Here I am with my friend and teaching mentor, Mrs. Gunther, on one of our first days of school.


Hey Kids!

I’ve been told many, many times that my “catch phrase” when greeting my students is an enthusiastic “Hey, Kids!”  As our blog is an extension of our classroom, I thought it only appropriate to extend that greeting to all our visiting students and so named it Hey Kids!

The 2015-2016 academic year marks the fourth year of our blog and also the first year for our blog at a new school.  Starting this month, our class blog will belong to six classes of high school students in grades 9 and 10.  Our new school is just a hop, skip, and a jump from our old school.  We are still located on the island, about a mile from beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, and lots of my old middle school students are now students at the high school.  I am very fortunate to be able to continue to see all my kids as they grow up and move through the grades.  I love it when they stop by to say hello, and I am also really enjoying meeting a whole bunch of new students, who will soon become my kids as well.  I continue to greet all my students, old and new, with an enthusiastic “Hey Kids!”

While our school has changed, the goal of our blog has not; we still want to extend our classroom beyond ourselves and generate thoughtful discussion among all members of the learning community –  other students, parents, and teachers around the globe.  In so doing,  we hope to encourage life-long, passionate learning and well-mannered discourse among all learners.  We want to meet even more kids (and teachers, too)!

I hope you join in our journey!!  Thank you for visiting our blog!

“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.”    ~William Butler Yeats?


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

28 thoughts on “About

  1. Good luck with your blogging. I began about a year and a half ago and have learned a lot by visiting other blog sites. I teach 2nd grade students in North Carolina. They enjoy blogging. Our class blog at brendatodd.edublogs.org is typed by me but much of what is put in comes from my students telling me what they want to know or what they’ve learned. We do have an inner class one that they blog about their books from book clubs and we started one this year with another class in England. Both of those the students do their own typing. This year my goal is to teach them how to make even deeper more thoughtful comments when they are working on their own. They have to learn about typing the words because at first it takes them a long time so our first blogging on our own is very limited. Of course, it will be a new class and we don’t start until August. My post this summer are by me just to keep a few things there so our visitors will keep coming and be checking our site when the kids arrive. I’m able to model a lot of writing with the students on the blog site.
    Your older students should be able to do a lot on their own.
    Best wishes as you and your students explore blogging.

    • Thanks so much for your lovely response! My family and I are headed to Asheville, North Carolina this summer for our vacation. We have never been there before and are really looking forward to some hiking and white water rafting. I am so impressed with classes of young students who are blogging. I am realizing for the first time just how different the educational experience is for my students than it was for me 25 years ago. Although a little intimidating, also very exciting! I am hoping to share what I have learned with the teachers at my school when we return in the fall. I will pass along your site to our elementary teachers, and I will visit as well. Kudos to you for involving grade 2 students in blogging and book clubs. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Thanks again for commenting.

  2. Mrs. Donofrio,
    How exciting to see your new blog! I know about all the wonder-filled moments you will have in the next school year, for my students have been blogging for two years now.

    We have some things in common. I teach middle school language arts (and a bit of history, geography, and science, too) in a small rural Iowa Catholic school.

    We would love to connect with your new bloggers! I’ve just added your class to my “cool classes” blog roll.

    Denise Krebs

    • Hi Denise,

      So great to get your comment! Thank you! I am just returning from a week in North Carolina with my family, and I promised myself and them that I wouldn’t do any schoolwork for one week, so I am just reading your comment now.

      My class would LOVE to connect with yours! Although I don’t formally teach any subjects other than language arts, I really enjoy historical fiction, so we frequently get some history and geography into our curriculum as well. That’s one of the reasons I am gravitating to the blogging concept; I love maps!

      I return to school on the 8th of August, and the kids come back on the 15th. I hope that by the following week we will start to blog regularly. I am a bit nervous as I have not done this before, and I am not a tech-whiz, but I keep reminding myself that slow and steady wins the race. No one was born knowing how to use blogging in the classroom, so it is possible for me to learn, too!

