Here are the instructions for the Holiday Break Reading Challenge #15:
I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve. The start of the new year brings the opportunity for reflection about what we've done during the past year and the goals for what we want to accomplish in the coming year.
1. What was your favorite aspect of your blog in 2009?
This year, I really felt like my blog felt fuller than it had in the past. This is my third school year (different from calendar years) blogging, but until this year I didn't feel as if it was complete. Now, I have a bunch of regular features and am receiving comments from parents, other teachers, and people. These comments have been really positive and I feel like the blog has become a usable space for students, parents, colleagues, and random visitors.
2. Was there a particular featured/weekly post you participated in that you enjoyed and plan to continue in 2010?
I've had two weekly features since I started this blog. One is Book of the Week, where I review a YA Lit book for students and other readers. The other is Quote of the Week, where I write about the quote that graces our whiteboard in the classroom. I look forward to writing each of these posts every week, but I've added Poetry Fridays to my teaching/ blogging repertoire and I LOVE them!
Every Friday, I choose a poem for each of my English classes that relates to what we're reading/ discussing in class. I usually dictate the poem to students and they copy down what I'm reading. It has been the greatest teaching tool for poetry. Students literally come to class exclaiming that it's "Poetry Friday"! I also love blogging about these weekly events, because I'm learning a lot about poetry and poets in the process. It's kinda like a weekly meditation in poetry/ poetics. Sound un-fun, but it's super awesome!
3. Is there anything you don't like about your blog that you want to fix?
I see all kinds of cool blogs out there and think sometimes that I should change the look of mine. For right now, though, I think that I'm going to stick with the theme or whatever that I have going now because it's pretty simple and easy and students can navigate around this blog pretty easily.
4. Is there a blog you visit that you admire and aspire to emulate?
Actually, one of the best parts of this challenge has been the opportunity to explore a bunch of other amazing blogs. I mean, I have a ton that I follow, but not all of them are for students. Here are a couple of the blogs that I've admired from this challenge:
O.W.L: Outrageously Wonderful Literature from the Middle Grades
Hayes Public Library YA Department
GOALS (You fill in the blanks):
1. Complete all of the crazy-challenging reading challenges that I've elected to participate in this year. Yikes! They are: The Original To Be Read Challenge, the Young Adult Reading Challenge (I'm participant #206), and the 2010 Bibliophilic Book Challenge. (Bibliophilic=love of books.)
2. To choose One Little Word (OLW) to live by for the rest of the year. I've already chosen my word and plan to blog about my choice and my reasoning later today, though probably on my professional blog.
3. My third goal involves my students more than myself. I want to help students to use their blogs to develop their thoughts, to reflect on learning, and as a creative space. All of my students started their blogs last year, but we have gone without computers for most of this school year (we got them after Thanksgiving break). So, I hope to continue to teach students to use blogs and I can't wait to see what some of these blogs look like at the end of this school year!