Final Challenge: 5 Important Lessons on Blogging

I’m a bit sad that the edublogs teacher challenge is ending. This past month I’ve really learned a lot about blogging and it has really helped me become a better blogger! Thank you to all the educators out there participating in this challenge. I learned so much from all of your posts.

5 important lessons I learned about blogging this past month from the edublog teacher challenge.

1) Connect to other bloggers–  In order to build readership of your blog you need to comment and subscribe to other blogs.  When you make an effort to connect to other bloggers, you will find more people interested in your blog as well.

2) Blog frequently– This is probably the thing I have the hardest time with. A lot of times I have blog ideas, but I just don’t have the time or energy to write the post. The challenge has helped me blog more frequently. I will try to blog at least 2 or more times a week!

3) Create a Twitter Account–  I just kept reading post after post about twitter through this challenge. I created an account a few days ago after much hesitation and now I’m so glad I did it. It is a cozy community and a way to communicate with other educators. It is very different from a blog. Also, I know that twitter will help increase readership of my blog. Follow me @jeeyoung_kim

4) Explicitly Teach Your Students how to Blog– I got some great ideas from the challenge about important aspects about blogging that I need to teach my students as they create their own blogs. For example- Copyrights to images online, how to write good comments & creating avatars.

5) Building Readership Takes Time There’s definitely no shortcut to creating a big readership for your blog. It takes a lot of time and effort on your part. I know that this past month, I have gotten more readership due to the challenge, but each post took time! Also, it took a lot of time to read through other blogs and leave thoughtful comments.

Some questions I have for my readers…

How do you plan on staying connected with other participants from the challenge?

Do you have a twitter account? Have you found it helpful in connecting with other educators? Do you use twitter in your classroom?

*Upcoming post on how to revolutionize your grading!

Challenge #7: Cleaning Up My Sidebar

For challenge #7, we need to clean up and add widgets to our sidebar.

A great website I stumbled upon a while ago is shabbyblogs, they have buttons and blinkies that you can use for free. All you need to do is copy the html code and add the text widget to your sidebar for wordpress blogs. It takes only a few minutes and gives your blog a great new look!

I made a few small changes to my widgets. I changed the buttons I had and added the chair, cupcake and comment buttons to my blog. I changed the order of my widgets and put after my search bar, the RSS feed link with recent posts, to make it easier for readers to navigate my blog. I also added the blog stats widget button.

Here are some of the buttons/blinkies from shabby blogs!

Does anyone know any other good websites with free buttons/blinkies that you can use??

Challenge #6: Time to Breathe

For challenge #6, I am going to embed different types of media into my post!

As a teacher, there are a million and one things that I need to get done everyday, and the list never really seems to get shorter. There is always SOMETHING to do as a teacher. Even during vacations, my to do list is always so long for school.

So my question for other teachers are:

You can create your own crappy graph here.

Challenge #5- City of Heart & Seoul

For this challenge, it all about images, and how to add and use images in your blog. I decided to create a collage using photovisi about Seoul. There are so many things that I love about Seoul, so I’ve put together a few of my best shots of its delicious food, sights, and heart. It comes out clearer if you click on the photo. All of these are photos I’ve taken here in Seoul.

I also had a lot of fun using animoto, a website that makes videos for you. You can make free videos that last for 30 seconds. As a teacher you can sign up for the education version to get longer videos!

Some ideas that I’m getting for my classroom, is to make short video clips using animoto for things like field trips, publishing parties, big projects, etc. It takes very little time to make the video, but it looks really fancy! Also, it will be a good way to keep my parents connected to what’s happening inside the classroom.

Here’s a quick tour of my school! I’ve included photos of my classroom and our school building.  What do you think? How do you make your classroom cozy for your students? 🙂

Challenge #4- Wimp Yourself

This challenge encouraged us to make avatars using different websites. Here are some new avatars I made using the following websites:  Reasonably  Clever (Lego character) & Picasso Heads

How to create a wimp yourself avatar in 3 easy steps:

1)Go to  Wimp yourself and  create your own character that resembles the Diary of a Wimpy Kid character. Save the image onto your computer.  My students loved “wimping” themselves~!

2) Go to Fotoflexer to edit the photo if needed. Upload the file to the program and add some text or decorations. Save the file on your computer.

3)  Upload the new file as your avatar.

*I’ve also added an RSS feed to my widgets so people subscribe this blog to their reader! 🙂  Who else uses the google reader?

Challenge #3- Spring Cleaning!

Challenge #3- Spring Cleaning!

The third edublog teacher challenge is to clean up our about page and add another page as well. I’m hoping that my title for the post will make me feel warmer…

I did a major clean up of my about page. I tried to make it more visually pleasing to the eye with two photo collages which I used photovisi, a great online photo tool for making collages! I took out the 3 big photos I had before.

I  included some more interesting pieces of information about myself outside the classroom. I wanted to keep it short and easy to read, so I used a questionnaire style.

I also added a new page about books that I used in my fifth grade classroom and professional books  that have influenced or challenged the way I think about teaching! This is still a work in progress. 🙂

What do you think about the new changes in layout?  : )

Challenge #2- How to Keep Your Heartbeat

Since I’ve joined the edublogs teacher challenge, I’ve come across so many interesting teaching blogs. It’s like I’ve stepped into the whole new world of blogging and all it took was a few clicks! Challenge#2 is about writing effective posts. I really like the analogy that they give, that the post is like the heartbeat of your blog!

How to keep your heartbeat of your blog!

5 Steps to an Effective Post:

1) Paragraphs– You have organized your writing into paragraphs. I get lost when I see just a whole bunch of text without paragraphs!

2) Purpose– There’s a purpose to what you’re sharing. It can be useful to other teachers and educators.

3) Pictures– There are pictures, photos, comics, clip art, etc that relate to your post.

4) Personal– You make your post personal in some way, whether it’s about an experience you had or something that is important to you.  It can allow readers to connect to you as well.

5) Practice– The post gives you practical tips or spurs you to reflect on your practice as a teacher.

This is the best I could come up with after a really loong day of writing report card comments! 🙂

What do you like to do to make your post effective?

What makes you read other people’s blogs?

Feel free to leave a comment, even if you’re shy! 🙂

Challenge #1: My Life as a Blogger

I’ve decided to join the Edublogs teacher blogging challenge in an attempt to blog more this year! The first challenge that I’m going to complete is to write about my life as a blogger.

My Life as a Blogger

It all started in a Barnard college dorm room, with an old Dell P.C., and Yes, I started my life as a blogger on (This was a blog site similar to what wordpress and blogspot is like, but not as complex and fancy in the late 90s to early 2000. )  I even managed to convince many friends to join as well. It was fun, exciting and kind of scary, putting your life out on the Internet. I loved posting photos and writing about all sorts of things of the typical college student. It was a good time and I think some people still do use it. That lasted a good number of years, but disappeared quickly.

Now fast forward to 2010, where I decided to start my own teacher blog. After a failed attempt to keep a food blog after moving to Korea, I thought maybe a teacher blog would be better. I think I was partly inspired after meeting Stacey, who has an awesome blog called Two Writing Teachers, at the Reading and Writing project summer institute this past July.

The purpose for starting my blog is that it will be:

  • a place for reflection on my own practice as a teacher
  • a place to share ideas with other teachers all over the world
  • a place to allow friends and family a peek into my classroom
  • a place to inspire others

For the extension activity, I’ve created a wordle about the purpose of my blog~!