In a recent post on ruthayreswrites, Ruth lists 25 Reasons why people don’t write and 25 things to do about it. Some of the reasons on the first list that jumped out at me are:
- No audience
- No purpose
- No feedback
- Never talk about the writing process
Ruth suggests that in order to become writers, students need to
- 1. Write
- 2. Read
- 3. Talk
Yesterday, I was talking to a 5th grade teacher at my school about reasons to set up a blog for students in her classroom. It occurred to me that a blog is a perfect place for students to do exactly what Ruth suggests – write, read and talk about writing.
Write –Writing on a blog is fun for students and they want to write more. Elementary students are not legally old enough to participate in the online world. Although many do, they are not even supposed to have email accounts until they are 13. Nonetheless, they are eager to have an online presence and we can take advantage of their excitement to increase the amount of writing that they do.
Read – A student can learn to be better writers by reading how another classmate responded to an assignment or prompt given by the teacher. Reading other student’s work helps them to critically think about what to do and what not to do. Additionally, teachers can post mentor texts and discuss why they are effective.
Talk – Because they can respond to other posts, the blog is a means for students to give and receive feedback. They can also ask for help from other students or the teacher. The blog serves as a tool to talk about the writing process. Positive comments made by the teacher about a students work can be seen by all.
My role as the Media Specialist is to set up the blog for the teacher, show students how to use it, and brainstorm with the teacher about ways that it can be used in the classroom.