Posts Tagged ‘classroom blogging’

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts



What is voice in digital writing? We know it when we see it, but it’s difficult to define. In one sense, everyone has a voice, right? So shouldn’t every piece of writing have a voice?

However, we’ve all read things that touch us in a certain way. We feel like the writer is speaking right into our ears. The writer is with us all along the way.

Yesterday I had the privilege to see many wonderful authors at the Mississippi Book Festival in my home town of Jackson, MS. I’ll write more about this great day later this week. Kate DiCamillo told me (yes, me because I got up the courage to ask her a question.) that the voice of the narrator in The Tale of Despereaux carried her through the writing of the novel, and this voice carries the reader through as well.

Voice is elusive and difficult to teach. Actually, I don’t think voice can be taught. Voice needs to be discovered. My students discover voice by writing a Slice of Life every week. By writing about something personal, their personalities appear on the page. They post their Slices on our class blog at Kidblog. (Click here if you would like to follow our blog.)

This week we only had a few days together because of the extensive rain and flooding in our area. When we met on Wednesday, my kiddos were full of stories about the flooding. Jacob’s house was flooded, and he was excited that he could write about it. He wrote three and a half pages in his notebook. Others went directly to the blog to write.

Lynzee’s voice comes through in her poem.

Fearsome Flood

Half the yard gone,
Bayou is swollen,
Stranded in the house,
Some in shelters,
People afraid
Of the
Fearsome flood

And Tobie is, well, always Tobie on the page.

When my sister and I were getting dressed, we turned on the news as always, but this time, there were no commercials, no GMA, only local news. We watched a bit, getting dressed, when all of a sudden, it smacked us right in the face. We dropped dead, got buried, and stayed there until we rose as zombies. Okay, maybe I exaggerated, but we were pretty shocked. By the fact that… “Iberia Parish schools are closed,” said Dave Baker. I asked my mom what that meant, but on the inside, I knew. NO SCHOOL!! But that is bad because, well, it must be pretty bad to cancel school. For like, 4 days.

Digital writing makes an unique voice more possible. Daily blogging allows students to discover their own voices and to share that voice with others. My students are having conversations with each other. I am not the only one they are writing for. An authentic audience offers my writers a reason to write and a pathway for discovery.

Please join the conversation by posting a link to your unique voice, your own blog. Tweet at #DigiLitSunday. Google+ community here.

Twitter Chat with Katherine BomerSunday AUg. 28, 20166-00 CST (1) copy

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A new button for the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge!

A new button for the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge!

Believe it or not, March is almost here. Today, I announced in my classroom, “Guess what? It’s almost March. Slice of Life time!” Over the next two weeks we will talk about it a little each day. What is a Slice of Life story? What are some things you could write about? We have been blogging all year long, but the SOLC steps it up a notch. Rather than expecting at least one post per week, I will challenge my students to write every day and post at least 3 times a week.

Linda Baie and I are sharing the responsibility for supporting the classroom challenge. I will be available to answer questions for teachers whose last name begins with N-Z. If you have questions now, just write a comment. At other times, you can email me at margaretsmn at gmail dot com.

There are two documents that I want to share with you. First, I created a parent letter. I will copy and paste the body of the letter here. Of course, you will want to personalize it for your own use.

February 18, 2014
Dear Parents,
In March, my gifted students will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. This challenge is lead by the Two Writing Teachers at http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com.
My students will be asked to write every day in March. This writing should be a “slice” of life. We will discuss ideas and have time for writing every day in class. The students will be graded by a rubric requiring at least 3 posts each week and comments on at least two classmates’ writing. If they write for the full month, I will provide prizes. If a student writes 16 or more slices, he or she will get a prize.

The students have been using kidblog.org all year long. This is a familiar format to them. I have set up a kidblog specifically for the Slice of Life Challenge, http://kidblog.org/SliceofLifeChallenge.

This is a public blog; however, I will get an email for every comment and post and will have to approve it before it is posted. I will only allow the students to use their first names, and we will not post any pictures of them. You and family members will be able to access the blog and write comments. Also, I will be posting to the Two Writing Teachers blog so that other teachers and their students can read and comment. This can be a wonderful experience for the students. They will develop good writing skills as they work to make their slices interesting to other readers.
I am asking parents to support this project in the following ways:
• Read your child’s posts and make positive, encouraging comments.
• Allow your child to use the internet to post if they have not been able to at school or on weekends.
• Give permission for your child to post on a public blog.
Please sign the permission form below and return to school.
Margaret Simon

My child, _____________________________, has permission to write posts to the public kidblog, Slice of Life Challenge. I understand that only his/her first name will be used and his/her picture will not be posted.

The second document is a chart the students use to track their slices. Because we will have a Mardi Gras break in the month, I will reduce the number of days required for a prize. You can decide for yourself how many entries are needed to get a prize.
Slice of Life Challenge chart (1) copy

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