book blogging, Digital Teaching Resources, Uncategorized

Book Blogging: Part II

I was really excited to see how much my kids were writing in their blogs about the books they were reading. They are required to turn in a blog every-other week. In the off weeks, they are assigned a classmate’s blog to read and post a comment. I select their partner to ensure they wouldn’t just choose their best bud’s. They had requirements for a comment that included:


These were again adapted (stolen) from Betsy Sise, the presenter I saw at the Google Summit. In the first week of commenting, I saw that they would need some guidance because all the comments read like this, “Great blog. I enjoyed your blog. Did you like the book? Thanks for sharing.” If I read one more, “I really enjoyed your blog” comment, I was going to scream. So, I created a Google Doc and I cut-and-pasted eight actual student comments into the one document…the good, the bad, and the ugly. (CCSD grab here). I shared it on Google Classroom-each student got a copy and I left them the following instructions.

Rank the blogs from best (1) to worst (8). Change the color of the blog entries as follows:
5- Orange
8- Leave black

I removed the student’s names so as to not embarrass anyone, and we had a discussion about growing from our mistakes. I walked around the room as students were reading blogs they liked and offering sincere, helpful, critiques about the others. I’m looking forward to next week’s comments to see if they can apply what they’ve learned to their work. Three of the eight are posted below:


book blogging, Digital Teaching Resources, Uncategorized

Book Blogging

Since my first day as a teacher, I have had my students write journal entries as soon as they came into the classroom in the morning. They consisted of random questions; some funny, some serious, some academic. Students would write them in a composition notebook and after the morning announcements, I’d ask for people to share. Anyone who felt comfortable, could read their entry out loud. Last year, I took a leap and tired using for digital jouncing. The kids all wrote their journal responses on the blog platform instead of in a notebook. This year, I ditched the journals and again stole an idea from a presenter at the Google Summit. You can find her site on book blogging here.


While the presenter was using Blogger, it is blocked for students in my district. I remembered Kid Blog and decided to try it again. I started slowly. Week 1, the kids wrote a simple blog about a book they had completed reading. I used her same template for what would be included in each student’s blog. Charleston County employees can open and make a copy here. Kid Blog was a safe space for us to experiment because people have to be invited to see our class posts, and I’ve limited it to only my students and myself. Soon, I may add parental access. Below, you will find my requirements for a blog entry: