Tag Archives: blogging

Bye Bye 2012


2012 has been a remarkable year. It has been busy and at times demanding, exciting and stimulating. There have been many ups and a few downs but each time I have managed to get back up again! I have learnt a great deal, I have taught a great deal, I have accomplished so much more than I could have imagined, which of course, has left me wanting even more! I have been surprised and I have been shocked but I can happily look back on 2012 and know that I am still in the right place. Being an educator is who I am and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love my job, no matter what it throws at me and yes, some days I may just want to pull my hair out…but I don’t because I know that what I am doing is worth it. There are young people who rely on me everyday to be the best I can be, so I keep going. I don’t give up.  I do it for them!

My highlights of 2012 have included:

–       This Blog: What a wonderful way to share and learn from others, to engage in professional learning and to reflect on my practice.

–       My Class Blog: My very first year of blogging in my class has opened up a myriad of ideas and learning in my classroom.

–       T is For Teaching: An article by Jewel Topsfield published in The Age Newspaper. Teachers rarely get the recognition they deserve for the things they do in the classroom, just to be noticed and valued for what I have done is something that I am extremely grateful for.

–       Evernote Ambassador: This year I was made an international education ambassador for Evernote. It is extremely exciting to share, teach, help and inspire other teachers to use Evernote to become more organised and efficient teachers!

–       My students: I have been blessed with an amazing group of students who have challenged me and nearly everyday teach me something new. Without them I would not have been able to accomplish half as much as I did this year.

Where to in 2013-

–       IWBNet Leading a Digital School Conference: I am looking forward to presenting and running workshops about Evernote at the IWBNet leadership conference, my first conference presentation.

–       Evernote Ambassadorship: I can’t wait to meet more teachers looking at using Evernote and being able to share what I know with them.

–       A new year in a growing school: 2013 will be the third year of operation for my school and I have been there from the beginning- what a privilege to be a part of it.

– Continuing to learn and grow: I don’t think I could ever stop wanting to find out more, I wonder what i will learn in 2013?

My ‘words of wisdom’ from what I have learnt this year:

  • Expect the unexpected
  • Start with a clean slate
  • Be patient
  • Never give up
  • Have high expectations
  • Hard work really does pay off
  • Learn from those around you
  • Listen to what others have to say
  • Discuss…don’t argue
  • Nudge…don’t force
  • Persevere
  • Put yourself out there
  • Try something new…try something new…try something new…try something new…try something new…get it?
  • Give people time- everybody is different, just because what someone else does is not the same as what you would do, doesn’t mean it is wrong
  • Ask questions- enquire, research, have the want for more, we are always learning!
  • Smile and be positive- ‘EVERYDAY is a good day to have a good day’ (as my thermo mug tells me every morning)…even if you don’t feel like it…our students deserve the best!

What has 2012 been like for you?

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

What are your ‘words of wisdom’?

Educational Blogging # 2

At the beginning of the year, I blogged about the launch of my first classroom blog. The last six months has proven to be a myriad of things; challenging, exciting, stimulating, inspiring,worthwhile, fulfiling, interesting but above all one of the most rewarding things I have done in my teaching career to date.

There is nothing better as a teacher to witness your students become responsible and independent learners who are able to reflect on what and how they learn. I believe that having our class blog has encouraged my students to become thought provoked, interested learners who take pride in their work and thrive on sharing their successes with an authentic audience.

Last week my students and I discussed why we blog and how it helps their learning. This is what we came up with:

It was great to be able to hear their thoughts and ideas on whay blogging is important and discuss the ways it helps their learning.

During Term 2 students in my class participated in a ‘Blog Challenge‘- Students had to try and get as many of their friends and family to comment on our blog as possible. I implemented this challenge as an effort to encourage more of a connection between school and home. It was great to see the enthusiasm of students and many of their family members! With the announcement of our winners last week, my students have already asked if we will be having another challenge during the year.

