Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Welcome to My Blog!

Hello! My fifth grade students and I are writing a Multigenre Research Paper. I've chosen golf as my topic because I want to learn more about the game in order to become a better golfer. I've selected to write a blog to fulfill the required informational genre because I believe it's a great way for me and my readers to learn about golf; plus, it's a great way for my students to learn the value of gaining information from blogging.

I think my posts will mostly be dedicated towards the etiquette and rules of golf; however, that may change depending on what and how I learn, as well as the comments I receive.

In addition to writing about golf, I am going to reflect on the Multigenre Research Paper/Project itself, as well as blogging in general. I have tons of questions, for instance, typically I teach my students to go through the writing process....pre-write, draft, revise, edit, and publish with each piece of writing. So currently, we would each be pre-writing and drafting a piece of nonfiction information, we'd revise for a couple of weeks, and finally we would edit and publish it. (This process fits inside my typical black and white comfort zone...I'm working on becoming gray!) As I write this blog, I too, am still going through the writing process; however, I'm doing it with each post, rather than working on a whole piece of nonfiction informational writing and turning it in on June 20th. It also makes creating and maintaining a timeline for the project more difficult for my students...well, some co-workers will definitely have a more difficult time with this. I can deal with that.

This project is due on June 20th. (I like to keep my students working until the end of the year- it cuts down on crazy behavior.) Ultimately, I'd like them to be life long learners, and continue to work on their blogs,and other genres, beyond June 20th; but, that's an entirely different philosophical discussion. Or is it?

Finally, I feel like this post does not have a "narrow main idea." I'm talking about golf, blogging, educational philosophy and reform. Is this okay? Should I have two (or three) separate blogs? Or, do I separate them into separate posts within the same blog? Typically, each piece of writing "should" be written with a narrow main idea or "watermelon seed" idea and that is what I've engrained in my students for EIGHT years! What have I done; or, what am I doing?

As a result of my thinking while writing this blog, I guess my biggest question is, what really constitutes a piece of writing when it comes to bloggging? Does it matter?


  1. Alright now we're talking my friend. I love the title of your blog. I think there are so many similarities you can explore between the game of golf and teaching. (Each could be its own post.) I wouldn't worry about seed stories vs watermelons. I do tend to like having different blogs for different purposes. The one for my students' parents is more of a communication tool without reflection. My personal blog is where I reflect and where I love getting feedback. I haven't done this yet but am thinking of creating a third blog for my students to read. (If you didn't know, in Edmodo you can subscribe your students to your blog.) Don't forget to include a picture with your posts. I think that adds a lot. Writing about stuff you're passionate about is what constitutes a piece of writing in the blogging world for me. I can't wait to see where you go with this!

  2. Welcome to the blogosphere! :) I also recently started blogging about my teaching. I use it as a way to reflect upon my practices.

    Blogging can be completely different from traditional writing. You are able to break the rules and write a free way. Sometimes I have only one word or one sentence as a paragraph - that would never fly in formal classroom paper-and-pencil writing! But that's the beauty of blogging: you get to write in the way that feels right for that post.

    Best of luck to you! I'm looking forward to seeing how your project unfolds. :)

  3. Hey! So cool...should I say YOU are so cool. Read your blog and really appreciate your vulnerability putting your thinking out there like that. I can see the "gray" in the horizon! Ha!

    Seriously, though, I know you are showing your students the depth of thinking they are all capable of...

    Don't get too boggled down with what's right or wrong - just keep modeling your thinking.

    Merging your blog seeds or small ideas just shows how the world is connected. But, I do wonder if your students will get a little confused trying to figure out your purpose if the teaching aspect is intertwined with the golf. The thoughts and rhetorical questions about teaching may be above their level. Creating a blog on golf only and revising and editing as you go might be a better scaffold for them. Then, again, I am not a blogger - so maybe not the best person to give advice!!!!!!


  4. Thanks, Steve. You have helped me every step of the way and I'm so excited that I finally have my own personal blog. The informational blog for my students' parents was a good way for me to learn the logistics of a blog and now I can focus more on the content.

    I had no idea that I could subscribe my students to my blog through Edmodo. (The entire fifth grade now uses Edmodo and we sing your praises all of the time!)

    Thank you, Aimee, for your suggestions. After reading your comment, I have more confidence to just write and forget all (well, most) of the traditional rules.

    Amy- I am so lucky to work with you everyday. Our school is such a better place because of you.

    I totally get that I'm most likely confusing my students while merging the two topics...I'm confusing myself! I did it because it was easier for me to start my own personal blog if I had a project in school for which I could model my thinking and writing. I think I'm going to create separate posts within my blog...and hope that works. Perhaps when this project is done I'll change it all... thank you for your continued support!