Encouraging readers to share through blogs

To encourage at-risk readers and their families to use blogs for sharing reader response the first important idea is that the blog has to be user friendly.  If students are not shown how to use the blog and given time and practice in school, then most likely they will not use it.  Parents also need to be informed about how to use the blog.  This could be done through online tutorials or a session in which parents come in and learn first-hand how to use it.  At-risk readers can also be encouraged to use blogs by giving them choice in what they read and respond to and providing books that are of interest to them.  Teachers should start small and model with picture books and work their way up to more challenging texts.  The questions should also be scaffolded so that students don’t give up right away.  Blogging should be a classroom activity, not just something for at-risk students to single them out further.  I believe that the challenging part for at-risk readers is not getting them to blog, but getting them to read.  For that reason, teachers need to tune into students’ passions and interests and encourage, encourage, encourage!!

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2 thoughts on “Encouraging readers to share through blogs

  1. Hi Kimberly,
    I love the idea about parents learning how to blog through tutorials. I have access to a site filled with tutorials called Atomic Learning. I just got excited! =)

    I like your idea of having the teacher start with picture books. I think even if the teacher starts out reading a picture book whole group and then allow a few students to blog. Then share the blogs on a projector (with the students permission), and have students discuss how it’s going, what they like, or examples of how they could respond to each other. I agree about scaffolding the questions for the students. This is not only going to be a new process for the at-risk readers, but everyone in the class.

    Lastly, I think you are right on when you wrote, “the challenging part for at-risk readers is not getting them to blog, but getting them to read.” Hopefully, the blogging aspect of this will help motivate and encourage them to read so they can get on the computer and have meaningful conversations with classmates.

  2. Your implication that blogging needs to be user friendly is dead on. Even though we are now living in a digital age, students and parents cannot just be thrown into blogging without being offered guidance and practice. I know that, even though I am a knowledgeable adult, I become incredible apprehensive when asked to use technology in an effective way when I’ve never used the application or program before. It can be a real turn-off. An idea that my teaching partners and I are trying this year is to create podcasts on how to use different forms of technology to help alleviate these anxieties. Our hope is that, by offering this support, students and teachers may feel less hesitant to be risk-takers with technology in further educational learning endeavors.

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