Week # 5 – Student Blogging Challenge – Culture and Family

Week # 5 – Student Blogging Challenge – Culture and Family

Week 5: Culture And Family

How are you going getting comments from people other than your classmates?

Have you received comments from overseas visitors?

Has anyone in your family left a comment? Remember you might need to teach them how to leave a comment.

Select ONE post from the choices below:

Activity 1: Write a post about your family – include their interests, where you might have been together as a family. Remember to include grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Activity 2: Guest Post!! Have a family member write a post for you to add to your blog. They could write it and email or post it to you. Does this post attract more visitors or family members leaving comments? One family member regularly blogs on Mrs Yollis’ blog – Where is nonno?

Activity 3: Interview a family member and write a post about them – include the interview recording. You could use audioboom online or from your phone then upload the file to your blog. Make sure you ask permission first before putting it on your blog.

Activity 4: As a family, are there any cultural activities you do together? This might relate to food, celebrations, festivals. Write a post about at least one of them.

And once you finish your post for the week, a few ideas to spruce up your blog for the Spring Challenge…

Add a widget to find out where your commenters are coming from.

There are many different widgets you can use – clustrmaps, flag counter, feedjit or revolver map.  Have you seen any others while visiting blogs of other students?

Add one or more widgets about your area of the world

This might include a clock or weather or a translator widget in case students who don’t speak your language can translate your post.

When adding widgets to your sidebar, copy and paste the embed code into a text box on your sidebar. Save then close. If the widget is too wide, you will have to adjust the number next to ‘width’ in the embed code. This might appear more than once in the code.


Still got time left:

Check out these posts from previous weeks

Global issues: Emily, Lauren, Angel, Claudia, Isabella (yes, our own Isabella is getting lots of traffic… You might ask her how she managed to get her post highlighted by Miss W. this week)Logan, Mohamed, Iqra,

Series of posts on one topic: Shahreen on HIV/Aids,

Odds and ends: Molly using scratch, Thunyama , Chloe and Ella want you to finish the story, Chloe on idioms,


As next week is Easter here in Australia, there will be no post on the 16th April. The  next post will be Sunday 23rd April.

Maybe you could use this time to visit other blogs, have a go at some activities you haven’t finished or just write some interesting posts.

Have you been checking out the class blogs as well? Many of these have student blogs attached on the sidebar.

Apply to be a student blogging expert below!

Apply to be a student blogging expert below!

Are you one of those tech savvy students who loves to come to the aid of friends when they’re struggling with their blog? Do you love volunteering to demonstrate technology skills in front of the class? Do you love to write thoughtful blog posts that go above and beyond the expectations?  Are you a strong writer who would like to assist students as they edit their blog after receiving a blog rejection notice?Student Blogging Expert BadgeConsider applying to become a blogging expert. Not only do you get the chance to help your fellow students, assigned a special seat at one of the tables in the class, but you get the honor of having a special student blogging expert badge installed directly onto your blog.

Students who are interested must meet the guidelines below:

  • Up to date blog
  • Strong knowledge of blogging behind the scenes
  • At least a C in LA
  • A willingness to help others

Please respond to the questions below or at this link no later than Friday, April 7th, to apply to become a blogging expert.

Week #4 – Student Blogging Challenge – Let’s Look Globally

Week #4 – Student Blogging Challenge – Let’s Look Globally

Week 4: Let’s Look Globally

Earth Hour 2010

Creative Commons License Alice Popkorn via Compfight

This week we are going to continue on similar topics about global issues.

Global activities from January through March

Did you or your class discuss or take part in any of these events?

What do you think are some of the worst global issues at the moment?

There might be some that are more specific to your area of the world. But this week research one of the following topics:

  • clean water
  • hunger
  • water
  • racism
  • use of resources
  • global warming
  • specific aspects of the environment
  • unemployment
  • war and unrest
  • use of land
  • terrorism
  • HIV/Aids
  • child labour
  • women’s rights
  • education and literacy
  • another global issue of your choice

Activity 1: Write a post about a global issue of your choice.

In your post, include links to where you researched and some images with attribution. You might also want to include a poll or survey, a collage of images, a slideshow you have created. You may have found a great video you could also include.

Teachers – Here are some links to where you might get some ideas –  Global Concerns Impact, educating for global citizenship, ACEE – student voices,

Activity 2: Global issues in your classroom

Have you or your class taken part in some work associated with a global issue? Create a post about what you were involved in. Check out what some classes did a few years ago relating to Uganda. Here is a wonderful newish website about projects students and classes can join in.

