As part of the Edublogs Teacher Challenge we were asked to share our 5 tips for creating a blog. This is something I have done quite a bit of in my classroom and now I have a good reason to share it.
Generally the discussions we have in our classroom tend to be about class or student blogs but interestingly the aspects of a blog children found important, I believe, transfers to professional blogs.
When teaching children about the comprehension strategy of evaulation, blogging is a brilliant genre. We have used this rubric developed by Clarence Fisher, which has been very helpful. But this year I hope to make our own rubric for our class.
After using this rubric we discussed what we liked about the blogs we looked at. It was quite interesting to see that the kids responses mainly came from the logistic side of the blog, with the navigation being more important than the writing. I guess we wouldn’t pick up a book that was the size of a table as it would be too difficult to read. A blog shouldn’t be any different.
Here are the 5 top responses from the children;
1. Easy to read: The blog should be easy to navigate and read. Pictures are a great way to break up lots of writing and don’t forget to use paragraphs!
2. Links need to open in a new window: When we are working through a blog we like to glance at different links as we go. But there is nothing worse then having to try and find your way back. By simply setting your target (found in the link box) to open in a new window when you set a link it makes it a lot easier! And it allows people to come back to your blog.
3. Ask questions: We like to comment on blogs but this is a lot easier when there are questions to respond to. It is easier to follow a list of questions than to think of writing about them from scratch.
4. Pictures and colours: Over crowded blogs make it really hard to concentrate, especially the blogs with ads on them. They tend to put the ads in the wrong place. It is easier to read if the writing is separated by pictures relating to the text. And make sure you pick a good colour for the text. Not all of them are easy to read!
5. Threaded comments: When you are reading through a list of comments it can be difficult to follow the conversation. That is where threaded comments come in. Thanks to Kathleen Morris who showed us how easy it is to do this (Find it in Plugins).
What are your 5 tips for boosting your blog?
What frustrates you when you read a blog?
Please leave a comment.