Beth’s Blog is Brilliant!

I so admire Beth Donofrio. Her blog Hey Kids! is as good as it gets and deserves to be read and emulated. I would love to see her blog be recognized with an Eddie for Best Class Blog.2014-11-23 10_51_34-ATKOSD2

Beth blogs with her grade 6, 7 and 8 Language Arts students in Venice, Florida. She has been at it for about two and a half years, but she really blogs like someone who has been doing it much longer. Beth admits to being a tech newby, but you’d never know it because in a short time she has become a master. Beth gets the essentials and her blog banner shows it: Reading+writing+learning+sharing=Blogging. Doesn’t she sum it all up perfectly?

My students love to comment on Beth’s blog because she always responds. Often she visits their blogs and leaves encouraging, insightful comments. She models good blogging practice on her blog and her students emulate her on theirs. They are total pros–I really love getting comments from Hey Kids! kids because they are thoughtful and carefully crafted. The students are obviously reading deeply and thinking about what they write.

Being a blogging teacher is hard work. There are lots of fiddly bits that can go wrong. Beth is not afraid to ask for help, and I know the good folks at Edublogs have helped her a few times. I also had the privilege of Skyping with Beth to get her over the learning curve on a few things. She is a real treat. The voice your hear on her blog is as genuine as she is in person.

Beth uses her blog to get her kids thinking and caring. I see her blog is her faith in action. She is involved in charity work with her students and she uses her blog to reflect and highlight that work. I would love to be a student in her class–what she does is meaningful and fun.

I am grateful that Beth is a blogging neighbour and friend–right across the continent, but really just next door. I invite you to go visit her.


  1. Dear Ms. Smith and Huzzahnians,
    We can’t thank you enough for these lovely words. You have made our day, week, month and year! You have been our model of excellence every step of the way, and we are indebted to you for the conscious help you gave us (the Skype visit, the directions through comments) and also the unconscious help (the times when we learned from you by reading and imitating your blog). Blogging is a wonderful experience for us; I love the authentic audience it provides for our writing and the knowledge we garner from other classes doing wonderful work. Thank you a million times for being a constant source of inspiration to us. Huzzah!
    ~Mrs. Donofrio and kids

    1. Well, Mrs. Donofrio and Hey Kids!
      It was my pleasure to assist in a small way–I really just pointed you in the right direction and you were off on your own journey. There is such kindness and energy in your writing (and by that I am including your lovely students) and in the way you connect with others through your blog. I’m just grateful I can come and take in what you are doing and be reminded why I blog in the first place. Despite the work (and it is hard work!), we blog because it improves the reading – writing – thinking – learning – sharing of our students.
      I know Thanksgiving is on the horizon for you (ours was in October) and I wish you, your family, and students a peaceful, joyous holiday.
      Take care,
      Jan Smith

  2. Thank you so much for nominating us for the Best Class Blog! You are so kind and I love your blog. Have you ever been nominated? -Shannon

    1. Hi Shannon,
      Thanks for the comment. Yes, we have been nominated. It is quite a lovely compliment when people say “I like your blog!” In fact, your teacher nominated us last year. We are glad to be connecting to you through blogging.
      ~Ms. Smith

  3. Hi Huzzah!
    Thank you so much for nominating our class blog! It means so much to us. Thank you for all the kind words you said about our blog. I have learned so much from your blog for my own personal blog. When I was just learning how to blog I saw how many photos and videos you had and how it made the page come to life and eye catching. That made me want to start putting photos, videos, different color fonts, and cool widgets onto my blog. Thanks to your blog to have as an inspiration I now have 430 visitors! Thanks again for nominating our class blog!~Sydney

    1. Hi Sydney,
      What a wonderful compliment! What could be better than sharing something that helps someone achiever their goals. That is a lot of visitors–You should be very proud. It sounds like you have done a lot of learning.
      Take care,
      ~Ms. Smith

  4. Hello Hazzah!
    I’m Erin from Mrs. Donofrio’s class and I wanted to tell you how thankful we are to be nominated for class blog by YOU! It has been great hearing the announcement every morning to vote for our blog. You are right, too, Mrs. Donofrio is awesome to talk to and is an amazing writer because her blog posts are very thorough and detailed. I am a new student to Venice, Florida and getting into blogging was actually kind of difficult. In my opinion, finding something to write about is HARD, but once I find something to write about, I can’t stop writing. I always have to write every last detail, I work until there isn’t any time left and I continue it when I get home. My favorite thing to write about is short memoirs about cool trips or things I have experienced in my life because it is a topic I can’t stop writing about! Have you guys taken a class trip that you will never forget? Or have any of you taken a trip you LOVED? I hope to hear back from you guys soon!

    1. Hi Erin,
      It was my pleasure to nominate Mrs. Donofrio–she has worked incredibly hard to help you all succeed at blogging. I think there are over 70 of you–that’s a lot of student blogs to manage, and a lot of hidden teaching! It is great that you persevered to make writing become a passion. I will send readers your way. Just remember to add your blog url to your comments like this then we can go right to your blog!
      Take care,
      Ms. S.
      p.s. We just had a fun swimming trip. You can ask our bloggers about it.

  5. Hello Huzzah! I just wanted to thank you again for helping us on our way; we are delighted to have won Best Class Blog this year, and we couldn’t have done it without your help. Isn’t it amazing that people who live almost 3000 miles away, whom you have never met in person, could have such a huge impact on your work and life? Think of all the other ways this is true as well: the customer service person on the phone who either helps you resolve a problem or makes it more frustrating, the lab technician who reads your medical tests correctly or incorrectly, the farmer who grows the food you eat every day. Life is interesting like that, huh?
    Thank you for being some far away, never-met-in-person friends who have been helping us on our journey.
    We are on a two week Christmas break now. Are you on an extended vacation as well? Do you have lots of snow outside your windows? Do you participate in some winter sports at this time of year? Coming from Boston, Massachusetts, I miss the snow at Christmastime. Here in Florida, it is warm and green. Santa will be hot in his red suit when he gets to our area!
    Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day and all other Happy Holidays to you all!
    ~Mrs. Donofrio and kids

    1. Hi Mrs. Donofrio and Hey Kids!
      We are thrilled for you. Such a well-deserved recognition. And yes, I am always amazed at the impact that our world neighbours can have on us. Neighbours who are strangers to us, but still we have a connection. Congratulations once again.
      We too are on Christmas break, and will be back at school January 5th. The most popular winter sports here are hockey and skiing. We have a local mountain resort, Mt. Washington, where all the snow conveniently stays. Many students spend time on the mountain perfecting their skills in downhill, cross country, snowshoeing, or snowboarding. We occasionally (maybe twice a year) get a dusting of snow down here in the Comox Valley, but we only get an official and much-desired Snow Day (day off school) once a year if we are lucky. It tends to be rainy and stormy here…we have to watch out for falling tree branches! Lately we had major flooding in our community. And sometimes we have power outages to contend with. But we feel pretty content with our lot: we live in a rain forest of coniferous trees, so despite the rain, it is always green outside. Santa brings an umbrella and wears his rubber boots around here.
      A Merry, Merry Christmas to all the Kids, and we will be in touch in 2015!
      ~Ms. Smith

  6. Hey Ms. Smith,
    I Just read Beth’s blog, you were right when you said it was brilliant. I loved to read about how she was in a play because I found the part about singing not being her forte kinda funny. I also have a connection with that story because I was the narrorator in a play in grade 1. After reading her blog I am super exited to start my own blog. I am really hoping I get lots of people looking at my blog.

    Thank you~ Tyler M

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