Presenters: Monica Edinger, 4th Grade Chair
Jennifer Kirsch, Associate Teacher
Ellen Nickles, Technology Coordinator
School: The Dalton School

Description: A fourth grade teacher and technology specialist have collaborated for the past three years to introduce and support students with individual blogs. In this presentation we will share our journey including a carefully constructed curriculum and the steps used to implement it. We use the blogs for language arts, social studies, and a myriad of other activities. Every year our use of the blogs; for instance, this year an associate teacher has been using them to teach various expository writing techniques and we hope that she will join us in this presentation. To see the class blog, go to There is a page with links to all the students blogs for these past three years (most of this year's students have public blogs as of this writing).

2007-2008 Edinger House Student Blog Timeline


Students start journal writing.
Teacher uses the class blog regularly to post assignments, resources, and student podcasts.

Regular meetings between teacher and technology coordinator to prepare and plan.
Student blogs are built and tested (checklist).



Teacher Post
Week 1

Introduce student blogs,
blogs are private

Students respond to student blogs from previous year

Your Very First Blog Post!
Week 2

Oral history immigration project

Your Second Post
Week 3

Add Images

Historical fiction book post

(Students add images to their posts from the previous week)

Your Historical Fiction Book Post
Week 4

Learn to Comment

Commenting on Historical Fiction

Week 5

Link to other sites

Blogs made public to world

Middle School Play

Your Next Post: The Tempest

Great Posting and Commenting!
Week 6

Personalize: decorate blog banners and add taglines

Learn to scan
blog banners (2 Labs)

Partnered with 3rd grade buddies to write about a New Orleans school

Response to historical fiction reading

A Visit to the “Old Country”

Margru Post
Week 7

Students write poems and create collages, which they scan and post

Amistad Poetry: Part I
Amistad Poetry: Part II
Week 8


Categorize posts

Students given the option to write reviews


Week 9

Upload audio files recorded by teacher with iPod


Students write short posts to introduce their recordings

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! post

Our Podcast of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!
Week 10

Record themselves in FirstClass

Student post their Cinderella stories along with a recording of their favorite passage

Today’s Post: Your Cinderella Stories

Week 11

Discuss and show examples of a post series

Students write their first post in a new series, “All About Alice,” in which they document their learning and project progress

Forced Immigration

Alice Project
All About Alice: What We Did First
Week 12

Second Alice post

Mourt's Relation

All About Alice: What We Did Next

Mourt's Relation
Week 13

Third Alice post

All About Alice
Week 14

Students write about a recent field trip to Plimouth Plantation.
Some write letters from the point of view of a fictional character they created for another Language Arts assignment.

Pilgrim Life in Plimoth: Letters Home
Week 15

Fourth Alice post


Week 16
Week 17


Students work on Alice comics in school and may write book reviews on their blogs during Lab or at home

Week 18

Review audio recording and uploading to blog

Week 19

Fifth and final Alice post

Students are interviewed by their third grade buddies. They record the interview in FirstClass and post them on their blogs.
(Introduction to the interview)

Final Alice Post
Alice Comic

About-to-Be Immigrants Interview New Citizens of Big Dalton

Week 20

The Wizard of Oz Post

The Wizard of Oz Post
Week 21

Your Final Blog Post of the Year

Your Final Blog Post of the Year
Week 22

Blogs closed to students, read only access