Saturday, April 4, 2009

Class Blogs are Great!

I absolutely love my children's class blogs. They are more current than newsletters, and give me bitesized views into the world my kids occupy every day. I'd like to share with you all what the ambient awareness blogs provide facilitated this week on our spring break.

We went skiing in Fernie (southern BC) for 3 days and on the drive in I noticed a sign for Lost Lemon Campground on the way through Blairmore. Now because my son's teacher maintains a blog I knew that they had just had a Science Alberta Kit that centered around the legend of the Lost Lemon Mine. While we didn't find the mine (it's not called lost for no reason) -- we stopped and took a picture by the campground sign -- knowing we were near where that Lost Mine was thought to be. I was able to show my son what he does in school is important to me. Without the information from the Blog -- we may have drove right on by.

Our stop at Frank Slide was inevitable but because of the information my daughter's Grade 3 teacher provides us (via her blog) we understood how important it was for her to explore exactly what kind of rock was implicated in the slide (Rocks and minerals is a major unit in Grade 3 science.) As we passed over various bridges she provided an explanation of the type of bridge and the reasons it was constructed that way. Without an idea of what was happening in the classroom those moments would have passed without comment.

As parents we can have a huge impact on how our children view school simply by showing that what they do within those walls is important to us. Having access to class blogs allows us to find ways to show we are interested in things beyond the grades on their report cards. We can explore their thoughts, ideas, and interpretations of the material they are covering in a million little everyday ways. Web 2.0 tools such as blogs make this easier than ever. If your child's class has a blog I encourage you to read it regularly and if they don't have one yet -- advocate for it. They are worth their weight in gold!