Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer.

Kristen Lamb, author of Are You There Blog?  It’s Me, Writer., writes non-fiction in a folksy, easy to understand style.  Read like good fiction, the pages of this how-to book practically turned themselves.  Writers and bloggers can immediately apply her tips to improve their blog, Facebook and Twitter platforms.

In spite of the fact Are You There Blog?  It’s me, Writer. was easy to read I found myself highlighting, taking tons of notes, and rereading to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I had to discipline myself to keep on track.  My thoughts were screaming, “Wow, I need to go to Facebook RIGHT NOW, and remove my birthday, but I did a little self-talk “Take notes, Marsha.  Copy down the tips you want to remember.”  Because LEARNING SOMETHING is the goal of reading a non-fiction book, it IS a different skill than reading fiction.

Common Core Standards for English Language Arts always lurk in my brain whenever I read now.  Across the United States, by the time they start high school, students will spend 70 percent of their school day reading non-fiction materials.  I would recommend this book for students from 6th grade up.  Common Core Standards also put a greater emphasis on writing than ever before.  Teaching students to blog, and having them interact with each other as well as others, means less editing for the teacher, more interest and commitment from the students.  For language arts teachers this book will address reading and writing standards at the same time.

Even young students can respond to a teacher’s blog about a topic.  This doesn’t mean that the teacher has to “write” every “topic” on their blog.  They can copy paragraphs or quotes directly from a book they cite.  By high school many students will have a Facebook account.  Lamb’s book teaches them to use it safely and wisely.  They also learn to use Facebook as a marketing tool to market themselves.  We often overlook, or feel too pressured to teach, the importance of the “soft” skills in education, of how to get along with people, how to motivate them, and get them to like us.  Those skills are an integral part of DOING social media.  Kristen Lamb integrates those skills as she explicitly teaches basics of blogging and using social media.

“Giving is when you take your time to read their blog, to repost their story and to congratulate their writing goal on Twitter. Giving is when you write a nice review of someone else’s book unsolicited and expecting nothing in return.”

Lamb, Kristen (2011-05-07). Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer (Kindle Locations 572-573). Who Dares Wins Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Students will learn that “people love feeling good” and that “a positive attitude is a key ingredient for a hit blog that connects with others in a meaningful way.” (Ibid Location 1519)

These soft skills that students learn will be useful to them no matter what profession or trade they choose to enter during or after high school.

Kristen’s book is available on Kindle, which means that note taking will be easy for students (and teachers who are beginning bloggers).  When a quote is copied from the book on the computer the biographical information is automatically noted.  WHEW!  That was EASY!

Mike Lebsock, 8th grade history teacher, President San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social STudies (SJVCSS), John Adams in Colonial Williamsburg

Mike Lebsock, an eighth grade teacher in Fresno, posts a blog entry then has his students write one response to his post, and one response to another student’s response.  How easy that would be using this book.  The teacher doesn’t have to write his or her own content.  He or she simply copies right from the book into the blog.  The biographical information is automatically there as well.

Are You There Blog? is easy to read, but that doesn’t mean that there is NO academic vocabulary.  The academic vocabulary is primarily content-based and can be grasped within the context of the book.  However, for students using Kindle or other e-readers, they can open a window with the definition of an unfamiliar word by just passing the cursor over a word and stopping.

When I started this review, I struggled with recommending it for Common Core because it was such an enjoyable book to read.  After analyzing how the book can actually meet many elements of Common Core I have changed my mind.  Non-fiction books can be enjoyable, and enjoyable books can be academic.  Read and enjoy Kristen Lamb’s book, Are You There Blog?  It’s Me, Writer. with your students – – or just for yourself.

Today’s Featured Blog 

My blogging friend Rommel, has taught me so much.  He was one of my first visitors before I knew squat, he had nominated me for an award.  I didn’t even understand what an award was.  He kept coming back when I was working full time+, and hardly had a second to visit any blogs, there was Rommel commenting on my blog.   Then recently he featured me on his site.  Who knew?  What a kind thing to do.  So it is with great honor and pride that I introduce my first Featured Blogger, Rommel.  The post that I chose, although he writes great travel stories, posts amazing pictures from all over the world, I fell in love with Once in A Blue Moon, a poem.  This is how it starts.

Another special post.

Here goes…

You know what…. I need to pause… An image first.

Can’t you just picture a vibrant young man venturing out on unfamiliar waters, writing a poem?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

I was VERY thankful for grandparents and great-grandparents. I MIGHT have been spoiled by being the first child of two only-children.

