Week 1: Hello, who are you?

I’m tasteach or Miss W when on the internet but in real life I am Sue Wyatt.

I am a retired teacher who loves blogging, travelling and genealogy. When I am online I am a fairly talkative person as you will notice with my posts and comments, while in real life I am quiet unless with friends.

Activity 1. Are you a different person online than in real life? How do you change or not? Write a post about being online then compare yourself to your off line real person.

avatarbigWhen online, you are usually represented by an avatar – these are used in gaming as well as on blogs. An avatar is supposed to represent the real you. Check out mine – I am a white haired lady with reading glasses. I usually have a cup of coffee in my hand and I always wear thongs on my feet – yes that’s where we wear them in Australia.


Activity 2. Create an avatar to use on your blog when leaving comments. Here is a post including some avatar sites . To add your avatar to your blog, if using Edublogs, check here. If using blogspot, check here.  Teacher might need to change some settings in Kidblog to allow students to add own avatars.

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 3. On your blog you also need a page or post telling us about yourself. Again you could use a variety of tools to embed on your blog. Be creative:

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.

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?

Other 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 or give me your correct URL. Check this post for how to do this using Edublogs, Blogger and Kidblog.

How do I know you have done your activity?

You come back here to this post and leave me a comment. Make sure you include the URL of your post so I can visit and leave comments. Tell me what you enjoyed most about the activity.

Also great posts get added to our Flipboard magazine on the sidebar of the challenge blog.




Students: Enrol here (Aussie spelling)

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register 

  • Only students who have their own personal blog can register
  • Students who are going to do the activities otherwise mentors’ time is wasted
  • Students who want to connect with other students around the world

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the student participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there. Check very carefully under your age group as we don’t need names being doubled up – again that would be wasting time of the mentors.
  2. If you are not on the participants page, register again being careful that your blog URL is correct.
  3. If you are on the participants list, start visiting other students your age or with your interests.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be October 4 or if you have Edublogs reader, click on follow then you will be able to read posts in your reader.
  5. Make sure you have some great posts written so others can leave comments.

If you have a twitter account, use the hashtag #15stubc to notify others of your posts

So you have read everything above this line, now is the time to register

Class registration October 2015 challenge

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register

  • Teachers who have their own class blog can register, can be any blogging platform
  • Classes which want to connect with other classes around the world

Reminders before registering

  1. If your blog URL is very long, then use a shortener such as this one from Google  Also handy when students are registering their blogs on their form (especially if kidblog as the URL is usually long).
  2. In case I need to contact you, an email is the easiest way, so please fill that in on the last question on the form. This is not published but other teachers could contact me in case you don’t have a contact spot on your blog.

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the class participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there.
  2. If you are not on the participants page, register again being careful that your blog URL is correct
  3. If you are on the participants list, start visiting other classes of similar grade level.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be October 4 or if you have Edublogs reader, click on follow then you will be able to read posts in your reader.
  5. Make sure you have some great posts written so others can leave comments.

If publicising any posts on twitter, please use the hashtag   #15stubc

So you have read everything above this line, now is the time to register

Mentors needed to help new bloggers

The next student and class blogging challenge starts on Sunday 4 October 2015.

Why do we need mentors in the blogging challenge?

When I first began the challenge back in 2008, there were only about 200 students taking part and I could visit each of them three times over the ten week period.

But in the last few challenges, there have been  over 1300 students and there was no way I could visit them regularly.  So in 2010 I started asking people in education to mentor a small group 20-30 students over the ten week period of October to December or March to May.

If you register to be a mentor, please keep checking back on this post as I will allocate the students to you and mention in your comment reply who you will be visiting.

Once students start registering next week, I will be allocating mentors immediately so please keep checking out the student participant’s page in the main header above to find out who you are mentoring.

Who can be a mentor?

  • classroom teacher or homeschool teacher
  • principal or senior staff or faculty members
  • trainee teachers
  • students who have taken part in at least two sets of previous challenges
  • educational coaches or trainers
  • regular blogger about educational matters

What do you do if you are a mentor?

