I was recently asked what I disliked most about being a teacher… and I have to admit I was stumped for a minute. There are so many bonuses about being a teacher; I was actually drawing a blank! It must be summer 😉 That is until my husband reminded me of all the things I whine about throughout the year… What would I do without him 😉 When it came down to it, one of the things I dislike the most is communicating with parents and keeping chronically absent students up-to-date, purely because of what a time sucker it can be. It dawned on me, that while this is my least favorite aspect of teaching, I hadn’t thought about it much this past year because I had implemented just one tool that had solved all of my biggest annoyances in the classroom – a classroom blog – and it was life-changing! With a few weeks left of summer, this blog series will walk you through the basics of a classroom blog, who this works best for, how to set up your own free blog, how my blog works in my classroom, and how I have transferred this tool to my students with their own blogs.
But before we begin, here are just a few reasons why you need to implement a classroom blog this year. Your new classroom blog will provide you with the platform to:
- Write short and sweet daily lesson plans for yourself that are practical, and that are also communicated easily to anyone outside of your classroom
- Cut down on communication with parents and students
- Provide active links for worksheets and documents on a daily basis (another reason you should be using Google docs for everything)
- Encourage students to interact with your class on a regular basis
- Create an interactive, live platform that’s not a stagnant website that is forgotten about
- Clearly post daily objectives for parents, students, and admin
- Communicate clear instructions for students at the start of each day
- Build up interest for your lesson each day
- Keep a detailed log of what you did each year, in which order, with documents attached…boom! Sayonara expensive daily planner
It almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? It’s that good! Now, you might be wondering if this would work in your classroom. If your answer is yes to the following two statements, then this is the saving grace you’ve been looking for. So, are you:
- already transitioning to a digital classroom on a regular basis?
- If so, your blog will act as a control center for all of your new techy uses. Make sure you’re not missing out on any tech uses in your classroom in my post here.
- Do you have a relatively high ratio of students with computer and internet access at home? This will be key for success.
So what are we waiting for!? Let’s get started talking about the vision of your blog and creating your own online space before the school year starts. You can get yourself started in just one afternoon… I promise! Head on over to my classroom blog to poke around and see where your blog just might take you at http://www.mrsjwest.blogspot.com
Tomorrow we’ll talk about blog platforms and I’ll show you how to set up your very own blogger so you can get started now! Come back tomorrow to join in on the fun 🙂