Student Blogging Challenge – Week #3

Student Blogging Challenge – Week #3

Week 3: Images And Attribution

October 16-22 is Digital Citizenship Week in USA. CommonSenseMedia have lots of great ideas for activities.

One important aspect of being a responsible digital citizen is our topic for this challenge.

Yes, this week we deal with using images, music and sounds in your posts.

But can’t I use any image, music or sound that is on the internet?

No, you must use creative commons or in some cases the fair use rule.

But where can I find these images, music and sounds? Can’t I use anything when I google an image?

No, your blog is public so you must use creative commons images, sounds, music and videos.


Have you read Sue Waters’ post yet?

Off you go then come back here for more information and the activities for this fortnight.

Now for the activities: Select only ONE

 Activity 1. Find an image or piece of music. Add it to your post (with attribution) and write a poem relating to the image or music. Invite your readers to write their own poems. Here is Fernando’s example, Samantha is confused

See what a few students wrote about last year: Kylinn and Sarah.

Activity 2. Similar to the activity above. Find an interesting landscape image (include attribution).  Write the beginning of a story relating to your image. Remember to include a conflict of some sort between your characters. Invite your readers to finish the story. How many different endings can you get? Which ending do you prefer? You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to finish your story. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on.

Check out these stories from interesting images: McKenzie and Trinity.

Activity 3. Create your own images and add to a post of your choice. In your post add a link to the website or tool you used to create your image.

Other options for creating your own images include:

  1. Comic Generators like,ToonDoo
  2. Photo Editors like Befunkyfd’s Flickr Tools
  3. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle

Mixing up your images using these types of tools can really spice up your posts!

Read Lydia‘s blog from last year.

Still got time left:

  1. Visit other student and class blogs – leave some quality comments
  2. Reply to comments on your own blog
  3. Start using tags and categories with each post you write to make it easier for people to find posts on certain topics. Make sure you have the tags and categories widgets in your sidebar.
  4. Have at least five other student blogs linked on your sidebar – students from other classes and schools – not your own. We will need this for a game we play in a couple of weeks. Having lots of  links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.

Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars. Edublogs

 Most important learning from this fortnight’s challenge is:

Use creative commons images, not just any image on the net. Always include attribution of where you found the image. Compfight plugin does this for you.


I will only be adding posts to the flipboard magazine that:

  • are written in paragraphs
  • have been proofread
  • include an image, sound or video with attribution

So make sure you have taken note of this week’s learning about creative commons.

Miss W visiting your blogs

From this week onwards, I will only be visiting blogs where students or classes have left the URL to the post in a comment with an explanation. If your teacher is moderating your posts, you will need to wait until it has been published before giving me your URL. Check out the difference between a blog URL and a post URL.

Blog URL:

Post URL :

Visit these blogs that couldn’t be flipped or were very interesting to read:


Grace finally wrote her About Me page, Palin used Thinglink,


Mrs Arendt has three classes of students so visit them all

Mrs Kimball has five classes blogging – check them out here under 7ELA blogs

Mr Ellsworth is a new challenge class and they have their blogs here

Mrs Vazquez’s class update their Meet the class page each challenge

Ms Farley’s class in England made a great google slide presentation – the students write on their class blog rather than have their own

Mrs Beard has her student blogs in a list under the posts

These students from Portugal have a survey for you to fill in after checking out their info about their school and country.


Other places to get images and music:

You will need to work out how to get the attribution to put on your posts. Check Sue Waters’  post to get more help and more places for images. This post from Edublogs explains how to add media in all its forms to your blog posts or pages.


Make sure you check out the links under creative commons in the sidebar of the challenge blog.

Music and sound effects

JamendoCCMixter, post with 14 websites for music, post with 20+ websites for music, post with 55+ sites with sound effects

Unity Day Blog Post ~ Extra Credit

Unity Day Blog Post ~ Extra Credit

From the official Unity Day Event:

Make it ORANGE and make it end! What are your true colors when it comes to bullying? If you care about safe and supportive schools and communities make your color ORANGE on Unity Day. That’s the day everyone can come together – in schools, communities, and online – and send one large ORANGE message of support, hope, and unity to show that we are together against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

“One of every four school-aged children will be bullied this year – upwards of 13 million students,” said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which sponsors Unity Day and founded National Bullying Prevention Month in 2006. “It’s important these students know they are not alone and that they have the right to feel safe. By joining together and wearing ORANGE on Unity Day, we can send the unified message that we care about student’s physical and emotional health and that bullying will no longer be accepted in this society.”

When asked, share why you decided to support Unity Day. A few ideas include:

  • I’m united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion!
  • I want to support students experiencing bullying.
  • I care about safe and supportive schools and communities.
  • Bullying has hurt too many for too long, I am united to make it end.

The first Unity Day was held in 2011. The “Unity Dance,” featuring Tristan McIntosh, the 2016 American Idol finalist, was also created that year.

Your extra credit post should be focused on Unity Day. Consider the following as you craft your post:

  1. According to Webster’s English Dictionary: Unity. noun, plural u•ni•ties. The state of being one; oneness of mind, feeling; concord, harmony, or agreement. Synonyms: harmony, peace, consensus, solidarity, or agreement.
  2. What does unity means to you?
  3. How does unity relate to preventing bullying and creating a safer school?
  4. Reflect on the statement, “When we stand together, no one stands alone.”
  5. How will you spread the word to let others know about wearing orange to take a stand against bullying on Wednesday, October 19th? 
  6. Make sure you include the hashtag for#UnityDay2016 somewhere in your post.

Remember a great post will have:

  1. catchy title
  2. written in 1-2 paragraphs
  3. include visuals like images and videos
  4. be proofread carefully

To create a post, simply click Posts on the left sidebar of your blog dashboard, and then select Add New.

