Monday, 3 September 2012

Class Blog

This year I'm going to be experimenting with a new class blog.

I'm going to mainly use the blog with my new year 8 form group, but may also use the blog to put up some of my student's work in my Mathematics lessons too. It all really depends on how the students take to the idea initially and the worth in doing so.

So, I have set up a new blog for my tutor group to start with. I will mainly use the blog initially to get the tutor group practising their creative writing by taking part in the 100 Word Challenge on http://100wc.net. I am a big fan of the site and the 100 word challenge and want to do this once a week with my form group following the weekly prompts put on the site. I will encourage my form to write their own 100 word pieces in form time and then get them to either hand them into me to put on the blog, type them up at home and then e-mail to me to put on the blog/post on the blog themselves.

I will be giving my form group a QR Code/URL of the class blog site in our 1st session together and then we'll be practising with a 100 word challenge that we'll generate the words for together in our 1st tutor session. This will hopefully get the class used to: the layout of the blog, the idea behind the 100 word challenge and read all the info/links I've loaded onto the blog so far. I also intend to ring parents at the end of this week to introduce myself to them as their child's new form tutor and will mention the blog then and ask if their child has said anything about. This will give me a chance to answer any questions they may have and direct their attention to the E-Safety page on the blog.

Knowing full well about the issues around child safety when online I have made a point of having a strong focus on E-Safety on the blog and have a whole separate page on the topic with loads of links for both students and parents to sites on cyberbulling and e-safety. I am sure that I will be mentioning this to my students throughout the year too as the use of social media sites becomes everyday practice.

In doing the blog I am hoping to share the good work of my form group with a wider audience via the 100 word challenge website. I am looking to ultimately improve their literacy and creative writing, inform them about e-safety and how to act when online and also teach ICT skills along the way, directing them to useful websites via the blog.

I will get a better idea about how/whether to use the blog for posting my Mathematics classes' work later in the year after I have seen how my form group do/don't take to the idea. I can see a lot of positives coming from it and it will give some structure to our form times by having the weekly 100 word challenges, posting their pieces of work and then reading the comments that follow in subsequent tutor periods!

The blog I have set up is here http://mrcollinsclassblog.wordpress.com I have ensured that ALL posts/comments etc have to be moderated by myself before being published on the site to make sure that nothing inappropriate is put up.

If anyone has any comments on this, what has worked for you if you've done a class blog I'd love to hear of ways I could use it in the future, just leave a comment below!

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