Blogging and Avatars: As a special education resource teacher, I do not have a a classroom of my own. If I ever do, I think I would use a blog to stay in communication with parents. I checked out Joni M.'s blog and loved it. With a classroom newsletter you cannot display students work as she has done on her blog. I have a blog that I created to keep friends in family updated on my daughter. I must admit that I have not done a great job on updating it regularly. Angie E. April 2009.
Please add your idea and sign with your first name and last initial and the month/year

Blogging


I created a class blog 1st is Fun at the beginning of this school year (08-09). I use it to motivate students (as it is one way I publicly publish work) and communicate with parents. In the past I have always done a weekly newsletter in order to maintain communication with parents and so I was a little worried about how the class blog would work out. I decided not to give up the newsletter idea totally and I decided to send one newsletter home a quarter. Mid-year I came up with a way to monitor whether or not the blog was reaching my parent group. I put a poll on my blog asking parents "Is this blog helpful?" Out of 17 students in my class, 15 parents responded. When I polled parents via newsletter, asking "Do you prefer to recieve information via email and blog, via newsletters, or a combination of both?" I only received three responses back on paper. Two of the responses supported email and blog communication and the other one supported a combination of both. The results, 15 digital versus 3 paper (all of which were in support of digital communication), convinced me that the class blog was a positive tool for both motivating students and communicating with parents. Joni M. February 2009.


Students could recommend books to one another and then be given the opportunity to ask questions or make comments about others' books. Dawn December 2009


twilightcover.jpgBlogging can be used to continue conversations and discussions begun in the classroom. In addition, students who are shy to talk in class, may feel more comfortable adding to the blog when they have time to think through what they want to say. Ann M. June 2008
Create a blog centered around a book that is being studied. Each student would be given an opportunity to respond to questions and assignments posted to the blog. This could be for fun also, but sponsored by the library instead of a classroom -- such as starting a blog for Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series especially since the 4th book in the series is coming out in August and the movie is coming out in December. Deborah M. June 2008

Blogging about the fun stuff in your library...... You could post some ideas of fun stuff to do - DDR, game days, poetry slams, etc. and get students to comment back on what sounds fun and add any other ideas they have. You could also get ideas for games they might want available at lunch time... It would be kind of an electronic suggestion box that everyone could see. Wendy L. July 2008

I think that blogging is an effective tool to get students to write without fear. I would like to try to use it to have kids do book reviews or respond to questions about books the class is reading I think that students would like this avenue and respond in ways they wouldn't in a regular book report.Jill G July 2008

As most people are doing this year, I will be creating a library blog for a link on our school website. One of our important jobs is to keep our connection with the community open and easily accessed. This can be one more way for parents, staff and students to see what is going on in the library. Since I have taken this class, I am comfortable enough working with a blog that I know I will be able to keep it up to date (a problem with many web pages). Of course, I will have all of the greatest info and links that we have practiced!! DeAnne R. July 2008

A blog of questions could also work for a library contest. Everyday/week the librarian posts a question of some sort and then the first correct answer or draw from all the correct answers would win some sort of prize, or maybe all the correct answers would get a trading card (made using a previous 2.0 tool) and at the end of the contest the student with the most trading cards would win a prize. Heather F. 2008

I would like to show teachers at our school a couple of blogs about the subjects they teach and show them how to subscribe. Robert M. July 2008

Last year I used my classroom blog to display my students Voicethread projects since SiteBuilder is so old and a hassle to use. I do not need a district connection to edit or post items which is really nice. I will be using my classroom blog this year to keep parents up-to-date about what is going on in the classroom. I would like my students to take pictures in our class and post it on our blog for parents to see. Mandy Y. 2008


A school library could have a blog where we could promote new books, discuss featured authors, provide information to parents about what we are studying, and a list of recommended sites for students and parents could be included. These are only a few things that may appear on a school library blog. –Lydia H. July 2008



Avatars

I like the idea of using avatars to allow students to provide a "picture" of themselves without really providing a picture of themselves. It gives them an opportunity to reveal themselves and what is unique about them but in a protected way. Linda M. July 2009"

One of our staff members does not like having her photo taken and further does not want her photo posted on our high school web site. After I learned how to create an avatar for myself, I decided to create one for this staff member. I made one for her, emailed the jpg to her for approval, and then posted it on our website. This may be the answer for other staff members with the same reluctance of having their photos posted on our web site. Barb K. April 2009

In collaboration with the technology teacher, intermediate grade kids could make avatars that could be put on their library cards. In my library these cards are used to take attendance, as a shelf marker and to check out materials. I think kids would like that they could put their own creative touch on this tool that I use. Sharon H. July 2008

I think creating avatars is a neat idea for kids to show their individual personalities. I enjoyed making my own avatar and adding the background that expresses me. Next year my students will create avatars for their name tags in the classroom. I will use these avatars to show where the went during the day example: restroom, band and etc. Kristen A July 2008

Have students create an Avatar and write about them selves on a blog with who am I ?what do I like to do?what are my favorite things? where am I from? what is my family history? where do I want to go? or other questions that may be chosen from. Jill G July 2008

Teaching kids about different Avatar sites and having them create an Avatar of themselves is also a great way to let them personalize their "web work" without the added risk of adding an actual picture of themselves to the giant world of the web. Sonja H. July 2008

Students sometimes have assignments to create "personality posters" which usually involve some kind of collage of pictures cut from magazines interspersed with words cut out characterizing themselves. Having students create an avatar r would also be an interesting way for students to represent themselves particularly if it is tied into an assignment such as "how do you see yourself in four years" and have them create one avatar representing their "present selves" and one representing their "future selves." Carol H. July 08

Instead of the usual baby photo display where people try to guess who the baby is, have students/staff create avatars of themselves and have people try to guess who created what to represent themselves. Leslie M. July 2008

Teachers could blog homework assignments like follow up questions to the lesson or reading and students could comment their answers back. Having the comments viewable by the public could be turned on or off. Heather F. July 2008

Have a student create and Avatar of what they feel the main character of a story may look like and then have them write what they learned about that character. Could even be of a character that impressed them in the story wouldn't have to be the main. Think it would be a fun way to present a story. Judy C. July 2008

Blogs: I want to show teachers at our school a couple of blogs on their subject areas and then how they can subscribe. Robert M. July 2008

I like the idea of using avatars to bring literary characters to life. They could create the avatar and then post and explain it on their blog or our classroom wiki. Stacy M April 2009

I have breakfast duty every morning, and am hence responsible for maintaining order, defining and enforcing rules etc. It goes pretty well, except for the 5th and 6th graders who so want to bend the rules in their direction....and of course everyone looks up to and follows them. I though I would work with said student leaders, let them help me re-define the rules, make their own avatars, plug the avatars into comic book generators, put the rules in the comic bubbles, print them, laminate, post them in the commons, and voila....peace at breakfast time, and collaboration, creativity and web2.0 to boot. I know that colored ink cartridges are expensive, but it will be worth spending some of my library club account for these students to see their own images around the school. Nicky E June 2009