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
And so it is that a new blogging challenge begins… This week provides you an opportunity to (re)introduce yourself and to update your avatar. As an added bonus, this week’s activity is worth EXTRA CREDIT. With more than half of the quarter already gone, this is a great opportunity to give your grade an added boost! Directions are provided by the fabulous Miss W. below.
And please sign up for the challenge here if you have not yet done so!
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
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.
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.
Add the challenge badge to your sidebar – there will be a new post this week explaining how to do this.
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 thisusing Edublogs.
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 aPDF 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:
Write a poem
Write an A-Z paragraph eg I am an athletic, yet brainy child who decided that saving the environment is one of my future goals. Check out how one of the mentorscreated her about me page especially for the student blogging challenge
If using Edublogs, below are instructions for creating your page.
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
Now go to the dashboard>pages>add new
Change the title to About Me or something similar.
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.
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.
In the area under the page writing box, you should see a Discussion box – open this and make sure you have ticked Allow comments.
When you have finished click the big button on the right side of your screen – probably says update or send for review.
Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
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?
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
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.
With her children’s book, Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, Nikki Grimes captures the voice of a mother introducing her young son, David, to the story of Barack Obama. The theme of hope winds through the narrative, masterfully depicted by Bryan Collier’s bright illustrations of Obama’s life journey that eventually led him to becoming the first African American president of the United States. Obama’s story reflected in David’s own experience growing up adds another layer, a mirror through which the young boy is able to envision hope for his own future reflected back.
Sharon G. Flake explores one girl’s journey of self love in her young adult novel The Skin I’m In. Maleeka who has endured years of torment due to the midnight color of her skin is stuck between two worlds. She yearns to rise above the injustice of her own bad choices and to engage with the personal empowerment her new teacher Mrs. Saunders, a woman with scars of her own, introduces.
Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl, a children’s book by Tonya Bolden, offers a rare glimpse into one young girl’s life growing up in all the hustle and bustle of mid-1800’s New York City. Her parent’s boarding house, a welcome stop for luminaries such as Frederick Douglas, also served as safe haven for the estimated one thousand people escaping slavery who stopped there on their underground railroad journey. Bolden pairs artwork, artifacts, and portraits of the time to unearth the day to day experiences of young Maritcha’s life as well as the unrest that threatens the family, not once but on multiple occasions, eventually causing them to venture to Rhode Island where Maritcha goes to court to win her right to be educated among her white peers at Providence High School.
With the children’s book Ruth and the Green Book, Calvin Ramsey details a family’s journey from Chicago to Alabama in their brand new automobile. However, as they travel into states where Jim Crow laws still exist, Floyd Cooper’s pastel oil paintings depict the outright hostility and racism the family faces as they travel south. A friendly gas station attendant hands them a copy of the Green Book, a publication that was used widely by black families as they traveled in the twentieth century, providing them with a guidebook to the restaurants, hotels, and other establishments where black travelers would be welcomed.