I have struggled to think of ways to use a blog in my math classroom. In my current teaching practices I stress the importance of self-refection in order to grow as a learner. My students create a reflection log using Google Sheets. They each share this document with me and I am able to see their reflections and comment back to them individually. This is a great method to continue communication with each student. As I researched, it became clear to me that this activity could be greatly enhanced by having each student create a blog. Blogging opens up the door for students to “create original work as a means of personal of group expression” (ISTE, 2015).

High school students are already familiar with online discussions and creating one for my math classroom has the potential to spark engagement among the students. “Forums provide an alternative channel of communication between students and educators” (Tucker, 2014 p. 169). Communication is key for students’ success. Blogging is one method to increase interaction between the educator and each individual student and between peers as well. Utilizing technology that students use in their daily lives “promotes student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning and creative process”( ISTE, 2015). Learning from each other’s mistakes, sharing advice, asking questions and sharing words of encouragement is one way to build relationships and strengthen the supportive environment of the classroom. It also gives students the chance to “collaborate, and publish with peers, experts or others employing a variety of different medias”(ISTE, 2015). Blogs could also be used in my math classroom for students to post real life connections.

In mathematics, students always wondering how the concepts relate to their daily lives, future careers or potential endeavors. Using blogs in order to research how others are using math in their lives gives students the opportunity to take learning into their own hands. With this tool, students would be able to research and reflect on the information they found and share that knowledge with their peers. Each student would then have the opportunity to “pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in the setting of their own educational goals” (ISTE, 2015).

There are many methods in which educators can incorporate blogging into their lessons. Will Richardson stated that, “One of the biggest potentials of Weblogs is the ability to create spaces where students can collaborate with others online” (Richardson, 2010 p. 23). As a mathematics teacher I am still learning the different ways to implement blogging into my classroom activities. What type of activities do you use your blog for?

References:

Richardson, W. (2010). *Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms* (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

(n.d.-a). ISTE standards for students. Retrieved May 9, 2016, from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-students

ISTE. (n.d.-b). Standards for teachers. Retrieved May 9, 2016, from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-teachers

Tucker, S. Y. (2014). Transforming pedagogies: Integrating 21st century skills and Web 2.0 technology. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 166–173. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases

Hello,

I enjoyed your post and agree that blogging in the classroom by students could enrich student learning. I would love to implement student blogging in my classroom. However, in the past I have been informed by administrators that everything the students post in their blogs I would be held responsible for. While I teach digital citizenship in the classroom, I also understand that out of 100 students at least one will probably make a poor choice from time to time. For that reason, I have held off implementing student blogging in my classroom. Until there are more clearly defined rules and procedures developed. While I love the idea, I also love being employed. My recommendation to you is, make sure you speak with your administration before implementing student blogs. It is important that you know what you will be held accountable for.

To answer your question about how I use blogging in the classroom, I invite you to visit my blog and read about my ideas and practices. http://historywithmrj.weebly.com/technology-blog

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Hello!

Thank you for your advice! Very wise words! I am still not comfortable enough with the application to implement it into my classroom however these were different methods I thought I could use blogging in my classroom. I agree completely, I would need to talk to my administrators if and when I decide to try it with my students. Thank you again and I look forward to reading your blog!

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Andrew,

Thank you for pointing out administration approval! I agree, we all have that one student that will bend the rules. I wonder if there is a blogging site that allows teachers to create the student accounts and then approve each blog?

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Brooke, that is a good thought! I have noticed that on my blog I have to approve each post that is written! This would be a great use for students to comment on one blog. Instead of having each student create their own blog to write their reflections, they could use the comments as their reflections on the my initial post! Thanks this gets me thinking about more possibilities!

-Emily

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Excellent idea Emily!!!

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I really love the idea of using blogging for reflecting on math concepts, and I would like to try having my students reflect on their learning after completing a unit.. Currently, I am teaching grade five, and I would be interested in knowing if you have your students follow any math blogs geared towards students? Right now, my students are blogging on Google Sites. So, essentially, they have created their own webiste where they post videos and reflect on their learning. It’s great because I can control who this site is shared with, and I also can access the content that they’ve written. I would also love to hear more about how you use Google Sheets.

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I am not currently using blogs in my classroom and would like to become more comfortable with this resource before I introduce it to my students. My Google Sheets reflection log requires each individual students to create a Google excel sheet that has specific columns including “concepts that I am confident in and could explain to a friend” and “ concepts I struggled with and need to develop further”. At the beginning of the year each student shares his or her document with me. After each assessment, students reflect on the concepts they exceled in and concepts that they need to cultivate further. I am able to view each entry from each student and give individualized feedback. This allows me to gain information on which concepts are giving students a difficult time and can help direct my future instruction. I have found this activity to be a success method to force students to summarize their learning using mathematical language. I firmly believe that reflection is a key part in the learning process and would like to install this belief in my students to help them in their future academic endeavors.

-Emily

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Emily,

Thank you for sharing your ideas in regards to integrating blogging in your math classroom. I am also a math teacher, and feel like many times the literary components that we are suppose to be integrating into our curriculum are hard to do because most of our writing is in symbols and numbers. Blogging as a reflection is definitely a great way to get students writing about what they are learning and writing for math! Students need to be talking, writing and interacting about mathematics. By providing the students with a platform to share ideas and collaborate, they will start to see the real world connections. I know in my classroom when the students have discovered something cool or funny, it is only a matter of minutes or even seconds that all of their friends know about it via social media. If students are actively doing this on a daily basis in our class, it will not be long before they are sharing and embracing the mathematics you and I love to teach!

John

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Emily,

I like the idea of transferring the student’s reflections into a blog. That way you can comment and they can comment. You stated, “blogging is one method to increase interaction between the educator and each individual student and also between peers as well.” I think you could also add parents to that statement. You mentioned that blogging would allow the students to connect math to the real world. If parents have access to the blogs, they could provide examples of how they used the strategy being reflected upon in their daily life.

When my student’s blog, they are usually responding to something read in class. However, this year, I did a cross curricular unit with Social Studies. With that unit, they responded to writing prompts. They also responded to other students’ posts.

Thank you for your post,

Geneva

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Hello Geneva,

Thank you for your insight! Adding parents to the discussion has the potential to open up new opportunities for the students. Parents would be able to post how they use math in real life and even comment on different aspects of the blog. This is a great idea and gets me thinking about other possibilities! Thank you!

-Emily

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Geneva,

Thank you for pointing out parent involvement. I had not thought about parents being able to communicate with their own child until I read your comment. I had only thought about it opening a communication line between myself and the parent.

-Brooke

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Emily,

I enjoyed your post for I also teach math and have struggled with how to incorporate blogging. I like your idea of reflecting on math content and relating it to real world situations. I had also thought about having students create math word problems and have their classmates reply with the answer and an explanation. This would allow me to see if they can apply the content to real world situations and even solve real world problems.

You used a quote from S. Tucker,“Forums provide an alternative channel of communication between students and educators”. This really stood out to me because I need more ways for my students to communicate with me. Students in our classes today feel comfortable communicating in a digital format. I need to meet their needs by providing them a digital forum.

As far as reflecting in mathematics class, what if we provided some guiding questions, and a rubric? The questions and rubric help me tremendously when I am preparing for a discussion or assignment. —Brooke

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