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Passion Blogs

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Mollie Braun

on 6 May 2015

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Transcript of Passion Blogs

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Below is a summary of each method that I used to collect and analyze data.
Large school district
Diverse population
Three sections of each grade level
About 50% Free and Reduced Lunch students
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Examines the creation and implementation of passion blogs
Effect on students' ability to write narratives with quality ideas
Topic is something they are passionate about
Mini lessons with follow up blogging sessions
Lessons are based on developing idea tools
Example - 'Show Not Tell' Lesson
Application through new or old post
Progress shown through blog posts and classroom writing pieces
Growth in Narrative Writing Skills
How does the creation and implementation of student blogs affect the students’ ability to write narratives with quality ideas?
How does the use of blogs affect students’ ability to provide descriptive details in their writing?

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Mollie Walsh
Fourth Grade Teacher
Teaching for five years
Eager to share this study on the effects of blogging on student writing
Mollie Walsh, Michigan State University
Passion Blogs 101: Improving Student Narrative
Writing Through Blogging

Mills (2014) explains the goals of action research are to gain insight,
develop reflective practice, effect positive change, and improve student lives.

Narrative Pre-Assessment and Post-Assessment
Given before and after intervention to all students
Could they apply the blog lessons to writing their classroom narratives?
Assessed seven pieces based on the number of idea tools present in each piece
Compared pre-test to post-test to show growth
Structured Individual Interviews
Short Response Questionnaire
Anecdotal Records
Cyclical process of action-based research
Concrete vs. abstract writing techniques
How blogs and other content areas
Collaborative learning with blogs
Power of action research
Multiple benefits
Fourth grade classroom
26 students
Multicultural community
Collaborative learning environment
Rigor, relevance, and grit
Varying socioeconomic status
Issue with Writing
Interview Questions
Conducted after intervention
One-on-one interview with select students and variety of questions
Transcribed afterward and analyzed with emerging patterns
Given after the interview
Asked whole class to participate
Follow-up method
3 questions that asked students to recall the tools they learned in the lessons and then explain why they are important to learn.
Answers were coded and put into a table
Written before, during and after lessons
Created a chart with students names and notes section
Did not give abundant data
Provided one important theme
Yvonne -
Female, Asian, Vietnamese, Average scores, ELL, and hard-working
Ashley -
Female, African American, Low scores, and quiet
Erin -
Female, Caucasian, High scores, and active participant
Camille -
Female, Caucasian, High scores, and inactive participant
Carter -
Male, African American, Low scores, and distracted
Ricky -
Male, Asian, Vietnamese, Average scores, ELL, and active participant
Camden -
Male, African American, Low scores, and quiet
Schensul et al. (1999) explain that when interviewing you “…should take into consideration any major factors such as ethnicity, class, or age that might have significant bearing on the perspective of the respondent” (p. 125).
1. What do you find most exciting about starting these blogs?
2. What do you like least about these blogs?
3. When we are thinking about narrative writing pieces, we know they have to have quality ideas to produce a well
written narrative. What tools can you recall from our blog lessons that might be helpful in writing quality ideas?
4. How has the process of creating blogs changed how you think about writing? What about changing how you work on
5. Which way do you prefer learning writing lessons, with the blogs or in the classroom, and why?
6. Are there any other ways the blogs have helped you become a better writer?
7. Is there anything else you’d like to add about writing or blogs?

Reflecting on blogging
Study has explained how blogging affects students writing
Continue forth with this intervention
Shows the value in blogging
Descriptive Writing
Demonstrated growth through narratives, interviews, and questionnaires
Increased number of tools applied to their pieces as shown in graph
Improved narrative writing piece
Blog lessons increased interaction and engagement with writing
Focused on the task
Remembered more writing tools
Vital anecdotal notes and helpful interview responses

Blogs helped students make writing more interesting
28% of questionnaire answers and some interviews

Students interested in their passion and blog format
Passion topics are shared with others
Improved writing through investment
Blogs were effective in helping students create more descriptive writing pieces
Repeated idea multiple times in the interviews and questionnaires
Addresses the second research question

Action research; a guide for the teacher researcher, 5th ed. (2013). Reference and Research Book News, 28(2) Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1322463423?accountid=12598

Daniels, A. (2004). Composition instruction: Using technology to motivate students to write. Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual, 2004(1), 157-177. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/62063281?accountid=12598

Derewianka, B. (1998). Exploring how texts work. Newtown: Primary English Teaching Association.

Ellison, N. B., & Wu, Y. (2008). Blogging in the classroom: A preliminary exploration of student attitudes and impact on comprehension. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 17(1), 99-122. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/622122522?accountid=12598

Fletcher, R. (1993). What a writer needs. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.

Hubbard, R. & Power, B. (2003). You are not alone: Finding support for your research. In The art of classroom inquiry : a handbook for teacher-researchers (pp. 168-186). Portsmouth: Heinemann.

McGrail, E., & Davis, A. (2011). The influence of classroom blogging on elementary student writing. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 25(4), 415. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/898532076?accountid=12598

Read, S. (2006). Tapping into students' motivation: Lessons from young adolescents' blogs. Voices from the Middle, 14(2), 38-46. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/62016907?accountid=12598

Ryan, G. W., & Bernard, H. R. (2003). Techniques to identify themes. Field Methods, 15(1), 85-109. doi:10.1177/1525822X02239569

Schensul, S. L., Schensul, J. J., & LeCompte, M. D. (1999). Chapter 6: In-depth open-ended interviewing and/or Chapter 7: Semistructured interviewing.

Wong, R. M. F., & Hew, K. F. (2010). The impact of blogging and scaffolding on primary school pupils’ narrative writing: A case study. International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies, 5(2), 1-17. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/jwltt.2010040101

"...there is also a feeling among teacher-researchers
that we are in at the start of something
big." (Hubbard & Power, p. 182)
"...action is at the very heart of the action research endeavor" (Mills, 2014, p. 182)
Improve student writing abilities
Better education as a whole
* Narratives with Quality Ideas
Purpose: entertain, gain & hold the readers interest
Descriptive Language to create images in readers mind
Craft of Writing
* Importance of Technology and Blogs
Needs met by blogs: existence, relatedness, and growth
Features that students enjoy: topic self-chosen, receive peer response, quick feedback, and design features
* Improving Writing with Blogging
Many studies done with secondary and college level classrooms
Two studies specifically look at elementary blog writing
Studies have shown improved writing test scores
* New Study
Different Context, Different Focus
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