Opening the Blogger’s Cafe

Last year, within the first six weeks of school, two students drew a  cherished paper from the (since retired) prize box: a certificate entitling them and a friend to lunch with me. Horrible human being that I am, I pushed it off until the middle of June, when I finally told the kids it’d be a good time to eat together.

So as a way to ensure that I don’t treat this year’s students so heinously, and to capitalize on students’ newly discovered love for blogging, I am opening the Blogger’s Cafe on Monday. Four days out of the week, I will give students the opportunity to eat with me and blog.

This is a plan that may be met with disbelief by some, but I am committed to making sure all students have a chance to blog. Since we can’t take whole afternoons as often as we have, and since so few students have computers at home, lunchtime seems like the best time.

I will circulate a sign-up sheet on Fridays on which students choose the day they want to blog in the Cafe and will welcome them and their lunch for about half an hour worth of blogging. In small groups, I will be able to address some of the intricacies of typing (such as how to use the shift key) and some of the finer points of blogging (like how to comment on someone else’s work).

As a byproduct of breaking bread together, I will also foster stronger bonds with the kids. I am all about this.

It may seem strange to give up four lunches a week, but for now, I think it’s a good idea. After all, it will eventually help kids gain independence and improvement in their blogging, which is a yearlong goal for me.

So, kids, come back Monday. The Blogger’s Cafe will be open for business.

10 responses to “Opening the Blogger’s Cafe

  1. Just goes to show you that once we get it in our heads that we want something to work, we make it happen. I LOVE this idea!!!! Now, I need to think about how I could use it with my first graders.

  2. Nice! I hope this doesn’t alienate you from the other staff members though. Have they said anything negative about it?

    • I’m not too worried, and if I find 4 days is too much I’ll drop it down to two times per week. Haven’t really talked about this much with others, but the ones who have commented are excited about the blogging and one wants to do it with her 2nd graders, possibly with the assistance of my students…

  3. Great stuff!
    Here is a good resource from @SueWaters
    You’ll enjoy your lunches, and if it feels like ‘work’, take more time off… if it doesn’t, know that it isn’t just you gaining something, you are doing a fantastic thing for your students too! 🙂

  4. Hi Matt,
    I love this idea! We’re well into our blogs now, but it’s very difficult to have time to meet with each student about the intricacies, shortcuts, and other blogging advice. A Bloggers Cafe could be a great way for me to check in with my students about their posts, replying to comments, linking back to our blog, etc. Plus, they love getting to have lunch with the teacher and I get to talk with them in a smaller setting. It’s a win-win for everyone. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  5. Like this idea…I’ve recently taken on the role of ICT Co-ordinator and am trying to raise the status of Blogging in our school and this sounds like a good route to do just that. A specific time to really get into some effective Blogging with a larger cross section of year groups alongside our Digital Leaders who are also learning to Blog more effectively, now.
    Thank you for sharing this idea and good luck with your Blogger’s Cafe. Really interested in how it’s coming along.

  6. Pingback: Raising the Status of Classroom Blogging « My Learning Journey as an ICT Co-ordinator

  7. Hi Matt, Just wanted to thank you for your inspiration and let you know that our Blogger’s Cafe is ready to roll! I will be introducing it to the chilren on Monday. I’m really looking forward to developing this and I’ve given it lots of limelight and attention around school, so hopefully it will be received well and become a successful addition, culminating in some really successful blogging. So thanks for sharing your brilliant idea, and wishing you luck with your own endeavours, including your own ‘Blogger’s Cafe, hope its going well.

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