Friday, December 12, 2008

January Meeting Re- Scheduled

Good Morning Everyone,

A number of teachers have notified me they will not be able to attend the January session. Since this is our last session, I am suggesting we re-schedule in February. I will e-mail the dates to you today.


Literacy Integrator, Ginger Stoneton, Ellsworth School System, K-8

Good Morning Everyone,

Here is a site for you to visit to help you think through how you want to set up your blog.

The address can be found on the left.

Ginger has some excellent ideas and is willing to share:)

Please take the time to check it out!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

January Meeting

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope you all had a great vacation.

I am writing to remind you we are meeting on January 23.

I have posted some new information for you on the blog and have added e-mail notification for you.

Have a great holiday. I am looking forward to seeing you in January,

Monday, December 1, 2008

More Information on Blogging

Here is a link I was sent by google. It has several updates for blogs. I thought you might like to try it out before we get together in January.

Polly, it includes how to add a video:).

Hope you are all enjoying your school year.

See you soon,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blogging as Double Journal Entries and Literature Circles

Hey Everyone,

I am in Vancouver working and found this link. I think it might be something we could use.

Please take a look and see what you think.

Have a great Thanksgiving:)


Monday, November 10, 2008

Education Link Love

Here are the education blogs that I read on a daily basis. You might want to follow some of them as well. I have found so many great sites from these blogs, and email many links to my co-workers.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Added Links

Good Morning Everyone,

I am sure your work on blogs is continuing and you and your students are enjoying the process. I have posted the suggested blogs from our meeting. Please take time and look at them and comment if you find them useful: Here is some info that will help.

Think Quest is for setting up communication in a school between students

Littrips is for information on recognized pieces of literature - nonfiction background information.

Spelling city is for online spelling.

Mrnussbaum is about nonfiction topics.

Summer school is a blog created by Sara - an excellent example.

Wicked smart is created by Dan Ryder. It is a website on information pertinent to teachers. He will be joining our group in January.

Thanks for sending me your blog addresses. The results are inspring.

Thank you for all you do for your students and peers,

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blog for Book Discussion Group at LFHS


I've been working on a blog for my Bagels & Books - book discussion group at LFHS. We are currently reading "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer and the next book we will read is "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson. Bagels & Books is open to students, staff members, and community members and with the popularity of the book "Twilight" - we are up to close to 50 participants! The numbers of participants has grown steadily from about 20 at my first meeting just over 3 years ago to our current number of close to 50. I really enjoyed our workday on Friday and among the many ways I can imagine using blogs in schools, I immediately thought of creating an online component for my Bagels & Books program through Google Blogger. Not only would this allow participants to discuss the book as we read it, but it also allows for additional resources that extend the learning beyond the book. This also allows those who can't make the meeting to partipate in virtual discussions about the books. I also anticipate that this media will be highly motivational for our student participants who are sometimes hesitant to participate in face to face discussions with adults. Regardless of how many times I attempt to reassure participants that there are no "right or wrong" answers or responses - I think many students are very hesitant to voice their opinions in front of teachers - and the principal who also participates! At any rate - I know the kids will like this option and I think it will appeal to many adults as well. I can see this as means of taking this program to the next level and reaching out to the community in a greater way.

So here is the link to my blog:

I also have a question about linking to articles in MARVEL. You will notice that I have links labeled "Afghanistan" and "Pakistan". These were set up as links to articles in Brittanica Online Academic Edition through MARVEL. The first day that I worked on the blog the links worked, however, now they do not. Has anyone else tried linking to articles in MARVEL? I thought I would contact them to inquire about the ability/legality of linking directly to articles within the databases.

One other question: I had trouble trying to upload a picture through "Add a Gadget". I tried several ways - saving the file to the desktop, typing in the link, etc. and it would not upload. It just kept timing out. Any suggestions in using the add a picture option?

Look forward to your feedback.


Google Reader, iGoogle and RSS Feeds

Once you catch the blog bug you will start finding a vast number of blogs that you want to follow. There are a vast number of well written and useful technology education blogs that I try to follow on a regular basis (links to follow later).

Now that we all have Google accounts with gmail and blogger access we can use another Google product to help us keep track of our blogs. Google Reader allows you to subscribe to the blogs that you are interested in following and saves you checking all of the blog links for new postings. Whenever there is a new post on one of the blogs that you follow it gets fed into your Google Reader. Basically what Google Reader does is goes out to the blogs you tell it to and checks on a regular basis multiple times a day to see if there are any new posts. It is kind of like an email inbox for the internet. Your email all feeds into one place and you already check that on a regular basis, Google Reader allows many of the websites that you read on the internet be fed into an inbox.

You may have noticed that once you registered for your Google account you could make a new page for yourself called iGoogle. iGoogle is a page that you can customize with everything from news, your gmail, daily comics, games, and Google Reader. Below is a small screen shot of part of my iGoogle page.

Here are the steps that you need to follow in order to set up your iGoogle page.

1) Go to
2) In the upper right hand corner click on iGoogle
3) In the new screen click on Sign In in the upper right hand corner
3) The next screen will ask you for your username and password

Now you are at your own iGoogle page which you can personalize. In order to personalize this page click on the "Add Stuff" link. On the next page you will be able to select different mini applications, or gadgets that you might find useful or fun. In order to add any gadget to your reader simply click on the "Add It Now" link below the gadget. This page is where you can find the Google Reader gadget by searching for "Google Reader".

Once you have the Google Reader gadget and all the other gadgets that you are interested in having on your iGoogle page click on "Back to iGoogle home" in the upper left hand corner. You will notice now that you iGoogle page has a new look. Congratulations, you now have set up your own personalized iGoogle page! If you like it, you may want to change your internet homepage to it.

Ok, so you have a google account, you have a personalized iGoogle page, and Google Reader can be found on your iGoogle page. Now it is time to add blogs to your Google Reader. Start by visiting Right now your Google Reader is empty, in order to add subscriptions, or blogs that you want to follow, click on "Add Subscription" in the left hand column. In the new box that pops up paste the link that you want to follow, for instance you might want to add

Last part of the Google Reader lesson, RSS Feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Many websites that update themselves on a regular basis have an RSS feed. Like Google Reader, an RSS feed saves you the time of checking the website for updates and can feed it into your Google Reader. The image to the left is the universal RSS feed logo. Whenever you see this image on a website it means that you can feed the updates into your Google Reader. When you find a website that you like and it has the RSS logo click on it. On the next page you can choose to either feed the RSS updates to your iGoogle page or your Google Reader, the choice is yours.

If you have any questions, or my directions weren't clear enough, please post a comment and I will try to help you through the process.

Enjoy ~SJ

Monday, October 6, 2008

October 24, 2008

Good Afternoon, Everyone and Welcome Aboard,

This year proves to be an exciting one:)

We will be meeting at Academy Hill Elementary School on October 24. We will begin at 8:30 and end at 2:30. Lunch will be served.

Please bring your laptops:)

Before you attend, please browse the site: edu blogs at

We will be working on blogs for the entire day and will be eager to hear what each of you are doing in this area.

Thank you so much for being a part of this pilot.

Together we make a difference,