Blogging with students can lead to some powerful and unexpected outcomes

Student blogging is one of the best ways to implement writing across all areas of curriculum. From reading response to explanation of math lessons, you can have your students blog in virtually any subject area. And guess what? They’ll like it a lot more than answering multiple choice questions on a worksheet, which will lead to deeper thinking and higher quality work.

So if you’re considering using blogging in your classroom, check out these tips to set yourself (and your students) up for success.

Begin by starting your own blog.

I’m a firm believer in not asking students to do anything that I’ve never done before, especially when it comes to technology. So before you ever try to get your students to start their own blog, you need some experience running your own.

Now I could go into the minutia of how to start your own teacher blog, but I’ve already created a guide on that topic that you can read here. Just know that, while the process is simple, you may run into some kinks along the way. Better to figure those out on your own time, as opposed to on the day you’re introducing it in class.

Introduce your blog to your students.

Your own teacher blog is the best introduction you could possibly give your class to blogging. I started off by blogging for a little while to get the hang of it. Then one day, I posted a lesson review after class with a link to a YouTube video that helped explain the lesson (YouTube is full of great reviews that take some of the work off your plate).

The next day in class, I pulled up my blog on the smartboard and showed students the review. I emailed them (and their parents) the blog link, so they could check from home. (Unexpected benefit: students were able to view lessons they missed in class when they were absent).

From there, I posted an assignment on my blog, in reference to a novel we were reading. It was an open-ended question that required a short-answer response. Students were instructed to answer in the comments, and then to comment on other student responses. The upshot was that by the time my students created their own blogs, they were well-acquainted with the idea.