Now I Tag

I started my first blog back on July 13, 2011. At that time I began reading the blogs of  Staff Developers at TCRWP and thought if they could do it, so could I. I posted a total of 11 posts from July to December that year. I included writing related to my own reading and tips on teaching reading and writing. I included photos and hyperlinks. I added widgets to allow people to follow me, show blogs I follow and archive my posts. I used blogspot and was pretty proud of myself.

Now in 2018, I feel I have evolved as a blogger. I owe that in large part to the community I found here at TheTwoWriting Teachers. In March, 2014 I started a new blog to host my first ever Slice of Life posts. My first blog stayed as the blog where I post my learning at TCRWP and other PD related to Reading and Writing. This new blog’s purpose was to hold only the stories I can tell which became my blog’s title. It held my small moment slices and it served me well all of 2014. That first year, after writing for 31 days, I was done. I went back to occasionally adding to my other blog. I returned to my SOL blog in 2015 by adding my OLW thoughts and then March, 2015 another 31 days!

After year two, I felt comfortable enough as a writer to add a Tuesday Slice to my routine during the months not called March and I started adding 4ish slices during these months. And then daily in March. I followed this pattern through 2016.

Then I started noticing people “liking” my posts and I wanted to be able to “like” them back. By then, my daughter, Anne, was blogging (her insightful posts can be found HERE) and she helped me start a new blog using wordpress. WordPress allows me to easily like others. It allows me to easily reply to comments. I liked wordpress so much that since, then, I’ve started a blog to hold onto my thinking about teaching Middle School and another blog I use with a group of teachers doing Teacher Research. 

However, this weekend I wanted to be the kind of blogger who uses “tags”. I’ve seen this on other’s blog pages like this one on Fran McVeigh’s:

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One problem, my go-to tech support (AKA my daughter, Anne) is living and working in France until May. And I wanted to do this NOW. So I searched google “How to tag in a wordpress blog” and it indicated that there were only 8 million links to help me. When I clicked on VIDEO, now only 6 million links were available! So I picked one and watched. It indicated that this box can appear as I am drafting my post if I click on the wheel on the top right corner.

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Without clicking on the wheel, which was something I had never done before, my screen simply looked like this:

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Suddenly, I got it!! I went to my dashboard and clicked on BLOG POSTS and saw this total:

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 2.08.26 PMYikes…that meant I could revisit each of the 274 posts, click on the wheel and add a tag or two or three. I started with enthusiasm. Soon, my stomach was grumbling and I took a lunch break. Then I pushed on. I wanted to be a blogger who tagged and it only felt right if I tagged all that went before and then started tagging each in the making of a post going forward. After a dinner break, I finally finished! Now this can be seen on my blog:

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Before I publish, let me just add the tags for this post. What is it mostly about? I’m tagging it like this: tech, SOL, Blogs, friends, Anne.  

 I can’t wait for Fran to see this tomorrow when I post it as my SOL #5!

Are you a blogger who tags? Are you a blogger who uses another feature? Please share!

PS: I also discovered I can publish this right now to be scheduled to actually be published tomorrow…so sneaky!!

PSS: I still want to be the kind of slicer who includes the orange slice and how I’m blogging as part of the challenge. Maybe I’ll figure out how to add that next weekend!

Electronic Writing

I heard on the radio that by 2020, the people on facebook who have died will outnumber those alive. This got me thinking in general about social media and specially about my own blog writing. Over this past weekend, I searched my blogs for an entry I had made to share with a current colleague. I found it. Finally. After searching all 3 blogs. Why 3?

I started the first blog called Fun With Reading and Writing on July 13, 2011. I know because my blog records the precise details of when a post is made. It mostly is about books I read and  my notes from learning about reading and writing while attending institutes at Teachers College.

Then on August 14, 2013, when I decided to return to being a classroom teacher instead of a reading teacher, I started another blog called Back in the Classroom. I regularly posted on Saturday about my week. I had anticipated this year being different and hard  and I thought writing about it would help. It really was good therapy for me.

That same year I decided to do this thing called the Slice of Life Writing Challenge in March of 2013. Some of you may have heard of it?! So I started my 3rd blog. Why another? Mostly because the Back in the Classroom blog was just for me – I didn’t really want others to read it unless I wanted to share. Since the SOL challenge is about building an online writing community, I wanted a new blog – I called it My Writing Stories That Only I Can Tell . It’s purpose is to post my daily small moments. And that year I did write a small moment every day in March. And the following year I returned to it and wrote again each day in March. Then in 2014 when March ended, I started to post on Tuesdays too (another option of the Two Writing Teachers). Now I consider this my main blog and weekly post to it (like I am doing now HERE!)

