Tag Archives: blogging

Quadblogging

I got some exciting news last night, as @deputymitchell began putting the quads together for next year’s first term of quadblogging. I found out which schools we will be blogging with next year.

If you do not know what quadblogging is, have a look at this page which explains it.

The class I shared last year quadblogged for a term and loved it. It had a great impact on many of the children in the class and also had other children from around the school wanting to join in.

Like many schools which are encouraging children to blog, we at Uphall, wanted our children to blog to develop their literacy skills further. How does blogging do this?

Well, it provides an audience for children’s writing. We found that this lead to children writing more high quality pieces of writing (wanting to get positive feedback) for their audience. It also lead to children writing their own pieces of writing at home which we published on our creative space. Many of the children who did these pieces of writing at home were children who did not always find writing the easiest thing, and were sometimes the children who did not enjoy what we might consider ‘normal’ homework.

Blogging also provides reasons for reading and following up reading with quality commenting and questioning. The class loved reading what they had written and through quadblogging love reading what their new found friends around the world were learning about in class. The children’s commenting skills developed rapidly from ‘This is good’ standard, to highlighting what they liked in a piece of writing and asking pertinent questions for the author to answer and develop in their piece of writing. They soon realised that the higher the standard of their comments or questions, the more likely they were to get an answer which interested them. This developed their inferential comprehension considerably.

As well as the literacy skills of the children developing, their thinking skills developed, as they began using some of the higher order skills of Bloom’s Taxonomy – analysing, evaluating their own and others blog posts and then creating their own posts .

The children’s own aspirations were raised as they saw the standard of work their peers were producing around the world were creating and how their own work was enjoyed by people around the world also.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, the children were incredibly motivated by the blogging and quadblogging experience. They were all keen to write and keen to read what had been written, leave increasingly more sophisticated comments. There was a buzz around the classroom and a collective ‘yes’ if we found time to quadblog in class time! It was a great experience for the teachers and children involved and it had a great impact on children’s literacy skills who took part.

Have a look again at the page and if you haven’t signed up yet, do so before it’s too late for this quad.

Finally, a huge thanks to David Mitchell for thinking up and organising such a great project!

Online quiz making program – ProProfs.

I was teaching a lesson on Lent to my class, and was looking for an approach which I thought would motivate the class. I’m a bit of a fan of quizzes and thought the children might like to create their own quiz/comprehension activity based around a non-fiction text about Lent.

I created a text using simple wikipedia and then discussed the idea of making a multiple choice quiz. We also discussed making  all of the answer choices plausible, so as to make the quiz that bit trickier.

Part way through the session I decided that it would be great to type up the quiz onto the class blog page, that idea developed into the more interactive idea of creating an online quiz and then embedding it into the page. A quick search on google led me to the ProProfs site.

Once on there I signed up (for free) and had a quick play with the software. It was very easy to use, so I shared the site with the class on the whiteboard and we set about creating our online quiz.

ProProfs has quite a range of styles for your quizzes as well as a range of endings to the quiz. These include creating a certificate for each entrant in the quiz.

The possibilities seem great. As well as using it with children creating quizzes for the blog, they could create one for their parents, they can embed them easily in a wide range of sites, as well as teachers being able to create them as a fun way to assess children’s learning.

My class certainly enjoyed making the quiz and entering up the questions onto the program and then seeing the results live, on the web, in a matter of minutes.

Have a look at the quiz so far here.

Web 2.0 Week 4/5

It was also a 3-day week in our authority, this being our spring half-term week. Despite this we had a busy time.  I did an update of my class’s blog page with 3 new stories based loosely on some Burns’ poems which an excellent group called Oor Rabbie came in and worked on with my children.  There was also a creepy tale about a bed, based on a story by Anthony Horowitz.

When entering these stories, I learned a new feature -the insert more tag – which I put to use on these stories. It means we can show more headings and postings on the front page of the blog. If you want to read more, you click on the read more link. I think in future I might mention this to my class and allow them to tell me where to put the ‘read on’ break. It will make them think carefully about the shape of their writing and create a ‘suspense’ spot from where the reader has to click to read on.

I also updated the Buddy Bear Blog with  a new adventure from Buddy, who visited Jacob’s house. The class are finding the diary being posted on the blog very motivating and look forward to publishing their entries. I have also added on some pictures now. If you have a look on the page,  a comment would be really appreciated by the class.

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