Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Blogging

Since it's the big thing that I am doing with kids this summer, I thought I would post a few more details about the "nonfiction blogs" that we've been working on.  I showed this space to the kiddos as an example of what a real blog is and they thought it was pretty cool.  Because it's a camp, we do this over the course of a week, with them doing a blog entry each day.  In my class, I plan to do it once a week.  

We have about an hour and a quarter with each group.
We all started with an "About the Blogger" page because it was something they could do without a lot of instruction.  I showed them the About the Author section in a few books to get them on the right track.  Then I did a quick model on the board with just a couple of sentences.  With the Olympics on, many of them chose to write about favorite sports. 

Then I did a mini-lesson.  Today's was about things good readers think about when they are reading.  I read a small section of a book and then the kids noticed things I was doing while I read.  The kids came up with a list that included 

  • deciding which facts were the most interesting or important
  • making connections (thinking "this reminds me of...")
  • visualizing/making mental images
  • comparing and contrasting information
  • making predictions
Then the kids get to choose a book and start to read.  I have all my nonfiction books grouped by topic so the kids can find something that really grabs their interest. 

Either as they read, or when they finish, they take some time to write about what they have read.  They are encouraged to write about all the smart reading they did (from the list above), but most of them start out by just writing interesting facts.  Here are pictures of the blank forms that they use for their blog.  The link is in the previous post (**if the link doesn't work, try closing the window and clicking the link again... not sure why but that seems to be what works**).                            That's pretty much how the first day goes.
Tomorrow they will start their day by reading each other's posts.  The back of the page has spaces for them to write their comments.  They create a symbol for the box on the left and then write their comment. The kids are encouraged to write meaningful comments, to avoid the "I like" syndrome.  I post the chart below (sorry it's blurry) and go over it with the kids pretty much every time they make comments.

I will wrap up with just a couple examples of completed blog entries by the kids.  Thanks for reading!

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