Common Sense Media: Digital Citizenship Curriculum by Grade

Common Sense is dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. Their site provides parents and teachers with the trusted information and resources they need to help us use media effectively in our classrooms and in our homes in a safe and positive way.

Common Sense Media writes:

Media and technology are at the very center of all our lives today — especially our children’s.  Kids today spend over 60 hours of screen time every week. The media content they consume and create has a profound impact on their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.  Learning how to use media and technology wisely is an essential skill for life and learning in the 21st century. But parents, teachers, and policymakers struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing digital world in which our children live and learn.  Now more than ever, they need a trusted guide to help them navigate a world where change is the only constant. 

Common Sense Education provides teachers and schools with free research-based classroom tools to help students harness technology for learning and life. Their K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum and interactive games teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world.  And their revolutionary educational rating system, Graphite, helps educators discover, use, and share high-quality digital products that propel student learning.
Common Sense works with policymakers, industry leaders, legislators, and a grassroots community of concerned parents and teachers to improve the media and technology landscape for all kids, families, and schools. They are leading the charge to close the digital divide in classrooms across the country and fighting to protect student-data privacy for those classrooms already connected.

Be sure to visit the Common Sense Media website where you will find the Best Apps and Games, Information for Parents, Common Sense Education – including Digital Citizenship Curriculum, Digital Citizenship Videos, and so much more.

How are you teaching Digital Citizenship in your classroom? Please share your resources by leaving a comment!

Leigh Cassell

Why Comments Are Important

Comments are an essential part of your class blog.  Comments allow students, and other readers, to engage in discussions, share their thoughts and connect with you on your class blog.
scoffolding student blogging

Comments transform your blog from a static space to an interactive community.

Important parts of the blogging process include encouraging students to:

1. Read other students’ posts.
2. Comment on other students’ posts.
3. Write posts in response to other students’ posts.

Blogging Cycle

It’s amazing how even just a few comments can make student realize they are writing for a global audience — for many it is incredibly motivating.

A Must Watch Video

Be sure you watch The Possibility of Student Blogging by Andrea Hernandez and Silvia Tolisano.

These videos provide an excellent explanation of the blogging and commenting process, the impact of quality blogging on student literacy, and the importance of writing as part of a global audience:


You can also check out Ten Tips for Great Blog Comments from kazmckelvey on Vimeo.

Remember, discussions in comment threads are important for reflective learning. Comments that challenge or suggest alternative opinions encourage you and your students to reflect, revise, review, and evaluate your thoughts and ideas.

Leigh Cassell

Teacher Feature: Inspiration to Start the Year

I have been browsing some AMDSB class blogs to learn about some of the wonderful work that is happening in our schools. I thought it would be a great start to the Teacher Feature  collection to highlight some of the ways teachers are introducing students to their Class Blog!


Becky Versteeg introduced blogging to her students by posting her grade 2 picture on her blog and writing about how she felt in grade 2! How awesome is that??? Check it out here! (I’m sure Becky is just thrilled that I shared her grade 2 picture with everyone – thanks Becky 😉

Grade 3/4 Bloggers (“What Did You Do In School Today?” … “Oh Nothing”)

Leanna McKee is teaching grade 3/4 this year and she has introduced blogging to her students and their families by posting a welcome message on her blog. Check it out here! (and don’t you just love her tagline?)

Ms. King and the Grade 2/3 Busy Bees

Nicole King kicked off the year by documenting the conversation she had with her students about what they have been doing so far in class. This is a simple and effective way to capture a conversation! Check it out here! You can also check the “King and the Cassell’s” welcome back post from last year which outlines the plan for the day and includes a fun video for the kids. Check it out here!

Grade 6 is Awesome!

Danielle Mascolo started the year by discussing the Ultimate Classroom with her kiddos. What does it look like, sound like, and feel like. I love the title of this post – it really emphasizes that by working together, you can create the ultimate classroom!  Check it out here!


Nicole Kauffman is an intermediate teacher who focused her first days with kids creating a community. Her post includes her class story, a picture, a “wordle” and a quote to finish things off. Check it out here! (I also love her creative title and tagline!)

How did you welcome students back to school using your Class Blog?

It only takes a minute to share your ideas with our community. We want to hear from you! Be sure to include the link to your Class Blog in your comment. 😀