Hey there!  I’m excited to say that I have successful made it through two, EXHAUSTING days back to school after winter break.  I hope you are back and ready to knock out the next five to six months.  Tonight, I want to share about something new that I am doing in my classroom thanks to Aimee at Taking on Second!  We teach in the same building and chat about blogging every now and then….ok, often and probably way too much.  When I heard about KidBlog, I thought it sounded really great but it took me a while to come up with a good way to implement it in my classroom.  Then one day it hit me…..DUH….use the blog rather than notebooks and pencils for Math Journals.  I’ll be honest, I am still in the early stages of implementing this however my kids are enjoying it and so am I.  So naturally, it needed to be blogged about.  Right?
Each day, I post a Math Journal topic that relates directly to the topic that was covered in my student’s math videos.  The above picture was today’s prompt.  We are just beginning a unit on graphing and today’s post involved line plots and frequency tables.  As long as students watch their math video each evening, they will be prepared to respond to the prompt for that particular day.  When I write these journal prompts, I am striving for students to go from “doing” math to “explaining” math.  I want them to provide a list of directions, explain something in their own words, relate one skill or topic to another, or provide examples of real life situations.  
When writing my prompts in a post {which is VERY simple btw….}, I can choose to publish my posts immediately or I can schedule them out in advance by adjusting the dates and times.  I have all of my posts scheduled for 8:00 AM each day so that whenever we have time available, they are posted and ready to go.  This can be easily modified if interruptions or schedule changes occur.  It also helps to keep me on track and able to prep in advance.
From there, students create their own post on their own blog answering the prompt that I have posed.  And let me tell you, they are proud of them and work hard at them.  I have a few rules which they MUST follow just to keep things organized.  I require them to use the same title in their post that I did in mine.  They are also required to copy and paste (or type themselves) the exact prompt from my post.  I want them to do this in order to ensure they can restate the question or prompt as well as answer the ENTIRE prompt not just what they remember from one quick reading.  I am still training my students to get to this point but I don’t want the lack of organization now to cause confusion later as they refer back to these posts.  I don’t want them to be unsure of what topic or skill they were intending to write about.  
When anyone, whether that be someone in a student or teach role logs in, they will see a list of all of the posts submitted.  In the control panel section, you can select whether you want posts to be visible by everyone or only the teacher.  Since I take these for a grade, I currently have this blog set so that only the author and I can see their posts.  I could see this working extremely well where students brain storm ideas, share strategies, and pose questions to one another as well.  
When I read their posts, I can leave them feedback in a quicker and more complete fashion that I could EVER do in a notebook thanks to copy and paste!  Since I am still training my students, I made a copy and paste list of things that I wanted my kids to be sure they were including in their posts.  If a student did restate the question or use complete sentences, I could quickly delete that bullet and move on to the next student.  
There is also the option to set up multiple classes.  Since my grade level is departmentalized, I have two math classes.  I have a blog for each of them and can access both of them through the control panel.  I am still experimenting with different options here but thus far, I am in LOVE!
And last but not least, is the option for students to view only THEIR blog.  Above is a list of my two blog posts for this week.  If this were a student’s blog, they would be able to scroll through and review or reference various posts to help jog their memory or read their own directions for various skills.  I can’t wait to see my students be able to utilize their own materials anytime and anywhere.  
I am using my Math Journals {which are perfect without the use of KidBlog…in my opinion :)} to supply my prompts for KidBlog each day.  By clicking the image above, you can find all of my Math Journals in the skills listed.  By clicking {here}, you can find an older post about my Math Journals which outlines more of what they include and how I use them in an interactive notebook.  I also have a Math Journal Club which gives you access to all of the editions above plus ALL FUTURE UPDATES!  The price continues to grow as I add editions so your best bet is to purchase it sooner rather than later.
I’d love to hear how you use KidBlog (or something similar) in the comments section below!