Welcome to 101 English Blogs project!

The aim of this project is to encourage 101 English teachers from around the world to start blogging (or share existing blogs) about their English classrooms. This blog will list each of the 101 blogs and will be a place for sharing and highlighting what is going on in over 100 English classrooms.

Keen to join? Email me at am@eggs.school.nz

101 English Blogs - Latest posts!

Friday, February 25, 2011

101 Highlights - co-construction, learning to say NO and dealing with Natural Disaster

An interesting post at oncemoreuntotheblog about handing over the course planning reigns to the students and genuinely co-constructing a programme of learning. It sounds like an exciting project:

Today, we discussed aspects of the theme that interested students and I intend to get them to create their own reading list and they have already created a class glossary and study guide for the first whole class text, The Scarlett Ibis. (Thanks to the wonderful Kailee Debirred for this text suggestion).

So, next is the leap to free choice and flexibility, where students self direct their text choice and learning focus and I facilitate and model the steps for them.

Over at teachernextdoor there is a great post advising/reminding us all of the dangers of being way to eager to 'sign up' and help out (with anything!). I don't know about you, but I have suffered throughout my career as a result of being pretty much unable to "say NO!":

A Difficult Truth: As teachers, sometimes, we just have to learn to say no. I still am not good at saying … that word, what is it again? Contrary to popular belief, the school will not collapse if I do not add Saturday yearbook meetings and the students will not retrograde into illiteracy if I do not host weekly girl scout meetings. It’s a humbling thought, but true.

As many of you will have heard, Chrsitchurch, here in New Zealand, was devastated by an earthquake on Tuesday. The death toll now stands at over 100 will many more still missing. Our thoughts go out to all of those affected and particularly to our fellow teachers from Christchurch who will, once again, play an incredibly important role as young people and their families try to achieve a sense of normality in the coming months - Kia Kaha! Make sure you check out the Motivating Ms M. post on Natural Disasters, inspired by this momentous event, the post looks at ways we can encourage empathy in our students through writing activities. Make sure you check out the post and share your thoughts and ideas!

Thanks again to all of you for being involved in this great project! I look forward to dipping and diving into all of the blogs over the coming days.

If you or anyone you know might be keen to join the 101 English Blog project, email me (Claire Amos) at am@eggs.school.nz

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Keeping yourself (and your students) safe in the blogosphere

Many of you will have seen the recent media coverage about Natalie Munroe, the high school English teacher who was suspended as a result of her "profanity laced" blog about her "disengaged, lazy whiners". If you haven't seen the story, you can check out an article here.

It certainly seems to have provided a timely reminder for all teachers about the potential dangers of the public nature of the Internet, and raises many issues about what is and is not appropriate fodder for the very public domain of blogging. In the interest of protecting the future of what I see as a very important, rare and precious beast (the reflective teacher blog), here are some tips and advice for how to keep ourselves (and our students) safe in the blogosphere.

Please note - this is a work in progress and any suggestions, additions and/or feedback is welcome!

10 Tips for Teacher Blogs
  1. Make the content about your teaching, not your students.
  2. Actually, avoid discussing the students directly at all...if possible.
  3. If you do make a reference to a student (even in a positive light), do not name or identify them.
  4. Same goes for your colleagues and bosses - again this should be a forum for sharing and reflecting on your teaching strategies, resources and outcomes.
  5. Humour is good, mocking others is not.
  6. Keep language professional and appropriate ("profanity-laced" probably best avoided).
  7. Don't reveal (literally or figuratively) too much about yourself - we are getting dangerously comfortable in a very public, easily copied and shared environment.
  8. Don't make your home address or phone number available
  9. Think before you blog.
  10. Don't drink before you blog.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New starts and new ideas

Before I get into this: I am Mark Kilmer, and I teach IB English at The International School of Helsinki, and I blog at What circumspection! What delicacy of conscience! (Extra credit for anyone who knows where I got the name). Clair asked if I would like to contribute to 101 English Blogs, and I thought I would. So I am.

