Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blogging In Science

This past year, I created a blog for my students to use as an extra credit assignment. Before the students used the blog, they had to have their parents sign a permission slip from the county and had to make sure they were following my rules. On every one of my posts, I restated the 5 main rules so that the students were always aware of them. I have include a few pictures of the site since I am not allowed to take you directly to the site since it is password protected.
This is a picture of my first post for last school year. In every post, the students had to comment about the post and then respond to others' comments to receive the points. The students interacted with students from my other classes as well.
The blog was a hit during the middle of the year with the most comments left at 43 but died down towards the end of the year. Since it was extra credit, some students did not find it necessary.
This year I am going to have it as an option for homework/classwork instead of written at times in a way to motivate more discussion from the blog. I also plan on extending it by having a few guest bloggers. Since we are not allowed to let others into the blog, I am getting around it by sending an e-mail to the speakers about when the students have questions and posting them myself onto the blog.
This is a picture of the rules that I had written down before every post.
The final picture is an example of comments that were written down for the first blog. It is blacked out in one part to hide information.
When the students went back to later comment on others comments, many asked questions that I waited and hope that other students would ask. I always waited until the end of the month to answer the questions in hope that other students would answer them for me.

I look forward to learning more about the blogs in this project so that I can adapt how I use them in my classroom. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please let me know!


  1. That's awesome that you were able to use the Blogging course to create a blog that you're students obviously loved. Their comments were priceless.

    I love the idea of a guest blogger. What subject do you teach again? Who might you get as a guest blogger?

    I created a blog for my class and received the permission slips but because it was an overwhelming year, I never implemented it.


  2. Thanks Chrissy! I teach 6th grade science and already have a volunteer who would like to try it. He is an engineer at Northrup Grumman and came and spoke to my class last year for their SmartCart presentation. I would like to research and find other professionals that work in the "real world" that are based on our different units. An example may be a zookeeper when we get to our animal adaptations unit.

  3. Zack,

    You did a fantastic job of getting the kids involved in the blog. I like your idea of holding as an extra credit project, especially for your first year of implementing the blog. It is a great way for you to see how the students respond to it and what to expect from them without it being a grade. It was also smart to post the rules/expectations at the beginning of each post. This is a great way to remind the students that this is a school project, not a free for all! I also think this would be an easy way to keep track of the extra credit assignments. Did you find it hard to hold back from answering some of their questions until the end of the month?

  4. Steph,

    Thank you! Yes, sometimes it was very hard to not answer the questions but most of the times the students did a nice job of researching and trying to find the answers out for others. Many times I ended up stopping and explaining in class a question from the blog that had to deal with what we were learning at that time and then students would go back that night and write on the blog about what we said in class.