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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Leibster Award and a Thank you.

While I was out of town, I was nominated for the Leibster Award by Teaching with a Twist (Meredith).  This is an award given to bloggers with fewer than 200 followers, and yes, that's where I am.  It's tough getting a blog noticed these days - there are a million of us out there!
So, first a Thank You to Teaching with a Twist

Second, there are 11 questions for me to answer, so here goes:

I started blogging a little over a year ago, in the Summer of 2013.  I wanted to see if I could add to the information on the highway; especially since my area of expertise - augmentative communication - has fewer bloggers and websites than many other areas of language development or teaching.

The on word that sums up the heart of my blog is - LANGUAGE.  Or is it COMMUNICATION?  Probably the former.  I have worked for about 40 years with kids who have difficulty with developing language. And with communicating.  I work largely with kids with autism, although in my practice I saw adults with other reasons for why they need to use AAC, and I have worked extensively with students with language learning disorders.

Is there something I learned late in my blog journey that I wish I had known earlier?  Well, I think it's still early in my blog journey and I am sure there is a lot  don't know - and I wish I did.  Haha.
I subscribe to a number of social media newsletters that talk about ways to blog, things to do and not, and - frankly - I'm not always sure any of them are helpful.
I did subscribe at the very beginning to the Teaching Blog Traffic School run my Charity Preston, and that was worth a lot!  I think for those of us who are - at least partially - using our blog to market our curriculum materials - the most important thing to remember is that the blog needs to include real content that is meaningful and helpful to the readers without requiring them to buy anything.  I don't do much marketing on my blog.  I try to provide content that readers will find helpful.

My favorite pastime other than blogging?  Reading.  or Art-making.

How many hours per week do I devote to my blog?  That fluctuates, depending on what the topic is, how comfortable I am with the content without needing to spend a lot of time editing what I've tried to say. And whether or not I'm including some take-away that I need to create or have already created.  So, somewhere between 1-2 hours.

What category go blogs do I enjoy reading?  I read mostly professional category blogs - mostly speech-language pathologists or other assistive technology specialists. I also subscribe to a couple of app review bloggers.

My blog inspiration comes from areas of concern that are brought up to me by parents and teachers or other SLPs, or questions I've been asked a lot.  Sometimes it's just an area I think needs to be addressed, or information I think people want.
Every once in a while I pick a theme for the month (when I started out I was going to do this all the time) - like reviewing apps good for therapy, or making topic-based communication boards and giving them away.

One of the posts I'm proudest of is the core vocabulary communication board I posted.  I think it gives people some good information about aac and a place to start :

I can't think of a post I've been meaning to do but haven't gotten around to.  There is a lot I want to share, and certainly a little bit of time and space to do it, but I haven't put any of those ideas onto a list - that should be the next To-Do.
My favorite aspect of blogging is the sharing.  Putting my ideas together, making them gel into something comprehensible and getting it out there.
Teachings with whom I work sometimes brag to other teachers that they "have" me. LOL I don't get to all teachers in a district or school; I'm only attached to specific kids whose IEPs I've been written into.  Those teachers get lots and lots of information, in the form of handouts and free resources I've made and the pain of me standing around in their classrooms making suggestions.  So, this is a place to share some of that with everyone else.

What project of Teaching with a Twist might I want to try?  I love the Halloween Flower Pot!  Easy enough for the kids in the classrooms I work with to do.

SO, I'll be back to my original/usual post schedule next week.  The week off was nice, but it's nice to be back.

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