Monthly Archives: July 2014

A Blogging Plan!

A plan, a plan! I have a plan to make my teacher site a blog. To have more than the static welcome and required pages is my plan.

So far, other than maybe a cursory update none of the teachers at our school actually uses their sites. If I challenged the teachers to login, I would venture to say that 90%, or more,  wouldn’t even know their logins, much less where to go to access their page. Therefore, I am challenging myself to start actually using my site. Who knows, maybe it will be catching and others will follow.

While some content will stay the same, such as they course syllabus and contact information, the front page needs to become dynamic. This is where the plan comes into play. I am going to boldly go from nothing to an average of 2 posts a week! This is an aggressive schedule, but one that will hopefully garner a readership (even if it is an assigned one).

Week of: Entry Type & Topic Theme Posting Date
August 3 – 9 Discussion – How PBIS is changing the school

List – 5 positive changes on campus

School Culture August 3

August 6

August 10 – 16 Goal Setting – SMART Goals

Links – Career/Interest Inventories

Achievement August 10

August 13

August 17 – 23 DIY – How to Prepare for Student Led Conferences

List – Binder Checklist



August 17

August 21

August 24 – 30 Links – Best math sites for fluency practice Achievement August 24
August 31 – September 6 Event – The Great Device Roll Out

List – Steps to care for your device

School Culture


August 31

September 3

September 7 – 13 Discussion – Should students/parents have to pay a fee or provide insurance to take a laptop home? Responsibility


September 7
September 14 – 20 Discussion – How is Digital Curriculum Affecting You?

Links – Keyboarding sites

Achievement September 14


September 17

September 21 – 27 Discussion – Do you affect the attendance competition?

List – Benefits of attending school

School Culture



September 21


September 24

September 28 – October 4 Guest Blogger Respect Week of September 28

The challenge is set! Let the blogging begin…



Top Cool Tools Courtesy of 537

For my final post of the year I decided to compile a linked list of my favorite sites and apps I learned about from my fellow classmates and one or I stumbled onto myself. Oh, did I mention…they are FREE!



a graphic bookmark app that allows you to create your own mix of sites and the option to choose from a gallery of webmixes shared by other users. A mix can be tiles with links or set up as a feed reader.


an audio or video podcast recording app. Free, easy to use, and embeds easily into blogs





safe one-way messaging for teachers to broadcast to students and/or parents without number sharing or one-to-one private     messaging





cool site  with lots of images to help you visualize the  space offering that also provides links to the various design elements to add the finishing touches to your newly designed space




class dojo



visual acknowledgement that is positive reinforcement for selected behaviors. Each student has a cool little alien monster avatar. Generates reports for teachers and/or parents about behaviors



What’s all this Writing About?

One of the most common topics while sitting in the teachers’ lounge or at any professional development session is the need for students to write. You hear comments like “students write as if they are texting,” “their writing is horrid,” and so on. The list of concerns goes on, but you get the drift. In short, the students appear to have little to no command of writing conventions. Everyone is going in circles trying to figure out how to get students to write complete sentences that makes sense. It seems as if writing went from the staunch grammar class side (gerunds and past present perfect participles still give me the willies) to the casual side of “oh, they will get it if they read their own writing.”

We know students are in dire need of writing experiences that have a purpose (not busy work), and if, it will instill a desire to write more, that would be ideal. I, too, see the need to get students to communicate effectively using the printed word. Blogging will get students writing. After all, that is what blogging is all about. It is the desire to get my students composing that prompted me to take this class. I have tried talking various administrators into letting me blog with my computer classes for years but to no avail. I figured maybe if I took the class, I would have a solid foundation on which to base my request.
Like a lot of others, I subscribe to numerous RSS feeds, most have something to do with food. I love baking and cooking and have many food allergies, so I like getting recipes I don’t have to adapt. One of the blogs I follow is Foodie Fiasco. The site is the creation of a teenage girl. She has been blogging about her adventures in the kitchen for a couple of years now. She is not the only school-aged person out there running a blog, so I am thinking, “why wouldn’t this work with my students?”

There is a lot of information out there about student blogs. Just about every article I read for this course expounded on the fact that blogging is writing…with a purpose. In the article Blogs: personal e-learning spaces, it describes blogs as just an extension of the tried and true learning logs and journals. Blogs take something personal and turn it into a “public performance space” (Lamshed, Berry, and Armstrong, 2002). O’Donnell cites a 2004 article by Clancy Ratliff that explains that, by blogging, students create a learning community. As they interact with one another, they are actually synthesizing information, which we know is at the top of the learning pyramid (2006).

Why not capitalize on what the students are already doing and build on it with blogging? Have them take their class notes, learning logs, and such and turn them into a blog that will foster collaboration and communication. Many of the students I work with are very creative, so let’s give them a forum to express their innate sense of imagination and share it with their peers.


Lamshed, R., Berry, M. & Armstrong, L. (2002). Blogs: Personal e-learning spaces. Australia: Binary Blue. Retrieved from
O’Donnell, M. (2006). Blogging as pedagogic practice: Artefact and ecology. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 17(1), 15-19


Communication Poll

When I read this weeks assignment I instantly knew I wanted to use Poll Everywhere. I have used Survey Monkey in the past, but it isn’t my favored service. Give it a try, just click on your choice in each of the polls.

Poll 1:


See Live Results for Poll 1

Poll 2:

See Live Results for Poll 2



Chirbit Tutorial

Chirbit may be old to you, but it is new to me and is turning out to be a great online audio app. The tutorial video I selected from the YouTube library highlights how this app can be used to add audio options, including for your RSS feed. I am still tinkering with the transcribe option and am determined to figure it out.


MS Sguest. (2013, September 29). for Hangout on air podcasters [Video file]. Retrieved from


Online Audio Recording Options

Here is my review of two free online recording options: Vocaroo and Chirbit.




Technology Pyramid

I was replying to a comment  on the Narcissus and Microwaves post Angie made in regards to the food pyramid and got to thinking there might be one for technology. I found a cool technology pyramid and  thought I would share it with all of the readers.

bloom tech pyramid

Creative Commons License

Penny, S. (n.d.). Bloom’s Taxonomy Pyramid. Retrieved from