Here is the letter that I’ve used and modified throughout the year to introduce blogging to the students and their parents. Feel free to modify and adjust as you see fit.
One of the strategies we’ve worked so hard to integrate into our trainings were the cheers that we’ve now seen at a couple of different places. The facilitator’s first saw these at the fabulous ASCD conference we went to on peer coaching with Robin Fogarty and Brian Pete. (Who, btw, are incredible! Check them out when you can!)
I wish I’d been thinking this week throughout the staff developments we’ve done to get ONE of the fabulous volunteers who did a cheer on camera, but alas, I didn’t. Rest assured, the memories will still make me giggle!
Click, click, weeeee’ing,
Remember those word of the day calendars that would sit on your desk? I’d never remember to change it…so I’d be using the same big new word for like two weeks, until I frantically noticed and would then tear off two weeks worth of words I’d never get caught up on…sigh. Quite defeating. One of the things I like on my Mac is the ability to set a word of the day screen saver…I thought that would make me more verbose as well…but alas, not so much.
Well, http://wordahead.com/ is trying to help me out once again! Think Word-of-the-Day 2.0! It’s simple and free to register. You can access short video clips that define a word and give several examples along with a visual. Great for 4th grade writing teachers and students, so please share if you think it’s something they’ll use!
(I’ve blatantly stolen this site from Ivan Cantu. Heh.)
Are you blogging to communicate with your students? Their parents? both? Are you talking to your peers, as I am? By keeping in mind who you are talking to, you’ll be able to gauge what you’re talking about.
I read a LOT of blogs. It’s insane. Some are completely random people that I’ve never met but who have touched my life, some aresorority sisters I adore, some are aboutcooking cheaply…however, the ones I savor are professionally driven. Wes Fryer, Jeff Utecht, and Miguel Guhlin for example. These educators are constantly challenging what and how I do my job. Not only that, but they are SO helpfula dn encouraging. I’ve contacted Mr. Guhlin on several occasions and he never fails to respond, comment or move me along. As an educator, this is SO very valuable!
If YOU want to blog, consider reading a variety of blogs to help get you started. Decide how often you want to blog, what you’re going to talk about and if interests your audience. If you’re communicating with parents, remember that they will come to depend on it as a resource and you will have to be consistent. 🙂
I originally blogged with fourth graders. It was…greatness. We chatted over vacations, over breaks, over losing grandparents…amazing conversations that allowed me into my student’s worlds in a way I’d never seen. I’d always had “good” relationships with my students but this was a whole different ballgame. Parents joined in, administrators joined in, and then people from ALL over began to comment on what we were doing in our fourth grade world. The kid’s loved it. They monitored themselves, they helped each other and they helped me, 🙂 a win win for all.
This blog will be used for me to communicate with my campuses and hopefully providing more great resources and trends in educational technology. I hope many of you will be more involved with reading and commenting. (I’m no Brad Pitt, but I do amuse myself greatly. Heh.) I’ll also be highlighting and showcasing what I see as I make my rounds in your classrooms. I want to brag on you!