Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What to post???

Teachers often tell me they don't know what to post on their grade level blogs.

I think that anything that students would be excited to share is great content.  

You can also post links to other teachers' blogs or take excerpts from Ann's Principal newsletter or from the PTO's emails.

If you are producing a paper newsletter or other document that goes home, it's helpful to also post this information on your blog. You can divide up each topic in your newsletter as a separate post and schedule them to go out automatically over the course of the week or month.

It always helps to have an image but this is sometimes hard if all children haven't returned photo permission forms. There are many other things you can use. You could show work being done in class, pictures from field trips, shots of guest speakers, or photos of books students are discussing. 

Several teachers post pictures of students working on something together with the children just out of the frame.  See some of the other grade level blogs for ideas.  I'm also happy to brainstorm with you. 

Any news from your class gives parents something to ask about beyond the usual "How was your day?" and that is always appreciated!

Monday, January 1, 2018

SeeSaw Webinars



For those of you who are using SeeSaw,
here is a link to their newest calendar of webinars for teachers. 

Their PD in you PJ's  offers quick lessons for teachers of all grade levels. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Finding time to post:

We teachers are always tight on time. Blogger has lots of tools to help you make the most of your time in communicating with students and families.

Posts can be created in draft form, and can be completed as you have time to create them. 

You can create several posts in one sitting and publish them later. 

By scheduling your posts you can set a number of posts to go out over the course of the week. 

To use this feature, create your post, then schedule it using the menu to the right. Click Publish. It will appear on the date that you set for it. 

Posting from a phone

Many teachers find it easiest to post from their phone. In the settings, under email you will see a space for you to customize an address for your blog. Add a secret word to complete the address and then send a test post to it.  

See these instructions.

The subject of your email will be the title of the post, You can add a picture and text to the body of the message. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Publicizing your blog

You can see how many people have clicked on your post in the settings. 
While it is frustrating at first to see that a post is not well-read, this is data you can use.
(Incidentally, we seldom know if our paper-based communications are read...) We need to actively get the word out that your blogs are there so that more people will read them.

How to get the word out:

Visit the Grade 3 Blog
Share with your families any way you communicate with them.  If you are publishing a written newsletter you can provide the link to the blog. 

If you have a post you would like to feature, you can send that link to others to post in their newsletters or on the Riverton page.

Make your students aware of the blog so that they know that there are things they can share about what they are learning. You could put up the latest post on the projector during breakfast or snack so that students could see it regularly.  Students are likely to start to point out things that can be shared on the class blog. 

You can also set your opening page on your own computer to have your blog appear when you open a new tab. That will remind you that it is a vehicle for you to use whenever you can!

Once your families have discovered your blog, you can encourage them to subscribe so that they get an email when there is a new post. Here is how to add that module

Blogs vs. Newsletters

Check out the Kindergarten Blog

Many teachers create a newsletter for their classroom news but more are moving toward blogs as a way to share what is going on. You can still offer news and pictures on different topics but blog software offers some other benefits.  

Blog posts are shorter and therefore can be sent out more often. People are consuming information in smaller bits these days...think of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook...  This may be more engaging for your audience. 

Some other benefits: 

Blogs are easier to update, and you don't need to spend time formatting. If you need to make a correction on a post, you can fix it and republish. 

Parents can subscribe to the updates and get an email when there is a new post.

Text can be pasted into an online translator for readers who are not native English speakers and you can still print posts for families who don't have internet access.

Monday, November 27, 2017

What is 3D printing?

A 3D printer allows us to design 3D objects and print them. This is a great way to make a part that is hard to find or to realize an idea for an object that has yet to be developed.

The object will print on the green surface

Melted plastic drips on to the surface and the object
is built up gradually.
Here are a couple of applications of this technology that I have read about.

Printing at the International Space Station:


Printing prosthetics:


These test objects were printed in precise locations
on the surface. Once they cool we can lift them off.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Save to Drive

When someone shares a document with you, you often get an email that lets you know.

When you click on that message, you get the chance to "Save to Drive". This is a good idea because it lets you put the document in a place that makes sense to you and your system of organization.

You will still see it listed in the "shared with me" tab, but you can ignore that. You now have a new view of it from your personal Drive.

Once you have a file in "My Drive" it continues to be updated by anyone who it is shared with. 

Here is an explanation I found on YouTube that is a good illustration of this: