Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Something New



This year, inspired by Scott Sibberson at my district's "Tech Camp" in June, I became attracted by the world of blogging in several ways:

  1. I set up a class blog for my summer school ELL students.  I was so excited to see how they really got into the blog and many would get on at home to write and make comments -- what a great authentic use of English in their spare time!  I also had a lot of fun reading their posts, making comments, and writing sample posts as models for them.
  2. I found a whole bunch of fascinating, inspiring education blogs (mostly ed-tech, some language arts, and some foreign language) to read as "informal PD".  I put them in my Netvibes feed (My IT specialist husband got me using Netvibes in college but until this summer, I only used it for fun and news!), put the Netvibes app on my iPod Touch, and have since been devouring helpful, exciting bits of fun-to-read tips and tricks every day.  I even found some great ideas to put into practice right away during summer school!  A side benefit of this was that it reminded me how much I love reading (but that's a topic for another post).
  3.  The little "writing voice" in my head that nags me when I tell students that I love to write (and reminds me that I don't do it much anymore!) started telling me that if I liked reading blogs (especially inspiring blogs about writing, like Two Writing Teachers) and having my kids blog so much, I should make my own.  Every year I say I should start keeping a teaching journal to record my reflections, and every year I don't do it.  Since I hardly do anything with pen and paper anymore, maybe a blog would be a good way to make it happen?  Of course, then the "excuse voice" came back with its specialties, such as "I don't have enough time", "Who wants to read MY ideas?", etc.  Thankfully, the "writing voice" won (with some help from my encouraging husband!) and I signed up for my blog as soon as summer school ended!
Of course, then I played around with the layout for a few days, looked at the blogs I read to see how they do it, wrote this post in my head a few times, let the "excuse voice" scare me a few more times... and then it was time to leave for our family vacation to Myrtle Beach for a week! Since I try not to do tech on vacation (although this year I couldn't stay away from reading some of my blogs on my Touch!), there was no way I was going to get started with the blog until vacation was over.

Now I'm finally back and (after writing this in my head late at night a few more times) finally jumping in to my first entry!  At one of the sessions at my district's voluntary PD "academy" I attended today, the presenter reminded us that doing something new grows brain cells.  I know I've read that before, but it was a good day to get the reminder.  Here goes my brain growing now!

10 comments:

  1. Welcome to Slice of Life Tuesday! It is a great place to grow brain cells and try out writing ideas. You have a good start.

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  2. Welcome to Slice of Life. I just started blogging in January and I can attest to the fact that this activity does help in the growing of brain cells! I'm constantly thinking and writing now. And that's a good thing! Happy Writing!

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  3. Welcome, I also just started this year. I took a similar journey and am so thankful I did. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and how you use technology with your kids. Pretty exciting stuff!

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  4. Love your first post, Jennifer, and so glad you've decided to take the plunge. I've been blogging on my teacher blog for about a year, but this summer is my first serious try at SOL. I've been pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable writing has become for me and how much I love reading the SOLs that others have written.

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  5. Welcome to blogging and Slice of Life! It really makes you think about writing.

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  6. Welcome to the blogging community! I started this year, in February, and have loved the process of writing for some purpose, and seeing how creative everyone is in their wonderful writing! It's been a real adventure, so hope you enjoy it too!

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