The Student Blogging Challenge
Here is the link to the project: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/
The student blogging project I found is the Student Blogging Challenge. Teachers and students can participate in this challenge twice a year starting in March and September with each session running for 10 wks. It comes with the options of students and teachers participating together and posting to a class blog, or each student working on their own and posting to their individual blogs. Each week a topic is posted and teachers and students are invited to create their own posts about the topic and also comment on others posts. The challenge also allows teachers the opportunity to alter the topics as needed to make them more relevant to their classroom and students. An example of this is the one week the topic was Community. Teachers and Students were asked to discuss what types of communities they had available in school and outside of school (sports, social media, after-school activities) and then to discuss what community means to them. The posts of the students were seen by, and commented on by thousands of others across the world opening up their eyes to so many different ideas and opinions of others.
As soon as I came across this challenge, a million ideas popped into my head of how I could use this same idea in my classroom. Myself and my students could create our own blogs and then participate in this challenge, or I could create something similar to it and use it to blog with just my students. As we become more familiar and comfortable with blogging, then this could be something that could be expanded to allow others to view and comment on our posts.
Our Language Arts curriculum is broken up into different units. Each unit has a theme and then theme is seen throughout the different stories that are included in the unit. I could start a five week blog (how long each unit runs) centered on the topic of the unit. Then each week I could give the students a question to answer or something to think about based on the theme for the week. This would be such a fun and great way to incorporate the themes and really get my students involved in conversation with one another. Using a blog as a means of communication may help them to be more open or share things that they may not feel comfortable doing in person.