  • Visit your allocated student blogs at least three times throughout the challenge
  • Leave comments on posts written by the students
  • Continue conversations in the comments
  • Remind them about visiting the main blogging challenge page each week
  • Contact me by email or a comment if having concerns or problems (contact is on right sidebar)

So you have read the above and have decided you have the time to visit the student blogs, now it is time to register.

In a comment below, mention the following:

  • A short bio of yourself including some interests
  • Link to your own blog, especially a class blog or your personal blog – allows me to check validity as an educator
  • Age group you would like to mentor and how many students

Are you getting ready?

Wattle Blossom-02=

John via Compfight

September 1st in Australia is Wattle Day. It is the sign of spring coming. The daffodils are starting to appear and plants are starting to flower.

The same is happening with the blogging challenge. The forms to fill in for enrolling in the challenge are being organized and should be up by the end of next week. There will be two different forms:

  • classes – if you have a class blog where the teacher writes posts and students comment, then the teacher will fill in this form
  • students – if you have your own personal blog, then the student will use this form

Once you have filled in the form, check in the header area to find the link to all the classes and all the students participating. Start visiting and making connections.

We will also need mentors – if you have time to help 10-30 students with their blogging over the months of October, November and early December, then comment on the mentor post next week.

Teachers: Check out the teacher challenge activities as they might be helpful for some of the activities in the student challenge.

Students and classes: What could you be doing now to get ready?

  1. Add the student blogging challenge badge to your blog sidebar – read this post for instructions on how to do this
  2. Subscribe to the student blogging challenge blog so you automatically get an email when a post is published
  3. Write a post for any early visitors to read on your blog – remember a great post will have a question at the end to start the conversation between the blog author and the readers

Week 10: Let’s say goodbye

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 2015.

  • 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 fourteenth 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)

Now for your final activity – please evaluate the challenge by filling in the following form.


Still got time to spare:

Visit grandatlas blog for their journey to various countries, Brooke takes you on an interesting journey to 3 countries, Alexandra is going to Japan, France and Switzerland, Willow has done some great work in the challenge but no-one has been visiting

Check out the flipboard magazine – are any of your posts included?

Add student blogs to your blogroll or links so you can continue visiting over summer or throughout the rest of the year

Visit student and class blogs to leave quality comments.

Week 9: Let’s shine

Shiny, Capt.

Ken-ichi Ueda via Compfight

This is our penultimate week in the blogging challenge.

When you come to the end of a topic, what does your teacher often do?

  • That’s right! They give you a test.

This week’s challenge is a test about your blogging skills.

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

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least two visuals whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet, glogster, wordle etc
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through, shows well researched topic
  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
  8. attribution for any images, video, music or clip art used – including those used in slideshows etc

Here are some examples of posts from a previous challenge:

When you have finished your post, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post.

So what will the topic be for you to blog about?



Problems like poaching, cruelty, extinction

Anything to do with animals

Make sure you check hints 2, 7 and 8 in the essentials of a great post

Still got time left this week:

  1. Visit Namitha to add some words of help for people in Nepal or write your own post sending words to Nepal.
  2. Keep visiting other student and class blogs to leave comments and continue conversations.
  3. Check out the Flipboard magazine to see if your post is mentioned there and visit some of their blogs
  4. Leave links to your posts on the student blogging challenge blog posts so Miss W can visit and leave comments or flip your posts to the magazine.
  5. Go to the Free Rice site to play games to help donate rice, some of which is going to Nepal

Week 8: Let’s travel


reizenbee via Compfight

So you have just turned 18, left high school and deciding if you will go onto university. What will you do for the next year? If you are anything like me, you will travel the world, working in lots of different countries and learning about cultures that are of interest to you.

This week’s activities are all to do with travelling. If you don’t like my ideas, do something that is of interest to you but related to other countries.

