Cafe is Open

Posted: October 31, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

So, I’ve been thinking about how much 5th graders will buy what you are selling, in a good way.

As I mentioned here I have finally set up a blog for each student using edublogs. (I continue to battle with edublogs regularly, but that’s not the point of this post.) Last year The Nerdy Teacher was posting and tweeting a lot about his ideas to set up a blogger’s cafe in his new classroom. He had some great space, was scoping out chairs at Ikea and netbooks. It sounded pretty nice. (Here’s his October update post.)

I have recently changed my room around for the purpose of having a more flexible seating arrangement so I’m not looking to unflex it right now with a dedicated area. Plus, my room is not big enough to set a side that much space. However, I liked the idea. So, in the words of Tim Gunn and Project Runway, I had to “make it work.”

Well, lucky for me, 5th graders are easy targets. My major redecorating consisted of three things:

  • dragging a few tables and nicer chairs (I scavenged them this summer from an admissions office getting a redo) into a corner of the room near some outlets
  • put out some computers on the table, screens up
  • put a sign on the board announcing that the cafe was open

It was definitely an “if you build it they will come” moment. The first students to arrive saw the cafe and went right over. They didn’t have to; it was before school started. By the time school was actually supposed to start the cafe had spilled out into the rest of the room. I had to change the morning plan.

The next morning, I did not put the sign on the board. The first students came in and said, “The cafe isn’t open?” Well, I may be a lot of things, but I like to think I’m not an idiot, at least all the time. So the day after, the cafe was open again as was artifact reconstruting (we are studying archaeology at the moment).

“The cafe is open, yes!”

“Hey guys, the cafe is open.”

“I love the blogger’s cafe!”

Once again, an hour later, I finally had to say we needed to close the cafe. But for an hour, students were writing, reading posts of other students, and commenting. One student even did some online investigating for a post. Now, we still have work to do on writing quality and/or interesting posts. But, I for one can definitely put up a sign with some loopy designs if that is what my students want.

Anyone else blogging with students?

  1. Tamara Cox says:

    Grat idea. you really have me thinking about how i could recreate this at my school. Just looking for a teacher willing to try blogging. Thank you.

  2. mseiteljorg says:

    I hope you can find a teacher who is interested. It’s been a great addition to my room so far. If teachers are hesitant about blogging I would definitely suggest kidblogs. You can set up a class in 15 minutes.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wendy Eiteljorg, kelly alford and Lyn Hilt, Wendy Eiteljorg. Wendy Eiteljorg said: New blog post/ Bogger cafe in 5th grade Thanks @thenerdyteacher for the idea. #edchat #elemchat […]

  4. Mary Beth says:

    I’ve been blogging with my students, but haven’t quite made the leap to a blogger’s cafe. How many computers do you have available to students. I think that’s what’s holding me back right now.

    • mseiteljorg says:

      Mary Beth, I have opened the cafe in several formats. I have done it with the entire class on laptops (when they are available), but have also done it with 8 computers or iPads (enough for half the class), and with fewer computers when it was one of many activities that were options for a given period of time. I think there are a lot of ways to work it.

      Good luck.

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