Digital teaching tips & tricks, ideas, examples, and general thoughts and reflections. Follow my Inquiry.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Holiday Blogging Success

In the January and July School Holidays, Woolf Fisher run a Holiday blogging programme called the Summer/ Winter Learning Journey,  led by Rachel Williams. This programme is designed to give our tamariki some positive and rich learning experiences in their holiday, while also interacting with teachers via their blogs online. It is also designed to tackle the massive Summer drop off that we see in student achievement. The most amazing thing about the Woolf Fisher SLJ is that it does not require classroom teachers to do anything at all, the entire programme is run from the outside.

As I followed my class up from Year 5 to Year 6 I was able to see just how successful this programme was over the Summer Holidays, and how it effected the readiness of my learners as they came back to school. Not to mention how this effected their data for the first lot of assessments. It was far too great to ignore, and therefore I decided to build on the success of the programme and create a small scale mini-learning journey over the April school holidays for our Team of 5 classes at Pt England School. This was a huge success and I was blown away by the amount of learners who interacted with it, and by the amount of blog posts they shared.

It was a no brainer therefore to follow on from the Winter Learning Journey in the July school holidays, and run another mini-blogging journey in the September Holidays. This time around I doubled the amount of blogging tasks that I created, and the learners reciprocated by doing double the amount of blogging! Here are some quick facts:
  • Almost 40% of our Year 6 learners* interacted with their blogs over the break (More of our Year 6 learners take their chrome books home than our Year 5s)
  • Almost 600 Blog posts or comments were shared over the 2 week break!
  • Not only were learners collaborating online, they were promoting and attributing each other as well.
  • Half of the learners who blogged, completed all or most of the 8 blogging teacher made tasks.
  • Some learners shared on their blog more than 40 times over the break.

This is an amazing result, and we as a team are over joyed by the quality learning, interaction, and collaboration that these learners engaged with over the holidays. Some things that really stood out this time around for me was the collaboration and interaction aspect of the programme. I had not specifically made this a focus to any degree and yet this was perhaps the highlight for many of the learners.
Example 1
Example 2
I particularly think its cool how they attribute each others work on the project, and encourage their audience to explore each others work via a URL link. Again, I have never asked them to do this but I think it could be a result of our Cybersmart lessons surrounding attributing work that isn't ours (specifically images but in this case their work), regardless it is really cool to see them having fun and interacting via their blogs.

We awarded 5 prizes for 5 different categories, and asked Dorothy Burt to award them today at our team assembly.

Our Top Blogger posted 49 times!!!!


  1. This is so cool Matt! It is awesome to see those year 6 students working so hard and being excited and motivated to complete the tasks over the holidays. Did you have a particular focus or theme to the blogging tasks you created?

    1. No particular theme, however most challenges involved some fairly creative and fun they could do easily from home or on their chromebooks. I've embedded the tasks above, and you can see that most of them are as simple or complicated as you choose to make them.

      One of the challenges I created for example was to show a before and after photo of your messy room, and time how long it took to clean it. Then offer tips for other kids on the fastest way to clean your room haha