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It is hard to believe that what was a germ of an idea just over a year ago is now a fully fledged website that has just celebrated its first birthday, but it is. The Bloggers’ Cafe has turned one.

When I wrote these words a year ago little did I realise that a year later The Bloggers’ Cafe would have students from 83 different countries connecting with bloggers from 38 different schools on a regular basis. While I take credit for the idea in the first place it is a very special teacher @pruthomas who has really helped the cafe become a reality.

My plan is this. I will allow my students to come into my classroom (now Pru’s classroom) one lunchtime, to eat and blog. The catch? That as part of this extra blogging time they have to complete a small challenge. These challenges will be designed to firstly be simple to complete and secondly to encourage my students to network and connect with other students from around the world.

I strongly believe that it is through reading and writing in an authentic context that people learn. I have learned so much from  the blogs I read so why shouldn’t my students do the same? Surely if they read and comment on other student’s blogs they will learn about other schools, other cultures and others lives? I am hoping that reading what someone their own age has written, they will be interested to read more and motivated to comment.

That The Bloggers’ Cafe is needed is still to my mind, a reality in the life of young student bloggers. All to often my class blog receives comments that are only a single sentence long and often poorly spelled. Reinforcing to our students the need for quality written comments that are at least three to four sentences long and with correct spelling, grammar and punctuation is a focus of blogging lessons in Year 5. Asking them to partake in reading, commenting and connecting with other students from around the world is, I believe, an authentic literacy practice with a place in any primary classroom.

Do you teach your young students to read, write and connect through blogging?

If so why not join mine at The Bloggers’ Cafe?

Give them an audience and let us teach them to comment with clarity, creativity and expression.

Thanks too for the support of Sue and the team at edublogs.  They support The Bloggers’ Cafe as a pro-blog for free.

Photo by hfb at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hfb/2052055803/ used under Creative Commons

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