Week 2 – Tips, resources, and classroom connections
Week one flew by! When real learning is happening it’s enthralling, and time spins away. Last week felt the same. This week I am able to say, “I am a blog writer”. If your considering blogging, take note of how quickly you can learn!
Day 6 – Make an “irresistible” About Page
This was a challenge. However, About Page 101: Making Them Care is an incredible resource. If your like me, struggling, to write about yourself, use the tip of allowing a finite amount of time on a specific topic. We use quick-writes with students, why not use them with ourselves?
Day 7 – Keep Personalizing
Playing with visuals is how we personalize things. For students, this can be a writer’s notebook. For us, it’s our teacher-blog. Today I personalized by picking my theme. To do so, I had to think about who I am, who I want to connect with, and how my theme communicates that. When you pick a theme, think about the emotional connection you hope to evoke. More than anything this will personalize your blog.
Day 8 – Be a Good Neighbor
Time for checking out others (read below for four powerful blogs). Think of this as a gallery walk. In the classroom, before you send students off to critique each other, you lay some ground rules. It’s the same in the blogoshpere. Read these eight norms (from @kristastevens, WordPress Blogging 101) for commenting on blogs and then get visiting!
- Try to avoid comments that simply say “Great post!” or “Thanks!” — make an effort to add to the discussion.
- Be specific about why you enjoyed the post.
- Ask a relevant question.
- Respectfully offer a counterpoint. (And because it can’t be overstated: respectfully.)
- Share a related experience.
- Be concise. If your comment ends up being more than two paragraphs, consider writing a post of your own and letting the blogger know they inspired it.
- Don’t leave a plug that simply links to your blog — your name links back to your blog anyway.
- Mind your manners. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it in their comment thread.
Here are the comments I left on four thought-provoking blogs
- Book People Blog – A wonderful bookstore blog
- Colorin Colorado – A blog sharing all things about students learning English as an additional language
- School for Linguists Blog – A blog focused on linguistics, an important topic for those teaching students learning English as an additional language!
- Pushing the Edge Blog – My favorite pick-me-up blog. Every time I go here I gain courage to try something new!
Day 9 – Get Inspired by the Neighbors
Sometimes you have to put it all out there. Unabashedly. I learned that while ago as a classroom teacher. If I share who I am, the kids have someone to connect with. If all I do is teach, it becomes a little robotic. Education isn’t about receiving information, it’s about internalizing an experience. And I am part of their experience. I put it out here for this post because I am inspired by the neighbors. Check out my day nine post I’m a Groupie (and You Should Be Too). It speaks for itself.
You should try this too. Find a blog you love, and turn it into a post about that blog. When I shared my post with the blogger I wrote it about, it made his day. You have the power to make someone’s day too!
Day 10 – Build a Better Blogroll
Epiphany! Yes, I finally read through most of the directions for building links and adding to the menu and creating a blogroll. You know what happened? I figured out how to do something I’ve been frustrated over the past two weeks – get my Blogging 101 posts into one thread on my menu without making a page.
Have you ever noticed in the classroom what happens when students don’t read the directions? As a teacher does it make you frustrated? Are you able to empathize with why they don’t want to?
If your a WordPress used, and you need help, go straight to the support section or email the support team. Everything you need is there!