We’re taking a different approach to blogging this year. I’ve read so many good ideas via Twitter about “paper blogging” that I thought we’d try something different and start with that. It’s not that I’m new to blogging with students. My class was quite successful last year with their reading blogs. But it was just my homeroom that I taught reading to last year. This year I have 78 students, three different classes, and they’re all excited about blogging. So this week we’ve been working on writing book recommendations. We’ve been taking it slowly, reading examples of both good and not-so good reviews, brainstorming characteristics of good book reviews, completing graphic organizers as part of the prewrite process, and finally moving on to the rough drafts today. It was amazing to watch as the students became completely engaged in writing their recommendations. The students moved through the writing process from rough draft, to peer conferencing, to revising with very few snags. Taking it slowly really paid off!
But the magic started as I began to walk around the classroom and the students eagerly asked me to listen to their writing. The best part of my day was sitting with the students and listening to them read their book recommendations. It was the best of both worlds. We were talking about writing, getting excited about great books, and sharing ideas.