Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Snowy State of the Blog Address

Before getting into the blog stuff, let's talk snow.  I don't know where you are, but where I am it has been snow, snow, snow, and how about a nice freezing hail-rain combo to top it all off. We had four snow days built in to our school calendar.  We have used those four snow days.  If we take anymore, they will start to make-up the days by taking back other days off, like Spring Break.  Not looking forward to that.  In addition to the snow days, we've had a few delayed openings and an early dismissal all due to weather. Thankfully, those days still count as a full school day so we don't have to make them up.  Here are some snowy, icy scenes from the past week or so:

my ride to school

ice encrusted cars

snow covered playgrounds

which mean indoor recess. . .
Is there anything more chaotic and loud than indoor recess?  I feel for the kids because they really do need to let out that pent up kid energy.  In our school, indoor recess happens in the gym and in our classrooms.  The kids alternate locations because the PE teachers also still need to use the gym.  Thankfully, teachers don't have to monitor indoor recess as it during our duty-free lunch period.  Instead, the lunch aides come to supervise the kids.  But, with all the snow and freezing temperatures we've had lately I'm beginning to think these poor kids will never get outside! Let's all think summer!


So, onto the blog. I am a month in to my blog goals.  Some are going well, others not so much.
Let's check in with a little State of the Blog Address!

1.  Finish Blog Redesign - This one is going well!  I finally booked a blog designer to help me out.  I decided to go with A Bird in Hand Designs by Megan. She's pretty busy, so I couldn't get a start date with her until March 31st.  Not a problem because it seems I have some blog homework to do.  I feel like I'm building a house and have to decide on floors, counter tops, paint colors and such. :-) All fun, but still work.  But, I am excited to see what comes! I can happily promise that come April things will look a lot different around here.

2. Make at Least 6 Literacy Based Resources/Projects - Well, this can go either way.  I grabbed a bunch of Dr. Seuss books with the intent of creating a couple of upper elementary level activities in honor of Read Across America.  Then, I realized how quickly it would soon be here. March 2nd is right around the corner.  I am going to give it a shot, but no promises!  By the way, that link for Read Across America will take you to the NEA's page that has some printable resources for the day.

If the Seuss projects don't pan out, I think I will still be working on this goal anyway because of some upcoming school projects.  I'm still working on the hero unit for my enrichment class.  One of the books I plan to read with them is the 2014 Newbery Medal winner Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo.  There doesn't seem to be a ton of resources out there, so I am going to have to make some myself.  However, the book title link will take you to a page with some teacher resources if you are interested.  The site also has "book resources" that are teacher friendly.

3. Blog at least Twice a Week - Ummmm, this one might not be going so well.  I think it boils down to a comment I saw on another blog.  I wish I could remember whose blog it was.  The blogger said their goal was not to post x number of posts a week, but to post more quality content.  I think that is a much better goal than my twice a week goal.  It just makes more sense.  Not saying every post will be a gem at all, but I like the idea of posting when I really feel I have something to say or want to share instead of because I have to meet a goal of two posts a week.

4. Step Up the Social Media Portion of the Blog - I think with the new blog design in progress this will kind of take care of itself.  At least for the first steps.  As part of the blog design I am going to be adding social media buttons and updating/creating certain social media sites.  After that, I just have to remember to post on the sites.  I don't see this really happening until after the blog design is done.

5.  Organize the Labels on Previous Posts - Yeah, they are still a hot mess.  I just need to sit in Starbucks one afternoon on a weekend and plow through them.  I have been looking at other blogs to see how they organize their posts, and it seems like everyone is all over the place.  Some bloggers have tons of different labels while others have just a few broad, generic labels.  I think I need to fall somewhere in the middle.  I do know I would like to have this done by March. 

6.  Connect with Other Bloggers - I'm still slacking on commenting at other blogs, but I have been trying to read more.  It all comes down to time.  It seems like there is always just so much to do.  But, I feel this is important so I need to make it more of a priority.


In my last post, I mentioned not being thrilled about having to use a specific computer program for lesson plans.  Something my district is requiring next year.  It was one little thing I mentioned in a post of many topics.  In light of that, I thought it was interesting that all the post comments focused on lesson plans.  They are just so personal to each teacher! I wonder if admins ever realize how individual every teacher's lesson plans are.  They are definitely not a one size fits all document! Oh well, somehow I will have to make it work.  Isn't that what we teachers always do, though?  We make it work!


  1. I'm pretty new (ok, BRAND NEW) at the whole blogging thing but I love the idea of focusing on quality posts and not quantity. It makes it much less daunting! And it's my goal to connect with more bloggers too--I usually just read and steal awesome ideas but never tell people how awesome I think their stuff is! (Here I am totally stealing your goals too!) :)
    PS. Totally jealous of the snow. In Texas, it was 70 on Saturday and 32 was the high today. Ridiculous.

  2. I keep thinking I need to blog more often, but most of the time, I really just don't have anything that interesting to share. I live in the south and snow and ice causes us more problems because we don't have as many snowplows etc... We have had 8 days out so far.
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

    1. Oh my gosh! 8 snow days!!! We get snow all the time but have never used that many snow days. But then, we are much more prepared for snow here in NJ than our southern friends. I hope you don't lose too many other vacation days making up for your snow days.

  3. Oh, I completely agree with number three (hehe)!!! As both a reader and blogger, I would rather have interesting or informative blog posts to read than a ton of blog posts to sort through. Your goals are so great- that's a lot of goals for just blogging!! :-) Good luck!

    Real Teachers Learn