Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bully Free Blogging

Do your kids blog? Mine do. We love Kidblog at our school. I was introduced to it on Twitter. (Shocking, I'm sure.)

Well, Kidblog is free and easy to use, but I'm not here to tell you about Kidblog. I want to talk a little about Bully Free Blogging.

I like to use paper blogging with my students before we start actually blogging. I learned about it from Notes from McTeach, and you can click HERE to read her lesson. It's great, and when I've used it, my blogging experiences have been a bajillion times better.

One of the most powerful steps in McTeach's lesson plan is to ask this question: "Why might some people feel unsafe blogging?" The answer, obviously, is that some people might be mean.

It's true. I've seen it. A student will comment on another person's blog post, "That is stupid." How hurtful to the blogger! And it sends a horrible message - your ideas aren't worth sharing. That makes me so sad! I want all my students to feel as though their thoughts and their ideas have value. And that starts with teaching respect in the classroom - and how to show respect online.

I think a lot of this stems from the fact that students don't really know HOW to comment. I also get a lot of comments that say "LOL" and "That is cool." [cringing on the inside here]

I usually find an article on TweenTribune.com to share with the students. We read it (they're always short) and then we look at the comments. Which comments make sense? Which ones don't? We talk about what makes a good comment, and what kinds of things make for bad or mean comments.

Then I teach my children this mantra:
I tell the kids that some of the best comments are questions and connections. It helps that they (sort of) rhyme. I will also post this sign in my classroom this year.

After we talk about this, we practice making comments that ask questions or make connections.

There is so much ugliness on the Internet (all you have to do is scroll to the comment section on any kind of public forum - news and celebrity sites especially). I feel that, as a teacher in the 21st century, it's part of our jobs to teach students how to be civil and speak intelligently on the Internet.

Share your thoughts in the comments below! (Remember the rules, hehe!)

Download the poster FREE here.

8 comments:

  1. Another "big kid" blog?!
    WooHoo! I'm excited to find (and follow) you!
    I enjoyed reading through some older posts and I put you on my blog roll to keep up.
    Good luck with the new school year...

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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  2. Hi there!
    Thanks so much for the resources! I saw this lesson on Pinterest and want to use it in my room! I love the design and idea of your blog. I'm excited to be your newest follower. I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. You can get more information on how to accept the nomination at my site. Here is the link:
    http://technologyuptospeed.blogspot.com/2013/08/wow-my-blog-has-been-nominated-for.html
    Jaime Speed--5th grade teacher

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  3. Added your mantra to my values list (yeah, as a mature, civilized individual, I think I should have). I usually leave a question to log posts that get my attention, especially for those youngsters, so it wouldn't sound as if I'm starting a debate. That way, they would also see that aside from their point of views, there are other perceptions that they may see rightful as well.

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  4. I love the bullyfree blogging poster! My students already know I love corny mustache jokes. Our parking lot for questions that need to be looked up later is a "I mustache you a question" poster. Your blogging poster will be a perfect fit for 202 since we are blogging on Kidblog all the time. Thanks for sharing, Stacy www.new-in-room-202.blogspot.com)

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