How to blog 101…

I’ve gotten a couple of questions lately through our Twitter Chats from teachers who want to blog but don’t know where to start or what to blog about…so here are my thoughts. :)

How to start blogging:

1) Pick your platform–I prefer wordpress.com, but there are some bloggers who like blogspot better.  Both are free and easy to use.  I’ve taught myself everything on my blog, so its not difficult!

2) Design your layout on your blog.  You can have someone do this for you, find one online, or you can do what I did and create it myself.

3) Put some posts out there!  Spend your first few posts introducing yourself, showing pictures of your classroom, and sharing some ideas.

To have something to write about, I always have my iPhone or camera with me at school.  I take pictures of lots of the things we do throughout the day and then I think about which ones lots of other teachers might not have heard about.  New teachers are always surfing blogs to find out how to do things in their new classrooms. Everything old is new again! :)

One of my biggest secrets is that I don’t necessarily blog everyday.  If there is a holiday or a current event that warrants it, I will sit down at night and write a post, but I tend to write all my posts during football games on Sundays and schedule them to post through the week.  This post, I wrote on Saturday afternoon and you’re reading it on Thursday. :)

I will schedule out the posts that don’t matter on timing, new math/language arts ideas, science topics, etc.  I then can spend my evenings relaxing with my family or thinking out new blog posts.  I’m always thinking about what I want to take pictures of to share with you.

Its hard sometimes to find something to blog about, but you can always do a post from the past or you can use a calendar to sketch out what you want to blog about.  That helped me when I first got started…I just wrote in ideas from my lesson plan book that I wanted to share and remembered to take pictures.

Also, think about what you want to read about and blog about that!  Many times, there are ideas that my other blogging friends share on their blogs that I end up trying (that’s what teaching is all about right?? Sharing ideas!!).  Its a great idea to share those as blog posts, but just be sure to credit the blogger or place where you got the idea from. :)

Also…getting people to follow you can be tough. :)  Make sure you are commenting on other bloggers posts when you can, pin to Pinterest pictures from your posts, get a Facebook Fan Page, and Google + page.  Getting your name out there will help!  The readers may not come at first, but get in on a link up party or a blog hop and that will send some traffic your way!

I hope these ideas help you to get started!  Ask if you have anymore questions. :)

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Science Notebooks

I’ve gotten lots of questions about my science notebooks and the duct tape down the spiral binding…so I thought I would answer the most popular question! :)

Putting the duct tape down the side–BEST idea ever!  The notebooks held up so well, most of them look good as new even though we filled up about 3/4 of the pages in the notebooks.  They were also crammed into the kiddos seat sacks each time we were done with them and they still look great!

There were a few pages that came out of some notebooks  here and there, but I think that would happen with any spiral notebook in the hands of a Kindergartener! :)

These are my notebooks shortly after I made them and this is pretty much how they looked at the end of the year! :)

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I know I’ll be using duct tape again this year!

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So you want to join a Tweet Chat…

I know lots of you out there have taken the plunge and have come to tweet chat with us the past few Tuesday nights, but I know some of you are still a little nervous about taking the leap!  I’m hoping to get rid of some of your fears and hope that you will at least come and say hi!

Tuesday Twitter Chat Practice

We are learning right along with you and have meet lots of really awesome new twitter friends!  I’ve enjoyed chatting with new teachers, veteran teachers, and teachers from many grade levels!

I’m hoping to give you a glimpse into what a tweet chat looks like in the hopes that you will come join us!

First, just so you know, the tweet chat moves fast!  Almost too fast sometimes, but what else do you think happens when you get a bunch of teachers together with great ideas??  :)  For some, the chat moves so quickly that its hard to keep up with, but here are some ways that you can slow it down for yourself:

1) For your first chat, just send out a tweet letting us know you are there and then just watch the chat happen for as long as you are comfortable.  When you feel like jumping in, do that…even if it is 3 tweet chat Tuesdays from now!

2) Find someone in the chat you have something in common with; you teach the same grade, you read the same book, you live close to each other, etc, and chat with that person or persons.  That will help slow down the chat, if you just focus in on one or two people who you want to learn more from.

Once you’ve decided to jump in to the tweet chat, there are a couple of ways you can watch it.  You tweet right from Twitter or you can use Tweet Deck.  I blogged about them here and here.  There is no magic to which one is better, its more of a matter of preference!  I prefer Tweet Deck because I can add or subtract the number of columns I see and can customize it to show me just my one chat at a time instead of showing me everything all at once.  Great for those ADHD people like myself!

If you get involved in the chat, and you get lost or confused about how to reply or how to find the box to send out a tweet in, please ask!  Don’t feel bad about asking for help!  All you have to do is send me a message and use my twitter handle (@fuzzlady77).  I will get a notification that you sent it to me and I can answer your question. :)  There are lots of other folks on the chat that can answer your questions as well, so just tweet them out there.

In addition, if you are new, show up to the chat about 30 minutes early!  We (your lovely moderators) are hanging around about 30 minutes beforehand to answer any questions and to chat with new tweeters!  We want this experience to be helpful for you, so that is a great time to ask questions and to practice.

Typically, Debbie Clement (@KweezleQueen) will tweet out questions to answer and that gets the discussion going.  We have some super fun special “mystery guests” lined up who will be joining us in the next few weeks, so be sure to interact with them once they are introduced!