So that’s why I have 3 blogs. I know how to access them. I know how to now. But what about 10 or 20 or 30 years from now, when my memory starts to fade even more? I wonder if I should print them out? Or maybe add the links somewhere so others can find them? Or could WordPress stop being a product and go away someday and my stories, too? Is it ok that, just like my facebook page, when I am gone or start being forgetful, my electronic stories will be forgotten too?  Will they be there for anyone who would know how to search to find them? Is it fine to just have the stories be there, out there, in the electronic cloud?

Anyone have any tips for keeping your blog writing over the long haul?

Form helps!

I awoke knowing I had to pack and head home. I’ve been in NYC all week attending the 2nd Annual Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Digital and Media Institute. My head is spinning and so ready to explode. The thing giving me comfort is that it is almost summer…a time for me to play and explore and try all the things I became aware of this week as the best literacy minds shared!

Then I read Margaret’s focus today on DigitLit: Form

The institute ended with a celebration involving an Ignite Session. Ignite was described in the Welcome email as:

Finally, during the last day of the institute, we will be offering an Ignite session. For those of you who are new to Ignite sessions, they are participant led presentations, which are very quick and packed with information. Like its older sister Pecha Kucha, Ignite is a presentation structure that has a strict time limit which forces the speaker to be precise and thoughtful about what to include and how to show it. It is completely voluntary. In an Ignite session, presenters will have 5 total minutes to present. They will have 20 slides, each slide automatically moving on after 15 seconds. We will offer a sign up for the Ignite session on site and will have a limited number of slots available.

You can prepare your presentation ahead of your arrival at the institute, or you can plan it based on what you learned during your week with us. If you are interested in learning more about Ignite, you might want to watch a sample. Here is a link to Penny Kittle’s Ignite session at NCTE 2013:‐GUaX2ow . Additionally, if you would like to learn how to create your own Ignite session, you might want to check out these tips:‐to‐give‐a‐great‐ignite‐talk/

As I read this in the email before arriving, I thought how I could share about blogging – my own experience, as well as, the story of my students’ experience with Kidblog since March. I had some ideas in my head so when once at the Institute, I signed up to give one.

Wednesday evening I started gathering ideas, photos, jots of why I love to blog and how amazed I was by my students’ blogging experience during the month of March (which I posted about on this blog a few times in March!).

After sitting in a day of workshops, I also thought I needed a structure to my Ignite presentation (all the wonderful staff developers had done this so well as they presented). On the first day, Colleen Cruz shared the research by Brian Cambourne on Conditions for Learning. This list seems the prefect lens to use to share my blogging story.

I was thinking of this list as the lens to see my story through but as I read Margaret’s DigiLit#24 post today, I realize it is also the FORM. I wholeheartedly agree, FORM matters, no matter the writing genre. Seeing my story through the conditions of learning allowed me to share my love of blogging across 20 slides in the 5 minute format.

I need to head to the bus station now and will plan to add MORE (like the link to my presentation!) to my post on Tuesday to the TwoWritingTeachers. But just had to celebrate now with Margaret, a day to celebrate FORM!!!

P.S. Despite being SO nervous to present, I included my favorite bloggers in my presentation. Having you along helped me to be brave and IGNITE!!

Two slides I shared:

#15 – Reflecting at the half-way point!

Today in my 3rd grade classroom, I assigned this task for my students to complete using Google Classroom. I wanted them to reflect on their 15th of the March Writing Challenge.

Since they were reflecting, I thought I would, too, as my post today!

1. Go back and see what your writing goal was? How are you doing?
* My goal on Feb. 29 was to write ______. Today I have written _____ posts.

* My goal on Feb. 29 was to write 31 posts or one post each day in March. 
Today I have written 14 posts and as soon as I post this, 15. 
I feel confident I WILL reach my March Writing Goal!

2Is READING others’ post giving YOU ideas about what to write next?

* The post by _____ inspired me to write _____ because…
* The post by FRAN inspired me to write the poem called Since Last March because it was a poem format she modeled well and I could follow easily!
* The post by MICHELLE inspired me to to write Five Challenging Questions because she had honestly reflected on her struggles and achievements and it seemed an easy format to follow.
* The post by DEBORAH inspired me to write my MISSION STATEMENT because she shared her draft and it pushed me to try writing my own. 
3. Are COMMENTS encouraging you to write more?
* Comments by _______ keep me writing!
ALL my comments keep me writing!! It is truly amazing how getting a sentence or two about a story I have posted can lift my spirits, make me smile and keep me writing, day after day!! THANK YOU for leaving me comments!!
I am especially grateful for comments by FRAN, MARILYN, TARA, JULIEANNE, FRAN, and ANNE. These are all people I have met so when I read their comments, I see and hear their voice!
I was also SUPER excited that Kathleen linked MY post about my students using Kidblog to the Classroom SOLSC – A kind of comment that kept me writing!!
Maybe YOU might want to reflect, too!
I am super proud of my students 23 of them, who LOVE to blog and make comments.
Today, our dashboard (after only 15 days!) reads:

And these are their Google Classroom reflections:

Comments from “Peters ” comments because he always is the first one too comment.
I am inspired by Madeleines posts because they are very expanded.
My goal was 4 but I have 9.

