First Grade Bloggers!: Part 5–Teaching the BIG kids!

Alright….one more time…here are the links to the first four parts of the story.  And this one is probably the biggest and best: this part of the story is about how 20 super smart first grade bloggers taught their FIFTH GRADE BUDDIES about how to blog.  Yup–you heard me right: the little kids taught the BIG KIDS something.  Before I even tell you what happened, I feel like I should start with my some of my kiddos’ words about how it felt.  Wait—maybe that will tell the story better than anything else I could say. 🙂

Evan—“It felt spectacular. I felt good teaching a 5th and I’m only a 1st grader. It was hard. He kept on asking me questions and I wasn’t sure how to answer.”

Peyton—”It made me feel happy. It filled up my bucket to be a good teacher to a 5th grader.”

Lauren—“I felt happy because I got to see my buddy and there were words that were popping up that were funny.” (I think this is about the auto-correct feature on their iPads 🙂 ).

Ella Marie—“It felt awesome. I got to make blogs and I like blogs! I saw something new and I told my buddy about it.”

Sara—“I felt happy because we could make a blog together.”

Charlie—“I felt like I was the most important teacher in the world! I like that my buddies are funny!”

Diego—“I felt so happy because usually big kids but usually little kids were the teachers!” (Doesn’t this one just say it all?!)

Kylie—“I felt good because we got to experience new things that I didn’t know about, then I figured out I did know about it.”

Emily—”It felt good because I felt like a teacher and also it felt good to teach a 5th grader!! Little kids usually get taught by bigger ones.” (Again–what an authentic audience!)

Thomas—“I was really excited because it was my first time writing with a 5th grader. It opened up my grit.”

Amelia—“I felt really happy because I didn’t know how to spell a word, and my LB helped me. It filled up my bucket!”

The assessment we used to tell us we did a SUPER JOB of explaining blogs to our buddies?  Their questions to their teacher as they left our room: “Dr. Grayson, can we have our own blogs, too?”  What more could we ask for??  🙂

First Grade Bloggers!: Part 4–GOING LIVE!

Yep, there were three parts before this one that gave more details of this exciting journey into the blogosphere!  (Part 1  Part 2  Part 3)

After we had done days and days of prerequisite work (including teaching our friends in Rm. 203 about how to comment on blogs and having them join us for a day of practice), we were ready to give it a try (plus, we had to be ready for when we’d teach our 5th grade buddies all we knew about blogging–more on that later!).  Needless to say, the excitement in the room was CRAZY!!

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These pics are from our share session with our neighbors, but they really could show what it looked like as we started our blogs, too.  I mean, I guess there’s no real way to show the process of writing a new blog except maybe to share the blogs with you!  As you read our new Kid Blogs, imagine the big smiles on our faces as we made them!  Being a blogger is SERIOUS BUSINESS when you’re 6!  Check it out! 

Where in the World (Are You)? #wewanttofillupourmap

I have posted a picture much like this for the last several years:

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In the past, it’s been a much bigger map on a different wall (that wall is now our word wall so we had to use a different space), but it serves the same purpose: showing kids all of the connections they’re making on their blogs, Twitter and our class blogs.  It’s an amazing feeling to have people you don’t even know read your words and find them interesting enough to talk about.  And somehow this seems even more important and amazing for younger learners.

So I need your help!  When you read our blog, talk to us on Twitter , or comment on our Kid Blogs, could you please tell us where you’re from so we can add you to our map?  We’re excited to start seeing the connections that can be made!

We’re Connecting with the World. Again. :)

If you’ve been here for a while, then you know about the map that hangs in our classroom.  And then how it changed after some really good suggestions from some really smart 5th graders. If you’re new here, or you haven’t read those past posts, then let me tell you about it.
Blogging is a great activity for so many reasons.  I read blog post from fellow teacher and blogger Pernille Ripp the other day that really summed up everything I wanted to say about the “why” of blogging.  One of the really important benefits, which goes along with Common Core beautifully, is the global connection that blogging brings with it.  Children have the opportunity to reach outside themselves, sometimes to “talk” to people from places they’ve never heard of or don’t know much about.

 

In our classroom, we have this map.  Right now it looks really sad and empty:

But it doesn’t have to stay like that, and that’s where you come in.  On this map, we’re going to keep track of the places from where all of our comments come.   As readers leave comments–and tell us where they live–we’ll put in pins to show us all the places where we’ve made a connection.  We’re hoping to be able to reach as many countries and continents as we can!  So far, we actually have had comments from several places in Missouri, Alabama (thanks Mrs. Clark!), Kentucky (thanks Mr. Browning!), Argentina (courtesy of @gret in Buenos Aires!), Alaska (thanks Ms. Girard), and Australia (from Mr. Mannell, who is a regular visitor to our blog!)!  I’m a little late in getting those in, but partly because I was hoping that after this post, we’d have tons more to add!
So…if you are willing, after you read this blog, or our kid blogs, leave a comment and tell us what you think (and maybe if you’ve already commented, but didn’t tell us your location, come back again)!  Please tell us where in the world you live, so we can add you to our global connections!  We’re excited to see how our knowledge of the world grows as our pins are added and we continue on this journey!  Thanks in advance for your help!  We’re excited to meet you. 🙂

I Told You We Were Blogging, Right? :)

Really they’ve been blogging all year.  Only it’s been on our class blog.  A few short weeks ago now, though, our 5th graders got their own blogs!

There is a long story behind how I started down the road toward kid-blogging, and I posted about it here.  We did much of the same process this time, and it went equally as well with these kiddos as it did the first time around.  Only I have a little bit of  hunch that this year’s class will go even farther with their blogs.  Partly because we started earlier and so they’ll simply have more time, but also just because this class just seems to dig into their work with such eagerness and enthusiasm.  I think they’ve already written more posts on their own at this point.  They really think in terms of what is “blog worthy” as they go through their normal lives.  I love it when I go home and there are posts waiting for me in the inbox that tell the tales of all the great things that happened during the learning day.  And not because I told them to write about them, but because they wanted to write about them!  It’s great.

But I digress…

Here are some pictures of our first days on the blogging journey, which started with creating our paper blogs:

Some kiddos got inspiration by checking out last year’s blogs before they got started on their own.

After we had our blogs created, we learned how to comment.  And got to work practicing on post-its before we went into the “real” world.  I have to say how proud I am with how great they did, remembering to be positive, tell something they liked about the blog post, as well as ending with a question to keep the conversation going.

               

               

               

               

              

              

              

So needless to say, they are totally rocking this blogging thing!  If you haven’t had a chance to check us out, visit our student blogs to see what it looks like live! We would LOVE it if you left us a comment to tell us what you think!

Picture of the Day

It KILLS me that I’ve been gone for so long (my whole family has been sick for what seems like FOREVER, so I’ve been a little out of it), and this is all I can post on this one today.  Don’t worry–I PROMISE I will tell you all about our Read Aloud Timeline, the amazing learning we’ve been doing about the Cahokian and Iroquois Native Americans, the beginning of our blogging journey, changes coming in how we are doing spelling, my thoughts on homework, Math Warm-ups for the week, new “about” pages with the other subjects I’ve missed, and much more–but today I just have a picture.  But hopefully that picture will speak a thousand words about how amazing today was:

We’ve Been Busy!

Wow–these numbers impressed me.  Our kiddos have been busy:

We’ve only been blogging since December!  And ok, there are 25 people writing those posts, but hey–almost 1000 comments!  WOW!  And so I must also thank you, our faithful readers and commenters, because it wouldn’t have happened without you!

Have you been there lately?  You should visit if you haven’t. 🙂