Connecting with other educators…

My review of the following educator blogs is the beginning of my search for professional resources.  As I was exploring several of the sites, I found myself taking into consideration the amount of time it took to read the posts and to locate relative information.  Several of the sites did not flow well and felt too cluttered to me. These sites also made me wonder just how much of my rambling others really want to read, and reminds me how little extra time teachers have for surfing the web.

Below, I have reviewed three sites that are all very different.  Each one presented thoughts, ideas and commentary in its own unique way and with a different spin.

1)    Blogging through the Fourth Dimension

This site is a typical professional reference site.  However, I choose to highlight this blog for a couple of reasons.  This first is that the layout was simple and easy to navigate.  The second reason is that the Blog provides great information and commentary on issues facing educators.  There are links to the authors other blogs which include, her fifth grade class website, lessons from the fourth dimension and a link to her school website.

One blog post that really stood out to me was a discussion on having a classroom with no discipline system  When I interviewed for my position next year I was asked what I thought about the card flips that many teachers use.  I was very up front about the fact that I didn’t plan on using this type of system and that I wanted to work to develop a classroom community that focuses on self regulation and positive reinforcement.  It was nice to read about a teacher who has put this into practice.

Another aspect of this site are links to student blogging resources such as; why students should blog, how to integrate blogging into your lessons, and student safety on the internet.  One post entitled “why internet is like the mall” did a great job of introducing the safety aspect.

2)   Stump the Teacher

I choose this site simply because I found it entertaining.  It uses satire to address the educational policies and procedures we are all familiar with.  Titles of some blog posts include “Do we need principals?” and “Rules are for the teachers”.  Through the humor, many of the posts have an underlying deeper meaning.  Once example is the post entitled “I resign from teaching”, which discusses the evolution of teaching and how teachers need to become guides in the classroom.  Another post mentions the evolution of teaching as the focus moves from creativity to teaching to the tests. (Preschool graduation speech,

3)   Teaching Literacy Skills in the Early years

This last site is different due to the focus on literacy.  I found it interesting that the writer of the blog, Kelly Jordan, lives in Australia.  Her blog has a link to the fourth grade classroom website.  I was surprised to see a link to Mrs. Yollis’ classroom site (which I reviewed previously).  These two overseas classes have collaborated since 2009. It amazes me how easily we can be connected with other educators in other countries and the similarities in teaching.  One of the teaching methods she mentions is the use of the Daily 5, which I was introduced to in my first practicum experience.

This site also has useful links to interactive white board sites and a presentation that demonstrates her literacy structure.  There is a helpful link that covers using a class blog in literacy time blocks


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. slm508hqd
    Jun 17, 2012 @ 16:15:46


    I loved reading your blog! You recommend some fantastic websites, from which I learned a lot. On the blog, “Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension,” I read the article “Not All Teachers Have to Blog or be on Twitter.” I thought this would be an interesting read since it is somewhat contrary to the constant promotion of technology that we so often experience in schools. At one point, the author brings up the issue of diminishing face to face contact, which I find to be so important. Now that we text message and have seemingly endless social media websites at our fingertips it is easy to overlook the importance of personal connections. We need to make sure that we use technology to supplement our communication, rather than take it over.

    I found Stump the Teacher to be a fantastic professional development website. While most blogs that I have seen provide lesson plans and the occasional article, few include research about the bigger picture of how a school works. I liked the article about whether or not schools need principals. This is an interesting question that I have never explored. I saw principals as a permanent figure in schools. I liked that teachers wrote in to share their tips about how to better involve principals in school. One suggestion was that principals spend more time in classrooms, which I think is an important point. The principal should be accessible and forge personal relationships with everyone in his or her school. I feel that the way principals interact with the communities in schools do not always allow this type of relationship to occur. This article brought up a very interesting point that I enjoyed considering.

    I liked to see that Ms. Jordan also uses the Daily 5 in her classroom. It is fun to see how the same practices are use all over the country. I think that it would be interesting if she explained how she uses technology with the Daily 5. I was once in a classroom in which the teacher provided recordings of readings that the students would listen to during their “listen to reading” center. There is much more advanced technology now than simple tape recorders, so I would like to read about some other options for integration.

    Great job, Erin!


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