Week 1: Let’s talk about us

Talking With an Ostrich

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Welcome to the 14th student blogging challenge.

I hope you all enjoy the activities to choose from each week.

Teachers – remember you can adapt the activities to suit what is happening in your class at that time or you can cut and paste parts of it on to your class blog. Just remember to give credit where you found the ideas by linking back to the challenge post somewhere on your post.

Students – Each week there will be lots of activities to choose from. You don’t have to complete them all. But by Easter, 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.

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 – here is link explaining how to do that.
  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, Blogger and Kidblog.

Let’s start the activities

Whenever you meet a new person or join a group, there are three things you will most likely do.

  1. Look at the outside view of the person – do they look like the type of person you would enjoy being with?
  2. Then you would go deeper by asking some basic questions about the person and their interests.
  3. Finally, you would connect through shared interests.

We are going to cover those three things this week by creating an avatar to represent our outside view, create our about me page to show your visitors the type of person you are and your interests then you are going searching for other students your age who also have similar interests.

Creating  avatars:

Activity 1: Here is a link to the post I use with my online students when they create their user avatars. This includes some great websites for creating avatars. Create your user avatar. Save it to your own computer drive as a jpeg file format no larger than 200 x 200 pixels. You might need to crop and resize.

If using Edublogs, check here. If using blogspot, check here. If using kidblog, check here. Teacher might need to change some settings in Kidblog to allow students to add own avatars.

Activity 2: Create a series of avatars to represent your family members. Use different avatar websites depending upon the person’s interests. Write a post about your family and include the avatar for each person. Remember – be internet safe, no personal information.

Activity 3: Class activity

As a class create a slideshow of your user avatars or add them to your header area. Below is an old example using animoto. Or check out how to customize your header – here is a post by Mrs Smith about creating avatars – using shapes,

This was my very first Animoto created back in 2009. Look at the list of tools on the sidebar for other slideshow creators.

 

Activity 4:  Write a post describing your avatar. How much does it look like you? What sort of personality does your avatar have? What makes it typically you? Remember to include your avatar as an image in your post.

Activity 5:  What are some apps or other websites you could use to create an avatar? Tell me about them, costs, age to use etc  Maybe write a tutorial telling how to create the avatar on that website or app.

About me page or post

Activity 6: Create your own About Me page or post. Be careful about how much personal information you include. Try to be creative in both your words like Felix, or by including visuals like Warrior Kat. More students to check out: Nicole, Kendall,  Tina,

  • 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.
  • Create a video like our mentor Dinah has done
  • Create a list of things people might not know about you like Ms Herring has done
  • Write a Who am I like Mrs Keane or Mrs Lyttle
  • Students in Ireland paired up to create their about us page, Ms Seitz’ class did the same

If using Edublogs, below are instructions for creating your page. If using blogspot, check here. If using weebly, check here. If using Kidblog, you will need to write a post.

  1. Login to your blog, go to the dashboard>pages>add new
  2. Change the title to About Me or something similar.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. When you have finished click the big  button on the right side of your screen – probably says update or send for review.
  6. Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
  7. 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.

Activity 7:  What are some apps or websites you could use to create something interesting to add to your About me page? Tell me about them, costs, age to use etc Perhaps a word cloud or glogster – brainstorm as a class.

Activity 8: class activity

Create a class avatar using Voki. Look at these examples from Mrs Essen’s class and Mrs McKelvey’s Blogging Frogs

Visiting other blogs

One important aspect of blogging is commenting on other blogs. Classes and student participants are grouped according to similar ages. Visit some other blogs, read posts, get ideas from them, leave a comment. Make sure you include your blog URL so they can come to visit your blog.

Activity 9: Are there other students your age with similar interests to you? Visit them and leave a comment on a post or their about me page.

Most students will also have a mentor who will be leaving comments. Make sure you read their comments and reply back to them. In fact, you should reply back to any interesting comments you receive – that is how conversations get started.

Leave a comment on this blog post when you have finished your activity or activities for this week. What activity did you do? Why? What did you enjoy about doing the activity?  What else could we do regarding about me pages and avatars. Remember to include your blog URL so I can come to visit you and leave a comment on your post.

 

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