of comments and rubric-driven grades on work that is more summative in nature, so I don't mind having this assignment built in to add some freedom for them. As you mentioned in your comment, this helps them focus on the learning rather than the grade.

Grading

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Thanks so much for taking the time to share this. Would you mind writing a bit on how you graded so many blogs? Sounds like most of it was informal and an opportunity to learn as opposed to assess. Is that right?
Thanks!

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