The next step in my journey will be having some student bloggers. I have about three students in my grade who I think are nearly ready to embark on their own blogging adventure and can’t wait to help them begin. I am sure this will be another learning curve but one that will be rewarding all the same.

Some pictures of students blogging in my class-

Do you blog with your students?

How has blogging improved student learning in your class?

Kathleen Morris has blogged a lot about educational blogging here. If you are thinking about starting a class blog I would highly recommend visiting her site, there is lots of great ideas and advice!

Educational Blogging

It’s a first! This year I have taken the plunge into educational blogging with my new grade 4, 5, 6 class! I am so excited to begin this journey with my students and I am sure it will be a fun, rewarding and enlightening experience.

Last year I began writing ‘Miss Spink On Tech’ to share the ways I use technology in the classroom. In the beginning it was a daunting and nerve racking process, but now I love blogging so much and can only hope that I am able to share this love with my students. I love the way this blog has made me more reflective and in turn has developed my practise as a teacher.

Towards the end of 2011 I began using Google Sites and and created a site for my P, 1, 2 class. I embedded the comment feature and was able to dabble in a form of ‘blogging’ with these students. I was amazed at how excited the students were to get involved and I loved seeing how excited they got when global visitors commented on their work! It is also important to note the standard of writing that students were setting as they understood the importance of writing quality comments. This reaffirmed my desire to embark on an educational blogging with a new class in a new year.

And so it begins…Welcome to the Grade 4, 5, 6 Class blog!


So come and join us on our journey through blogging this year! I know my students would love to hear from students and teachers all over the world! Please help me show my students how powerful blogging can be!

What do you like about blogging with your students?

Meme- Quality Blogging and Commenting


I am constantly amazed by the power of the Twitter professional learning network and am always challenged and inspired by my colleagues- needless to say that this does not stop over the holiday period. Today I was tagged in an Internet meme about quality blogging and commenting by Stef Galvin.

An Internet meme is described by Wikipedia as a

“term to describe a concept that spreads via the Internet, Internet meme is an idea that is propagated through the World Wide Web. The idea may take the form of a hyperlink, video, picture, website, hashtag, or just a word or phrase”.

This meme about quality blogging and commenting originated from Silvia Tolisano where she challenged educators to think about the ways they use blogging and how they audit comments.

I have only been a blog writer since September and have only just scratched the surface of blogging with students- so in the blogging world I am somewhat of a novice but am willing to reflect upon and share my ideas in response to this meme.

Creating Authentic and Quality Blog Posts and Comments

When I began blogging with my students I was somewhat naive about the amount of preteaching and modelling that was needed- as a result, what students were writing in the beginning were not authentic or quality forms of commenting. When reflecting on this I decided to integrate blogging within writing sessions, explicitly teaching it as a text type, coming up with a student agreed upon check list and using this to form the basis for student commenting. I suppose I should mention that the ages of students I was working with was between 5 and 8, grades Prep to 2! This in itself was a challenge as I was working with students of varied degrees of ability and interest.

As a class we read a variety of blog posts and comments and discussed what we noticed about them. We came up with some ideas on what makes a quality post or comment and recorded our ideas-

We then created a checklist which allowed students to cross check their comments to ensure they were writing, quality, authentic and relevant comments.


Auditing Comments and Posts

Spread the Word

I have enjoyed reflecting on the use of blogging and assessing student posts and comments and look forward to extending my knowledge further in this area as I endeavor to blog with grade 4, 5 and 6 students next year!

I am tagging three more educators to take part in this meme and invite any other readers to write their own post!

@soingirl – Mrs Watson’s 2/3 Class

@vgridley – Juniors Blackburn

@jodiwoo – Ms Woodward’s Class Blog

For more information on this meme post or tips, ideas and thoughts on educational blogging please visit Silvia Tolisano’s blog- Langwitches or Kathleen Morris’ Quality Commenting and Blogging Meme and Blogging Tips for Students and Teachers.