feedly is one of those alternatives that got a lot of mentions when the news about Google Reader came out. What got my attention is that it was always mentioned as being organized and easy on the eyes.

feedly was much more difficult for me than bloglovin'. I'm a digital immigrant. I'm an SLP, not a techie. I want easy. That being said, I think feedly has some really good points.

At sign-up, feedly will ask to access your Google blogs. The blogs go to feedly *snap* just like that. So easy. What I don't like is that this is the same login every time. I don't have a separate login for feedly. Maybe that's my ignorance. And I'm not ready to unfollow all of my blogs in Google Reader. I like a safety net. I feel like I'm getting duplicate blog readers right now.

But onto feedly... this is the left bar upon login:

Today - all the posts from today.
Saved for later - don't have time to read? Use this handy little icon.

I really like the next section. I grouped my blogs. This way, I can look at just SLP blogs or just creative blogs. Selecting ALL will give me everything. ALL is great if I'm caught up on blog reading and just a few new ones pop up. Categories are wonderful when I am not caught up and want to read later or on the weekend, which I've obviously done this week!

The Index shows me my categories and what blogs have new posts I haven't read:
Here's a closer look at options on the Index:
I have 6 categories coming from 254 blogs and 187 posts to read.

On the top right corner are more tools:
The gear allows filtering of the Index by favorites. There's a refresh button. The arrow will take me to "next", which is the layout of the blogs.

History shows what I've read, so if I scan through a blog and then think, "Hey, I need to know more about that", I can use this section.

Themes is pretty simple. Just choose a color you like. I chose green.
Preferences is where I get to play a little bit. 
Basically, I kept the defaults already set for feedly. These are really the only categories I changed. On my Start Page, I want to see All, not just Today.

The Default View allows viewing choices, which is nice. Select an option and then hit the refresh button in the top right. I didn't do that and wondered why the view wasn't changing. See my second paragraph.

I like the mosaic view because it has nice and even rows and columns, like this:

I like the pictures, the titles, and the start of entries. And even if a blog doesn't have a picture, feedly still allows for the even view, like this row:
Here is the Titles Only View:

The Magazine View:

The Cards view:
And samples from the Full Articles view:

Reading a post gives lots of options. The tools at the top left allow for sharing on social media, saving for later, and tagging. The tools at the top right allow going to the next blog or marking as read by hitting the trashcan. Yes, I know it looks like the trashcan should be deleting the post, but it's not.

The same tools are at the bottom.

What I like about feedly is the +tag button. Just select this, Create Tag, and type in a name. For this post  about language, I just create a tag and now I have a new tag in the left bar!
I can go back and look at posts. I don't have to think about when I could have read the post or even which blog the idea I'm looking for came from! Isn't this handy?!? bloglovin' is much easier, but I really like how I will be able to categorize posts. Kind of like pinning. 

My Summary: feedly takes time to set up. There is a learning curve involved, at least for me. My favorite parts are the views and +tag. I think these two options are useful enough that feedly is worth the time to set up, learn and use.

Looking for an alternative to soon-to-be-gone Google Reader? My awesome sister Amy suggested bloglovin'. I had seen bloglovin' as a source to this blog long before my sister mentioned it, but at the time I thought it was porn and didn't click it. No need to worry! bloglovin' is a very easy and safe reader.

Just sign up, and there is a button that imports all of the blogs at once. It took a couple of minutes. At most. Very easy for this digital immigrant.

This is my current home page;

I can tell from the left bar that I have 6 blogs that are unread. From the middle section, the newest blog post is from eighteen25. Note that these blog entries are in regular view. I can click on the title Our Friday Five-Jodie Edition, and it takes me to the blog where I can read the entire post.

After I close out, my bloglovin' page now looks like this:
eighteen25's post is faded because I read it. The entry from Saddle up for Second Grade is not faded because I haven't read it.

There's no need to leave the page to read every blog post, especially if it's a short post. Just click on Mark as Read at the bottom of entry to make it fade.

To find more blogs, just scroll down. I love that I can easily tell which blogs I've read and which ones have newer posts. I find myself wishing FaceBook would have the same option.

My summary: Very easy, gets the job done, easy to see new posts and what's been read or not read. Simple to add new blogs. This is a very viable alternative for me.

