Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Room 42 Reading Blog

Hot diggity dog, we got to start the Room 42 book blog today. I know that there will be some bumps along the way as the kids figure out exactly what the expectations are for this project but I am still excited. I thought I would take a minute to go over some of the intricacies of this project and also invite anyone reading this to follow along. We want EVERYONE to participate. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older brothers, former students, anyone and everyone is welcome to participate.

If you are reading this, you already know what a blog is, it is a type of journal. We will be using it differently for our reading project. Basically what the kids are doing is having a year long discussion about books. Every month the kids will be required to write up a “post” about the book they are reading. They don’t have to have the book finished, they can actually do this as long as they have read at least half of the book. I put the word post in quotes earlier because for our classroom use we are calling them posts. Technically they will be publishing their thoughts under the comments section. (Have I confused you yet?)

In each of the kids “posts” they will be giving a short summary, and a run down of what they liked or didn’t like about the book. This is actually the main part. We want them to support whatever they say with evidence from the book. (Think MAP test). The other part of the project is for the kids to do two “comments” on other kids sections about what they are reading. This is to help spark the discussion about books.

Story time. Last year there was a book on the Mark Twain list called Yankee Girl. It was very definitely a girl book. Flowery looking cover, the whole nine yards. One girl from another class posted about that book. A boy (that liked her) read her blog and decided to read the book. He loved it! He posted about it and pretty soon all of the boys were reading it, and they all enjoyed it. They never would have even thought about reading that book if it hadn’t been for the blog.
Each month the kids will start a new grading period but the blog will continue to grow. We have a map that shows where people have looked at our blog from. At last count we had six of the seven continents and almost 40 countries. Talk about a world wide audience.

Some of you might be asking yourself about safety. That has been thought of as well. Anything that goes on the blog goes through me first. I personally look at everything and either approve or reject it. I hope that after reading this I haven’t confused you. If I have, check out our reading blog at: http://room42readingblog.blogspot.com/ . There are some links on the right side of the page that explain what the blog is all about and there is a Word document that you can download that has all of the directions about how to participate.

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