Since I recently began blogging and am the girl that does the "behind the scenes" work on our district blog, I thought it would be fun to blog with kids, too. I paired up with another teacher to co-sponsor an enrichment cluster called, Bloggin' It, a cluster that would allow students to publish their creative writing on a blog and offer feedback on the writing of others.
As a young student, I loved to write and wrote often-- both inside and outside of school. In fact, I had this small notebook covered with green leather that contained my poems and short stories. (I still have it!) As a teacher, writing has always been one of my favorite subjects to teach. Since clusters are interest-based, I was hoping to attract the interest of students who shared a love of writing and combine two of my favorite things--writing AND technology integration. The possibilities are endless when you have a lot of creative individuals in one room!
My cluster is a BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) cluster and my participants are encouraged to bring their own mobile devices. We supplement their devices with classroom computers and iPad sets from the school. Some write their stories, poems, songs, etc.. by using their device while others use traditional paper and colorful pens to get their ideas down. To help manage my 25 writers and bloggers, I created a SMART Notebook file that contains each student's name. They can easily come up to the SMART board and drag their name under the task that best describes how they are using their time during clusters. It allows me to keep up with everyone's progress and confer with students or assist them with navigating the blog.
Check out the SMART Notebook file below, which can easily be customized for Writing Workshop. In the past, I have used a similar file to keep track of where students are in the writing process and help me manage conferring with students.
Can't wait to work with my happy little bloggers again this week!