My idea is to look at the feed and just see what catches my eye for whatever reason. So here we go for the last few days:
  • There are several new blogs just starting up or transitioning into something else. (Mine was a recent transition as well.) I'm excited to see what they turn out in the next few weeks.
  • Also intriguing are the posts from folks in the southern hemisphere about the beginning of the school year (like Tam's Changes). For me, in the frozen wastelands of the second trimester, the sense of a fresh start makes me want to have that same energy I had in my second or third week. So thanks for that.
  • I liked KDixon's post on an education webinar. The link was well worth watching, and I like the idea of developing my own essential questions as a learner/teacher.
  • A post I'll use and apply: the SCC English post looking at political manifestos via Wordle. It's a great application of the program and allows focus on diction in a way that's accessible and authentic.

Monday, February 14, 2011

You can do it! Giving teachers the encouragement to blog!

One of the most heartening things about this project so far has been the number of English teachers who have said the project has given them the encouragement they need to either start a blog, continue a blog or even fire up a blog again!

So far we have 35 teachers on board. Make sure you check out the entire blog list here. The list is made up of teachers from around the world, ranging from student teachers through to the very experienced.

If you are keen to check out recent updates from our dedicated bloggers, you can check out the links to the right of the main blog (the blog at the top is the one that has been most recently updated).

We are still looking for English teachers to get involved, if you (or anyone you know) is keen, please don't hesitate to make contact. Simply email me at am@eggs.school.nz

Saturday, February 12, 2011

20 teachers from around the globe have joined, only 81 to go!

So far, we have 20 blogs joined up to the project!

Make sure you check them out here.

I am really excited about how global the mix is with teachers from NZ, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, America and Singapore!! Truly inspiring.

I look forward to doing some serious blog reading and reporting back later in the week!

Please don't hesitate to contact if you (or someone you know) would like to join the project!

Friday, February 11, 2011

10 English Teacher Blogs....91 to go!

One week in and I am proud to say we have 10 English Teacher blogs joined up to the project and many more interested! Of particular interest is the global mix of bloggers. We have English teacher blogs from Scotland, England, America, Australia and New Zealand! This kind of international sharing would have been unimaginable not so long ago.

Welcome to our most recent additions; Eric MacKnight who has shared three of his class blogs (an inspiration!), Fiona Burns who has shared a great example of a Mahara MyPortfolio which will be of particular interest to the kiwi teachers (I suspect we will be seeing more and more of Mahara in NZ) and Denee Tyler's My View From Here.

I am also really excited by the mix of the 'experienced' and those new to blogging! Everyone is welcome and every teacher has something valuable to share. So if you are an English teacher and are keen to join the 101 English Blogs project, please do! Tell your colleagues to join us as well!

Email your blog URL to am@eggs.school.nz

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Welcome to our new bloggers!

I just wanted to welcome some of the teachers who have bravely thrown their hat into the ring! From NZ we have The Invisible Teacher who is reflecting on, rather suitabley, teacher reflection. From England we have Miss Norrat, who was inspired by this project (awesome!) to create her class blog Our English Classroom . From Scotland I have just added the blog Just Trying to be a Better than Yesterday who has been posting weekly reflections on his unit based on No Longer Living Next Door to Alice.

A great start for the first four days! If you are keen to join the project I would love to here from you! Simply email me you blog URL to am@eggs.school.nz and let me know if you would like to be added as an author of this blog as well.

Please pass on this message to any English colleagues out there - it would be fabulous if this could be a truly global project!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Welcome to 101 English Blogs

Welcome to 101 English Blogs project!

The aim of this project is to encourage 101 English teachers from around the world to start blogging about their English classrooms. This blog will list each of the 101 blogs and will be a place for sharing and highlighting what is going on in over 100 English classrooms.

Are you an English teacher? Keen to be part of the project??
If you are an English teacher and are keen to share your reflections, ideas and resources with a wider English community, all you need to do is establish a blog, or share an already established one. You can simply share your blog URL, so it can be one of the 101 listed blogs here, or you can even become an author of this blog as well, so you can post occasional updates about what you and others have been blogging about.

As the project facilitator, I will also try to visit and highlight posts from bloggers within our 101 English Blogs community. However, I am hoping that this can as much of a shared project as possible, so if you if you would like to join this blog as an author, please do! I would also love your support in sharing the project with your colleagues and by signing up to the follow the blog.

I have established English blog #1 The Virtual Classroom which will follow my three English classes (Year 11, 12 and 13) at Epsom Girls Grammar School. Now I just need to find 100 more....

Interested? Feel free to contact me at am@eggs.school.nz