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									                         HAMMONTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
                             CURRICULUM PROJECT
                      Creating a Student-Centered Classroom
Content Area: Language
Unit Title: Blogging for LAL
Target Course/Grade Level: 5
School: Warren E. Sooy Jr. Elementary

Using the host, students will maintain their own blog by responding to bi-weekly
writing prompts. They will also comment on the blog’s of their peers. During this process, the
students will use appropriate writing techniques and conventions. The classroom teacher is
responsible for posting the writing prompt, and evaluating each student’s work. This process
will be ongoing, from September-June, during Language Arts centers. Group discussions
about topics will be held at each introduction to build background and connect to prior
knowledge. The blog topics, responses, and comments will serve as a digital whole-class
notebook, where each student can contribute according to their own readiness, interests, and
background knowledge.

21st Century Skills: Communication and Collaboration; Creativity and Innovation; Media
Literacy; ICT Literacy

21st Century Themes: Global Awareness; Environmental Literacy
                        STAGE ONE: LEARNING TARGETS
Common Core State Standards/2009 New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards including
Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI):


W.5.1. - Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and
W.5.2. - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and
information clearly.
W.5.3. - Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
W.5.4. - Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.5.6. - With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet,
to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate
sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
W.5.10. - Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and
revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-
specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.


8.1.8.C.1 - Participate in an online learning community with learners from other countries to
understand their perspectives on a global problem or issue, and propose possible solutions.
8.1.8.D.1 - Model appropriate online behaviors related to cyber safety, cyber bullying, cyber
security, and cyber ethics.

21st Century Life and Career Skills

9.1.8.C.1 - Determine an individual’s responsibility for personal actions and contributions to
group activities
9.1.8.C.2 - Demonstrate the use of compromise, consensus, and community building
strategies for carrying out different tasks, assignments, and projects.
9.1.8.D.3 - Use effective communication skills in face-to-face and online interactions with
peers and adults from home and from diverse cultures.

Unit Essential Questions:

1. How does your audience affect you as a writer?

2. What is an example of a “significant” comment?

3. What are the benefits of blogging as opposed to writing in your Writer’s Notebook?

Unit Enduring Understandings:

1. Good writers always keep their audience in mind.

2. Giving our peers “significant” feedback has many benefits: it makes us feel like expert
writers, it allows us to make connections with each other, and it gives the writer confidence.

3. We are more careful when writing for a public audience. Not only are we more mindful of
our conventions, it gives us a chance to tune our “voice” to distinguish us from other writers.

Key Knowledge and Skills students will acquire as a result of this unit:

     Upon completion of each prompt/topic, students will be able to …

1.    Maintain a blog by responding to writing prompts.
2.       Navigate through and customize a blog to reflect their writer’s “voice”.
3.       Give significant feedback by commenting on the blogs of their peers.

                     STAGE TWO: EVIDENCE OF LEARNING
Formative Assessments:

1.       Teacher conferences
2.       Computer checks
3.       Classroom discussions (whole group/small group/partner discussions)

Summative Assessments:

1.       Blogs (Rubric Score)

Student Self-Assessment and Reflection:

     1. Journal
     2. Rubric
                             STAGE THREE: THE LEARNING PLAN
                         Sequence of teaching and learning experiences
Unit Resources:

1.       Classroom computers/Computer lab
3.       Writing Topics
4.       Rubrics
5.       BrainPop series – Digital Citizenship

Instructional Guidelines: Aligning Learning Activities

After creating an account on, each teacher can create accounts for each student
in a class (following the instructions given on the website – each student will be assigned a

       What is blogging?
        This unit will begin with an introduction to the blogging world. The teacher will provide
        examples of blogs for examples of tone and writing style. The goal is for students to
        realize that they will be writing for a “public” audience. It is also the time to discuss
        Internet safety (teachers have control over all privacy settings on
       Set expectations.
        A copy of the blogging rubric (attached) will be posted near the workstation. Students
    should be made well aware (through class discussions/models) of what is expected
    during a two-week period. At the end of two weeks, each student will be given a grade
    on his/her contributions. Students should be reminded of the importance of not
    giving away ANY personal information such as last name, home address, or e-
    mail. This is the appropriate time to watch Brainpop videos dealing with Digital
    Citizenship (Blogs, Online Sources, Online Safety, Information Privacy).
   How do we blog?
    Computer lab should be utilized during the beginning stages for each student to log on
    with their username and password. After the teacher models how to navigate the
    website, students will be given an opportunity to explore key features of the site by
    creating their own profile (First name, interests, favorite school subject, and picture that
    describes them). When everyone has created a profile, the teacher can model how to
    leave a comment, and students can try on his/her own.
   Create the community.
    The classroom teacher will post a topic on his/her blog for the class to see. Before
    students cycle through Language Arts centers for the week, the class will discuss the
    topic posted. Each student will be given an opportunity to respond to the topic on
    his/her own blog using appropriate language and writing conventions during week one
    and comment on their peers’ posts during week two. Comments should be teacher
    driven to start (a connection with a peer, an excellent aspect of writing, specific
    suggestions for improvement). Students can become more independent with comments
    as they are more familiar and comfortable with what is acceptable.
   Maintain the community.
    Formative assessments can help to maintain this virtual community. Teachers can view
    student work and leave comments at anytime through the process. They can also
    conference with students as they respond (as is the practice in Writer’s Workshop).
    Students may be given exit tickets in which they have to give an example of something
    they have discovered through blogging, about themselves or their writing. As students
    become more familiar with the process, they may be asked to set goals for their writing.

     At the end of the two-week cycle, teachers will use the rubric to give each blog a final
     grade. This is to be repeated throughout the school year with communal topics such as
     (but not limited to):
Write about a…
   Family Vacation
   Dream You Had
   Hobby
   Favorite Memory
   Weekend Activity
   Wish
   Favorite Sport
   Pet
Blog Rubric

                    1                 2                  3                      4
                 Beginner          Capable          Accomplished              Expert

               - post has no    - post has        - written in a        - written in an
 Quality of    style or voice   little style or   somewhat              interesting style
  Writing      - gives no       voice             interesting style     and voice
   X2          new              - gives some      and voice             - very informative
               information      new               - some new            or deeply reflective
               on the topic     information       information on        - well organized
               - poorly         on the topic      the topic or
               organized        - poorly          reflective
                                organized         - well organized
               - many words     - several         - few spelling        - all words spelled
               misspelled       spelling          errors                correctly
Presentation   - many           errors            - few grammar         - no grammar
    X2         grammar          - several         errors                errors
               errors           grammar           - some formatting     - formatting makes
               - formatting     errors            to help make the      the post more
               makes post       - formatting      post easier to        interesting and
               difficult to     makes it          read                  easier to read
               follow or read   difficult to
                                follow or
               - no             - one piece       - several pieces of   - multiple pieces of
Multimedia     multimedia       of                multimedia            multimedia
   X1                           multimedia                              - multimedia adds
                                                                        new information or
                                                                        perspective to post
               - no             - one             - 1-2 comments        - more than 2
Community      comments         comment           - comments are        comments
   X1                           - comment         effective             - comments are
                                not effective                           effective

Total: _________/24

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