My goal was to write 3 posts. Today I haven’t written any posts yet. Comments by Ellie kept me writing. Some of the posts by Elle kept me blogging so I wrote one about a roller coaster.

My goal was 2 I have 7 story’s . comments by Stella keep me writing. the post by Stella inspired me to write about dogs

My goal was 4 posts and i did 11😀. Mary Frances commented and it made me keep writing.The post by Caroline inspired me to right about roller coasters like she did.

My goal was 4 story’s I wrote 7. Comments from Caroline keep me writing. And a post from Caroline gave me Insperation.

My goal on February 29th was to write 3. Today I have written 8. Comments by Lauren keep me writing because she told me i described it really well. The post by Roland inspired me to write the big thunderstorm because Roland wrote a story on a thunderstorm.

Reading is giving my ideas.
Comments by Jackson keep me writing because there comments are very inspiring.
The post by Quinn inspired me to write Liberty skiing because he wrote a hockey story.

I’m doing good I have 2 posts which is what I wanted I love comments on my posts it inspires me to write more I was inspired to make a car wash story because I go in lot of them

My goal on February 29 was to write 4 post.Today I have written only 1 post but comments by Mary Frances keep me writing because she commented twice on my 1 story and on her second comment she wrote when I read it the second time I liked it better! That comment made me want to keep writing! And I had the idea on writing a sports story because everyone was writing one and I love sports so why not do one.

My goal on February 29 was to write 10 posts. Today I have written 4 posts. Comments by Jackson and Mary Frances keep me writing because the comments so make me want to write more.

My goal on February 29 was 4. Right now I have written 3 posts. Comments that say to keep writing really makes me want to keep on writing for my class. The post by Caroline of the mouse trap inspired me to write about a roller coaster because it had things that you can say like BOOM or DROP.

My goal on February 29 was to write 13 times. Today I have written 1post. Comments like jacksons keep me writing because they were positive and friendly. The posts by mr re inspired me to write because they are detailed.

Mary Frances:
Comments by Stella, Laney, and Ruby keep me writing because they make connections and compliment me on little things.The posts made by Ryan inspire me to write because he adds lots of things that I think that I could write about. My goal on Feb.29th was to write 3 posts. Today I have written 15 posts.

My goal on Feb. 29 was to write 25. Today I have written 9 posts.
Comments by Jackson keep me writing because he always says nice things about my writing!
My mom inspired me to write my Ireland story’s because she said that we would be going in a month so I thought why don’t I say what I will do there and so I did it on kidblog!

My goal on February 29 was to post 24 times, today I posted 4 posts. Comments by Roland,Owen and Lucas keep me writing because their comments make me feel special inside. The post by mr. Re going to wonder inspired me to write going to Hawaii.

My goal on February 29 was 11. Right now I have 13. Comments by William R and Jackson kept me writing. The post by Mrs. Donnelly inspired me to write poems because it was something fun to do if your bored.

My goal on Feb.29 was to write 19.Today I have written 8 posts.
Comments by William keep me writing because he tells me what is good about my story’s
The post by Owen inspire me to write more because it has good story’s and details

My goal on Feb.29 was to write 8. Today I have written 3 posts. Comments by Mary Frances keep me writing because in each comment she keeps a smile on my face. The post by Laney inspired me to write my “first Tournament of the season #1” because she wrote about sports.

My goal of March was to write a blog almost everyday! In March I have written 13 posts! Comments by tons of people like Mary Frances keep me writing! The poem post by Quinn gave me an idea to write my own poem because I really like that he used animals with words that sound alike!!

Comments by Destiny keep me writing because she says stuff like “can’t wait for more” and not just ” I like the details” but she says which details specifically. Destiny really inspires me. The post by Mr. Rey about “A Wacky Place to Read” inspired me to write because I really liked how he added a question at the end. And was also a very good story.

11 post
11 post this month
Quinn because it’s nice
Owen I was inspired to do parts because you can get more post

My goal was 3 story’s and I’ve written 1 post. Mary Frances keeps me writing because her comments are really good and nice.

William R:
My goal on Fed. 29 was to write 2 posts. Today I have written 8 posts. Comments that kept me going was Quinn because he does kind comments. The posts
by Peter and Quinn inspired me to write animal poems and from Peter a Christmas story.