Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to keep them coming back.....

I found this list of helpful ideas on 'The Stenhouse Blog' on how to keep your blog successfully running......

This question presents the real challenge – How do I encourage parents and students to continue contributing to the blog? Here are some strategies that have worked for me:

1. Blog regularly. You’ll lose readers if you only post once every two weeks. Try to set aside a day a week to work on your blog. Parents will visit regularly if you post regularly.

2. Send email updates. Like many teachers, I created an email distribution list at the beginning of the school year. Whenever I want parents to read a particular post, I’ll send out an email with the blog’s link. It’s an easy way for parents to check the blog.

3. Give students a sneak peek. Each week, I show my students what’s new on the blog. Like all kids, they love seeing pictures of themselves! And like all kids, they want their friends and family to see the pictures, too. My students love to go home and ask their parents to view and respond to the blog.

4. Create posts that ask for a response. Present a challenging math problem and ask students and parents to share their thinking. Showcase a student’s writing and ask for feedback. Ask students and parents to post questions about your current unit of study in science or social studies.

5. Make it worthwhile. Parents love to know what’s going on in the classroom – your blog gives them an opportunity to take a “peek” inside. Post lots of pictures and videos of the incredible learning that is taking place. Use your blog to make your classroom “come alive” for your parents.

6. Respond. Make sure you take the time to respond to comments. Blogging is a conversation, so make sure you’re a part of the dialogue.

When parents and students begin reading and contributing to your blog, a conversation begins. Learning is no longer contained within the walls of your classroom; it is now part of the larger world.

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