This week’s photo challenge by WordPress, Thankful , conjures up pictures of food, family, friends, and material objects.  Beyond our immediate circle of influence and interaction, our country, and the peace, liberty, and freedom it offers comprise some of the more esoteric gifts that make us thankful.  Our lives are improved by people that serve us and do things that we can’t do for ourselves, so we are thankful for:   business people, teachers, doctors, our service men and women, inventors, even attorneys, Jean.

All of what we experience in life today thankfully and appreciatively is built on a foundation of ancestors that worked hard, made mistakes, created, and destroyed, loved and laughed just as we do today who left us a legacy.  I am thankful that life moves on, and things change.

Stocks in Colonial Williamsburg

At a teachers week-long institute in Colonial Williamsburg, we had no idea what kind of trouble we might be getting into.  I’m not sure why we are laughing, our crime was not a laughing matter.  We might have been doing something dreadful such as preaching Baptist doctrine inside the town.  Amazing when it’s out your time period, you can laugh about some pretty horrible practices.  I’m just thankful these are passé.

Here are some other samples of Thankful.

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Ese’s Voice
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Figments of a DuTchess
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « masadiso79′s Blog
  4. Over the Rainbow « Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | FOTO chip – © Birgitta Rudenius
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « MaanKind
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « What’s (in) the picture?
  8. WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « A year in the Life
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful, can mean many things « A Western Buddhist’s Travels
  10. I am thankful for… | Thirdeyemom
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « « The Great Escape » Life from behind a lens
  12. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | The Patient Gardener’s Weblog
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful (Introducing The Prawn Of Appreciation) | EL Appleby: Short Stories*
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic
  15. Thanksgiving Blessings « Sisters of Christ
  16. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful — Mirror. « mommyverbs
  17. Thankful « Teepe’s weblog
  18. Thankful… « the thirdeyeworld
  19. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Just a few photos
  20. salsa verde « yi-ching lin photography
  21. Weekly Photo Challenge – Thankful « The Urge To Wander
  22. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Tea with a Pirate
  23. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful – Joy and Woe
  24. Weekly Photo Challenge – thankful | Chittle Chattle
  25. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Form Your Troika
  26. Weekly Photo Challenge – Thankful | Just Snaps
  27. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « warmhotchocolate
  28. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : THANKFUL « beyond toxicity
  29. Weekly photo challenge: Thankful « The (Urban-Wildlife) Interface
  30. Weekly Photo Challenge; Thankful « Day One
  31. The Gravity of the Situation | Beyond the Brush
  32. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « thelifebus
  33. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | a hectic life
  34. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Words & Pictures
  35. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity
  36. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Alastair’s Blog
  37. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Lola Jane’s World
  38. They deserve it the most… | Living in Another Language
  39. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Sigoese
  40. Thanksgiving photo post « my blog.
  41. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | colderweather
  42. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | joy cannis photography
  43. Thankful | Galang Pusa
  44. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Miljo Anne
  45. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | The Good Villager
  46. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Perceptions of a reluctant Homemaker
  47. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | s1ngal
  48. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Lonely Travelog
  49. weekly photo challenge: thankful « a nomad in the land of nizwa
  50. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « The World According to Me…
  51. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Blatherskite
  52. Why I Don’t Invite Milla Jovovich to Tea | rarasaur
  53. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful for Blog Readers | Cardboard Me Travels
  54. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Ruth E Hendricks Photography
  55. BLACK FRIDAY DEAL: 30 Minute WordPress Consultation | Open Knowledge
  56. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Efrata Denny Saputra Yunus
  57. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | blog SRI IZAWATI
  58. Photo Journal/Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful «
  59. Thankful for every minute of it … | The Wanderlust Gene
  60. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Wind Against Current
  61. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : THANKFUL | soumyav
  62. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Simply Charming
  63. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | SC Surf Butler
  64. Fotograf Sara Marklund « britten
  65. Weekly Travel Theme: Liquid | Sue Ann’s Balcony
  66. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | A Hedonistic Wander
  67. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Sasieology
  68. Challenge photo de la semaine – Gratitude « Paris en photographies
  69. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | I am Super Istar
  70. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Angel Frouk
  71. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | The Serenity Space
  72. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Tammys Pratbubbla
  73. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful «
  74. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Olivia May Photography
  75. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Nature on the Edge
  76. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Colline’s Blog
  77. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful – a time to be thankful, and a time for reflections – to my fellow bloggers, family and friends | My Notebook
  78. Thanksgiving Reflections « SimplySage
  79. Thankful !! | nirvanatrails
  80. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful | Mirth and Motivation
  81. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Last Train to QVille
  82. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Life&Ink
  83. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Stefano Scheda
  84. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful (Reasons to Be) | Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond…
  85. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful / My Camera | wAnderful ESCAPADES
  86. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal
  87. Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « Julie Dawn Fox Photography