      I will show your blog to my students when we return.
      Thank you, and looking forward to collaborating with you!

      Beth Donofrio

  3. Good morning, Beth! What an impressive blog you’ve launched–already so skillfully managed at a young (blogging) age. Thank you so much for your friendly, entertaining comment on our Have your got what it takes? post–I know my kids would love to spend time with you and your students in Florida–just a hop and a skip from where we live.
    We just started school so this year’s new bloggers have yet to begin commenting. But I have added you to our blog role and I expect you’ll have visitors from Canada soon.

    • Thanks so much, Jan. As you can probably see from my students’ comments on Huzzah!, we are very excited to begin blogging. We are just learning about blogging etiquette, and I am teaching the kids about the persona they create when they post their comments. I think our initial enthusiam has overtaken some of our writing sensibilities, so I very much appreciate your kind responses. I look forward to more exchanges in the future. Please tell Ms. Steak and her new 7th grade hires we will be in touch.

      ~Beth Donofrio

  4. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I’m Cole from huzzah, your blog looks really cool. There’s a lot of stuff to look at! I’m new to blogging but from what I see it looks pretty cool.
    see you on our blog, Cole.

    • Hi Cole,
      Thanks so much for reading our blog. I’m glad you like it. We are looking forward to visiting your blog this week.
      Happy Blogging,
      Mrs. Donofrio

  5. Hi Beth,
    My name is Patrick and I’m an avid subscriber of your blog and I’m an advocate for Education as well. I remember an article you have about “Nearing 100 Visitors” and thought that this article might interest you. You can find the article here: http://newsroom.opencolleges.edu.au/features/facilitating-collaborative-learning-20-things-you-need-to-know-from-the-pros/.

    Please let me know what you think. I’d be really excited to hear from you!


    Patrick del Rosario
    Education Ambassador, Open Colleges

    • Hi Patrick,

      First, thanks so much for being an avid subscriber of our blog! We are so glad to have you as a regular visitor.
      Second, thank you for the article. It is always beneficial for me to read the research of good teaching practices. There is so much to do; it is easy to forget crucial pieces on occasion. After Christmas my students will be writing and publishing their own books. We have done this in a couple of different ways in the past. Each student has written his/her own book, and we have written class books. This year we will break down into groups of 4-6 students, and each group will write a workbook for future use in our classroom. The kids will share in the decision of what theme work with and how to organize their books. Each student will have job to do: researcher, writer, lesson development, editor, graphic designer, etc. I am looking forward to that project, and will let you know how it turns out.
      Of course, sometime this year we are hoping to collaborate with another class from some other location in the world on a project. We have been corresponding with Huzzah! and may be able to get something going before Christmas.
      Enjoy the holidays, and thanks for visiting. We hope to hear from you again.
      Beth Donofrio

  6. G’day Mrs Donofrio and kids,

    Thanks for registering for the September 2013 blogging challenge. Make sure you visit the blog every week starting 8th September, when the first challenge is published.

    If you want a reminder sent to your email each week, use the “Subscribe by email” on the right sidebar of the challenge blog.

    Also make sure you visit blogs from other classes around the world with similar ages – see list in blog header.

    Feel free to add the 2013 badge to your blog.

    Miss W or tasteach – challenge organizer

  7. I love the blog it sounds so much fun and I can’t believe the students have their own blogs it is so cool I would love to work on the blog!

  8. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I’m looking forward to blogging this year. It’s fun and educational, and it’s just like being in your classroom – except at my house! I know you have a second blog. Why did you choose Hey, Kids! over the other as your main classroom blog?

