Earlier this year I started a class blog with my students. Before that I used to create a monthly newsletter for the class and sent a .pdf version of it to the parents via e-mail. We included what we did in the past month, what we were about to do in the following month and posted picures in the center. This was fun, the parent but took a pretty long time (avg. around 3 hours) at the end of each month… time that I usually didn’t have so I did it late at night at home.
Here’s an example of one of our newsletters:
When we started 3rd grade (I looped with my students from 1-3rd grade) I decided to make a class blog. Since we were starting an iPad project I decided to use Tumblr because it seemed like the best app for blogging straight from the iPad… and it worked great.
I blogged every day, sometimes during class, and we stayed connected to parents every day and informed them as the day went on. I took pictures on my iPad and blogged at the end of the school day (took around 5-10 minutes each day). It was so much better to blog along the way than to wrap everything up at the end of the month.
What happened when we started a class blog was that student engagement went up, they knew I was taking a picture that might go on the blog, they thought about their everyday behaviour and wanted to make the blog that day. We only post things we are proud of so the kids were happy to look at the blogs with their parents when they came home and discuss what they did that day.
“Before the class blog started We’d ask our son how his day was and what he did. His reply was usually :It was fun but I don’t remember what we did.
But since the blog started we were able to ask him specific questions about his day like; Tell us about that new book the class read today? We’d have much better discussions about school, learning and we were much better informed” – Parents of a 3rd grader.
Having a class blog is like having an open house all year long, parents know what is going on, kids love to be on there and it’s also great for you to be able to look back at a specific date and see what you have done.
I encourage you to create your classblog. You won’t regret it and your students and their parents & grandparents will appreciate it.