Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cross-Cultural Blogging

We are on a journey.  We are crossing the great Pacific Ocean to make new friends and learn about another culture.  We are going to examine our preconceived notions about Australian everyday life and help our new friends understand us.  Our Southern California students are also going to provide  insights about local food, school life, and after school activities. And we're doing it all from our classroom in San Diego.
Thanks to the expertise of Dale Mills from Berwick Fields Primary School in Australia, our classroom blog has recently launched and is ready to sail.  As a class, we decided on our first discussion topics, and the students have paired up in writing teams.  We decided to focus on daily life, but within this category, the students are focusing on subtopics and narrowing their focus. Some of the students are eager to dispel the myth that all Americans eat junk food, while acknowledging that too many of us do make poor eating choices. Other students want to give a school tour and send pictures of our learning lab garden.  Still others are eager to show how they spend their time after the last school bell has rung.  They're eager to write because they know that someone will be reading their writing and responding.
Today we will review blogging safety rules and maybe add to the list.  The students will visit Microsoft's blogging safety tips site at  Because we want the students to practice good digital citizenship, we'll look at
After reviewing these sites, the students will look for good examples of student blogging.  We'll use it as mentor text to help us examine the craft of blogging.  Just as we look at professional texts for craft, I will invite the students to notice examples of good digital text.  We'll share our observations in classroom discussions, and we'll begin to organize our thoughts by creating prewriting webs.
Tomorrow we'll continue our international adventure.  No passports required.

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