Creating Student Blogs with Google

All of our Middle School Language Arts teachers had an opportunity to learn about Inquiry by Design and how important reading is at any level.  Teachers participated in a book pass, where every teacher had about 30 seconds to look at a book.  Within those 30 seconds they were asked to take a look at the cover and author then create an emoticon based on their feelings of those two.

Emoticons:  Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.08.51 AM

In addition to a book pass the teachers also did a book interview.  Book interviews are more independent and have less of a time constraint.  Teachers spent about one minute with the book and were asked to record the Title and Author.  They were also asked to rate the reading level for themselves as easy, just right, or too hard.  This assumption was made by using the blurb on the back of the book or the inside cover.

Book blogs also came up in the decision during the two day training.  We are testing out how our Google Apps for Education can play a role in this.  I have helped a 7th grade teacher set up one blog for each of her classes as a Google Site.  Click here to see my example.

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 8.46.46 AM

Here is the screenshot of my home page – as you can see I have some really important people in my class.  I labeled it BETA, because after all this is a trial period.  On my homepage I created some directions of what to do with situations that can come up throughout the year.  Students move periods, new kids come into your class and sometimes – but never on purpose – you may have typed in a students name wrong.

Here are the logistics: every student has their own “announcement page” in this google sites and the pages are listed on the left.  We played around with page-level permissions and it did not fulfill what we wanted.  Kari and I wanted each student to be able to comment on each others posts.  For example, if I set my student Justin Timberlake to “can view” when he goes to Jon Hamm’s page Justin can only view Jon’s posts and he cannot comment.

I can’t wait to see what Kari’s 7th grade students come up with for their Book Blogs!

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