A classroom blog gives you a place to report daily on what happens at school, to have conversations with students without time pressure, to share resources and information.
So how can you get started with one?
Free blogging platforms
There are lots of places online where you can set up a free blog. Here are some favorites:
- WordPress is the platform we use for FreshPlans. This isn’t a free WordPress blog, so we have some options you won’t at WordPress.com, but either way WordPress is a good combination of easy and powerful. We’ve got a series on Your New WordPress Site that walks you through the basics of setting up your WordPress blog. There are six parts, with videos and screenshots.
- Blogger is #2 among free blog sites. We’ve got an introduction to Blogger, too.
- Weebly is less well known, but a favorite of mine. They have lots of fun themes, and their instructions are simple and easy to follow.
- If you a prefer an education-specific blogging platform, try Edublogs.
- If your school doesn’t allow any of these, or — like mine — prefers the use of the internal system, you can adapt a discussion room feature to act like a blog. It’s not the best option, but it can be done.
You can write a little bit every day about what’s going on in the classroom. We set up a blog for a preschool that was mostly for the parents (we made it private) and the teachers take pictures and upload videos as well as writing about their classroom adventures. Kids enjoy seeing what they’ve been doing, and watching or reading together with parents is a great way to encourage family conversations about the subjects covered at school.
If you have older students, as I do, ask them questions. I give points for participation, and I like to see thoughtful answers to the questions I pose — but I also enjoy seeing new students saying, “omg I can tell we’re going to be besties!” to each other. Decide how casual you want to allow students to be and post some rules to keep things in line.
Blogs have the advantage of flexibility. Try it out and see what evolves!