Activity 3: Visit other blogs

Visit at least ten other blogs not from your country. Ask questions about some of the issues they might have in their country. Make some comparisons between the countries taking part in the challenge. Here are some classes from Turkey who are working on global issues – 5B Plewes, 5C Plewes, 5A Ecosite, and 5B Ecosite.

Activity 4: Be creative

Use a web 2.0 tool to be creative about global issues. This might be a poll or survey, a quiz, write a poem, create a poster, draw a picture, write a story or cartoon about a super hero saving the world – just be creative.

Activity 5: Do something

Do something about a global issue. Here are links to games and activities for kids about global issues. What did you choose to look at? Write a review in your post.

Still more time to spare?

Visit students and classes from the other countries involved in the challenge. Leave a comment or question relating to a global issue that might be affecting them.

Leave a comment on this blog telling Miss W. the global issue you think is most important to be solved. It might not be one of those mentioned in the post. Give reasons why it should be the first issue solved.

Week #2 – Student Blogging Challenge – Commenting Well

Week #2 – Student Blogging Challenge – Commenting Well

Week 2: Learning to comment well

About week 2: Commenting skills

This is another important week in the challenge. Blogging is all about having your voice heard and connecting with others who might like to read and comment on what you have written. But, as in many things we humans do, there are some protocols bloggers in schools like to follow.

Check out this video about leaving quality comments.

Nicolas Weiss – Leaving high quality blog comments

Activity 1: Make a set of commenting guidelines

Explain what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog.

  • What type of comment is acceptable?
  • Which type of comment will you put in the trash?

Here are some examples:

Huzzah commenting guidelines,  a Glogster poster about commenting, WarriorKat used a variety of tools for her guidelines, notice how Sophie included a link back to Mrs  Yollis’ blog where she got her information from, Emme created a PowToon, Darcey included some interesting points, Kyndal has her guidelines here.

Activity 2: Visit other student or class blogs

Visit 4 other blogs on the lists above the header area. Leave a quality comment on one post on each blog. Might be the About Me page or another post you found interesting.  Write a post on your blog mentioning who you visited, which post you left a comment on and why, then include the comment you left. Hint: make sure you copy the comment before you hit the submit button. Here are some examples from previous students in the challenge: Allegra but try to include a link to the actual post you left a comment on

Will visitors to your blog find it easy to search for a post they might be interested in commenting on? Maybe you need to start using Categories and Tags or Labels (blogspot) or Categories (weebly) or Categories (Kidblog) or make sure you have an archive section.

Great posts to visit

Some student blogs don’t allow posts to be flipped to the magazine, so I will include links to them at the bottom of each post. Here are some introductions and avatar posts.

Catrina (Australia), Jayson (USA), Maddison (Australia), Emily (Australia), Erandi (USA), Angel?(USA), Anthony (USA), Angela (USA), Angela – avatar (USA), Chelsea (Australia),

Also remember to check out the comments left for last week’s post. These will include links to student, class and mentor blogs you could be visiting.

Week #1 – Student Blogging Challenge – (Re)Introductions

Week #1 – Student Blogging Challenge – (Re)Introductions

Week 1: Introductions

Miss W or tasteach

Whenever you see either of these avatars or images on the world wide web, you will know it is me. I am a retired teacher who began blogging with students in 2008. I still blog with teachers and students in Tasmania, Australia. I also blog about my family history and whenever I travel, Davo the Tasmanian devil keeps a blog about his adventures with me. But the event I enjoy most is running the Student Blogging Challenge twice a year, with the help of the staff at Edublogs.

Students – Most weeks there will be lots of activities to choose from. You don’t have to complete them all. But by Easter or mid April, your mentor or I must see your ‘About Me’ page or post as well as two other posts relating to the challenge. If they can not be found, your name will be taken off the list of students participating, especially if you have been given a mentor.

This challenge we have many new students and classes taking part so let’s get some admin out of the way before we start our activities for this week. Anything written in bold and blue is a link you can click on to take you to another blog or website.

Admin for week 1

  1. Check that your name appears only once on the list of participating students. Leave a comment on that page if I need to remove your name from the list – give me your name, URL and age so I can find you easily.
  2. If all the students in your class have blogs and your teacher has a section called ‘My class’, you should have a widget called ‘Class blogs’. Make sure this is on your sidebar.
  3. Add the challenge badge to your sidebar – there will be a new post this week explaining how to do this.
  4. Can visitors leave comments on your blog posts? If your country is in bright pink, then you might need to change your privacy settings. Check this post for how to do this using Edublogs.
  5. Once you have done your activity for this week, remember to come back here and leave a comment on this post. Include a link to your blog post so I can try and visit in the next week. Great posts will be added to our Flipboard magazine on the sidebar.

