Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kids blogging Away!

Happy Tuesday!
I'm excited to be here today to share something 
super fun that I've been working on 
with my kids for the past couple of weeks---

I'm linking up today for Tried It Tuesday

I have heard about this site a lot,
but never have taken the plunge to do it. 
After a super sweet comment on my blog from Jamie
We decided to team up and give this whole
virtual blogging thing a try... with our two classes!
One from California, and one from Wisconsin!! How fun!

A couple of things before I start:
1. KidBlog can be a completely private site.  So only people with a password can access it, which makes this teacher one happy camper! I'm always thinking safety when it comes to internet sites. 
2.  The site can seem like a lot at first, however it gives you complete access to each student and teacher account linked to your kid blog site. It's so great to keep track of what students are doing. I have set up notification so each time a comment or post is made,it comes to my email!
3. I tried this cold turkey without ever using this site, and have learned right along with my kids. Although stressful because I didn't have all of the answers.... such a great experience!

The main page of our blog consists of the 'blog roll' for each student.  As you can see across the top, I've named it for my class.  I guess, I could have used something more creative ;)  The tool bar in red allows you to see all of the blogs, which is what this picture above shows, go to your individual blog (one set up for each student) or make a new post.  Look at us with 2,464 views!  Our California friends I bet are checking to see that we have our work written up for them!

This is what each individual blog looks like.  Each student has their own page that can be viewed by anyone who has access to their site.  Jamie and I exchanged class codes (found in the dashboard section of the site) so on our blog rolls, both of our classes can be found.  We did find however, that it's easier if the students make new posts from their actual teacher's site.  Then go to the other site (which I will show you in a second) to read other blogs and make comments.  That way the main blog page doesn't get too full with new posts!  It can be a lot to manage. 

The posts that we started with were the current chapter book that we are reading, and an "All About Me" post to share some likes with their buddies.  I had them start with a book post so I could comment and ask them questions. That way the got used to checking their dashboard for new comments. 

This is what the teacher dashboard looks like.  The student one is very similar, however they don't have access to every post and comment made on the site. It's a great place to keep track.  The far left shows how many posts, drafts and comments that are made.  The middle shows the specific comments on the blogs, and the far left shows all of the most recent blog posts.  I've really been trying to teach the kids to check their dashboard for comments so they don't miss anything! 

When a student (or teacher) clicks on new post, this is what it looks like. I feel that it's very user friendly for kids too! They title their post, write it below with options for new fonts, colors, sizes, etc and then to the right they can save, preview and add tags.  I was so impressed with how quickly they understood about tagging.  

Above is another part of the dashboard.  In this case I clicked on "My Classes" and it took me to all of the collaborators of the blog.  In my case, since teaming up with Jamie, both of our classes show up.  This is one way that my students can get to her site.  The other is just clicking on a student name from the main page. Like I said, both of our classes are listed together for easy access!  I like how they can easily go back and forth between the two classes, and have access to what she's working on as well.  

Here is her site. As you can see you can also personalize it to be just right for you and your class!!!

For now, because she's awesome, she has posed several questions to her students about various things, and my students have been allowed to comment.  We both read Stellaluna last week, and are both working on multiplication concepts. I plan to have my students read her post, follow up on her student comments and then make their own to answer her questions. I will assign them to find their buddy that we assigned them too, and also comment on their response! 

We're in the works to plan a November activity for the students. I also plan on giving this as a choice in my writing center as we become more comfortable. Students can blog a story or two during their writing time on here for me to read instead of always doing it on paper. 

Do you have any advice on using this site? 
I'd love to hear how you use it or if you have any suggestions!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Have a great week. 


  1. Wow! This looks great! We are using Moodle at our school but maybe I can apply some of your ideas there. :)

  2. I'm trying this out for all 6 of my classes! I'm going to start really getting into it on November 9th when I get back from a work trip. I bookmarked this blog for reference!


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jameson! I'm super excited to see how this will work for you and your 6 classes. I'm sure that they will love it. Like I said, it is a lot to get started, but I'm really loving it so far! Let me know if you have any questions pop up.. I'm by no means an expert, but would love to try to help if I can!

  3. I blogged about Kidblog a few times and my students loved it too! I didn't use it for pen pals but that is an AWESOME idea! Now I am teaching math and probably won't use it like when I taught ELA. Thanks so much for linking up and I'm looking forward to hearing more!
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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