When students are asked to demonstrate what they know, how is it shared? In the teaching profession knowledge demonstration has typically been with pencil and paper in worksheet form. While at times worksheets may have their place, there are so many new ways to have students demonstrate knowledge. One of our favorite ways is to use the app Book Creator. (I also use iBooks Author to make books for the kids.) Each student has this app on their iPad. Book Creator is an easy interface for the students to create and share. They can easily add pictures, type text and even hand write or draw pictures. One of our learning goals, was to show that we knew the letters of the alphabet and the sound each letter made. Our 2014-2015 Kindergarten literacy class made an ABC book to demonstrate this learning goal. Allowing students to create their own book really makes them feel like an author. Students take pride and true ownership in their Book Creator projects. Please click on the red words ABC Book to view our student created book.
Students love to share what they can do. In our kindergarten classroom, we have been using KidBlog to share our thinking and learning. We also use KidBlog to help the students become more aware of punctuation, spacing and using meaningful titles. If you asked me in September if I would have kindergarten kids blogging, I would have said NO WAY!! Here we are in May and blogging is the best writing tool for my kids. Not all students post what they write on their blog, they just send it to me and I get to see it. Most kids love to share their thinking and skills. The joy that they display when they know they can blog is priceless. Here are some simple tips to get started.
- Find a blog site that works for you: Here are some for you to explore.
http://kidblog.org/home (this is the one I use) (iPad app is free)
Find the platform that will work best for you and your kids.
- Create a teacher page
- Create the student accounts
- Try the blog out for yourself first
- Introduce to the students
- Let the students create
- Email co-workers or colleagues to have them respond to kids writing
- Promote the student work to your Professional Learning Network
- Give the students voice and choice for when and how they post to their blog.
- When you set up your class list, you need to make sure you add passwords so that they can login.
- If parents might be uneasy about blogging use student initials instead of names for the username.
- Start out blogging as a class to get started.
- Have students share about a book they have read
Blogging allows students to have voice and choice in their writing and the information they share with the world. Let their writing skills shine and their voices be heard.
This is what the dashboard looks like before I approve a post.
Student work sample from the first day.