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The third place I get great stuff from is blogs.

(Okay - I'm about to use a scary-sounding word. Don't let it freak you out.)

I set up an RSS Aggregator to update the blogs I read on a daily basis.

(That was it - "RSS Aggregator". Did it intimidate you? Please don't let it. I'll explain it, then over the next week, you can casually drop it into conversation - "So anyway, I was playing around with my RSS Aggregator and I discovered something odd...". Your husband/girlfriend/children will look at you and say, "I don't even KNOW you anymore!")

As I'm sure you know, an RSS Aggregator checks in with all the blogs you read and lets you know when one of them has been updated.

(See? That wasn't too bad.)


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I've played around with a few aggregators and the one that I like to use is Google Reader. It's pretty easy to use and you can access it from anywhere.

When you find a new blog that you want to follow, just click on the tab that says, "add a subscription", type in the address of the blog and from then on, each time you check in, Google Reader will let you know which of your blogs have been updated.

Anyway, here are the blogs I follow on a regular basis:




The Blogs



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Awful Library Books


This is a blog by two librarians in Michigan who share books in circulation at various libraries in their area. Most of these were good and worthy books at some point, but are now completely out-dated.

Some though, are just... well.. awful.


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Blogush


Paul Bogush is an 8th grade Social Studies Teacher in Connecticut. He and I come at the same subject from very different perspectives. He is very thoughtful and expresses himself very eloquently. This blog makes me think harder about my teaching and classroom management than anything else I read or listen to.


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Desert Candy

This is a blog about Middle-Eastern cooking. I've only made a few of her recipes, but I like to think that at some point, I'll take on the adventure of cooking something truly exotic.


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Dooce.com

Heather Armstrong is probably the most famous of the "Mommy Bloggers". She writes about her life in Salt Lake City. She is funny, sometimes shocking and frequently inspiring.

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Finslippy.com

Alice Bradley is a writer in Brooklyn. She is one of the best essayists working today.

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FlickrBlog

This is the companion blog to Flickr, the photo-sharing site. It's provided me with a lot of good ideas for the classroom.




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Free-Range Kids

Lenore Skenazy is an outspoken advocate of parents backing off and letting children take risks. She's very outspoken. I'm still trying to figure out what I think of her, but she's very provocative and really makes me think hard about my teaching and my parenting.

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GeekDad

Written by the editors of Wired Magazine, this is about parenting from a geeky-tech-y point of view. I've gotten several ideas for the classroom from this blog.

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Letters of Note


This blog is a great source of primary source documents. Each post is a facsimile and transcript of a historical letter. Some are by famous people like Albert Einstein or Courtney Love and others are by obscure people whose letters provide some very cool perspective on historical events.


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Municipal Archive

Kio Stark is a writer, editor and artist in Brooklyn. Her blog posts are tiny snapshots of moments in time in her neighborhood. They are somewhat magical.


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My Parents Were Awesome

This is a stripped-down, bare-bones sort of blog. It is simple a series of photographs that people have submitted of their parents. There is no explanation or justification for the "awesomeness"; the photos have to speak for themselves.




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One Sentence.org

Tiny, funny, heart-breaking stories told in a single sentence.


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Parent Hacks

These are simple tricks to getting things done in a house full of children. A good example of the sort of thing they post is the trick of writing your cell-phone number on your child's belly in Sharpie before going into an amusement park, in case you get separated.

There are all kinds of cross-over ideas for the classroom, particularly for elementary teachers.


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Post Secret

People send in home-made postcards to this website with very personal secrets written on the back. Once a week, twenty or thirty of them are posted on the site. 

Eye-opening.

Roger Ebert's Journal

Because he is so well known as a television movie critic, and because he has been out of the limelight a little in recent years due to medical problems, it is easy to overlook the fact that Roger Ebert is one of the best writers around. Period.

Santa Claus Blog

This is one of the odder blogs out there. It only runs for a month or so, every holiday season. What would Santa blog about?

Strange Maps

This blog is just what it says - a collection of strange maps. Although it is only updated from time to time, when it is, it is little short of brilliant.


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Suburban Bliss

Another scathingly funny and sometimes touching "MommyBlog" - although that label really doesn't do it justice.

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The Diamond In the Window

A reading blog by a passionate reader and her two passionately literate daughters, aged ten and seven.


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The Morning News

A sort of aggregator in and of itself, The Morning News features links to really fascinating news articles and blog posts from around the web that you would be very unlikely to find yourself.

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Tiny Art Director

This is an incredibly cool blog by an artist who posts criticism of his artwork by his daughter, now four years old.


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And finally...

If there is somebody you find on Flickr, whose work you really like, you can copy the URL (web address) of their photo-stream and plug it into your Google Reader subscription list and you will be notified every time they post a new picture.




I hope this has inspired you to find and follow some new bloggers who might be of help to you.


Coming soon: Podcasts!



1/14/2010 09:25:39

I agree, Google Reader is a must. It brings a world of ideas every day and organizes them all in one place. Your instructions and description are perfect, it really is that simple!

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