My fourth grade students have created a writing blog in which they post published pieces or works in progress. It was relatively easy to set up after I started their email accounts (which the students don't know about). Our blog site is http://talentedtexans.blogspot.com. The students also created a list of Blog Reminders and Blogetiquette rules to follow as well. They would love for you to read and comment. I'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have as well.
You might want to check out my class blog. I teach 6th grade Language Arts and I have been experimenting with blogs for about 3 years now. http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=17192 For the classroom, I highly recommend Class Blogmeister. It has several safety features that allow me to keep a certain quality control on the blog as well as helping me to dismiss any fears/concerns from parents. If you would like to hear more, just let me know. I can't say enough good things about what David Warlick has done with class blogmeister to make it a truly vital tool.
Much thanks - I did join it last year to have a look around but have yet to use it with a class. What types of group activities have you done and what has the response been like. Is it different from book based writing?
My class uses the blog for a mixture of different activities. I usually do give them a focus question to help their thought processes. Sometimes, they write book talks about books that they have read. Sometimes they write about their ideas and thoughts on the educational processes within our class. Sometimes they write about how themes that they have encountered through literature or video apply to their own lives. Right now on the blog you can see a VoiceThread where the students are recording their goals for this new semester and how they are going to achieve the goals. Sometimes they are simply posting a final draft of what they have written while going through the writing process. Ryan Bretag wrote this morning about know your "why." I thought I would post here what I told him about my why for using the class blog. Why do I use a blog with my class?
-To provide for a more authentic audience for my student writers
-To provide an outlet where everyone can be heard
-To provide an easier way for students to encourage one another in the writing process
-To provide an outlet for student voice
-To motivate students