Student Blogging: Author’s Chair

Continuing in my project to implement and document my adventure into student blogging, this week I began having my students do author’s chair.

For those of you not familiar with author’s chair,  it’s a basic component of the writing workshop where individual students read writing to the class.  We have a designated chair where the writer sits (the author’s chair).  

If you are interested in more complete instructions, this is a good explanation.   

For the record, I don’t have a cool author’s chair. Just a plain school room chair. I’ll have to work on that.

On Tuesday, we had an empty day on our calendar. I leave some of these in our schedule so that I can have crazy ideas or fill in learning gaps.

I told the students ahead of time that they should be prepared to read something from their blogs. It’s voluntary; no one HAS to read.  It’s a good idea to have something else planned just in case everyone chickens out.  

That probably won’t happen, though.

Here’s how it worked:

  1. I asked for volunteers.

  2. The students looked around at each other sheepishly.

  3. I bribed them to read.  I have found that chocolate is a great motivator for high school students.  Better than extra credit.  And easier to manage.  Plus these last couple of weeks have been an optimal time for buying candy–right after Halloween.

  4. A couple of students who really wanted candy raised their hands to volunteer.

  5. I called a student to sit in the author’s chair, pulled up his or her blog on my ipad, and handed the device to the student.

  6. The student read a blog post of his or her choice.

  7. After seeing that it was kind of fun to read something for the class, more students began volunteering.  In 5th period, they read for the entire 40 minutes that I allotted!

I would say that this first author’s chair was a success.  In the words of one student, “This is fun. We should do this more often.”

I will leave  you with an image from our day. One student, who loves to cook, wrote about creating a Frankencookie.  She was the mad scientist bestowing life on the ingredients.  

Here is the yummy result that accompanied her to our class:


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