Overall the second session went fairly well. The students started to open up and speak their minds. Readings of the The Pit and The Pendulum and Isabelle Allende's Of Clay We are Made went particularly well. Using Law and Order and other current detective shows to teach 3rd person limited point of view was also very successful.
A couple of things I will have to do to make the blogging more successful is to one publish a list of URLs, and two encourage students, staff and parents to comment on what the students have to say. I think that if students start to get feedback on what they are writing it will encourage them to write more.
In a discussion yesterday some of the students question blogging and its benefits over traditional journaling. My response was the immediacy of blogging, but it is really hard for students to understand when their words are be lost in the vastness of the web. The key to this working is adult involvement and commitment. I will admit that this summer I have been kind of lax in responding to the students, but I also think that they would like to hear from other people besides me.
Most of my students said that their parents still ask them what they learned that day at school and the students still respond by saying, "nothing." If parents visit the blogs I think they would get a much more satisfactory answer.