Monthly Archives: April 2011

Yes! Kindergarten Blogging!

I had one of those ah ha moments this morning during our writer’s workshop time.  The children were sharing possible choices during our writing time.  One of children shouted out,”Mrs. D. what about kid blogging?”  The child shared that he wanted to write about Kindergarten and how much fun it was.  Then other children were also excited by the idea as well.  The children are independent now on their blogs.  We have gone through ‘how to” make a post and save their post until I have had a chance to approve.

The children came up with the following criteria for blogging: 1. Make sure you have a title.  2.  Write at least 3 thoughts about your idea .  3.  Take a picture of what you want to share and ask Mrs. D. to help you put your picture on your blog.  4. leave spaces between your words.  (use the space bar to help you)  5.    log out

I am so amazed as to what the children are doing at this point with their kidblogs and how aware they are of audience!  They love to share and look forward to receiving comments from me, other classmates and their families.

Blogging has been another way to engage young children and their families and others in the world to make connections.  Young children are beginning to think about what they are learning and what they want to post/share with others.  The feedback that the children get is so positive that the comments are engaging and seem very reinforcing so that they have a chance to think a little more deeply about what they posted/shared.

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Kid Blogging In Kindergarten!

More Blogging!  Kid Blogging!

Welcome To The Kidblogs Page!

Our technology integration specialist shared with me last spring about kidblog.  I was thinking, oh no!!  Really?  5 and 6-year-old children?  Well, I decided to apply for a grant through the state of Vermont in hopes of receiving $ to fund my kid blogging idea.  Unfortunately my idea was not selected.  This did not stop me from kid blogging or even finding other ways to fund my idea!

My journey began.  I created an email distribution list of all my new families entering Kindergarten in the fall(last fall) and explained the idea of kidblog, why use it, etc.  All 18 of my families were excited and agreed to give it a try.  The connections started happening!  Families were encouraging their child to say hi and introduce themselves to their new classmates.  This was so inspiring and motivating for me as a teacher.  The opportunities seemed endless!  This is another way that young children and their families began connecting with each other and learning about this new tool to keep informed and to interact with in regards to their child’s learning.

Soon after Kindergarten started, grandparents, extended family members started making posts and comments also on the children’s blogs.  Prior to Kindergarten starting I decided to offer a few days for families to come into school with their child to talk about their hopes and dreams for the year.  I took this opportunity to take a photo and create a post with each child prior to kindergarten.  Wow!  Every single child’s face lite up with a smile and excitement. The relationships started to form and parents were so appreciative and thankful for yet another opportunity to be connected to their child during their school experience.

I created a page on my class wiki for kid blogging.

This idea is so exciting and new!  The Kidblogs will provide another opportunity for parents and relatives  to stay connected and share in the learning that will be happening.  Kidblogs also provide lots of opportunities for the children to use their early literacy skills involving reading, writing, spelling and of course the many strategies that he/she will develop.   The children are able to practice their keyboarding skills, knowledge about sounds/symbols and their relationship to one another when typing.  Begin to make connections with the literacy skills they are focusing on in our curriculum too!  Children create their own ideas about what they want to share about their own learning.  They will also be connecting with others and making relationships as they work on their blogs.  The children will also be communicating with their peers, family and others about experiences within and out of school.  The learning opportunities are endless.

I even made the teacher spotlight page on ePals!  This was another opportunity for me to connect with others. Love it!

Blogging in Kindergarten!

My First Post!  A little exciting and yes, I am a bit nervous, but here I go……..

One of the wonderful things about Kindergarten is that we share all day long and take great delight when a child’s eyes widens to a discovery, an ah ha!  I hope that this blog will inspire others to try new technologies that promote engagement and excitement in learning, while also providing endless opportunities for designing and creating learning too!

It all started for me 3 years ago when I took a workshop on blogging.  Blogging?  What is it?  What does it do? How will it be helpful?  Why blog?  These were the questions I had prior to signing up, but I am so glad that I did!  Now, 3 years later I manage 3 class blogs; class blog, science blog and a summer reading blog!  I even started using Kidblog this year!  Yes, every 5 and 6-year-old child in my classroom has their own blog!  Amazing…  So my transformation begins and my eyes widen in amazement as to what is happening and continues to unfold before my eyes daily, in Kindergarten!