Please use one or more web tools you haven’t used before – eg glogster, storybird, flipbook, bitstrips, kizoa – there are lots of tools to use on the sidebar of this blog as well as here and Edublogs staff have put together a great list including how to embed into your blog.

Planning your trip

  • Look at passports, visas, working permits for 3 countries you would like to visit.
  • Create a map showing your proposed journey – remember this may change
  • What will you need to pack? Remember weight limits when flying.
  • How will you travel?
  • Where will you stay?
  • Create budget for part of your journey

On your way

  • International signage for toilets etc, signs on roads
  • What will my money buy?- exchange rates – how much is a cup of coffee in 3 different countries?
  • Contacting mum and dad – know your time zones, how to use skype or similar
  • Flight times – using 24 hour time – how long are flights between major cities?

Visit at least one country in each continent (include Antarctica in Oceania)

  • Make a collage of where you visited
  • Teach us some of the language of at least three countries eg How much is a cup of coffee? Where are the toilets?
  • Create a story of your journey
  • Interview some of your employers or relatives you stay with
  • Create a playlist of 9 pieces of music or dance from your journey – not in English

Home sweet home

  • How will you tell your friends about your journey?
  • What were the highlights and lowlights of each country?
  • Where would you visit again and why?

If you need to use images remember to find those that are creative commons. I have also found some at Pixabay  where you have to download the image to your computer and then upload to your blog post (just include the name of the photographer at the end of your blogpost) and photos for class where you download an image to your computer and it will automatically have a watermarked attribution included.

Here is a photo using Pixabay – I have added the caption to include the photographer’s name – the image is a jpg and you can choose the size to download. If using Edublogs, you can also choose size of image before inserting into your post.

Pixabay - photographer: Alexas_Fotos

Pixabay – photographer: Alexas_Fotos

Here is a photo using Photos for Class – it is a png image but you don’t have choice of size to download – if using Edublogs, you can choose size of image before inserting into your post

Still got time this week

Please visit Solana and give her lots of encouragement to continue the challenge. She is only student from her class still participating in the challenge.

Travel the world by leaving comments on blogs from countries other than your own. Write a post about who you visited including a link to the post you commented on.


Next week will be your chance to shine and show your teachers, fellow students, blog visitors how great you are at blogging. Make sure you know what makes a great post and how to attract people to your blog so they will leave a comment and start or continue a conversation.

Week 7: Let’s play a game

Blogging Comments

Jabiz Raisdana via Compfight

Scotty has a blogging goal and this week’s activity could help him achieve it.

I am not sure how many of you have been out and about visiting other blogs and leaving quality comments. But that is the idea of this week’s game.

Before you start, please make sure you have at least 5 other student blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students or Global classes. Here is how to add a blogroll if using Edublogs or Blogger. If using Kidblog write a post mentioning at least 5 great blogs you enjoy visiting.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

Student and class blogs – new bloggers and old hands at the blogging – mentors as well as participants.

Remember one of  the main aims of blogging includes commenting and carrying on conversations with the author of posts and their other readers.

A good commenter will have:

  • read the post carefully,
  • checked out the links in the post
  • read the previous comments before they leave one of their own
  • added to the conversation with a quality comment – remember that video from Mrs Yollis’ class.

Game rules

This is a game we have run for many challenges and allows you to connect globally.

Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of  ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:

  • click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  • now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
  • finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three

Leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog. Remember to include the URL of your blog, so that person can visit you as well.

Teachers: If you are moderating student comments, please make sure you are up-to-date with that this week as students can be very disappointed when they think they have no comments, yet many are in the moderation queue ready to be published.

Students: Make sure you are also replying to any comments that have been left for you.

Do this activity at least three times and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and which posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post? Remember to include a link back to the post you left a comment on.

Get to it – start visiting and leaving quality comments that show you have read the post. 

How many quality comments could you leave this week? Can you leave 10, 20 or maybe 50?

Write a post about the commenting you have done this week or throughout the challenge so far.

