I am entering my 3rd year using kidblog with my Kindergarten students and I’m so amazed and thrilled with all the learning opportunities that have appeared, that I just must share. I never imagined that blogging would be the platform that I use to showcase student discoveries, make connections, collaborate and of course be such an important part of my PLN (Personal Learning Network).
Being a kindergarten teacher is really exciting and so inspiring. I have been able to really enhance what I am doing in kindergarten with my students in such a meaningful and engaging way. By making kidblog available to my students and their families the learning seems never ending.
Prior to Kindergarten starting I create a Google Form asking for permission from all of my students families about using kidblog. Once I have this, I create a class. I begin by creating a post myself with a welcoming message and usually a photograph. I will create about 3 more posts prior to Kindergarten starting. My posts are usually things I’m doing and places I have been. Sometimes I may even pose a question about a photograph I have taken of something interesting. For example; I recently visited Chicago and found an amazing ceiling window that was designed by all triangles. So I posted the photograph and posed the question; ”I wonder how many triangles are in the photo?” Just by creating this simple post and posing an open ended question, I invite my students and their families to begin to engage with their child’s blog.
I have found that this is a nice way to welcome my students into the world of blogging.
Now the connections and discoveries begin. My students begin to become familiar with what a blog is and it’s purpose. This is vital and very important. I always focus on the how and why of what I am doing. The purpose has to be clear and exposed so that the meaning is clear. By being transparent about what and why I doing, I invite parents to also think about how this is helping their child and the dialogue begins.
Through blogging my students have lots of opportunities to share what they are doing inside and outside of kindergarten. This is important because it is through our discoveries and explorations that we are able to share, connect and collaborate with others.
Now I have had many interactions with my students and their families before kindergarten starts. For most of my students we have never met face to face yet, so this is especially nice for my students and their families to begin to experience what kindergarten will be like, a way to begin to connect with others and establish new relationships.
Each child’s kidblog represents what they feel is important and what they wish to share with others. I have found my students to be very excited about what they want to post and their reasons for why they choose what they did. When children have choices about what they want to share they’re able to be very explicit about what they understand and experience. Through these choices I am able to help my students elaborate and ask questions that may either further their understanding or inspire them in another direction.
To sign up for kidblog go to: http://kidblog.org/home.php
Kidblog has opened many learning opportunities for me, my students, their families and others. What a wonderful way to share what a child discovers and understands.