Blogging you say?

I created a class blog for the children, myself and their families, then as it became more interactive and reflective, others outside of the classroom, community, state and country began to take notice of what we were doing.  I began everyday during our morning meeting talking about our schedule for the day and what new learning lay ahead.  At the end of each day I would create and design a post with the children.  I was amazed at what they wanted to share, everything!  I had a digital camera, 1 FLIP camera and we began documenting all the learning that we could each day.

The next ah ha for me was getting a SMARTboard!  Our school was purchasing 6, so I had to apply.  I did and was lucky enough to have been selected!  So… you see the blogging became really powerful as the children were not only to be reflective, but also interact.  Wow!  Again, the language, the engagement just unfolded before my eyes.  Back to blogging……….

Right away children were excited to go home and share what they did in school that day!  Parents were so pleased and immediately I received feedback about how much they felt integrated and a part of their child’s day!  This was the beginning of change and transformation for me as a teacher…….  No more paper handouts in folders, everything became digital and available anytime people wanted to access the information.  The beginning of developing responsible and safe digital citizens who embrace the tools of our age to support learning, collaboration, designing and creating their learning as well as making connections.

My Life Studies Blog was and continues to be wonder!  It reflects what 5 and 6-year-old children observe, explore and experience in the physical and natural world.  I created this blog 2 years ago so I would have a place to showcase our 4 Winds Science program which is led and directed by volunteers, parents in our community.  I soon discovered that this was also a place where I could post the physical and natural science we were doing in Kindergarten too!  My reason for starting this blog was to make more room!!!  I found that our class blog had so many different types of experiences recorded, that the pages were archiving quickly!  So this way the posts did not seem to be archived as fast.  Science is also one of those wonderful opportunities for young children where everything that we, the Kindergarten teachers need to teach, we need to do through inquiry.  The inquiry becomes important as it allows for the young child to explore and discover in a way where they can ask questions and begin to “talk out” what they observe.

Science in Kindergarten! The ideas I am sharing can be done, incorporated in all/any grade levels and have really made a difference for me and my teaching of science.  In the spirit of collaboration and sharing………..
A blog that focuses on science is a great as it allows and encourages others a place to  communicate and interact.  Once it evolved into something more, a place where I post all science related content that I am covering in Kindergarten.  I have had many children sick, traveling etc. and the blog has been great to keep parents and their child involved with experiences they may have missed.  Also my followers are beginning to grow.  I only have a few now, but 2 of them have shared science related activities and topics with me that have been used by other teachers in their classrooms.
Podcasting has also been really powerful as it has given children a chance to reflect on their scientific thinking!  I created 2 podcasts, one was of the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly and the other of the bird. You can find them on my literacy wiki. The children had an opportunity to explore the science topics, create a model of the life cycle and then reflect, talk about the stages.  Really a great tool to use as an assessment tool “did they get it?”
The other wonderful idea/practice that I am using is twitter. Wow!  I have made lots of connections with other teachers on lots of different topics.
More on collaboration in another post.

Then summer was approaching last spring and our technology integration specialist  shared a summer reading blog she had created when she was teaching!  Yes!  Blogging in the summer, sure!  Why not?  So I created  a Summer Reading Blog! It was a great suggestion and idea!  I created posts of former students and new students whom I have never met!  The connecting and collaborating began!  New student and their families would post comments, artwork and even notes about books they had read with their child.  I checked periodically to read and see the posts and then of course comment.  The power of connecting and relationship building began immediately!  I was thinking… hmm…. Can it be this simple? easy?  It was!  Now both parents and their children are reading together, posting together and meeting other children and their families who will also be in Kindergarten in the fall.  One parent shared with me how it was so inspirational for her and her child as the child felt connected and saw books she knew and wanted to try.  This is just another wonderful example and way to promote literacy, but also begin to model how to be a safe and responsible digital citizen!  I was thinking how grand this is.  Also, hmm… thinking that this is what it looks like for children.