Week 2: Start talking
Students – Check to see if you have a mentor assigned to you. Remember to check your comments and reply to any left by your mentor. Their first comment will probably be on your first post or your about me page that you created last week in the challenge.
Also check to see you are only mentioned once on the spreadsheet. Do this by using CTRL F and typing in your name. It will then allow you to scroll through to find out if you are mentioned more than once. Leave me a comment mentioning your name and URL and how many times you are on the list.
Classes – Please start making connections with other classes of a similar age or subject area in the higher grades. If you find a link on the spreadsheet that goes to a student blog rather than a class blog, please email me so I can take it off the list. Remember to leave a link on challenge posts once you have completed one of the activities for that post. I will visit to leave comment and also add you as a possible example for the next challenge in March.
Mentors – if you filled in the form AND left a short bio in the comment area of the registration post, then you should have been assigned a group of students. Please check the comment area of this post to find out which group of students you will be looking after.
COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT
Back in 2010 I asked Mrs Yollis and her students to create a post about commenting.
She included using HTML code when writing comments. This will interest our older bloggers.
So please visit her first before doing the activities below.
Are you still here?
Off you go, visit Mrs Yollis’ blog on commenting.
That was quick.
Are you sure you visited Mrs Yollis’ blog
to learn about HTML code in your comments?
OK, what did you learn while reading the blog and listening to Mrs Yollis and her students tell you about how to write great comments? If your school didn’t allow you to go to her post, I have included the video at the bottom of this post. I have also included a video for high school students about commenting. Teachers: a link to teaching quality commenting including more videos and information.
Let’s start talking online
It has been great to see a number of students and classes starting to visit other blogs and leave comments. Which of the following comments would you prefer to find on your blog?
how do you add a video
this is a great blog. i like Katy Perry too. plz visit my blog at ……………..
G’day John, I enjoyed reading your post about Talk like a Pirate Day. We also did that in our class. We dressed as pirates, spoke using pirate terms, but also found out there are still pirates roaming the seas even in modern times. Do you know how they are different to the old time pirates? Visit our class blog to read what we found out. ……………. Miss Wyatt
Activity 1: Write a post, create a video or create a poster about commenting.
Might be tips to get more visitors, guidelines for acceptable comments on your blog, examples of good and bad comments – think outside the square. Remember you don’t have to approve all comments. It is your blog; send some to the trash and if it is a company trying to get you to visit their blog to buy something, then label it as spam.
Here are some links to commenting guidelines written by students and classes. Class in New Zealand, grade 11/12 class in USA, Huzzah class blog in Canada, Abbey has a blogging guideline page, Mrs Allen created a poster about commenting
Activity 2: Write a really interesting post that you think will get lots of comments.
Often writing about one of your passions will get lots of comments, so will something controversial where your readers could agree or disagree with your opinion. Remember to end with a question so your readers can give an answer. If you are on Twitter use the hashtag #14stubc to mention your post. Otherwise leave a comment on this challenge post so I can add it to twitter.
Activity 3: Have a family member write a post for you to add to your blog.
Activity 4: Write a post about the overseas blogs you have commented on.
We have over 30 countries represented in our class and student blogging participants. Visit some of them, read their posts and leave a quality comment. Why did you choose that blog and particular post?
Check out how Ms Bliss’ class wrote their post.
Here are the countries from classes and students participating in this challenge: USA, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, China, Argentina, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Canada, UAE, Belarus, Russia, Scotland, UK, Switzerland, Ireland, Philippines, South Korea, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Taiwan, Slovenia, Spain, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, France, Colombia and Ghana. You will need to search the lists to find them – any that have red countries or pink teachers mean you might not be able to read posts or leave comments.
Activity 5: Adding great blogs to your blogroll
Now you have started visiting other blogs, there might be some you want to visit often. Instead of having to go to the student participation page each time, you can add them as links on the sidebar of your blog.
PS Students using Kidblog might have to write a post including the links as I don’t think you can have a blogroll on your own sidebar.
- To make it easy for visitors to find the blogs of your classmates and friends you need to add their link on your blogroll.
- If using Edublogs Pro or campus with My Class activated, in your dashboard> appearance> widgets> drag across Class blogs to your sidebar.
- If using Edublogs free version and you want to add classmates, overseas blogs or links to other websites you use often like mathletics, reading eggs etc then dashboard> appearance> widgets> links or blogroll
- If you want to group your links, then use link categories. These might be ‘Overseas friends’ or for links about your hobbies you might need a category for ‘Cricket’ or ‘Tasmanian Devils’ or ‘Online Games’.
- To create these link categories, go to dashboard> links> Link Categories> put in the name of a category and save.
- Back to your dashboard> links> add new link. Fill in the name of the person or website, then under web address put in the URL of their blog. Remember to include the http:// part. Choose which category you want the link to be under then click add link.
Activity 6: Learn some HTML code to include a link in a comment or to improve the look of a comment.
Mrs Yollis explains this in her post link above. Might be a way to include a link to your blog whenever you leave a comment. On my challenge blog, I have a post called do not publish and this is where I keep HTML code to help with my blog URL at the end of a comment. You might want to leave a comment on this post and tell me what you have found interesting about commenting. Use some HTML code in your comment.
Activity 7: What makes a great conversation in the comment area?
These are threaded comments where the reader clicks on reply underneath the first comment – this is then indented slightly and the next reply is indented further. Some themes are good for 5 threads while other themes you might end up with only one word on each line on the 5th thread. To change the number of threads go to dashboard> settings> discussion and change to whatever number you want from 1-10
Do you have to answer every comment? That is up to you. Some comments allow for a great conversation while others might just need a “Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.”
How do you know if someone has answered your comment on their blog? When you leave a comment on a blog, there might be a tick box about notify me by email. Click on that box and you will be notified every time someone leaves a comment on that post. You can easily unsubscribe later if you want to stop having the emails, by checking the bottom where there should be an unsubscribe link.
Activity 8: Add a widget to find out where your readers are coming from.
There are many different widgets you can use – clustrmaps, flag counter, feedjit Have you seen any others while visiting blogs of other students? Maybe you could write a post about why you chose the reader widget you have put on your blog. Remember you might get lots of readers, but not everyone is comfortable leaving a comment.
Activity 9. Questions in a post
Write a post asking questions about one country mentioned in activity 4. Have at least 6 questions in your post. If your questions are interesting you might get lots of comments. Remember to tweet about it or leave a comment on this post, so I can tweet. #14stubc
Activity re 13
Research how to write 13 (thirteen) in 13 different languages. Maybe make a poster or slide show.
Still got more time? Comment, comment, comment