Writing to Learn: Blogging about Language Arts and Social Studies in a Grade 5 Classroom

Writing to Learn: Blogging about Language Arts and Social Studies in a Grade 5 Classroom

Ewa McGrail (Georgia State University, USA) and J. Patrick McGrail (Jacksonville State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5982-7.ch002
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Research has shown that writing to learn can support discipline-specific learning and thought development. Traditional writing strategies such as essays and journaling have been found to have a positive impact on recall of information, concept analysis and application. However, interaction with readers is not immediate with these methods. An environment where writers can immediately adapt to their readers' feedback and become conversation partners for one another is the blogosphere. The purpose of this chapter is to describe how fifth-grade writers engaged in blog conversations with an audience beyond the classroom walls about their learning in language arts (LA) and social studies (SS) classes. The chapter also analyzes the ways in which feedback from the audience facilitated the fledgling writers' “learning to write and writing to learn.”
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Blogging In The La And Social Studies Classrooms

Abundant practitioner literature has been published endorsing blog use in the classroom and offering strategies and resources for differing content area teachers. Two recent examples of such resources for teachers are these books: Making Connections with Blogging: Authentic Learning for Today’s Classrooms (Parisi & Crosby, 2012) and Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful WebWeb Tools for Classrooms (Richardson, 2010). While Parisi and Crosby’s book (2012) focuses primarily on blogging for content area learning, Richardson’s (2010) text covers a broad range of technology applications, with WebWeblogs being only one of them. Both books provide sample teacher assignments and resources, in addition to classroom ideas. We were interested, however, in reviewing literature more closely relevant to LA and SS classrooms.

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