slice of life challenge day #1: the “f” word

slice of life 2014

This month, I’m committing to participating in the slice of life challenge for the entire month of March, along with my fifth grade students. It’s not an easy task, and seeing how I already missed the first day, you might think that it’s not a good sign. However, I was reminded of this TEDxYouth talk I recently saw that talked about the “F” word.

Yes, I failed on day 1 of this challenge. And at one point, I thought, I should just not even start. Why even bother with this challenge? I’ve already missed the first day. It would be so much easier if I didn’t participate. However, so many times in my life, I learned that failure is needed in order to achieve success. I am not going to fear failure, and instead I will embrace it, and move forward from it. So, I will continue to write on this journey and participate for the 3rd year in a row on the Slice of Life Writing Challenge hosted by The Two Writing Teachers. Will you join me on this challenging, but rewarding journey? It’s ok if you missed the first day, it’s definitely not too late to join. 🙂

A Dream in my Pocket

This slice is inspired by another slice I read from Pamela here: http://www.pamelahodges.org/2012/09/22/its-okay-to-start-small/

A Dream in my Pocket

I have a dream in my pocket.

I pull it out.

I shove it back in.

I completely forget about it.

I sit on it and it pokes me.

I carefully pull it out.

I look at it and wonder.

I shove it back in my pocket.

* * *

I pull out my dream again.

I put my dream into words.

I share my dream with people.

I realize that this is a big dream, but it’s my dream.

I will need time to nurture and grow my dream.

No longer in my pocket, my dream is in front of me.

*  *  *

What dreams do you have in  your pocket?

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 #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 #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! 🙂