With so many new students and teachers taking part, you might like to start with this video created by the team at Edublogs. Here is a PDF activity about blogging terms that you might want to use after watching the video.

Time now for the two activities for this week

Activity 1: UPDATE or create an avatar to use on your blog.  There are many different avatar creation sites on the web. I have been to many of them and created lots of different avatars. Some you just save and download to your computer to then upload into your blog. Others you need to use the snipping tool to save a square image of your avatar. It is always best to save as a jpg format.

Here is a symbaloo of websites to use for avatar making. Feel free to add this to your blog. Along the bottom are pages where teachers have listed lots of sites as well as shown examples. The easiest to do are on the right hand side and look like my avatar.

To add your avatar to your blog, if using Edublogs, check here.

Did you find a great avatar site not mentioned here? Write a post about your avatar and how it represents you. Include a link to the website where you created the avatar.

Activity 2: Write or update your About Me page.

Whenever I visit a blog for the first time, I always check to see who the person is that is writing the blog posts. Do they have similar interests to me?

If you already have an About Me page, you might want to create an About my State or Province page as well. Be creative:

What is the difference between a page and a post?  Check out the information here.

If using Edublogs, below are instructions for creating your page.

  1. Login to your blog, go to Settings> Discussion and make sure the default setting is ticked for allow people to leave comments> save the changes at the bottom
  2. Now go to the dashboard>pages>add new
  3. Change the title to About Me or something similar.
  4. If you only have one row of icons above the box, click on the last icon called the kitchen sink or toggle. This opens a second row which allows you to change font colours.
  5. In the box, write a bit about yourself remembering to be internet safe. Make sure you have checked out the pages from other students mentioned – many of them have been blogging for a while.
  6. In the area under the page writing box, you should see a Discussion box – open this and make sure you have ticked Allow comments.
  7. When you have finished click the big  button on the right side of your screen – probably says update or send for review.
  8. Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
  9. If your theme doesn’t show pages in the header area, then you will need to go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag across the Pages one to your sidebar.

Finished the work for week 1?

Then head off to the class or student list above the blog header and start visiting other blogs. You might not want to comment this week but maybe check them out. Are there any students with interests the same as you? Do you have a mentor yet? Have they left you any comments?

Are you interested in joining a group of BMS students on a June 2018 trip to Italy and Greece?

Are you interested in joining a group of BMS students on a June 2018 trip to Italy and Greece?

Rome Coliseum Robin Hickmott via Compfight
PARENT MEETING: Group leaders will be available to discuss details specific to the trip, answer parent and student questions, and talk about fundraising ideas.

Wednesday, March 1st, 2016 6:00 pm – BMS Library

Tour Information
Group Leaders: Ginny Hoke & Michelle Olson
Tour Name: Italy & Greece
Dates: June 2018

More information about the trip can be found @ goo.gl/oFQl9s

Day #28 – Black History Month: Books Worth Reading…

Day #28 – Black History Month: Books Worth Reading…

Over the course of Black History month I found myself delving into books that I’d never read before, discovering works of literature and art that open windows into the people and events that have shaped our collective American history. These are the faces of the incredible black authors and illustrators who continue to create the children’s and young adult literature that reflects back the black experience. They offer a mirror for young black readers as well as a window into the lived experience that has shaped African American life in this country.
Two resources that are well worth your time as you continue the process of discovering this world: thebrownbookshelf.com, a site that highlights the best of black literature geared specifically for young readers, and We Read Too, an app created by Kaya Davis, the young woman who started a movement as she sought books that reflected her lived experience. Each offer a myriad selection of authors, artists, and titles sure to enliven and enrich your reading list.
Check out all the books I highlighted during Black History Month @ https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154760624331208.1073741871.642581207&type=1&l=38f250c24b
#blackbrilliance #blackhistoryismore #blackhistorymonth
Day #27 – Black History Month: Books Worth Reading…

Day #27 – Black History Month: Books Worth Reading…

This Side of Home, a young adult novel by Renée Watson, explores the lives of identical twin sisters facing their senior year in the rapidly changing north Portland neighborhood of their youth. As they watch their best friend move away, her childhood home transformed and sold to make way for the continuing gentrification, the twins find themselves considering what it means to be young, black women in a part of the city that no longer has room for them. Along the way, they must make life-altering decisions about their relationships and their paths forward.

Discover more…
Renée Watson – http://www.reneewatson.net/

#blackbrilliance #blackhistoryismore #blackhistorymonth

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