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Bowllan's Blog
Inside Bowllan's Blog

Meet Teachers Mary Lee and Franki from "A Year of Reading" Blog

A.B. As teachers, why did you both decide to start blogging?  What are your goals as reading bloggers?

F:  It was totally Mary Lee’s idea.  She is far more technological than I am.  We had been emailing and meeting over coffee to chat about books for a while and this seemed like a fun way to do more of that.

ML:   I wanted to start a blog, but I didn’t want it to just be an online journal.  I wanted an audience.  By doing it with Franki, I was guaranteed an audience of at least one! 

A couple of years ago we started a good-natured sort of semi-competition to see who could pick the Newbery winner.  We were lousy at that, so we decided to try to have read the Newbery winner.  The blog was a way for us to talk about what we were reading.  Now that we have been at it for a while, our vision of the blog has broadened to be a place where we write about our reading of both children’s and adult books, and about reading in our classrooms.

A.B. What are your top posts you feel educators could benefit from?

F:  100 Cool Teachers in Children’s Literature.  We found a fun post on Jen Robinson’s blog about 100 Cool Boys and 100 Cool Girls in Children’s Literature.  We had always worried about the ways teachers are portrayed in books, so we invited people to join in and nominate their favorite “Cool Teachers in Children’s Literature.”  We are up to 82!  Just 18 more to make our goal of 100! 

I was also excited about our first blog interview with author Ralph Fletcher.  We hadn’t tried an interview yet and I think his book Boy Writers is one that teachers will love.  

My post linking to the article that I wrote for Choice Literacy about blogging has expanded us to the teacher network.  

ML:  I agree with Franki about the 100 Cool Teachers in Literature post.  First of all, you should know that it was all her idea, and a brilliant one, I think.  That post is the one that moved us from lurking around the edges of the Kidlitosphere into being recognized members of the community.  It’s a great one for teachers because it celebrates us in literature, and the list of books is an awesome resource for some kind of project someone might dream up for their class! 

It’s hard to pick favorite posts.  As I looked back through our archives, I was thinking that educators could mostly benefit from the variety in our blog.  We almost always take part in Poetry Friday, but that post is very different when Franki does it vs. when I do it.  We have book reviews, literacy current events, descriptions of reading in our classrooms, posts about professional books, and a few off-topic posts now and then (mostly mine!).  I think our voices are very “real.”  No need to feel intimidated reading our blog!