I have decided to take part in the Teacher Challenge supported by Edublogs in order to expand my blogging. It’s a 30 day challenge, and I am hoping it will encourage me to become a more active blogger. Today’s challenge is to share information about this blog.
1. When did Stretching Forward begin?
Stretching Forward’s first post was on June 29, 2009 and entitled Welcome to Stretching Forward. You can read the first post here.
2. Where did Stretching Forward get it’s name?
Stretching Forward is explained in my first post. Here is an excerpt from the explanation:
“I wanted to convey a message of always trying new things in the classroom – whether it was technologies, lesson ideas, collaboration with others, or an opportunity that comes my way. Stretching seemed like a great idea. Stretching is important, and necessary in our daily lives. True, it may be uncomfortable as you stretch (or after the fact), but it will keep us from greater pain later. I hope I can continue to stretch myself forward every day, even if it is uncomfortable at the moment. I also hope I can be a teacher that helps my students to stretch forward themselves.”
3. Why did you start this particular blog?
The author used a personal blog at Live Journal for several years. However, she decided she really wanted to get into the habit of sharing professional information that she did not mind attaching her name to. Her goal initially was for this to be a place to share ideas, strategies, and reflections of her classroom activities. We also wanted to host the blog on a site that we had complete control over, which is why we are self hosted.
4. How many posts have there been on Stretching Forward?
Stretching Forward has 38 posts (well, I guess this one makes 39). It’s not really as verbose as we imagined when we first started.
5. What was your most popular post?
Stretching Forward’s most popular post was “Why you should sign up for the launch #NASATweetup for #STS133“. It received 971 hits and 13 comments, including a comment from a NASA Flight Director, and retweets of the post on Twitter by the official @NASA account! We were on top of the world that day.
6. What was your favorite post to share?
I think the “My Top 10 in 2010” was my favorite to share. It was a great reflection of the amazing things my author did in 2010, and really helped her prioritize. On top of that, there were many other incredible opportunities she was not able to include in the post.
7. How do you track stats for the blog?
Good question! I usually just automatically tweet the link on to Twitter with bit.ly and track hits that way. Of course, that misses people who directly type in the address. I definitely need to find a solution for better tracking of statistics. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.
8. This blog has had many different faces (layouts). Why?
The blog author get bored easily. It’s part of the reason she changes up how she does things in her classroom every year. Hence the many changes to the face of the blog. Plus, it’s a lot easier to change a blog layout than it is to move furniture around!
9. What can you tell us about the author of the posts?
Janelle Wilson is a sixth grade Earth Science teacher in the greater metro area Atlanta. This is her fifth year teaching science at her current school. This year, she teaches a standard course, a gifted course, and two accelerated courses. Janelle is very active on Twitter, and she is also a huge space geek. (That explains all the NASA posts.) She also began running last year. You can read a little bit more on the About page (which admittedly could do with some updating!).
10. What does the future hold for Stretching Forward?
We are hoping to increase our postings this year. Specifically, the goal is to post at least three times a week. As you can see, that has not happened yet this year! We would also love to increase readership and interaction with our readers. We hope to share more specific ideas and strategies with actual lesson plans as we did here with a Rocks Unit.
Here’s a word cloud of all of our posts: