Classroom Blogs

 

Looking at classroom blogs, was very interesting.  It was great to view and read through blogs from classrooms around the world.  It has given me inspiration for what to include in my classroom when  become a teacher.  I really want to see what can be done for younger students.

The first blog I looked at was http://4kmand4kj.global2.vic.edu.au/.  This is by fourth graders from Leopold Primary School in Australia.  In the “about us” section there is a section that features four different areas, the classroom mascot, the class, the teachers, and a page about the school.   Each of the children have links to their own blogs on the blog site, it looks like each child is a category.  Then on the the main page of the blog there are blog posts from the class as a whole.  It was fun to see children from all over the world making comments on the blogs from the class.

One aspect of the website I found to be great for everyone, but especially children is the internet safety section.  It is important for children to be informed, and reminded of how to stay safe when using the internet.    The  safety section has a great tips for anyone who is thinking of starting a blog for their classroom.  Here is a link to the section of the blog I am referring to;   http://4kmand4kj.global2.vic.edu.au/guidelinessafety/blog-guidelines/.    I think it is great that the teachers read the blogs and approve them before they are sent out on the internet.  The blog site really takes the safety of children into consideration, and I think that is great.

 

The “Flat Rosie” blog was the next blog I looked at, and out of all of the blogs I have seen so far it is my favorite!  The concept is cute and I think it would be an excellent learning opportunity for students of any age.  It would be a great way to expose younger children to other cultures, while giving them an opportunity to work on their writing skills.  I guess I should back up a little bit and explain what exactly the blog is about.  The blogging seems to have stopped in December 2012 when the school year ended, and the only information I could see on the blog was the main page.  After Goggling, I realized how popular Flat Rosie is, she certainly has traveled all around the world.  The Flat Rosie Blog is certainly a well established blog, with a positive reputation.

Flat Rosie started at a school in Australia, and she has been mailed all across the world to places such as Lebanon, Denmark, Canada, China, California, South Africa and more.  I think this is an amazing idea.  I think Flat Rosie is sent from an all girls school, and I am not sure how old the students are.  It seems that each student in the class has made their own paper cut out of a Flat Rosie Doll, the students then colored the dolls and sent them to various corners of the earth.  The students or “Rosie” blogged about the experiences.  Whomever ended up receiving Rosie would comment on the blog, or make a post.  There are videos, letters, pictures and more that show Rosie’s adventures.    Students also have the ability to ask Flat Rosie questions about her life, her journey, the place she lives, or anything that is part of her life.  I think this is an excellent way for students to learn about other cultures.  The only downside to this blog is that it has ended.  I hope that there are more adventures of Flat Rosie, I would love to follow her around the world, and read all about her adventures.

 

Year 2S was the third blog I visited.  It is a blog by 23 6-7 year old girls at a school in

There were different blog posts, one of the ones I really enjoyed was the Pirate Day post.  All of the students dressed as pirates and there were pirate themed activities and lessons.  This seemed to have sparked an interest from other students who had many questions and comments about pirate day.  This provided a great opportunity for students to interact with each other.  It seems that it was also a good opportunity for other teachers to gauge the reactions of their students to see if Pirate day or a similar themed day would be a good idea to incorporate into a lesson in their classroom.  Here is a link to the Pirate Day blog from Year 2S; http://year2rc.edublogs.org/2013/03/22/pirate-day/comment-page-1/#comment-358

The main page of the blog features blogs from their “friends” from around the world, classroom blogs from other classes in their school, and activities they have participated in throughout the school year.  The class seems to have a lot of wonderful educational opportunities, the students/author of the blog seem to be very excited about what they are learning.  This could be a good way to help students become self motivated learners.  I would think that students would be excited to hear about the interesting activities and learning adventures other students are learning about.  Then as a result, they would come to school begging their teacher to do something similar.  Here is a link to the main page of the blog; http://year2rc.edublogs.org/.

 

I have to admit after reading the teacher blogs, I was not very excited about the whole blogging process.  After reading through the classroom blogs I have changed my view on blogs.  I want to read as many classroom blogs as I can.  I am fascinated as to how many blogs there are, as well as the level of the posts.  This has really been an eye opener for me, I realized how much of an impact blogs on students, and exposing students to other cultures.

Overwhelmed with the Educator Blogs

The blog name “Box of Chocolates” really stuck out to me, the name drew me in because I thought the blogger was using the title as a metaphor for teaching.  Ironically she made a blog post where she had a metaphor that started with “teaching is like a…” and she did NOT say box of chocolates.  Instead, she had two different metaphors; “buying a new pair of shoes” and “doing Pilates”.  It was great to hear about how she sees similarities between teaching and wearing a new pair of shoes.  After reading through I could really understand the metaphor.  Here is a direct link to the site, as well as the blog I just mentioned.  The specific post is all the way at the bottom of the screen.  http://cecilialemos.com/category/about-teaching/.

As I said the name “Box of Chocolates” drew me into the blog, and after reading the about me page I wanted to read more.  The blogger is an EFL teacher in Brazil, her name is Cecilia.  I am fascinated with other countries, as well as education in other countries so I think it will be especially interesting to hear about her teaching experiences, as well as insight and advice.  From what I understand, the blog is fairly new and the blogger is new to the world of blogging.  This is something I could really identify with because this is my very first blog, and I have to admit I feel like I have no idea what I am doing!  But then, after reading through the blog more I saw that the blog has actually been around since 2010, I guess I can still learn from her older posts.  Here is a link to the about me page http://cecilialemos.com/about/.  After the confusion I kind of feel like it would be helpful to have an updated info section but I have to admit, I could be missing something because while I am very new to posting my own blogs, I am also very new to reading different blogs.  The links can be confusing for me.  After looking a little more into the blog I realized that  (from what I see) the person hasn’t blogged since October 2012.  This blog seemed like it would be interesting to follow and read so it is kind of disappointing to see that it is is not regularly updated.

“Cool Cat Teacher Blog” was a very interesting Blog page.  The blogger, Vicki Davis has a lot of insight and experience in technology in education, blogging, and helping students expand globally.  The about me page is very interesting and it shows that Ms. Davis has a lot of experience with blogging and even more with incorporating technology into classrooms, schools, and life.  I think the blog will be a great one to learn from.  Clearly, Ms. Davis has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to technology, she is a full time teacher, head of IT at the school she teaches at, and author.  In addition to everything above she is a Discovery STAR Educator, Google Certified teacher and more.    To learn more about the blog and blogger I have included a link to the website; http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html.  I am very impressed with what I read abut her and I am excited to read through the various blogs!

“Cool Cat” features a variety of blogs that range from support for teachers, to ways teachers can support students  and more.  One of the blog posts was interesting to me because it was very basic, but a must read for anyone who is just starting out in the world of teaching.  The post was all about what not to do as a teacher, most of the things seemed to be common sense to me but it was nice to have a reminder of what not to do.  Here is a a link to the specific post I am referring to; http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2011/10/10-ways-to-be-terrible-teacher.html.  The part that stuck with me the most was when she talked about an incident she had with a student earlier this year.  Here is the specific part I am talking about “I had a student earlier in the year that I felt I embarrassed. I was very upset about it. I didn’t mean to, I saw her blush and realized it after the fact. I found her later and apologized. She tried to let me out of it but I said,
“You are important to me and I think I embarrassed you. You need to know you can trust me and I will do everything in my power to never do it again. I am so sorry, it wasn’t intentional. Will you forgive me?”I already had a good relationship with that student but now it is a great one. I treasure her and she knows she can trust me. I think that because I admitted this to her and was human about it, she was willing to forgive me. I’m so glad I did. Do you have a student you need to apologize to? Do it.”  Right before this Vicki made the statement “if you mess up, fess up”  To me this is one of the most important examples you can set in your classroom.  If you mess up, it is really important to be honest with your students about it.  You need to admit to them that you messed up, and then explain why what you did was wrong, and what you are going to do to improve moving forward.  This shows students that you are not perfect and allows them to see that even teachers or adults make mistakes.

I plan on applying the various things I learn from the blogs into my classroom, lessons, and life in general.  The blog posts offer teaching tips, tips on how to be a better person/ teacher, lesson planning ideas, and ideas for getting students to reach out globally.  One of my number one goals is to help my students see things from a different perspective, specifically from students who live somewhere totally different.  In my opinion it is really important for students to have as much exposure to other cultures as possible.  “Cool Cat” provides a lot of valuable information on how to do so.  I am excited to continue reading more blogs.

The “Ollie Bray” blog site is also interesting.  I read through the first page, and I found it to be very interesting.  The homepage had a blog post which went over what technological devices were needed in the class room and what devices weren’t worth the money.  Here is a link to the homepage; http://olliebray.com/. This was particularly interesting for me because I never know what I am going to need most, and then I get confused with what I need and what I don’t need.  Needless to say I usually end up with a bunch of stuff, and I only actually use about 10% of it.

This blog is by Ollie Bray, who lives in Scotland.  I thought it would be really interesting to follow a blog from a person who doesn’t live in the Untied States, this way I get a broader perspective.  It is also interesting to see things posted by a male rather than a female.  It just adds a variety of opinions I guess.  The blog also includes various ways for the teacher to get to know their students.  Ollie Bray also provides consulting services for children so he is very knowledgeable and mentions many resources.  Two of the most useful things I found (so far) were the “Games Based Learning” and “Online Safety” videos/ websites.  It is important to show children that learning can be fun, and most importantly it is important to teach children how to stay safe on the internet.  We want them to use the internet but their safety is important.  As a teacher, I need to know how to prepare my students to be safe on the internet.