Blogs provide an excellent form of communication between teachers, students, and parents. They can be used to keep students and parents informed of what is going on inside the classroom. Teachers can post assignments, reminders, permission slips, and instructional tips for students and parents to read on their own time. Parents can get verification on certain aspects of the classroom environment without having to go in for a conference.
Blogs are also a great way for students to interact with one another outside of the classroom walls. Teachers can create a "homework help" forum, where students can post questions to problems. Students can become peer mentors by giving advice to those who may need it. Blogs also provide a way for students to reflect on their questions. Inside the classroom, there can be pressure to say the right thing, in the right way, quickly. When students are blogging, they are given the opportunity to sit back and really think about what it is they would like to say.
Blogs can give students another arena in which to practice their reading and writing skills. A blog is much more informal than most types of classroom writing, so students are provided with the chance to get really creative. Students can use a blog as a book review forum, where they can discuss thoughts and ideas about a story they are reading in class. Or, students can follow their favorite sports team or television show and write their opinion on the most recent game or episode. Students can relate their ideas in a safe, relaxed setting and really write about things that are important to them.
NYS ESL standards addressed when blogging:
Standard 1: English for information and understanding refers to the competencies and knowledge
of English that students must obtain in order to communicate effectively in social and academic settings.
Standard 2: English for literary response, enjoyment, and expression requires that students develop the
contemporary, and includes works representing a variety of cultures.
knowledge and skills in English to read and understand rich literature that ranges from classical to
Standard 4: English for social and classroom interaction outlines strategies, both in and out of school,
that LEP/ELLs must master to communicate effectively in English.