From Amy:
Friday Fave #1:
Last Friday, it was Flair Pens, this week another can't live without school supply.   I love Post-It Notes and I'm not afraid to admit it.  My favorites are the bright colored ones.   I have a pop-up dispenser on my desk.   I have cute & freebie pads of paper in my desk drawer, but I always seem to be reaching for a Post-It instead.

Friday Fave #2:
And, Happy Easter, everyone!    I wish you and your family a beautiful Easter season.      
Then the angel spoke to the women.   "Don't be afraid!" he said.   "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.   He isn't here!   He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen.   Come, see where His body was lying.   And now, go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and He is going ahead of you to Galilee.   You will see Him there.   Remember what I have told you."   Matthew 28:5-7 The New Living Translation

From Laura:
Friday Fave #1:
I'm sitting here writing this post and enjoying my Thursday night while watching a classic:
Friday Fave #2:
I took my son for a college visit 3 1/2 hours away last weekend. Yes, that was 7 hours in the car. We bonded over:
Do you know these songs? Probably, because I'm behind the times:
I wear your granddad's clothes, I look incredible
You gotta get up and try and try and try
And my favorite:
Mama told me not to waste my life, She said, Spread your wings, my little butterfly...
I wanted 80s on 8, J wanted ESPN Talk Radio, so we settled on The Pulse, The Blend, and 20 on 20. I am an unashamed pop fan who is willing to admit I bought the Little Mix's Wings.

From Lisa:
Friday Fave #1: March Madness!
I absolutely love watching college basketball! March Madness is something that I never miss. Each game is unique, exciting, and anything can happen. My favorite March Madness moment so far has to go to Aaron Craft for shooting a beautiful 3point shot, in order to defeat Iowa State. Go Buckeyes! 

Friday Fave #2: Spring Craftivities!
Caitlin Clabby’s Spring Craftivities are definitely worth buying. The crafts are easy to prepare, practical, and include several writing activities.  My kids have absolutely loved making them. They are absolutely adorable! 

So I planned to do Fortunately Fans this week, but I forgot it's Easter! Here are some of the things I used:

Carrotville from Jenna Rayburn:

 Some Easter books, homework, and Easter Bingo from Speaking of Speech:
Another book with velcro categories. The first picture of each row is glued on. The next three are velcroed on. I remove the pictures and hand them out according to IEP objective. for example, a student working on /ch/ would get the "go to church"  card. It's my little way of combining artic and language. Then we work together to fill up the categories.
And from my super sister, an Easter Happy Bunny Jellybeans smelly!
Up for next week is more spring fun, this time with Park Place!
The More Mr. and Mrs. Green book has three short chapters, and one is about going to the park. It is a suggestion from my sister, and I love it! It has the fun and nature parts of parks, so it will be a good intro to our games.

The first one is "I'm Going to the Park", and this is perfect for my language students working on categories. There are also plenty of artic sounds to work on. Plus there's a take-home sheet so parents will know what their child did.
The second day of therapy will be "Rhyme Time at the Park". Students listen to two rhyming words and produce a third one. Artic students will have to use a rhyming word with their speech sound. This one also has a take-home sheet.
What did you do this week? What do you have planned?
My district is looking for opinions on data management systems. Whew... that's a long and boring description! We have used SEAS, SEM and now SuccessEd. I would love to hear what you are using. Do you like it? Is it user friendly? Reader friendly? Hate it and wouldn't recommend it?

Give me all the good and bad! I need to know what's out there and if it's worth investigating or not!
From Lisa:
Each day, a Kg student is chosen to share news with the class. Working with Kg, you never know what they'll share. One of my sweeties was so excited to share their experience at Main Event (an arcade/bowling alley/laser tag place).
My mom toc me to man event.

As you can tell from the picture, our focus is on phonics rather than correct spelling. Heehee.

All Y'all Need has a new spring unit, Park Place! The 53 pages are perfect for addressing vocabulary goals with a spring theme.
The packet includes:
*Spring Storytime Suggestions, 2 pages of spring books to read
*Game #1, Going to the Park, focusing on naming categories
*Game #2, Rhyme Time at the Park, focusing on listening to two rhyming words and then producing one
*Game #3, Prepositions at the Park, a matching game to work on describing pictures with basic sentences + prepositions
*3 take-home sheets, one for each game

Unit is $5 for 53 pages. Thanks for taking a look!
Ready for Administrative Professionals' Day? It's coming up on April 24! All Y'all Need has just the subway art to let your secretaries know how special they are. $1.

