March or April? Which Month is Best for the Classroom SOLSC?

This year, Two Writing Teachers announced a change to the Classroom SOLSC. We moved the challenge from March to April, primarily to let educators focus on their own writing in March. As a teacher who has participated in both the SOLSC and the Classroom SOLSC for several years, I confess I pushed for the change. March was my turn to blog and grow as a writer. As the weeks went by, I began thinking about my students as bloggers and mentally preparing to launch our Classroom SOLSC in April.

T.S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruelest month” and in many schools,  April is a challenge. State tests, holiday breaks, and other types of testing often dominate April. My students had a long spring break in the middle of the month. Would the blogging challenge fall apart if they weren’t in school to work on their posts?

Where there is a will, there is a way! April turned out to be a fabulous month for many of my third grade bloggers. The change in schedule due to testing opened up some pockets of time for students to blog in school. Several children blogged over the spring break, sharing the adventures they had and writing about the holiday spent with family. One student used paper to “blog” when she didn’t have access to the Internet at home. When we returned from our school break, there were just a few days left in the challenge. Students had a chance to give it one more push to earn badges. A couple of students who blogged every day asked me to make a 30 Days of Blogging badge to honor that achievement. Of course, I complied with that request!

After another round of state testing, we celebrated the end of our blogging challenge on May 3rd. Students earned certificates and copies of their digital badge sheet.  Students who earned 7 or more badges received a prize and students who earned ten or more badges were listed on the “Blogging Hall of Fame.”

Some of the students who were in the Blogging Hall of Fame for earning 10 or more badges!

For my students, the Classroom SOLSC worked well in April. I was able to focus on my own blogging and commenting in March and then could turn my attention to student writing in April. At TWT, we are wondering what the experience was like for other educators who participated in the Classroom SOLSC this year. Did April work for you? Would you like to see the Classroom SOLSC return to March? We would greatly appreciate your feedback as we think ahead to next year! Please take a minute and complete this brief form if you have participated in the Classroom SOLSC.