Posts filed under ‘Blogging’

Using Blogs

How might you incorporate blogs in your classroom?  -I think how I use the blog would vary with the age/grade level of students I teach.  I think technology is definitely important and younger and younger ages are becoming more efficient than adults using technology everyday, but the world wide web can still be a scary place and I would hope to ease students into this environment appropriately.  I really thought The Skinny and the SocialVoice did a great job using the blog.  They both communicated with parents what the students were doing in the class room as well as getting the student involved and really thinking about the content they were covering; just to different levels or extremes.  I think at the elementary level having all the schedules and contact information is crucial; hopefully it will eliminate some of the phone calls or emails from parents.  I like how the Skinny also had the students take turns posting what was going on that day/week for the viewers to see instead of the teacher; it gives them ownership of their work.  I really liked the various forms the SocialVoice gave the students to respond.  I think some of my awe for that site is just the content they were covering; very emotional, formidable time periods of our country that I’m sure spur some very interesting threads.

 How would you share blogging with teachers in your building and encourage them to give blogs a try?  How might you use professional blogs for PD?  -I think these two questions go hand in hand, depending on the comfort level and desire to learn from the teachers.  For teachers not comfortable with blog, maybe starting out with an unintimidating book talk blog could allow them to use and become familiar with how they work.  I could see having a grade/department blog for the teachers to communicate on shared units, activities, etc.  I think as PD the blogs could be used in endless options.  Simply as a discussion board on what PD sessions the teachers want, or maybe as page to catalogue and discuss quality examples of the topic.  Instructors could use the blogs to get pre-questions prepared for sessions, as well as follow up discussion on how the session went, and results of the material being put into practice, etc.

June 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm Leave a comment

Classroom Blogs

Elementary School:      I thought this classroom blog, The Skinny, was a great way just to keep students and parents informed on what is going on in and outside the classroom.  I think Mr. Alvaro has done a great job of using this blog as an all-around class website to introduce himself, document homework/grading expectations, request parent involvement through mystery readers,and for basic schedule and snack information.  A lot of the posts are for students to share what is going on in the classroom or what they may have planned for the next week or even the fun weekend activities we all look forward too.   I thought this post was a fun way for students to share what they enjoyed most  during the school year, and I like how Mr. Alvaro keeps the blog open for summer activities/communication.

 Middle School:     I think this social studies “magazine” was a great tool for the students to voice their thoughts on a wide range of topics.  If you just scroll through their Discussions tab you can see how deep and thought provoking some of the questions and photos are.  Social studies is a great subject to have students practice expressing themselves in various forms:  with words, in pictures, vocally, and numerous new forms that are being created.  I love that they also share how they can interact with today’s world by giving back.  I think this teacher should definitely be commended on his work on this site.  I think it’s visually designed to represent the students as well, and not the teacher; it’s their voice.

 High School:     This blog, The Mac Lab, was nominated/listed twice as one of the Best Class Blogs; the second listing was labeled as Extreme Biology.  I’m not sure extreme is the right word, more like INSANE.  I think this blog shows how complicated a website can really become, and even how much the rules can change including bathroom pass standards….I couldn’t watch the whole thing.  Just look at the links and resources he’s placed on here for the students , its overwhelming!  I know HS has changed since I was there (it wasn’t that long ago), but more schools offer online courses, and I guess the expectations of all students having access to a computer grows with grade level.  This blog is really intimidating for me and I loved all the sciences growing up!

June 14, 2011 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

Educator Blogs

Blog 1:  I was hooked on Bud the Teacher from another classmate that shared his blog.  A lot of his posts deal with reading/writing and how they need to be incorporated in all content areas, after all we need to communicate in all subjects.  But beyond the language arts, Bud makes a lot of great posts that just make you stop and think and could be great conversation starters in PD sessions, or even just the lunch room.  His most recent post is what made me decide to use blog, as rewarding students has always been a popular topic in numerous of my courses.  As I kept reviewing his site, I was hit even harder.  I don’t care if we’re teachers or parents, we need to help our children see “There’s risk in the places worth working for. … you’ve got to fall with a thought for how you’re going to get back up.”

 Blog 2:   This is for all PE folks in this class: Mr. Robbo, The PE Geek.  It appears Jarrod Robinson has been successful with this blog since 2008, finding and trying various ways to incorporate technology into his PE classes.  His experiements must have worked well enough, as he even has a link to buy his book.  He has some great posts talking about the various technologies he has used with his students:  tracking skills needed to play games, including health conditions affected (heart rate, etc.); new devices ) to track and promote physical activity that rewards discount codes for iTunes, Kmart, Officeworks, EB Games, and Body Browser: a new google tool allowing you to navigate through the body (the body always had our full attention in HS, right?!)

 Blog 3:    I found this blog, Finding Ways for All Kids to Flourish, interesting.  The author is currently a 4th grade teacher with a M.A. in Clinical Psychology.  A lot of her posts discuss the atmosphere and oppurtunities we provide for our students.  I liked two of her strategies in her positive climate post , as I don’t think a lot of people think about positivity is these manners, but they are great points for education: “#4. Celebrating mistakes, through modeling and discussion, can go a long way in reducing fear and encouraging students to take risks in learning.” & “#6. Positivity does not mean being happy all of the time. What it means is that by carefully creating an environment that seizes opportunities to promote learning in a fun way, we can then raise the bar and push our students to learn at their highest potential.”

June 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm Leave a comment


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