Monday, May 23, 2011

Using Blogs to Teach Writing in the Classroom

The art of writing instruction has never been simple. Teaching a student when to use a comma or the definition of a metaphor is one thing, but facilitating expression through words is a much more complex undertaking. In an interview with Michael F. Shaughnessy, Education Senior Columnist, Jon Schwartz, a teacher at Garrison Elementary School in Oceanside Unified School District, CA, explained why using blogs can be such a powerful tool in teaching his students to write.

One key element to motivating students to express themselves through writing is giving them a topic they care about personally. Schwartz relates a story where a college professor of his gave him a specific book to read for a book report after assessing his personal interests and it made all the difference to Schwartz’s interest in writing the report. In addition to the personal nature of writing assignments making a difference, Schwartz also addresses other elements of using student blogs, such as confidentiality, parent and principal support, and tailoring the entire blog writing experience to the particular grade level teachers are instructing.

Read the full interview here.

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