    • Hi Maria,
      I love your analogy about blogging being like our classroom but at home! That’s a great way to look at it, and I feel the same way. Our second blog is the result of a book we wrote and illustrated as a class two years ago. It’s about a dog named Teddy who gets lost in Venice. He runs all around town seeing the sights. I envisioned a whole series of Teddy books, with Teddy visiting all sorts of cool places around the globe: The Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, the White House, Disney World, etc. Since I also love to collect post cards from my students’ travels, I thought it would be neat to have Teddy send “posts” from his travels around the world. The authors of the Teddy posts would be all my students, who could write about their own travels through the point-of-view of Teddy, the run away dog. I hoped younger kids around the world would look for Teddy posts every day and learn about the world through the mischievous pup.
      Our main blog, Hey Kids!, relays our real classroom adventures each week or so. That gets the majority of my time. At least once this year all you kids will write a Teddy post, and we will see where his travels take him. Perhaps when you write, he will go to Costa Rica or Guadalupe.
      Would you like to be an author someday, Maria?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  9. Hi there from Southern California! I teach in a seventh grade classroom (ELA and HSS) in Orange County. I am new to blogging this year and would like to see it take off more. If your students would like to visit and/or comment on posts my students have made, that would be awesome. I could also link your site to mine to return the favor. Our site is http://mrsrovira.edublogs.org and all the students blogs link off of that one. Some students have really taken to it, and some not so much. 🙂

  10. G’day Mrs Donofrio and students,

    Thanks for registering for the March 2014 blogging challenge. Make sure you visit the blog every week starting 9th March, when the first challenge is published.

    If you want a reminder sent to your email each week, use the “Subscribe by email” on the right sidebar of the challenge blog.

    Also make sure you visit blogs from other classes around the world with similar ages – see list in blog header.

    Feel free to add the 2014 badge to your blog.

    Miss W or tasteach – challenge organizer

    PS If using blogger platform, please have Name/URL as an option when leaving comments. If using kidblog, make sure readers can view posts and comments.

    • Hi Miss Velasco,

      We are absolutely looking for blogging buddies! We’d love to visit you, too! Let us know your blogging address, and we will start to visit.

      We have just finished a wonderful book called Fever 1793, and will begin a dramatic unit soon. We plan to read adaptations of Antigone, and then some Shakespeare, yet to be determined. We always celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23rd, but this year we will celebrate a bit early as the Bard’s birthday falls during our Easter break.

      What do you have coming up on your agenda?

      We look forward to better making your acquaintance!
      Mrs. Donofrio

  11. I love your blog. I teach 6th grade reading and language arts. I would love to be blogging friends. The students would be excited to connect with another classroom. I am in the process of creating student blogs, so students do not have their own. But it would be great to talk with another classroom about their experiences. (bmsemerick.edublogs.org)

    • Hi Mrs. Donofrio,

      One of your students left a comment about wanting to Skype with our class. I love this idea and would love to get in contact with you to discuss the possibility.

      Mrs. Emerick (Making Waves in Sixth Grade)

    • Hello Ms. Mascolo,
      Thank you for leaving a comment on our blog. I have visited you and left a comment on your blog as well. My class and I look forward to connecting with you this year as well. We enjoy the blog of another Canadian class as well. They are from British Columbia. You may enjoy blogging with them, too. http://huzzah.edublogs.org
      As my students like to say,
      Blog you later!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

    • Thank you for visiting! We are glad you like our blog and will make sure to visit you on your blog, By the Sun. We are located in a sunny spot, too!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  12. Hello Beth,

    I thought I would say ‘hi’ while I visited your blog. I came across it when I had a look at the EduBlogs Awards. I am impressed to see that this blog has been running since 2012. I can’t say I have seen many blogs survive that long. I love your tagline: “Reading+writing+thinking+learning+sharing= Blogging” too.

    All the best to you and your students,


    • Dear Frank,
      Thank you so much for your kind comment, although it reminds me that I have not done much with our blog this year. I have started a new job at a new school and acclimating to a new school culture is taking all of my bandwidth! I am hoping to gimp along this year and pick up the pace again next year. Thank you so much for your comment; you are keeping me in the race.
      All the best to you as well,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *