2016 Student Blogging Challenge Badges Are Here!

Challenge Badge

Here are the new 2016 badges ready to add to your blogs.

You can right click the badge above to save it to your computer, and then follow the instructions below to add the badge to your blog.

Adding A Badge to Your Blog’s Sidebar

Using the Image Widget (Edublogs and CampusPress)

1. Save the image above to your computer.

2. Go to Appearance > Widgets.

3.  Add an Image Widget to your sidebar

Add image widget

  • On CampusPress blogs  you may need to activate the Image Widget plugin in Plugins before you’ll see it in Appearance > Widget.

4.  Click on Select Image.

Select Image

5.  Click on Select File,  locate the image and then click Open to upload the image.

Select File

6.  Click Insert into Widget.

Insert into widget

7.  Add your title.

8.  Add a link to the Student blogging challenge blog (so anyone interested in the challenge can easily click through).

9.  Click Save

Add badge title

10.  You should now see your image widget in your sidebar!

Using a Text Widget

1. Go to Appearance > Widgets.

2.  Add a Text widget to your sidebar.

3.  Give the Text Widget a title (Optional); something like “Student Blogging Challenge 2016” would work well.

4.  Copy and paste the following code into your widget:

<a href="http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/"><img src="https://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/files/2016/03/sbc2016-s76n2u.png" alt="Student challenge 2016" width="200" height="200" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-2614" /></a>

It should look like this:

Text widget

5.  Click Save.

Week 5: Our food

An important part of blogging as part of a global community is learning more about each others’ culture.  Food is often one of the first things you notice when visiting another country.

This week we’re going to learn more about each others’ culture by sharing stories about food popular in our country or asking other participants questions about food in their country.

To help you get started I’m going to tell you about food that is popular in Australia.

Vegemite

VegemiteVegemite is uniquely Australian and most Aussies have a jar of Vegemite in their house.  We even have our own Vegemite song! It’s a dark brown food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast, vegetables and additives.

Our favorite way of eating Vegemite is on toasted bread with a layer of margarine (or butter) spread with a thin layer of Vegemite.

While some might say Vegemite is an acquired taste — the true secret to eating Vegemite is the thin layer of Vegemite on toast.  Most of the hilarious taste testing Vegemite videos on YouTube are caused by trying to eat Vegemite like you would Peanut butter, Nutella or Jam.

Aussie Meat Pies

The Meat pie is considered iconic in Australia and New Zealand.  These are hand-sized meat pies made up of diced or minced meat and vegetables.

Most Australian bakeries sell a wide variety of meat pies, sausage rolls in addition to bread and cakes.  Meat pies and sausage rolls are a common lunch food here and you can also buy them at most lunch bars and petrol stations.

Pies

Selection of pies and sausage rolls at a bakery

Home made meat piesEach bakery has their own unique recipes.

You might enjoy making meat pies with your students.  It isn’t hard.

Here are some tips:

  • Follow this Curtis Stone Meat Pie recipe.
  • Make the filling in advance and wait until it is completely cooled until you use it to fill the pies (I don’t add the chicken livers).
  • You eat the pie by holding it in your hand.

Food in other Countries

A challenge with visiting other countries is sometimes the food you are used to isn’t available or is hard to get.

Watch Brian Lockwood video where he discusses the challenges of buying bread in China.  Brian is an American teacher who works at a school in Nanjing, China.

Activity 1: 

Write a post on food that is popular in your country.

In your post, include links to where you researched and some images with attribution. You might also want to a collage of images or a slideshow you have created.

Activity 2:  

Visit Inside Scoops Taco Tuesday post to learn what their students eat for lunch.  Leave a comment on Taco Tuesday post to let them know what you eat for school lunches in where you live or write a post to share what school lunches are like where you live.

Activity 3:  

Create a poll or survey and embed it into a post to find out more about the types of foods eaten by your readers.

Activity 4:

Visit at least 5 blogs from countries other than your own. Leave a comment on a post at each blog to ask them questions about food in their country. Now write your own post including the comment you have left and linking to each post you commented on.

 

Check out these posts that couldn’t be flipped:

Add to Allegra’s story, Alice, Rachel’s creative commons video, Kloey, Teagan, Tayah, Chelsea, Tahlia, Ella, Mia’s video about widgets, Milica from Serbia – use the translation widget, Emily, Angel, Camille created a glogster on commenting, Aisho’s tribute to her grandma, Mary Ellen, Alexis on commenting, Gauri, Mary Ellen,

Classes with links to student posts

Huzzah – cat, dog or both with images

Mrs Arendts grade 5 class – have introduced themselves and would love some comments

Room 19 Allstars  have done some great Blog Action Day posts

Mr Helpern’s students used images with attribution

Students writing in comments

Favourite family time,

Here is the link to the flipboard magazine where many of your #RaiseYourVoice posts were flipped.

A range of topics were raised from looking at diseases to girls education and of course bullying online and in real life.

Decorating your blog

Rhea, Ella, Mikaila, Victoria, Caitlyn,

UPDATE IMPORTANT    UPDATE IMPORTANT

Make sure you read the admin post from earlier this week. Important information about being taken off the student or class lists.

 

 

Week 4: Celebrating creatively

Halloween is a fun time of the year and a great opportunity to show your creativity while developing connections with others.