All Y'all Need is participating in a giveaway posted by Saddle Up For 2nd Grade. Lots of items! Visit her wonderful blog, and let her know that All Y'all Need sent you! The contest runs through Friday Good luck!
Today's meal is a favorite of my family's, and it's one we made for a big group last July. What is "it"? Pioneer Woman's Dr Pepper Pulled Pork! My husband went for the 5 pound version this time rather than 23 pounds, and it still made enough for us to have a meal and enough to freeze for future meals.

I like mine without coleslaw on HEB rolls or tortillas.

The Good: Everyone in my family likes it. The frozen portion will be easy to thaw out in the future.

The Bad: This is not a good weeknight recipe. It cooks for 6 hours in a 300 degree oven. Not sure if it can be made in a crockpot.

Summary: A good recipe to include in weekend plans so that extras can be frozen.
From Amy:
A sweetie from 1st grade came to get a new book from the library after school.   She is Little Miss Charming and a teacher's kid, so that is why she gets to hang out after the bell rings.    Her comment, "My favorite place to be in the school is the library!     I love being with all these books by myself!"   Ahhhhhhhh, heartwarming moment for me.

I love, love, love these pens!    They are sooooooooo smooth on the paper.   They are bright and cheerful.   They don't bleed through your paper.   PaperMate Flair Pens are all that & a bag of chips!

From Laura:
It's been so nice to finally see a few bluebonnets along the roadside. We've been in a drought, and our state flower suffers from not enough rain. I took a few pictures, but I'm going to share with you some more beautiful pictures from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

A close-up:
Doug Sherman, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

A patch in wetter years:

Norman G. Flaigg, Lady Bird Jonhson Wildflower Center
I'm going to completely go from nature to commercial and try to catch up with Amy and Lisa from last week. Hubby and DD15 went shopping, and we all found shoes at DSW. Here are mine. Can't wait to wear them!
Lisa has had a tough week back after Spring Break. She is choosing two things that make her happy, don't argue and are comforting. The first is Sonic (which is also a happy place for Amy and Laura!)
The second is her dog, Brinkley. Isn't he just a cutie?!?
Brinkley also loves Sonic and doggie cones and generally believes he's one of the humans.

How's your week going?
Have you seen the cute linky parties on teacher and craft blogs? The idea is that everyone shares something in common and then links up to network and comment on other blogs. With our growing SLP blog world, I though I would give it a try.

So here is the first image. It is not as cute as others I've seen, but hey, it's my first try.
Graphics are by Scrappin Doodles and Teaching in a Small Town. Font is by Cara Carroll of the First Grade Parade.

See how I used SLP down the side? Isn't that original?

So what do you do with this? If you have a Mac, take a screen shot by pressing Command-Shift-4. This will bring up a circle with lines, and you can use that to take the screen shot. It will sound like a camera.  The image will go to the desktop, and you can open it up. My screen shot image now looks like this:

From the top toolbar, select Tools-Annotate-Add Text:

This will bring up a plus sign. Place the plus sign where you want to add the text, and a vertical line will appear.
You will need to repeat these steps for each line of type. Then, either take a screen shot or save as an image, and add it to your blog post!

I do not have detailed directions for PCs. Right-click the image, import in PowerPoint, and add text boxes to add text.

If this is all too complicated, just copy the image and put the answers below. You don't have to put text into the image.

Here is my example:
This March, my State of Mind is happy, happy, happy (and yes, that's a Duck Dynasty reference!) Why? Because of what I'm Loving - Spring Break this week! I'm getting ready to do Fortunately Fans next week, plus I need to get Carrotville from Jenna Rayburn ready.

Wow! That sounds like a lot of work! But there's one more step, joining the linky party. Click on the Add Your Link button at the bottom of this post. Share the URL for your blog. Then, comment on four blogs total - the two before your entry and the two after. 

Here are the rules:
1) Keep it clean and friendly.
2) You can mention your own items, as I did with Fortunately Fans, but if you do that, please put in items from someone else, as I did with Carrotville. The purpose is networking.
3) Give credit where credit is due - fonts, link to original ideas, TPT/Teachers Notebook stores, Pinterest, etc.
4) After submitting your blog, visit four more blogs and make comments.

Thanks for taking this journey with me! I'm looking forward to adding more blogs to my list!
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