Summertime – Hurry up!

I cannot wait for summer!  Despite the fact that I have a 3-month old, and I can’t wait for my first summer as a mommy to begin, I’m anxious to get started on my next project: adding student blogs to my classroom curriculum.  As I finish my 13th year of teaching, I’m excited to add blogging to my course work.  Researching as many blogs as I can, and also looking into teachers who have great advice as to how to create the rubric for grading these blogs.  Any ideas?  Know of materials that can help?  Send ’em my way!

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Blog Post # 3

Blog Post # 3

Selected Blog = – author, Alan Levine

“Rooms Full of Scribes” – Levine posted this blog after attending the MEC 2011 Conference, an Ed Tech Conference at Arizona State University that is in its 31st year.

This post made me literally “LOL”.  That is a great question – what are they taking notes of and why?  When you commented “it seemed to me in that room, that all the individual effort was super redundant”, I immediately thought – is this what is happening in my high school history classroom everyday?  Should I have my students taking notes in a networked space?  A GoogleDocs shared space where they could help each other with main ideas, supporting facts, etc?  What would you suggest to bring my American History classroom into our new tech-savvy world?


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Classroom Blogging

Attention teachers of all ages!  Are you thinking about incorporating blogging into your curriculum?  I recently finished a book by Diane Penrod entitled Using Blogs to Enhance Literacy:  The Next Powerful Step in 21st-Century Learning. It is an excellent resource if you are considering the idea of blogging in the classroom.  Check it out!

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Blog Post # 1

Blog Response # 1

Selected blog: 2cents worth – author, David Warlick

Are They Students Or Are They Learners?”



Blog Response:

David – I found this article so intriguing! This is exactly where I think our classroom focus needs to go. “Teaching in order to make yourself obsolete” should be what every teacher strives to do in their classroom. Too many of us focus on our pupils as students rather than learners. I thought your chart was an incredible creation on how to explain the difference, and what our endeavor as educators should be – achieving a climate for learners! I’m curious as to what the last few months’ feedback has been on this post. Have you had more colleagues weigh in on the process? How do we get the “powers to be” at the state and federal level to assist us in changing the climate of our schools?


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Blog Post #2

Blog Response # 2

Selected blog: Cool Cat Teacher

“The Difference a Blog Makes”


Blog Response:


Viki – Congratulations on your 5th anniversary and I’m glad you are still going strong! I was just introduced to your blog in January, and I enjoy it very much. I often find myself scrolling back to read your older posts! I am a high school history teacher in Illinois, and I am currently taking an Ed Tech class for my Masters. This post just reiterates to me how powerful of a tool that blogging can be. My new goal is to get my students blogging as well. Do you have any tips for a first-time blogging creator for high school students? I want them to make the people we study come alive through their writing.


Your enthusiasm in contagious! Please continue inspiring others – God bless!


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Reflection # 1

During the first few weeks of 579, I have learned a variety of new skills and concepts to apply to my teaching.  I have taken a few graduate level courses that I could definitely not say the same for!  These new technology skills will be very helpful in creating a more tech-savvy history classroom for my students.  One facet that I am going to introduce into my teaching is blogging.  I cannot wait to get my students started on the blogging concept to enhance our classroom community.  Once I have developed a strong blogging environment, I would like to then move on to study sessions online as well – possibly through Facebook or another avenue.

What have you learned in the course that you will not forget tomorrow?  So many things!  I have loved the Elluminate sessions, and have felt that I have learned so much from not only Dr. Toledo, but the guest speakers, and my colleagues as well.  The research sharing has been very valuable, and I’m enjoying working on the project with my high school group-mates too!

As I stated before, I plan to apply the concept of blogging to not only enhance my students’ learning, but my own future learning as well.   By developing my PLN, I will be able to continue to grow as a life-long learner.  I will then be able to pass this technology onto my students and make my history classroom as exciting as possible!


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Elluminate Lesson

This past Thursday, my C&I  class was the best educational experience I have received at ISU.  Instead of meeting face-to-face, we met online through Elluminate.  Dr. Toledo took us through some of the tools we will need to begin building our PLNs, or professional learning network.  I learned more in that two-hour session than I have in other graduate-level courses combined.  I had never had a meeting through Elluminate before, but it is a wonderful format and the class as a whole enjoyed this learning session as well.  Only one or two of our classmates had used it before, so most of us were learning as we went.

We had people popping in from North Carolina, Texas, and even Australia to join our conversation about what their PLNs have allowed them to do.  It was amazing and I learned so much!  While I will admit I was hesitant to take this doctorate-level course as an elective for my master’s degree work, it will be time well spent.

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