Tag Archives: TeachThought

Top 5 Posts of 2014

2014 was the year I finally decided to seriously blog. After reading so many amazing posts from other educators’ blogs on Twitter, I resolved to become brave enough to put my own voice and thoughts out there. I am happy to say that it has been an amazing experience so far. Blogging has been clarifying for my own practice, as well as becoming a way to connect to other educators.

I have to give credit to two people who inspired me to become more serious about blogging in 2014. After some great conversations about the book Digital Leadership during an #educoach chat last spring, Kathy Perret, Julie Bauer, and I met to talk blogging during a Sunday afternoon Google Hangout. Kathy had been blogging for quite some time, and her advice about developing ideas for writing and finding your audience were invaluable. Julie, who was brand new to blogging, helped me feel like I had a partner in this new venture, as we both believed that we had much to say — even though we weren’t quite yet confident about sharing our ideas in such a public way!

When I reflect upon my venture into the blogging world last year, I must admit that it has changed me as an educator. I feel more connected to my colleagues around the world. I feel that I have experience, knowledge, and ideas that other find valuable. I feel more reflective about my own practices as a teacher and instructional coach, making me more aware of my successes and areas for growth.

If you wonder about whether your voice has value, I assure you it does. We need you. Start a blog this year. Top

Without any further ado, here are my five most popular posts from last year.

5. Five “A-Ha’s” from ISTE 2014

ISTE is a huge conference. It was my first time attending, and to say it was a bit overwhelming for me would be a understatement. I decided that reducing what I learned into five take-aways would help me reflect and take action.

4. The Vocab Games: Talk a Mile a Minute/The Pyramid Game

This is a simple post about one of my favorite easy-to-use vocabulary-building activities. Making vocabulary acquisition engaging for students is a passion of mine, and this post was the first in a series of 6 posts about fun vocabulary activities. I also mention how this strategy can make word walls “interactive.”

3. Establishing Partnerships as an Instructional Coach

I received a lot of positive feedback on this post. It seem like there is such a wide variety of preparation that teachers receive when they take on a coaching role. Some have absolutely no knowledge of effective ways to build partnerships with colleagues. I feel passionately that instructional coaching only works through positive partnerships, not pseudo-principal evaluations. This may be my most personal post of the top five.

2.  Five Movement Strategies for the High School Classroom

In my district, we have begun an instructional framework of daily strategies for all classrooms. One of those is movement. It seems that movement in every class every day is a trending topic right now, so I am proud that my district has been “ahead-of-the-curve.” Many colleagues wanted practical ays t incorporate movement in their lessons, so this post recounts five movement strategies that I used or observed during the course of a work week. Just yesterday, an adapted version of this post was published at TeachThought.

1.  4 Ideas for Motivating Adolescent Male Readers

Male readers are struggling across this nation, and many teachers are unsure of what to do. This post combined my own experiences with what research says about male readers in order to promote motivation. I originally posted this piece at ASCD Edge (a great place to post if you would like the potential for wide readership!). Since then, the post was adapted for TeachThought, and it was included in the resources section of NEA’s website.


Reflecting on these five posts, it is apparent that passion drives my most popular (and possibly best?) posts. So, again, I encourage you to write about your passions. Begin your blogging journey.

If you are a brand new or emerging blogger, please share a link to your blog in the comments, so we can learn from you!

Blogging for ASCD

If my blog has seemed a little quiet lately, I have been contributing some posts for ASCD as part of my involvement in their Emerging Leaders program. As part of our program, each Emerging Leader participates in a coaching cohort around a specific topic. I am participating in the Writing for ASCD group. I’m really excited about having this opportunity to grow as a writer.

I have written three pieces for ASCD recently.

My first blog post was written on ASCD EDge, a social network for members. If you are interested in writing a blog post with ASCD, any educator can join EDge.  I tied my post to the Educational Leadership theme for September, “Motivation Matters.”  So far, “Four Reading Motivators for Teenage Boys” has been my most viewed blog post yet!  If you want to share your ideas with other people, ASCD EDge has great potential for reaching a wide audience.

I also had the opportunity to write for the Eight Questions series. ASCD asks each Emerging Leader to answer the same questions in order for members of the ASCD community to learn about our experiences and stances on education. Check out “Eight Questions for Emerging Leader Kenneth McKee.”

ASCD is leading the Educator Professional Development and Learning theme for Connected Educators month, and I was fortunate enough to be able to write a post for the ASCD In Service blog on PLCs. My post, “In it for the Long Haul: Four Strategies for Beginning a Virtual PLC,” explores how educators can establish sustained virtual groups who will help them grow professionally and meet the needs of students.

I will continue to update occasionally to share what I am writing for ASCD, in addition to all of the topics I regularly explore here on my blog.

Please let me know what you think of my posts. Also, please leave links for any blogs that you’ve written that you’d like to share. I learn so much from reading other people’s blogs, and I’m always looking for new ones.