Sunday, March 16, 2014

Project #4 [C4T Summary #2]

     For my second C4T, I'll be featuring Kathleen Morris, a teacher at Leopold Primary School all the way from Victoria, Australia! Kathleen's blog has a lot of great information, some awesome tips for new teachers, and several posts that will get you inspired about how to start blogging in your own classroom! I found myself reading back through lots of older posts, and this blog will definitely be one that I am bookmarking because I know I'll want to look back on these posts after I graduate. The two posts that I'll be featuring today share some tips for recent graduate teachers, and also the difference between blogging, and effective blogging. Yes, there is a difference!
     In the first post I checked out, Kathleen talked about how she's been away from school on maternity leave, but how awesome it's been to be able to stay in the loop in the education world through her PLN, and through blogging. The first post that I got the chance to read shared some tips for teachers who have just recently graduated! I've created an outline featuring these tips below:
• Place getting to know your students above all else!
• Allow students to get involved in structuring and decorating their classroom. (You don't have to do it all.)
• Establish a way to communicate with parents from the beginning.
• Build Your Own PLN
• Set high expectations & follow through.
• Make students feel safe, and comfortable, and let them know that it is OK to make mistakes. We are learning together!
• Learn to Prioritize
• Have FUN!
     For my comment, I let Kathleen know that I'm a student in EDM 310, and a little bit about what this class is all about. I let her know that I appreciated the tips and resources that she shared in her post, and that I'd be featuring her blog, and sharing these tips with my fellow classmates! I also let her know that I'm in the process of building up my own PLN right now, and that it's been awesome to find out that there are so many great blogs with advice for new teachers. I let Kathleen know that I'd be bookmarking her blog, and adding it to my list so I can check out these tips later when I'm about to start teaching in my own classroom someday!
     The second post that I got to check out talked about the difference between just blogging in the classroom, and using blogging in an effective way! Some schools allow their students to use blogs to express themselves in any way that they want! There's no guidance in the process. Kathleen shares with us a few ways to create a program that uses a more structured approach to blogging. Kathleen suggests that you can begin with a class blog before allowing students to work on their own individual blogs. Not only does this make it easier to manage at first, but it gives students a chance to learn about the basics of blogging, gives teachers time to ask for parent's permission, and gives teachers plenty of time to get everything started, and work out all of the minor details. In order to create a blogging program that is actually effective, the teacher then needs to create blog assignments that incorporate the students' different curriculum areas, and high standards need to be set for what is expected! The blog should be regularly maintained, and students should be given feedback for the work they produce so they can actually use it to improve themselves in the future! Blogging can be started slowly so teachers shouldn't be intimidated at first. As you keep going with it, the easier it will become! 
     For my comment, I told Kathleen that I totally agreed with her that this approach to blogging should be used. Otherwise, it is pointless! I thanked her for another great post, let her know that I would be featuring another one of her posts again, and that I'd be visiting her blog again after I graduate because I found so many of her posts with advice for new teachers to be so helpful! This was another great week for C4T for me because I learned a lot about how to get started with blogging in my own classroom someday. 

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