Greetings to each of you as we begin a new school year. One of the rather unique features of teaching is that we get to start anew each fall hopefully refreshed and energized from some personal free time and perhaps some professional development opportunities during the summer. As the hours of daylight diminish and the temperatures turn cooler, students and teachers alike seem enthusiastic to see other.  After completing our first year of four day weeks with students last spring, we are beginning our second year of this schedule. (teachers work ¾ of the Friday mornings).Overall student attendance continues to be excellent and the attitudes for school is positive. 
     The subject of the front page article in the May 2008
NSTA Reports is blogging in science education. I have somewhat limited experience of working with blogs, but was introduced to blogs last school at one of our teacher in-services year by Julie Mathiesen, co-leader of the TIE office. My two college level biology classes each utilize a class blog. Through the blog students share their portion of assignments with each other and the quality of work is excellent. Those blogs are only accessible to the students in each class.
     I have a strong interest in new ideas for using blogs with each of my classes. The article mentions several different aspects of science blogs. Classroom blogs allows teachers to comment on work being done n class. And some blogs simply provide a forum for

teachers to express their thoughts about science education and their own lives.
     I have benefitted from reading the blogs of other teachers who teach the same subjects I do. One of the blogs I especially like is Stacy Baker's Extreme Biology blog at She views blogs as a "great way to increase student interest. Baker and her students post class news, biology related topics, and web links for discussion. " Baker goes onto say that blogging has helped her make connections with teachers and students from all over the world… and has even brought some unexpected delights, like being involved in a state to state student project.  Baker has created a Using Logs in Science Education site at This blog has tips for blog safety, information about technology tools and suggestion for improving blogs. I have found several useful links to blogs in other subjects at this site. Baker also offers blog training at http://stacybaker.googlepages.googlepages.cpm/blogtraining.  I have also utilized the book: Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts by Will Richardson to help me learn about other technology applications for the curriculum. The book is helpful as I am not a techie guru at all. In the next newsletter I will address a few ideas about using del.ici.ous- a social bookmarking service.
     Many of you attend classes and/or workshops and will be implementing new ideas within your curriculum. Please consider sharing your knowledge and expertise at this

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