Thursday, March 24, 2011

Class Blogging and Family Participation


As part of the Edublogs Challenge, I am learning how to start a class blog. It's very important to include the families in this process. I used Kathleen Morris' fabulous example to guide me in creating my letter to introduce the class blog. Here is the first letter that I'm sending home with the students in the class:

Dear Families,

I am proud to announce Mrs. Martinez’s class blog. This blog is for both of her language arts classes.

I want to thank Mrs. Martinez for allowing me to team teach with her as we introduce blogging to her classes. For those of you who do not know me, I was a 5th grade teacher at your school before I became the Technology Integration Specialist for AJUSD. While my Master’s in Education focused on Curriculum and Instruction, my specialties include project-based learning and technology integration. Again, I want to thank Mrs. Martinez for allowing me the ongoing opportunity to team teach our blogging project.

About the Blog

Mrs. Martinez's Class Blog
If you are unfamiliar with blogs, they are a place to share your thoughts and writing online. So far, our blog has been a website for the administrators, Mrs. Martinez and Mrs. Watanabe, to post in chronological order. At the top are links to pages with more information. On the left are the blog posts, and on the right is the tool bar to help us use the blog.

Purpose of our Blog

The purpose of this blog is to learn the art of writing and lessons of language arts through a real world experience with a real audience. Blogging is more than just reading and writing, it’s about respectfully conversing with others. Through this project, students will practice the responsibilities of digital citizenship and Internet safety.

Internet Safety

Internet safety is extremely important to us. Through blogging, the students have the opportunity to learn Internet safety and appropriate online behavior in an authentic and supervised setting. When you visit our blog, you will find links to Internet safety on the “About” page, and you can read what the students have written about also.
  
The following guidelines have been established:
1.       Students, parents, and teachers will identify the students by their first names only. (If a parent comments, it should read “Tracy’s dad” instead of “Ken Watanabe”).
2.       Keep personal information private, such as your last name, phone number, and where you live.
3.       Respectful comments are allowed.
4.       Proof-read comments are allowed.
5.       Use complete sentences with appropriate grammar. (“Text talk” does not qualify).
6.       All comments submitted must have teacher approval first.
7.       Try to write comments that continue the conversation.
8.       Try to find comments you agree with or made an impact on you, then add to the discussion. 

We encourage you to participate in our blog by writing comments. We will send more information about this in our next blogging newsletter. If you have any questions about Mrs. Martinez’s blog, feel free to contact Mrs. Watanabe or Mrs. Martinez.

 I want to thank Edublogs ChallengesKathleen Morris, and Linda Yollis for your help in this journey.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Tracy,

    I'm so glad my letter helped and thanks for acknowledging my work.

    I have found the more parent education, the better. Blogging is so much more powerful when families are involved.

    Happy blogging!
    Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Kathleen,

    You have been so helpful! This is the fist time I've written a letter to parents when I'm not their daily teacher. Having your letter helped me tremendously.

    Thanks again!

    Kind regards,
    Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great work on your parents letter Tracy! Glad that Kathleen's post has helped you and hope the information from our Student blogging challenge is helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Sue!

    It has been absolutely fabulous to have both the Edublog Teacher and Student Challenges. The Student Challenge provides fabulous resources. Everything is so organized that it's easy to follow and find help if needed.

    Furthermore, the students are excited to have others from around the globe participate in the same blogging experience. It's an amazing setting for learning. Thank you so much for all the support you provide to create these challenges!

    Kind regards,
    Tracy

    ReplyDelete

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