Readers & Writers

[Live Blogged]

I’m at a learning conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  Robin Martin is sharing some of his experiences with classroom blogging.  He uses  He writes the blog assignments and students respond with comments.

One project involves a friend of Robin, a writer in Japan, has shared some of his short stories.  The students read the stories and then share their impressions and critiques via the blog’s comments.

One of the stories was not popular with the students.  The writer had create some tension in the story by withhold information.  The kids hated it.  Final, one of the students, on his own, wrote a prequel to the story and Martin shared that with the author and engaged in more conversation, via the blog.

6 thoughts on “Readers & Writers”

  1. David, I’ve been looking for a way to involve my students in reading and writing exercises using a blog. I think this is a fantastic idea. By responding with opinion about the work, students would be engaged in a real connection with the writing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is a fear shared by some that I have encouraged to use blogs in their classrooms: what if someone’s “story” is unpopular!?! As in the case you share, one should use it as a teaching moment. It would be critical to ensure a safe learning environment in this situation and that is the tricky part of collaboration. I believe it is another skill we as educators must develop as we use blogging as a teaching tool.

    Also David, I have tagged you: but I realize this may have happened many times to you already! I can’t remember seeing 8 random things about you, and it would be fun to read them if you have time or are so inlclined, if not I completely understand. Thank you always for your wonderful insight and for teaching me more than you will ever know!

  3. Neil,

    One interesting part of Robin’s story was that when the author was asked how the character died, which is what seemed to be what they hated about the story, the author refused to tell them, saying, “You see what this story did. You hated it, but you’re talking about it, and you’re speculating, and you want more.”

    I have been tagged and I will share eight random things about me when I’m sitting still long enough. September looks good.

  4. Thanks for the interest in my session and the positive feedback. The project as a whole was a far bigger success than I had ever anticipated – the quality of student responses still boggles my mind when I re-visit the posts and I am reminded of what students are truly capable of when they invest themselves in their learning. I am looking forward to beginning new adventures with them in September and invite you all (y’all) to check in and come along with us!
    Kind regards,
    Robin Martin
    (I’m working on a new blogmeister site for this year and will keep y’all posted)

  5. Dave,

    Another way to set up this kind of project is by using a an internet forum format. Not that blogs aren’t effective, but it seems to me that taking the time to set up a forum would be worth it because you could make the membership limited to students and avoid anonymous posts. As the year progress, you could start new topics on new text read in class. I have used forum format in my class and it works fairly well.
    That was my 2 cents on this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *