What a treat on a friday that leads into a bank holiday weekend! David Mitchell, he of the fantastic results in writing through blogging, spent the day with us down here in Devon sharing the ways in which he used blogging to transform writing in his school.
The bank holiday weekend has given me plenty of time to reflect upon the day, whilst pulling bindweed out of my garden, and to make links with what I know about learning in literacy.
What became really clear to me was how David inspired the children to write. Blogging was the tool that allowed the children to write at home and at school but it was the audience for the writing that really got the children going. David reported that some of his children had written 100,000 words on their blogs and this is not just at school but at home as well – in fact for some children mostly at home! For me this linked with one of my project schools who have been focusing on increasing the amount that children read. The outcome of this is increased levels in reading attainment, improved perceptions of themselves as learners and readers and an improvement in writing. If just reading more can do this, then writing more must have a similar impact. Practise makes perfect!
David showed us what it was to listen to children and to be driven by their needs. This was a theme which flowed throughout the day and shows us that insisting on a specfic way of using the blogs is counterproductive. Each class must find their own way with the blog but audience is critical. An interested audience on twitter can really help here. Who knows where your connections might take you.
I loved the use of QR codes in literacy books to take you to the blog post that the writing had set up and the responses from around the world.
At half past three were all still working on our tools for the blog that we had set up , no one was clock watching adn we had new people on twitter and 40 classrooms with blogs ready for children to use. I look forward to reading posts from children in these classes.
Thank you David. It was fantastic!