Jack

Mr. Evil Cheese Scientist via Compfight

Feel free to adapt these activities to any other celebration, festival or event that is held in your country, state or town.  It doesn’t have to be Halloween.

Activity 1: Dress up your blog for Halloween

Events like Halloween and Christmas are ideal for dressing up your blog.

Here’s some ideas on how to dress up your blog:

  • Add a Halloween picture to your header or background.  You’ll find lots of great Halloween images that are free to use on Pixabay.  For help, refer to uploading a custom header and uploading a custom background.
  • Add an animated gif to your background.  You’ll find some free animated gifs on FG.A.com
  • Add some fun Halloween Widgets.  You’ll find a list of cool Halloween widgets on Homeschool Towers Spice up your blog for Halloween post and lots of other ideas on how to make over  your blog for Halloween!  The instructions on how to add a text widget show how to add a widget using embed code.
  • Change to a Halloween Style theme.  The theme Monster on Edublogs was originally designed for Halloween.

Once you’ve dressed up your blog write a post explaining where you found all the headers, images, widgets and tell your readers why you choose each one.

Activity 2:  Write some poetry or spooky story about Halloween.

Write a poem or a spooky story about Halloween and remember to include some images to show what you learnt from last week’s challenge on using images.

Activity 3:  Write a post about how you celebrate Halloween or the History of Halloween. 

Halloween is celebrated in lots of different ways around the World.  Read If Only Best Birds Sang ‘Halloween traditions with photographs‘ post to learn how they celebrate Halloween in Ireland.

Now write a post to tell us how you celebrate Halloween where you live or write a post on the History of Halloween.

Activity 4:  Show off your Halloween creativity using some different tools such as powtoon, thinglink, padlet, glogster, soundcloud, poll daddy and embed them into a post.

There are many cool interactive tools that you can embed into post that create opportunities to grab attention and engage readers in ways that aren’t achievable using text and images.  You’ll find examples of popular tools that you can embed here.

Now choose one (or more of these tools) to show off your Halloween creativity and write a post that includes your embed tool.  Classes – you could get students to work in groups using a different tool.

Still got more time?

  1. Visit other blogs either class or student – choose bloggers from other countries, maybe you will start getting some dots on your clustrmap or some flags on your widget.
  2. Check out the magazine on the sidebar – are you featured in there yet?
  3. Also check out the One World Our World magazine – this is where I am flipping the Raise Your Voice posts
  4. Leave a comment on a challenge blog post linking back to your post so Miss W can visit and leave you a comment.

Miss W visiting your blogs

Starting this week, I will only be visiting blogs where students or classes have left the post URL in a comment with an explanation of why you chose that activity.

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: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org

Post URL : http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2015/10/10/raise-your-voice/

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

There will be a special admin post this week, so please make sure you read it. It will affect mentors, students and classes.

Week 2: Let’s comment!

An important part of the Student Blogging Challenge is connecting with students and other classes by reading posts and leaving comments.

Comments allow you, and your readers, to engage in discussions, share thoughts and connect with your blog.

Most new bloggers find publishing posts easy and commenting harder!  Your bonus activity this week is to learn more about commenting and improve your commenting skills!

What makes a good comment?

Comments transform your blog from a static space to an interactive community.  Commenting is one way a blogger can create conversations.

Your readers leave a comment that hopefully asks questions (which encourage conversation), you reply back to their comments on your blog, then visit their blog to read their posts and engage with them on their blog.

The better your comment that more chance you have in creating conversations.

Start by watching either of the following two videos on Commenting.

Watch Mrs Yollis’s ‘How to Write a Quality Comment‘.  You can also watch it on Vimeo if YouTube is blocked in your School District.

Watch Nicolas Weiss’s Leaving High Quality Blog comments video  if you are a high school student.

Now visit Huzzah’s Commenting Guideline to learn some more commenting tips.

Important tips:

  • Refer to Adding a comment support documentation if you are unsure how to add a comment.
  • Comments may be moderated on your blog.   Remember to check your Comments folder, and comment spam folder,  to approve any pending comments.
  • Include the url (address) in your comment when you leave a comment on another blogger’s post so the blogger can visit your blog and comment.

Below is an example of a comment from Huzzah’s blog that shows how to include your blog URL in your comment.

Comment example

Activity 1: Leave a comment on this post. 

Each week the best posts published in the Student Blogging Challenge are featured in our Flipboard magazine.

To check your posts we need you to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog whenever you finish a weekly activity.

So your first activity is to practice leaving a comment below with a link to your post for an activity you’ve completed this week or last week.

Here is an example from Ayla last week:

Hi Ms. W,
I have just finished this week’s blogging challenge by uploading my avatar and making my about me page! Here is the link: http://aylaz13.edublogs.org/about-me/
So far blogging I have enjoyed creating my blog and I hope to get lots of comments
Thanks
~Ayla
http://aylaz13.edublogs.org
http://huzzah.edublogs.org

Activity 2:  Practicing commenting on a class blog

Mrs Smith has published an excellent activity that guides you through commenting, learning to read student posts and practicing comments.

Visit Mrs Smith’s I’m New Here post to work through the tasks in her post and then leave a comment on her post.

Activity 3: 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, Shaffer writers, WarriorKat uses lots of visuals in her guidelines,  Sophie had a great post, the Blogging Frogs have some great tips, Cole wrote about commenting

Activity 4: 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.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

There will be two posts this week so this one has been published earlier than normal.