A Web Review from my Heart... a Must Read for all Teachers: How to truly motivate your students...

Jon Schwartz: Inspiration with Authenticity, Creativity, & Purpose

As business and marketing relations manager of Teaching Blog Addict, I'm often asked to write website reviews for various sites; however, this is the first time I've been asked to write a review for a teacher's class site - and I'm so happy!

Jon Schwartz recently contacted TBA not for a review, but to share the work that his students were doing in is classroom.  At first, after researching Jon, I was initially wondering, "Why is this nationally known travel writer and professional photographer contacting a teaching site... and how did his work tie in to the classroom?"  I'm so glad he reached out to our site to share the amazing work that he is doing, every day, with his students.

After peeking into Jon's two class sites: Kids Like Blogs and his 4/5 Class Website, it was clear to me that his classroom is truly something special.  It is my hope that I can channel his spirit through this post to share with teachers across the world how powerful student blogging can become.  Jon recognized the power of authentic writing and brought that inspiration into his classroom... and boy oh boy - are his kids GROWING!

I truly could go on and on within this post about how Jon not only has his kids write in an authentic fashion but how he also enjoys his students so much that he has even taken them out on fishing adventures.  Furthermore, being in Oceanside, CA, he has had many students who have had parents go off to Iraq; Jon has arranged dream come true special memories for his students and their families.  Clearly, Jon is an exceptional teacher (I could see a Hallmark movie here); however, though I'm impressed with Jon... I'm even more impressed by his teaching methods and the work his students produce - wow!

Please enjoy the 2 minute Fox News Special Segment:

The Academic and Pedagogical Reasoning for Blogging:

To reach these goals and high state standards, they (students) need to be motivated to immerse themselves in activities involving reading and writing. This needs to happen regularly and in a meaningful and fun context. We need to provide them with activities that will make them want to read and write and revise their work. Blogs provide such a forum. See the Testimonials page for what parents have said about this.

Student blogs are a great way to help kids to reach the state standards. The reason is simple: with their blogs, kids are writing for a real purpose, and an authentic audience. They know that their work will be looked at by real people (usually their peers, parents, relatives, teachers, and principals), rather than merely submitting it for grading by a teacher and then stuffing it in a desk or folder. Not only that, they are reading their peer's blogs, and commenting on how they can be improved (Schwartz Blogs and Standards).

I've been so amazed clicking around on his Kids Like Blogs site... I can't wait for school to start back in September!  I've put together some of my favorite sites for you to check out to see exactly why I'm so excited!

Must See Links:

Kids Like Blogs: home page
How does Jon set this up?  ...and other FAQ's

In closing, I'd like to mention that I consider myself a 'techy' teacher; however, Jon has brought blogging to a level that I have not - and I'm so thrilled he has been so generous to share with all of us the potential of such a powerful tool.  I hope you enjoy exploring his sites as much as I have.  Lastly, if you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Jon Schwartz by clicking here.  I'm sure he'd also enjoy your feedback in a comment below. 


  1. I like how he methodically lays out the ways in which blogging not only engage his students, but also meet the standards. http://www.kidslikeblogs.org/Blogs_Teach_State_Standards.html
    Lots of teachers are searching to make those connections.

  2. Wow! Great job Erin with sharing Jon's amazing passion for teaching! It really is contagious and I can't wait to search around his site more!

  3. Me again! After searching Jon's ideas, I am having my own children start a blog next week. What a perfect summer writing activity! Thank you Jon and Erin!

  4. Kevin,

    Exactly! Not only is his practice fun, but rooted in sound pedagogy.


    Erin Klein

  5. Tamara,

    I know! I'm so excited to get started with student blogging (the right way!). :) I know my kids will enjoy the process.




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