A Return to Paper Blogging

I’m back! And ready to admit that I completely failed in my goal to use this blog to reflect on my teaching at least once a week.  The lesson learned?  Don’t set such lofty goals.  

But let’s not dwell on the past.  Success lies in the future and after a whirlwind spring, summer, and fall, the dregs of winter are setting in and I am once again motivated to share my work with the people.  The latest project is jump starting our class blogs.  Last year’s experiment went really well – over 500 blogs posts!  Over 500 pieces of writing, artistic projects, personal experiences, and you tube videos about raining tacos shared.  I learned a lot (which I should probably write about in a separate post) and I am really excited to see what this class of students does with the opportunity.  Already they blew me away with our first step: Paper Blogging!

This year’s students really took the paper blogging challenge on with gusto (click here for a post on last year’s lesson).  First we watched a really great video from BrainPop on exactly what blogs are and discussed the purpose of a blog: to share ideas and connect with other people.  I explained that paper blogging would let us practice the three roles of blogging (writers, readers, and commenters) offline before we moved online to our KidBlogs.  Then students got to work writing their first blog posts on something that they loved.  

It was really fun learning more about my kids and the things in their lives that they like and love to do.  I think they enjoyed learning more about each other too – an added community building bonus!  They added an artistic design and submitted it for “publishing”.  This year we “published” the paper blogs on lockers.  We used post-its for “comments” and everyone was encouraged to make sure they continued the conversation.  They actually are going back to read each other’s comments, ask questions, answer questions and generally make their paper blogs a really vibrant place for discussion.   Some students took the opportunity to redesign their blogs or added updated posts – all really cool ideas that they will be be able to do with their online blogs.  The next steps are to transfer these skills online, get used to KidBlog as an app/website, and start sharing, documenting, and reflecting on our work! 

20141103-053916.jpg
20141103-053928.jpg
20141103-053937.jpg

Winter Is Coming…

nd soon it will be time to stay inside, bundled up in sweats with cups of cocoa.  What will I do as the cold months descend upon us?

A) Reread the entire Song of Fire of Ice series.

B) Cook my husband dinner every night.
C) Start a new, more comprehensive, more reflective blog

If you guessed A, you are tripping.  I finished those books last winter and I am not reading them again. I am saving my energy for the 6th book or the devastating news that George R.R. Martin has died without finishing this story and we will never know who ascends the Iron Throne.


If you guessed B, you are either my husband, a friend of my husband, or someone else’s hungry husband.


If you guessed C, you are right and very perceptive as you happen to be reading said blog right now.


This is not my first blog.  No, I’ve been around the blogging block.  I blog here about our 1:1 iPad program.  I blog here about my trips to China.  Here you can find my amateur poems.  I kind of blog a lot, but I have become convinced I should blog even MORE.  By whom?  Steve Wheeler.  He gives seven reasons teachers should blog.  And it’s all about reflecting on our practice in order to better serve our students.


That gets me every time.


This month is Connected Educator Month and there are lots of events both live and online to help teachers use technology for good.  But Justin Baeder made a great point that if your connectedness isn’t helping your students, who cares.  Your students don’t need you to be a Twitter star.  Get back in the classroom and teach. Or plan. Or assess. Or blog.  Because apparently by blogging, I can become a better teacher.  Or so I hope.


Our technology coordinator keeps quoting John Dewey:


We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”


Guess it’s time to dive in.



However, this blog isn’t for you.  It’s not even for me.  It’s for my students.  And if being connected is all it’s cracked up to be, it’ll be for your students too.