Still need more direction? Check out the Unity Day FAQ…

Student Blogging Challenge – Week #2

Student Blogging Challenge – Week #2

Week 2: Time To Comment

Each week, I am going to highlight some well written and interesting posts for you to check out. Remember to check Flipboard as well. And remember to leave a comment at the end of each weekly challenge post for Miss W., so she can visit your blog for that week. Bonus: when she visits you will notice a little dot on your map from Tasmania. You can comment on Week #1 – G’day, My Name Is here and Week #2 – Time to Comment here.

But first you need to know the difference between your BLOG link and your POST link.

  • Blog link:
  • Post link:

If your teacher is moderating and approving your posts, you will need to wait until this has been done before leaving me a link in a comment.

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.

Activity: Visit other student blogs
Visit 4 other blogs. Make sure 2 of the blogs you visit are from the student blogging challenge list and 2 are student blogs from Briggs. 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…

  1. Who you visited,
  2. which post you left a comment on and why,
  3. then include the comment you left.
  4. Include a link back to their blog and
  5. a screenshot of their blog, too.

Hint: make sure you copy the comment before you hit the submit button. Here are some examples from previous students in the challenge: Noah, TrinityMegan, and Sarah.

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 make sure you have an archive section.


Student Blogging Challenge – Week #1

Student Blogging Challenge – Week #1

Week 1: G’day, My Name Is ….

avatarbigrealsueMiss 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. But by early November, 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.

Mentors – They are there to give you some clues about blogging, reminding you of the challenge as well as carrying on conversations in your posts. Remember to read and reply to their comments politely and in a timely fashion.

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. Add the challenge badge to your sidebar – here is link explaining how to do that.
  3. Add a revolving map to your sidebar to track your visitors.
  4. 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.

Time now for the two activities for this week

Activity 1: 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.

Activity 2: 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?

Copy and paste your About Me essay from Google Docs to your blog following the directions below. Unlike most weeks, this will be completed as a page rather than a post…

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, copy and paste your About Me essay from Google Docs.
  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 lists 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?

Blogging Experts… Apply Here!

Blogging Experts… Apply Here!

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

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?


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, September 28th, 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 @

Blogging Challenge: Week #10 – Time to Say Goodbye

Blogging Challenge: Week #10 – Time to Say Goodbye

Week 10: Time To Say Goodbye

This is our last post for the Student Blogging Challenge until we start again in September/October 2016. I hope you have enjoyed the activities and the chance to make connections with other students and classes around the world.

I would like to thank Sue Waters from Edublogs for writing a few of the challenges this time, but also thank the mentors for taking time to visit and comment on student blogs.

We have had a great 10 weeks of blogging. You have learnt so many skills to help you improve your blogs. Many of you have improved those writing skills or maybe digital skills with using a variety of tools to embed on your blog. But it is now time to evaluate your progress as well as the progress of the blogging challenge itself.

This week there are two things to do:

  1. Evaluate your own blog
  2. Evaluate the actual blogging challenge

1. This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of March 2016.

  • How many posts did you write?
  • How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
  • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
  • Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
  • Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
  • Did you change blog themes at all and why?
  • How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?
  • How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?
  • Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?

Now ask another student and teacher/parent from your school who might not have read your blog to do an audit.

Sit beside them while they navigate around your blog, record what you observe as they interact with your blog. When finished, ask them the following questions:

  1. What were your first impressions of this blog?
  2. What captured your attention?
  3. What distracted you on the blog?
  4. What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

Write a post about your blog audit.

2. Evaluating the challenge.

This is the sixteenth challenge and sometimes I feel like the activities are getting stale especially for those students who have taken part in more than one set of challenges. So over the next few weeks I will be adding new pages that you all can contribute to. Every month of the year, there are special events, festivals, birthdays of authors etc. Which ones do you think it would be interesting to write about? Find the post ideas page for that month and add your ideas in the comments. (These are found above the header area)

I usually have a form to fill in here but this time I would like you to leave a quality comment giving your opinion of the challenge. You might want to mention some of the following things:

  • the most interesting challenge for you
  • how often you visited other blogs and left comments
  • whether you read the challenge flipboard magazine
  • a PMI or plus/minus/interesting point about the challenge
  • the most important thing you learnt while doing the challenge

Thanks again for taking part in this challenge. Hopefully you will take part again in October this year. If you have taken part in at least two sets of challenges, you can also become a mentor, so watch out for the mentor post in September.

Blogging Challenge – Week #9: Doing My Best

Blogging Challenge – Week #9: Doing My Best

Only TWO more weeks left of the blogging challenge, this week you have four topic choices and some very specific guidelines provided to help you craft your best blog post yet. This one is due Friday, May 13th, by midnight. Write on!

Week 9: Doing my best

From Darkness to Light - please read
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Evan Leeson via Compfight

Well, this is our second last week in the March challenge for 2016. Over the last 8 weeks, you have learnt a lot about blogging if you have done most of the activities and checked out the links included in my posts.

It is now your time to do your best and show your teachers and myself what a great blog post looks like.

The one and only activity for this week:

Write a post on one of the following topics

  • What makes a great family
  • A global issue you would like to help solve
  • My future
  • Visiting overseas

Having read many of your posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least one visual whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
  4. well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
  5. shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
  6. written in paragraphs – at least three of them
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these

When you have finished your post, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post. Mention which topic you wrote about and leave a link to your post. Those posts covering the seven things mentioned above will be added to the flipboard magazine.

Still more time left this week:

Visit other student and class blogs.

Read posts and leave comments.

Decide on a student blog and/or class blog you would like to nominate for the Edublogs Awards in November/December this year. You will get a chance next week to write a post about the blog you have chosen. HINT: Can’t be your own blog nor one from another student in your class.

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