  • What have you enjoyed about commenting?
  • What is annoying about commenting?
  • How have you found interesting posts to comment on?
  • Are your posts getting lots of quality comments? Why or why not?

Create a list of great comment starters to help new students to blogging. There are some lists on the web but try to create your own. Here are a couple of examples from Anne Davis:

  •  Another thing to consider is…….
  • I can relate to this…….
  • This makes me think of…….

Write a post then write 5 great comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment.


Here are some posts from last week that couldn’t be flipped:

Maddy writes about dogs, Brooke wrote about crazy cookies, Clara has a dessert island,

Visit the students on the sidebar of Mrs Maslowski’s class blog,

Week 6: Let’s work then play

Monopoly Night 2010

Creative Commons License Jono Martin via Compfight

Once you have finished your work at school, you can often go and play with something in the room.

But let’s also think about people with unusual jobs – what did they do for play or relaxation?

I think about my great great grandfather who was a whaling captain in the 1870’s. He was stuck on a boat with thirty other men, maybe his wife and a child was also on board. What sort of things did the sailors do for relaxation out in the middle of the ocean?

Here in Australia we are thinking about the soldiers of the Great War – World War 1. If they weren’t fighting in the trenches or charging across the open ground, what could they do for relaxation? If they had been injured and were recuperating in a hospital tent, what could they be doing?

Activities to choose from:

1. Research board games – when, where and why were they invented?

2. Create a new game for someone to de-stress from their lifestyle.

3. Your family are stranded on a deserted island, with nothing but your clothes. How will you entertain yourselves?

4. Research ball games around the world – find out the rules and then try playing something similar at school or home. How did it go?

5. Find out the ways soldiers and sea captains used to relax over 100 years ago.

6. The electricity grid went out in your country. What would change in your lifestyle? How would you relax?

7. Survey class members about games they have at home. Are you going to include computer games? Create some interesting graphs about results.

8. Find an image that has a relaxing feel to it. Write a poem remembering to give attribution correctly.


Make sure you are ready for our game in a week or so.  To take part in this game, all classes and students will need the following:

  •  a user avatar if possible
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE if using Edublogs or a post if using other platforms
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget – if your clustrmap is greyed out, check my post here to fix it if using Edublogs widget
  • at least four interesting posts – could be topics of your choice not necessarily from the challenge
  • your ‘Recent Comments’ widget on the sidebar with 10 comments as the choice – Edublogs
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice – Edublogs
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar or pages in the header – Edublogs
  • at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
  • at least three overseas blogs on your blogroll
  • posts tagged or categorized to make it easier to find interesting posts on each blog
  • the more students or classes you have linked on your blog, the more fun the game will be

The most important of these are the links to other student blogs on your sidebar. Try to have a couple of different headings like

  • My Friends
  • Class Blogs
  • Overseas Blogs

Having lots of  links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.

Check out Kendall’s right sidebar – she has a list called Blogroll which are her classmates but she also has a list called Blogging Challenge and these are other blogs she visits regularly

Olivia, who has taken part in the challenges over three years, has some great lists of links on her blog – blogroll, class blogs, family and friends, my followers. She also has links to classmates in blogroll in the header of her blog.

Still have time left this week:

Then keep visiting other student blogs and leave great comments including your blog URL. Find some interesting bloggers then add them to your sidebar links. Write some posts about great blogs you have visited, include a link to that blog in your post.

Read the flipboard magazine to visit bloggers who are writing great posts and are then leaving comments on Miss W’s challenge posts. Students with Edublogs free blogs can’t have posts flipped into the magazine, so they are being mentioned on each week’s posts instead.

Check out these blogs

Clara has only just joined the challenge - check out the background, header image and title (all related to what Clara enjoys). She also has some great posts but unfortunately they can’t be flipped into our magazine.

The young students from Grand Atlas blog in Algeria have been visiting lots of other blogs and they would like you to visit them. They have left some great comments on many other blogs around the world.

Mr Helpern’s class have a category for each student – check out their great posts by clicking on their name.