Last year as part of our LCN (Learning and Change Network) work our senior leadership team visited a group of 10 decile 1 (low income) schools in Auckland who have grouped together to improve learning outcomes for their students. When I first encountered this group it was at an LCN gathering in Dunedin and they showed some of the blogs that their children were making. They were adding comments during and beyond school. The first and most striking thing I noticed was the QUALITY OF THE CHILDREN’S WRITING was very high, when they were posting independently. Of course, I asked what the secret was and the secret was a real audience. The fact that these children publish their work to a world audience and that they are being followed means that they do their very best. Some of the children have thousands of followers from all over the world (see below).
That is why I have given all our children blogs. Bad planning or confusing surface features such as punctuation and spelling make it difficult for the reader to understand what the writer is trying to communicate. If our children believe they are really communicating it is the best incentive I know of to improve the overall standard of their writing. So please encourage your child to use their blog and join me in emphasising that they need to present themselves with finesse.
For an example of one of the Auckland blogs have a look at: http://peslesieliv.blogspot.co.nz/
She has over 33,000 views from all over the world. That keen audience that she has created motivates her to continue to reflect on and share her learning stories which of course improves her learning outcomes.
Let's make it happen for our children. We can start by sharing their blog link with friends and relatives and encouraging them to make learning entries at home.