Jun 5, 2013

Summer Book Talks with EDMODO and My New Blog Design

Hello Blog World!  Just a quick post to show off my new design!  What do you think?  I absolutely love it!  Jessica over at Lilipop Designs was so fabulous and patient with me as we worked through each detail together!  If you are thinking about some new digs, I would definitely check out her work! 

Why the new design you might ask?  I’m celebrating reaching 200 followers!  Thanks for all your support as I have been getting to know Blog World over the past 2 months.  I have learned so much from you guys and I am looking forward to the long lasting professional learning network that we are continuing to grow together. 

Now…as if I wasn't counting before…2 MORE DAYS and I will say SO LONG to my kiddos!  Not GOOD-BYE, just SO LONG!  We plan to keep in touch this summer and maybe longer with BOOK TALKS through EDMODO.  If you've been reading my posts very long, you know how important our BOOK TALKS are to us and I just couldn't let these guys go.  Most of my sweet readers have accounts and have joined my Book Talk group and are already starting conversations. 
I'm linking up Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper to share a few tips that we have learned while trying it out that might come in handy if you want to use EDMODO for BOOK TALKS:
  1. Several kids decided to use a PICTURE the book they were currently reading as the PROFILE picture of their account while reading that book.  BRILLIANT I TELL YA!  Works beautifully! Students can tell at first glance which posts they might want to comment on, and can see the cover if they think they might want to read that particular book later.  Plus, I happen to know they these guys are lured in by engaging covers. 
  2. Unfortunately, we haven’t found a way to underline titles, and at first the students felt as though they weren't typing the titles correctly because they weren't underlining.  We decided to use all caps when typing a title to feel as though we were giving proper respect to the title since we couldn't underline it. 
  3. Teacher tip…because these guys are still kids…I did not give them the code to join the group.  I had them log in and pass their iPods to me, so that I could enter the code for them.  No danger in getting any unwanted guests in our group. 
  4. Also, again because these guys are still kids, I chose to set the group settings so that I will approve each comment and post…just in case they start feeling a little too brave. ;)  I explained that if I am sitting by the pool reading myself this summer, it might take a while for me to approve their posts.  ;)

We are very excited that we will get to continue to talk about books throughout the summer!  I've read about a few districts that give reading lists, etc. for students over the summer.  I don’t get my class list until the fall and I wouldn't have built reading relationships with those guys yet anyway, so I’m not sure how effective that would be for my teaching style at this point even if I did have the list.  Do you have plans for summer reading with former or future students?  And, better than that, do you have summer reading plans for yourself? I just downloaded 2 new books last night!  I am set and ready!  


  1. Love your new blog design! Cute like you! :O)
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. I love using edmodo for all sorts of purposes. Just so you know you can have the kids enter the group code and then lock in once they're all in. That way you don't get unwanted guests. You might also want to consider not using moderation but going over guideline and telling them that you will change them to read only if they don't follow them. That way you can go in and keep on eye on things without approving every comment. As a teacher you can delete and/or edit any comment at any time. Just a thought.

    room 4 imagination

  3. Love the new blog design! So cute and very easy to read/navigate!!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  4. The new blog design is wonderful- sweet without being too busy. I really like it. As for student summer reading, we won't get our final class lists until the first morning of school. And even then it is in flux for a week or so, even in the good years. Such is scheduling at a big middle school.

  5. I have never used Edmodo but you have me intrigued. I will have to take some time this summer and check it out. Sounds like something I could use with my grade 6 gifted class. I also just had my blog redone. Isn't it exciting? I am really pleased that I did it. I love your layout, it's really clean and easy to navigate! Hope you hop by and check out mine too!

  6. I love your new blog design! The colors are fantastic! Enjoy your last few days!


  7. Thanks for following me! I too get excited when I find middle school bloggers!

    Katie @ Sixth Grade Scribbles

  8. What a neat idea for book talks over the summer via Edmodo. I will need to share that with my teachers :).

    Love the blog design...super cute!

    Mind Sparks

  9. I love, love your new blog design! Who doesn't love chevron? You have me intrigued about Edmodo so I went and created an account already! I would like to have my kiddos talk about summer reading too. It says that I can lock the code once all the invites are in. Have you tried that or do you think there still might be issues with spammers? Also, I was wondering if you have tried kidblog and what the advantages to Edmodo would be over kidblog. I approve all the comments on kidblog too. Thank you so much for posting and all the information!! This is awesome!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  10. Your new design is adorable- cute, but still nicely organized and easy to read! :)
    Love it!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  11. I've never used Edmodo. I feel so behind in technology. Ill have to go check it out. Congrats on 200 followers. That's awesome!

    Teaching with Class

  12. Brandee,

    Your site looks great. Just curious, but who/what did you use?
    And congrats on the 200 followers, you've been kicking some butt.

    I really like your Edmodo book talks. Our district is actually opening each school library for 10 days this summer. something they've never done before, but I think it's a pretty good idea.


  13. Brandee...the blog design is fabulous! I love owls too! I am one of your newest followers!

    I love edmodo! I too am using it for summer reading for my rising fourth graders. They must read a book of their choice and respond to my prompt on edmodo. I too moderate the responses. I visited the third graders and explained the whole process. I also gave them a reading interest survey that I found in the back of The Book Whisperer (fabulous book that challenged my thoughts about reading) so we'll be all ready to go next year. It amazed me how much I already know about my future students as readers.

    Thanks for sharing! Happy summer! So happy we found each other!


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