Student Blog Literature Circles-Pin it to Win It!

I have been BURSTING with excitement to share with all of you what we are now doing in room 219! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen a preview of this! Many of you have been requesting more, and after trying it out and finding success in my classroom, I am finally here to share it with you!

Literature circles have ALWAYS been one of my favorite things to do. The students love being given a book and told to take charge of their learning in their group. So how do we make it even more engaging and keep up with the times? We teach our blogging skills to our students!


I decided to take literature circles to the next level by having my students create their own blogs! Let me tell you, it has been a HUGE hit! I have students who haven't consistently done homework all year and spend most class time distracted, who are now engaged, enthusiastic about learning, and producing quality work! It certainly makes a teacher heart happy. <3

You may be asking, why choose technology-centered lit circles? Here's a little note from my product about that:

Are you convinced? Let me share a little more about what we did.

I chose to use Kidblog as our blogging platform. I love that it offers the teacher complete control over what is being posted, has many security features, and is completely private (only students in the class can view, and parents if you give them an access code.) I love that it is easy to use for the students, they get to choose from fun themes, and it puts all of the blogs in your class in a "live blog feed" right on the homepage when they log in. And best of all, it's FREE! :)

After creating a classroom blog, I added each of my students to our class.

Next, I assigned students literature circle groups based on their reading levels, and chose a book for each group. My fourth grade groups are reading the following books:

  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Among the Hidden
  • Hoot
  • Holes
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Loser
  • The One and Only Ivan
  • The Chocolate Touch
My groups have 7-9 students in them (large class sizes) and it works! I would recommend group sizes of 5-8 students.

After assigning their groups, we created our blogs! I spent about 2 days with my students going over how to login and design our blogs. I taught them how to do all of the "fun" things so they would be excited and ready!

Next, we outline our first post, which was an "All About Me Post" and spent time publishing them on our blogs and commenting! By this time they were giddy with excitement over this new adventure.

I then gave each group a month reading calendar for their novels. For my higher group, I had them work as a group to plan out their reading each night. For my other groups, I made the schedule ahead of time. 

Then, it was time to choose blogging jobs. I passed out the descriptions of the 9 jobs, and let students meet with their group and discuss who would be assigned each job. *I chose to let my students take charge of this, with some guidance from me. You could choose to assign the roles if you'd like.

Lastly, we went over the "Weekly Blogging Schedule" and they were off! I gave them outlines for each daily post that they complete during our writing time, and then they have class time to complete publish their blog posts.

I have chosen not to require any blogging as homework, because about 20% of my student population do not have computers at home. This is up to you! You know your students best and can choose what works best for them! 

After the first night we blogged, I came in the next day to find 419 new comments to approve! Remember, that wasn't required homework! I LOVE how motivated they are!

Here are some examples of the AMAZING posts and comments they've done:




I hope you will take this amazing journey with your students, too! 

Since this is my newest product in my TPT store, I'd like to offer a "Pin it to Win it!" Pin any picture from this post, and comment with the link to your pin! At 9pm tonight I will randomly choose 2 winners! :) Ready. Set. Pin!

Our winners are…. Carmen and Dana!! Thank you so much for participating, everyone! Carmen I will be emailing you, Dana please contact me so I can email you, too! :)

This will also be on sale in my store for 48 hours! Click here to download :) 

I am linking this post up with my lovely BBB, Holly, for her Tried it Tuesday linky; since this is definitely a new and FUN thing I've tried!


25 comments

  1. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/316096467568642853/

    cheriemae@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've tried blogging with my kids but never like this! I love it! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/2533343515338054/
    mrsruffin924@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this idea! Reading your post just got me so excited to try this!!

    Bethany
    Fab and Fun in 4th!
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/8725793002675068/

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is wonderful! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/168040629820845190/
    mrsepleasant@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this idea to keep the students engaged... Especially at the end of the year!
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/246361042090272353/
    ericatrobridge@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this post and idea. I teacher 4/5 intervention, and I think this would be a great motivational idea. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/158400111868492665/
    comprehensionconnector@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. OH SO LOVE THIS! WOuld LOVE to win a copy!
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/286541595016389754/

    :) Carmen
    carmen.zeisler@mcpherson.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is def. going in my " I want to try" file! Thanks for sharing.
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/145944844149399702/

    Courtney
    ramonarecommends@gmail.com
    ramonarecommends

    ReplyDelete
  9. This looks awesome! It's such a great way to practice critical thinking and tech skills all at the same time!

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/13159023886060098/

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is such an interesting idea!! I'm looking for more ways to include more group work into my class. The more I think about it, the more I wanna do this next year, Thanks for sharing this idea! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/28006828907532138/
    allisonmeyer099@gmail.com

    Al
    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

    ReplyDelete
  11. What an awesome idea!!!! I have been looking for new and exciting ways to raise engagement and incorporate 21st century skills!!

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/84090718017071088/

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this idea! I've been thinking a lot about how I would incorporate blogging into my classroom, and this seems like a perfect fit!

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/59532026298780063/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love the idea of combining lit circles and blogging! I've tried both separately, but never together!!
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/208010076513994460/

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love this idea!
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/192880796515844689/

    ReplyDelete
  15. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/188588303120927741/

    This is the perfect project to accompany lit. circles!!! I recently discovered Kidblog and set up my classes, but I hadn't figured out THE project. I'd love to do this!

    Angela

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my gosh I love this! We just started new book clubs and I love the idea of adding a blogging component!
    Here is my pinterest link-http://www.pinterest.com/pin/13792342583787731/

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

    ReplyDelete
  17. Would love to use this packet with my students! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/245305510928048657/

    Kim
    khenry22@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! This sounds so awesome. I hope to win and get started. Thanks for the opportunity. =) Here's my pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/319966748498995126/

    tinysmiles34@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is great!

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/242490761160837889/

    kchapman81@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is just what I need for after spring break! I wanted to add Kidblog and literature circles to my end of the year plans! Bingo!! Now, I just need to decide on my book titles. This looks amazing, Amelia!!! XXOO
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am so excited about this project! I am going to spend this term explicitly teaching (or revisiting) the skills I think the students need in order to successfully participate in the activity. I’ll cover questioning, main ideas and use of precise language, summarising and making connections, so we will be well armed to start blogging in term 3. Thanks so much to Amelia for sharing her amazing idea.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just started blogging with my kids earlier this year and they are obsessed with it! I also love literature circles and now that our testing is over this might be the perfect way to motivate them through the rest of the year! I can't wait to try it out! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
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  24. Does this replace face-to-face discussions completely, or is this something you do additionally? Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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