Tuesday, April 17, 2012

FCAT Day #2 and a blogging challenge

Today was a pretty good day considering we are still having a crazy schedule! Kids are resilient though and they learned a lot today. This is what I made for my 4th grade buddies today bookmarks and treats: 

 The cards attached to the fruit loops are from:  The Polka Dotted Teacher's blog

In an effort to try and be a better blogger...I'm going to try this blogger challenge from The Organized Classroom Blog.

Rules to the challenge....step 1 reading them and making a plan!! (My writing is in the blue underneath.)

Here's how the Challenge will work:

See if your blog qualifies to be a 5-Star Blog by reading the challenges below.  If not, make it a mission to change your next few posts so that you do qualify.  When you have met all 5 criteria, come on back and grab the badge above for your blog's sidebar to display proudly!  I am so excited to see how many 5-Star Blogs we can pull together in one linky (and mainly that I can then add to my blog-stalking blogroll).  :)  Good Luck and I hope to see you on the other side!

  • CHALLENGE ONE: I have contact information listed on my blog somewhere.  While I understand many bloggers need to remain anonymous for various reasons, you can create a free new email address which can match your blog name in minutes.  Hit up any gmail-type email provider and register your new email.

Why is this important? What if you have a company that wants you to do a review of a product that they will give you to try for free with your students?  Maybe a shy reader of our blog doesn't want his or her question about your last blog posted out in the public for everyone to see?  Perhaps some other bloggers want to team up with you to do a special event?  I have found that most email I get is helpful, non-spammy, and true.  Take the chance and you might find you connect even better with your readers.

Oooh check! I have this one down! I think this is important because sometimes I can't find bloggers e-mail addresses! 

  • CHALLENGE TWO:  No Pass the Award/Tag posts from you in the last 5 posts on your blog.  You know the one when you receive it, then have to tell 50 things about your last dental visit, and pass it on to 125 other bloggers with red hair?

Why is this important? While receiving a nice little award from a fellow blogger is lovely, these tagging awards are getting a bit out of control.  When a teacher opens up her RSS reader and every other post she reads is about an award someone received, the novelty wears off very quickly for the non-bloggers.  While it is fun to read about the bloggers we admire on a personal level on occasion, we really would prefer to read about a great new teaching strategy or grab a freebie instead.

 Whoops I just had the tag post 3 posts ago on April 4th. I just feel bad when someone tags me more than once I feel the need to do it...guess I need to stop the cycle! So I need to post a few more really good posts before I can reach this challenge. 

  • CHALLENGE THREE:  Not featuring anyone or anything but yourself and your own ideas on your own blog in the last 3 blog posts.

Why is this important? When I come to your blog, I want to see and hear some amazing teaching ideas, not just have it be a spotlight on someone else I should go to, or your favorite pins on Pinterest.  If readers continually see posts about others and just links to websites or pins,  most will just stop coming to your blog and start following the blogs that have actual content.  (Guest spots are different if they actually contain content - see Challenge Four below).

This will be hard for me...I love posting about my Pinterest ideas but I guess that I should feature my own ideas more. I just get so many ideas that way and feel the need to give credit where credit is due. But I have lots of great ideas of my own I will share so I can meet this challenge too! 

  • CHALLENGE FOUR:  No self-promoting new products with no content in the last 4 blog posts.

Why is this important? Most teachers I know do not want to walk into a virtual store every time they go to read a blog.  Occasional mentions of a new product or an upcoming sale are fine, but not regularly.  And when you do post about those things, please write more than 3 sentences.  Actually include some great information about your new item like how it could be combined with another subject and give an example or pictures of the students actually using the item.  As a fellow teacher-seller, I encourage teachers who sell to a T.  But give the readers a reason to want to know about it.  Products and sales should be used sparingly.

This one is easy for me! I haven't posted any new products in awhile and I'm so busy right now I don't think I'll have time to create anything to promote. Soo check this one is done too! :) 

  • CHALLENGE FIVE:  I will write a new blog post that gives a great teaching idea that I want to share with teachers everywhere.  I will link up that blog post below making sure to include a backlink in my post to this blog post (a bonus etiquette point).

Why this is important? Much like reflecting on teaching best practices, taking a few moments to write a blog post that meets 5-star standards is great practice in action.

I'll be thinking about this one a lot. I have a few posts in mind. 

I'm going to try to do this challenge in the month of April! This is a lofty goal since I'll be out of town for weddings every weekend in April! I want to be a better blogger for all my fellow readers! Wanna join me in this challenge go to The Organized Classroom Blog! 


  1. I really need to join this challenge! I have had so much going on lately that I have been SUPER SLACK in my blogging. Shame on me. I will be linking up for the challenge with you. :) Thanks for sharing!
    Daisy Days for Learning

  2. I can't wait to try this challenge! Thanks for posting about it!

  3. Hi. I am giving you an award. Come find out more at my blog http://happyliteracy.blogspot.com/. -Jenny Kerola