Blogger's Groove

Mrs. Martinez's students have got their groove on! Here's how we approached the Week 7's Edublog Student Challenge:
  1. Review what we've done so far -- which also sparks excitement.
  2. Look at the Edublogs Student Challenge. 
  3. Narrow it down to the three of activities we are most excited about. 
  4. Split the class into three groups.
  5. Collaboratively work through the writing steps.
  6. Share and celebrate our posts.
The Writing Steps, A Collaborative Effort
  • We brainstorm in a think-pair-share format.
  • Discuss and decide the outline of the blog, such as the main points of the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
  • Decide who will write which part. If more than one student wants to write about it, that's fine, they can work together. If nobody is interested in writing one of the ideas from their brainstorm, then that's fine too, and they leave it out.
  • Students start writing (use paper if computers are being used). 

Collaborating on Google Apps
  • We let a group of students go to the 6 computers in the classroom to start this process. They compose their writing by sharing one document in Google Apps.
  • For now, it's easiest if the teacher sets up a template with their outline and who will write where.
  • Edit/Revise with partners.
  • Note when sharing equipment: It's key to have time limits to rotate the students to the computers. If they don't finish, then they either move to the teacher's computer, and she can help with the final steps, or they can jump back on the computer later in the day. Some elect to finish on paper to not lose time.

Variation of the Brainstorm -- Using Answer Garden
What was your favorite part of Science Night? Answer Garden

We brainstormed on Answer Garden. I liked that it took less than a minute to set up, and limited the students to just a few key words.

Answer Garden would also be fabulous for word choice, evaluating strengths of a post/comment, or brainstorm titles of a post.

Tip: When you are done with the Answer Garden,  take a screen shot to share it instead of embedding the open discussion box on Answer Garden. Anyone can go in and add to the discussion on Answer Garden... and it won't always be monitored.

Teacher's Time

In class, we mainly facilitate, set goals, and discuss the writing process/mechanics in context. 

We still do the final editing to make sure the layout looks okay. The visuals are mainly our efforts because students are still learning how to do this. 

Tagging, categorizing, and placing the Edublog Student Challenge URL in the trackback area is also something we take care of.

Tracy as Coach

Even though I love the classroom, learning with the students and Mrs. Martinez, I also know it's time to step back to allow Mrs. Martinez to take lead, and for me to be more of a side-kick. 

Today Mrs. Martinez to did most of the facilitation. She's in the groove. I will continue to step back more and more to allow this to be entirely hers. 

Questions to Ponder on Blogger's Groove

I'd love to hear from you, whether it's to share your insight or to ask questions.
  1. What's worked for you to maximize time for blogging?
  2. How have you gotten the students more involved with the final editing of the layout, tagging, categorizing, trackbacks, and inserting pictures? What advice can you share? 
  3. What questions do you have for me on blogging or as my role as the Technology Integration Specialist?
  4. Anything else you wish to comment on?
This post was inspired by my blogging experiences with Mrs. Martinez through the Edublog Student Challenge. Thank you Edublogs! PS I'm putting questions back in my concluding remarks. :-)


    1. I cannot wait to take your blogging class in May. Thank you for sharing what you have done with Mrs. Martinez's classes. I am going to figure out a way to use Answer Garden in class before the end of the school year.

    2. So glad, Elizabeth! It's been wonderful seeing blogging starting throughout the district this year... especially in the last several months. It helps seeing others do the same.

      I've found having other "role models" such as Linda Yollis, Kathleen Morris, and those in the Edublogs Challenges have been very helpful. They are very kind to answer my questions, and are patient with me as I have so much to learn. The good news is, I can share all I'm learning with my AJUSD hommies, like you. =)

      Kind regards,


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