It has been so much more authentic to teach these conventions in the context of writing on the blog rather than as stand-alone, one off lessons. That’s not to say we don’t do regular lessons and units of work on various conventions and genres, it’s just that blogging is always there and the progress the students make with writing on the blog are transferred to other areas.
In her book Radical Reflections, well known children’s author, Mem Fox, states that
“we’re currently wasting a lot of time by giving unreal writing tasks in our classrooms….You and I don’t engage in meaningless writing exercises in real life—we’re far too busy doing the real thing”
If we want our students to be motivated to use their emerging writing skills, we have to make writing purposeful, challenging, and real-to-life. Blogging offers this.
Many of my students have transformed from emergent writers to very independent, competent writers who produce higher quality comments than some adults!
Rather than just talking about the improvements my students have made, I decided to look back at some comments from throughout the year to find evidence of this.
The presentation below shows how three students have progressed with their blog comments throughout the year.
(Tip: Press play then click on the square on the bottom ride hand side of the presentation to view in full screen. Press escape to get out of the presentation)