Why Not Give Every Student a Blog?
Why Have the Parents Become the Blog's Administrator?

A class blog? Individual student blogs? What is right for you? I decided that giving every child a blog was not something I wanted to tackle at this point. First of all, I wanted to teach directed lessons about posting, creating images, online safety, and composing quality comments. Having a class blog allowed me to direct all my lessons at one site. Controlling the lessons and the publishing allowed me to work at my own pace. If I wanted to publish once a week, I did. If I felt like I wanted to publish more, I felt free to do so. Having several individual blogs to proofread and moderate would have been overwhelming for me.

I have learned that not every child is ready for the responsibility of a blog. I allow students to earn their own blogs by demonstrating responsible work habits in the classroom and by consistently contributing to our class blog via quality comments. Once a child is ready, I have a parent meeting and we discuss all the elements of a student blog. I have the child's parents set up the Blogger account at home, and I link the child's blog to our classroom site. The parents must be the administrator of their child's blog and comments must be moderated. If problems arise, I remove the link from our class blog. Allowing children to earn their way to a blog is powerful. They want to be linked to our class blog to increase their readership. In addition, it encourages parents to take an active online role with their child. It is a winning

Information for Parents
How to set up a Blogger account? Here is a wonderful tutorial from Jac de Haan:

Create a Blog in Less Than Two Minutes

What Can My Child Write About?

All topics are open. A post can be a simple as a photograph with some text or a multiple paragraph post with numerous images. Use the proofreading skills taught in class to be sure the post is ready to be published. You are helping your child develop a quality digital footprint. Publish only when ready!

Here are some great sample posts from former students:

Taking a Stroll Through the Neighborhood (from Miriam's Magical Moments)
Joshua Tree National Park (from Come Somersault With Sarah)
A Visit to the Reagan Library (from Leila's Lounge)
Bear's Beauty Boutique (a social studies lesson from Grace on the Go!)
Mr. New York Gets a Job! (a social studies lesson with the blog's mascot, Mr. NY from Brothers' Blog)
My Black Belt Test (from Adia's Babble Blog)
Karate Test (from Jaden's Awesome Blog)
Painting the Family Bathroom! (by Mia's Marvelous Moments)
Whale Watching (from Alexandra's Amazing Anthology)
Backyard Predator (from The Voice of Royce)
Our Class Field Trip (from Sammy's Spectacular Scene)
The Poetry Pit ~ Haiku (from Sasha's Sensational Scoop)
A Trip to the L.A. Zoo (from Maya's Mythical Memories)

How Often Should My Child Publish a Post?

Regular publishing helps build readership. Decide on a reasonable number of posts and try to meet that goal. Every week or every other week is probably a good place to start. If your child only publishes once a month, readers might forget about the blog. If your child publishes too often, there is not enough time to process and respond to readers. Pick a reasonable goal and try to stick with it.

How Do I Embed a Gadget/Widget in the Sidebar?

What Should I Do When We Are Ready to Launch the Blog?

The first post should be a Welcome post. Include information about your child (hobbies, interests, what readers can expect on the blog), but don't reveal too much personal information. Here is a great example of a Welcome post from Hannah. Notice how she used a wonderful image of herself, yet did not show her face!

Welcome to My Blog! (from Hannah's Hacienda)