Bellevue Public Schools, Bellevue NE

October 24, 2014 Volume 6

Blogging Buddies to Improve Student Writing

We love seeing our students publishing their writing to the world on or Teachers feel accomplished when their kids are excited about writing. What’s more motivating than having new and interesting people read what you have written?

What if we used student blogging as a revision tool instead of just a publishing tool?

Teaching students the power of revision can make a good writer great. What if you did a few writing lessons where the goal was to publish three times for one piece instead of publish and move on? What would that look like in a classroom?

I think it would look like a version of Austin’s Butterfly, except in writing. Imagine it… Partner your class up with another class to form blogging buddies between classes for a few weeks. Set publishing dates loosely so students know when to look for their partner’s posts. Next, teach your students how to leave positive and constructive comments. You could focus your writing mini lessons around traits of writing so that students are looking for those elements as they read their partner’s posts. Teach your students to always leave 2 positive remarks about the post and then add one helpful critique.

Take your student blogging to the next level. Blogging shouldn’t always be quick and easy for students. It should allow students the opportunity to spend time improving their writing, by focusing on conventions, voice, art, emotion, and purpose. Our pacing guides can be overwhelmingly fast. Slow down a little and give your students the opportunity to connect with other students to improve their own writing.

Connected Educators Connecting This Month

This month we've been busy connecting with a variety of Bellevue teachers over Google Hangouts, Twitter Chats, Blogging Buddies, and Google + online communities. Almost every BPS Online Class has participated in either a Google Hangout or a Twitter chat. Our students have also posted information to our Google + community. It's great seeing our teachers building, experiencing, and participating their very own PLN, personal learning network.

In lieu of Connected Educator's Month check out these helpful resources so you can begin the journey of being a connected educator!

Connected Cafe

Five Keys to Building a Culture of Active Learning

Starter Kit

Top Tweets for #TT4T

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Top Tech Tips - Google Classroom Updates

Google Classroom just rolled out several great updates including: alphabetizing students by last name, controlling the share settings in the stream, marking assignments as done, adding students from groups, and more. These improvements are just what classroom needed. Check out this video tutorial from the #tt4t team to learn all about it!

Did you know you can now edit tables in Google Docs on the iPad? Click HERE to read an informative blog post about Google Drive and Docs apps on the iPad where you can read more and watch a few screencasts too!

Google Classroom Updates

Featured Applications

Are you looking for a simple place to make graphic designs? You will want to check out Canva at Let your creativity run wild as you create designs for any type of event. Now available as an app for your iPad too!
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Meet the #tt4t Technology Team

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District Technology Trainers

Jeanette Carlson

Twitter: @mrsjcarlson

Ann Feldmann

Twitter: @annfeldmann1

Jennifer Krzystowczy

Twitter: @jennykbps

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