Friday, October 7, 2011

Blog Like You Mean It!

Writing an Effective Blog Post
Yes, this post breaks some of the rules ;-)

Appealing Title
  • Include a keyword that applies to your message
  • Capitalize the Key Words in Title

Share Your Opinion and Be Honest
  • Write what you think, not what you think someone else wants to read
  • Do so professionally

Include Links if Applicable
  • Point of Reference - article, web site, etc. you are talking about.
  • Resources

Make it Easy to Read
  • Bullet points
  • Short paragraphs - Several short paragraphs are easier to read than long paragraphs
  • The first sentence of each paragraph should make your reader want to read the rest.
  • Headings
  • Avoid overuse of bold, italics, colored text, etc. You don’t want to make it visually uncomfortable to read

Don’t Cut and Paste from MS Word
  • Formatting can change and may look different in different browsers

Short Posts are Okay
  • Make it easy to read. It isn’t supposed to be an essay



So What Do You Think About That?

Writing an Effective Blog Post Comment

Be Specific
  • compliments, questions, adding new information

It’s Okay to Disagree
  • It’s OK to be critical, but be respective and constructive about it by offering an alternative

Provide Context
  • Explain what part the post you’re responding to

Make a Point
  • “Great post”, “Thank you”, and “Well said”  don’t add to the conversation

Keep it Short

Example Blog Posts

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaching American History Grant

San Marcos Unified School District's Teaching American History Grant Project
Project Title: Foundations
Amount of Award: $822, 216 (Three year period)

Goals, objectives, and expected outcomes for the project:
  • Increase the history content knowledge-Teachers will raise their test scores between a pre-and post-test by 35%.
  • Utilize a series of formal historical thinking and content literacy skills-80% of participants will score at proficient or above on an historical thinking assessment.
  • Foster  a powerful and enduring history-based professional learning community-80% of participants will attend 80% of available training hours. 100% of participants will develop at least one high quality lesson plan each year.
  • Improve the achievement of students and increase their knowledge of traditional American History-Students will raise their test scores between a pre- and post-test by 20%.
  • Integrate history content into English language arts-80% of participants will have developed an ELA-equivalent lesson by the end of each year.
  • Utilize Web 2.0 technology-All submitted lesson plans will be uploaded to the project website (blog). 80% of participants will use and post entries on any of the following: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, chats, or discussion forums on the project website.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

AHF Blogs

I am very excited that we will have the opportunity to use our AHF blogs throughout the 2011/12 school year to showcase the great things that are happening in the classrooms!

Adina, Shez, and I are the authors of the AHF Foundations blog, so we will continue to post general announcements and training information on this blog.

As you may recall, each of you has created an individual blog at our December 2010 workshop, so when you post your entry you will be using your AHF blog, and other participants will be able to post comments on your blog. You log into your blog using your gmail account.

These are the links to your individual blogs:

Ruthi A.
Kathy C
Julie C
Cris D
Robin F
Yvonne F
Jill H
Adam K
Che L
Emily M
Kristine M
Karen M
Teresa M
Nicole M
Becca M
Suzy M
Stephanie M
Jay N
Karen S
Kristin S
Laura S
Brenda T
Jen W
Cori W
Mackie/Stanton 2013

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Few Last Links for the Year

First, I want to say "Congratulations" to everyone for putting together and presenting some great lessons to end this first year of the project. What a great resource of lessons for everyone to share.

I also wanted to add a few links to your collection.

1. Lesson Writer - This site allows you to input your own text and then create vocabulary, comprehension, writing activities, and more from it.

2. Creating an interactive cloze text - To create a CLOZE activity, you could just delete selected words in a document. This site is a screencast tutorial that shows you how to create a CLOZE activity in Microsoft Word that's interactive.

3. Microsoft PowerPoint SlideFest - This is a humorous set of video tips from Microsoft on how to/how not to create effective PowerPoints. Be sure to preview them carefully. You may not want to use (in their entirety) with kids.

4. History Buff - History Buff has primary source documents showing how events were reported in their time.

5. History Tours - History Tours is a wiki source for Google Earth files. They won't open if you don't have Google Earth installed.

Thanks again for teaching me along the way. I'm looking forward to next year!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Technology Tools Livebinder Part 2

Technology Tools Livebinder Part 1

Predictive Writing from Google

There's always something new! Predictive writing software is a great tool that can help writers think of words, choose between words, and spell so that writing becomes simpler and less stressful. It also can help reduce keystrokes so that writing can be faster. Some schools have purchased predictive writing software for their computers, but for those who don't have it, try out You type your text (English or Spanish) and select suggested words as appropriate. You can then copy and paste the text into a document for final formatting. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, it's a great option.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reading Level in Google Results

At the December meeting, we talked about how to use the Google advanced search features as well as using Kids when you are interested in approximate reading levels. Well now Google has stepped up too and added Reading Level to their advanced search feature. You can choose from beginner, intermediate, or advanced. The results aren't perfect, but they are a start.

Google Earth - Presidents and History Videos+

Here are a couple of new resources I just learned about that you may find useful.  The first is Google Earth - Presidents. Here you can view lots of information about U.S. Presidents using the powerful format of Google Earth. I was able to get Google Earth downloaded on my classroom computers via tech request. The second resource is Have Fun with There are plenty of resources here, but of special interest is the video section. You may be able to use various resources on this site to present lessons or your students may be able to use information from it in their presentations and reports. Enjoy!