Blogging with 'Morhart's Minions'

Nathan Liewicki
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Cassia Montgomery has a host of family Christmas traditions, and on Tuesday she blogged about them.

“I always look in my stocking on Christmas morning, then I go to grandma’s place to have treats,” said Cassia.

The Sacred Heart Grade 3 student also noted that she goes to her other grandma’s place before ending Christmas Day at her aunt’s house for dinner.

Cassia is one of 17 Grade 3 students in Lindsay Morhart’s class who have been blogging since the start of the year.

On Tuesday, “Morhart’s Minions” – as they are known on Twitter – invited the Times-Herald to sit in on their latest blogging session. So close to Christmas, the topic was, as mentioned, Christmas traditions.

Morhart, who had previously taught Grade 8, is teaching Grade 3 for the first time this school year. She made her students blog the last two years and is hoping to help her younger students become more independent through blogging.

“I've just always had a love of technology and I think the main reasons I have my students blog are one: when they're writing for an audience bigger than a teacher, their writing changes. And quite often they will go deeper and further because they know that there's a chance that people all over the world will see what they're writing.

“The second reason I have them do it is because it makes them reflective,” said Morhart. “It gets them to start thinking about their learning. It gets them into conversations a lot of times, like when people comment on their blogs and want to know more, it forces them to respond.”

As students blogged on Tuesday, Morhart reminded them that when blogging it’s important to get the ideas out of their heads and on to the Google Chromebooks. After all of the ideas have been typed out, only then, Morhart told her students, should editing be done.

The other thing Morhart reminded her students to do was “always end your blog with a question.”

Most of the students, like Cassia and Peter Gumacal, said the question they were posing at the end of their blogs was: “what are your Christmas traditions?”

“I tell them, 'it's your blog. Feel free to go on it at home with your parents and write about something that you're interested in, or you like. That's your space. Go for it,’” Lindsay Morhart, Sacred Heart teacher

Although the students write their own blog posts, they are not posted online until Morhart approves them. She also has the final say on all comments to the blogs.

The Chromebooks the students were using on Tuesday, in fact, arrived at Sacred Heart on Dec. 13. There are 17 of them – one for each student.

The money for the Chromebooks came from a combination of the Holy Trinity Catholic School Division, Sacred Heart and the School Community Council.

Jada Therens has only been using her Chromebooks for a couple of days, but she said it’s already helping her type better.

“It helps you with words you have struggled with spelling for the last few years.”

Morhart, who also is also the school’s vice principal, told the Times-Herald the plan is for the students to eventually be able to come up with their own blogging ideas before the end of the school year.

“I tell them, 'it's your blog. Feel free to go on it at home with your parents and write about something that you're interested in, or you like. That's your space. Go for it,’” said Morhart.

With a continued venture into the blogging world, Morhart hopes to be able to expose her students to as much reading and writing as possible.

There is a big focus on literacy and blogging allows for lots of opportunities for kids to be creating more and consuming less,” said Morhart.

Those opportunities will allow students like Cassia to expand their learning base. 

“I like that people get a chance to tell people about what I’m doing,” said Cassia. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks.

Organizations: Times-Herald, Holy Trinity Catholic School Division, School Community Council

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  • Mary reeves
    April 25, 2014 - 21:48