You don’t have to be a blogger to join us!  This chat is open to everyone!  The idea is for teachers to join us and to chat with each other and learn new ideas!

Don’t feel bad if you can’t make it on time!  Jump in when you’re able, even if its just for 5-10 minutes!  Maggie (@maggieskindercorner) and I are always lurking in the background of the chat to help you when you join us later!  We can answer questions and bring you up to speed about where we are in the chat–just ask! :)

The connections don’t have to end once the chat is over!  Find some people who you connected with during the chat or people you want to ask more questions of and have a conversation with them after the chat is over!

If the chat moved way to fast for you, Kim (@EducatorsSpin) uses Spotify to preserve the conversation, so you can go back and read it at your pace. :)

This is last weeks chat! There are some great bloggers to follow, ideas, and new friends you’ll meet when you read it!

There is no right or wrong way to join in on the conversation.  Just don’t forget to use the  hashtag #teacherfriends to join us!

You can always message me on Facebook or through my blog if you’re stuck!  I’m happy to help! :)

Give it a chance!  I think you’ll LOVE it!!

My friend and fellow moderator Maggie has written some more tips about joining in our Tweet Chat, so head to her blog and read all about it!

Hope to see you on Tuesday!!

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Busy, Busy!

I’ve been meaning to write some posts here, but we adopted two new black lab puppies late last week and they need lots of attention! :)

This is Maggie!  She is 8 months old and is into chewing bones and tearing up things. :)  Look at that sweet face!!  She loves to watch cars, squirrels, and little birdies. :)

 

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This is Sophie!  She likes long naps and being sweet!  She loves to pull you along when we walk and can run like nobody’s business!

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They have chewed up my calendar, but they left me my summer months and the rest of the school year, so at least I can go on with life. :)  They are both 8 months old and full of energy….LOTS of energy!  Keeps me busy.  My 10 year old loves rolling on the floor with them.  Obedience classes are starting soon! :)

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Christmas in July Sale!!

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Some blogger friends and I are having a Christmas in July sale the next two days!  Four products in my Tpt store are on sale for ONE DOLLAR each for two days only!

All About Numbers

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2D Shape Games Pack

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Gingerbread Man Math and Literacy Activities

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Click on each picture to get your copies! ;)

Here are links to the rest of my blogging friends products as well! ;)

http://new.inlinkz.com//luwpview.php?id=426430

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Tweet Deck 101

Tuesday Twitter Chat Practice During our last Tuesday Twitter Chat, I tried using Tweet Deck for the first time.  I found it much easier to follow along with the chat using Tweet Deck.  Here is a little tutorial to help you use Tweet Deck if you think you’d like to try it out!Tweet Deck 1

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At anytime to reply to a tweet, just hover your mouse over the post you want to reply to and a reply button will come up!

Don’t forget to use our #teacherfriends hashtag in every tweet (make sure its in your retweets as well) so that we can all see your tweet!

Hope this helps!  Let me know if you have questions. :)

See you tomorrow night at 9pm (July 15th at 9pm)

Here is a time zone map to help you.  The yellow time zone is where I live and the time we start tweeting.  Check the rest of the map for the time in your state so you don’t miss out! :)

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Twitter 101

Tuesday Twitter Chat Practice I’ve had a few questions from some people who want to join in with our tweet chat, but aren’t exactly quite how to get started…so I thought I would try and show you in pictures and see if that at least gets you there. :)

Twitter 101 Kristen's Kindergarten

Twitter 101 Kristen's Kindergarten

Twitter 101 Kristen's Kindergarten

Hope this helps!  At anytime during the chat if you get lost, just tweet me @fuzzlady77 and I’ll try to help you!! :)

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Twitter Chat Tuesday

Have you ever wanted to participate in a Twitter chat, but you don’t know where to begin?  Join me and several of my blogging friends for a fun laid-back hour of non-stop tweeting fun! July 8th @ 9pm EST (9 pm in Indy and NY, NC, etc.)  is when the fun begins and don’t forget to use the #TeacherFriends to get in on the fun!  Hope to see you there!!

My friend Debbie Clement will be moderating, so its sure to be a good time!! :)

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Head over to my Twitter page @fuzzlady77  to retweet the picture you see above! Bring a friend along…there are prizes given out just for tweeting every 15 minutes, so don’t miss out on the fun! :)

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Back to School Literacy Work Stations

I’ve just finished creating a HUGE Back to School Literacy Work Station pack that is PERFECT for the beginning of any Kindergarten year!

Back to School Literacy Work Stations!

Included are 10 different activities that will get your students off to a great start!

Back to School LIteracy Work Stations!

Each of the 10 activities focus on upper and lowercase recognition and beginning sight word recognition

This pack is a HUGE 165 pages long!!  Even though there are 10 activities, I’ve included many different ways for your students to interact with these activities and all you will need to provide is a few basic materials!

Most of the activities include several different activity mats so you can keep changing the activities up as your students grow and learn!

The best news it that its on sale for 15% off the regular price!!

Click on any of the links above or on the pictures to get your own!

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Twitter Chat

Have you ever wanted to participate in a Twitter chat, but you don’t know where to begin?  Join me and several of my blogging friends for a fun laid-back hour of non-stop tweeting fun! July 1st @ 9pm EST is when the fun begins and don’t forget to use the #TeacherFriends to get in on the fun!  Hope to see you there!!

My friend Debbie Clement will be moderating, so its sure to be a good time!! :)

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