Holiday or vacation time

For the next two weeks, schools in Tasmania are on holiday so I thought we would take a break from the blogging challenge for just one week.

Oh, no!

What can I do this week when there is no challenge?

Here are some suggestions.

Make sure you have checked the student or class list. Are you  only listed once and  the link to your blog works?  To test this out, make sure you have logged out of your blog and testing as if you are a visitor. Can your visitor read your posts and leave comments or do you need to change some settings?

Have you started visiting the other students in your colour group? Everyone should have written an about me post or page. Leave some comments especially if they have similar interests to you. Remember the comments should be quality not something like

Cool blog. Come and visit my blog too.

Have you checked out the September Flipboard magazine? Compare these posts to yours – do yours need an improvement?

Have you completed the challenges from week 1,2 and 3? Could you improve those posts now that you have checked out some others?

Be warned

During early October, I will be deleting any student blogs that:

  • don’t link properly
  • don’t allow commenting
  • have no posts other than an about me page or post

If you only joined the challenge in late September, I will not be deleting yours.

Why am I doing this?

We try to have mentors for student blogs and if your blog does not work properly or you are not writing posts, then you don’t need a mentor. I can slip another person into your place instead.

Get ready for October

One important activity we do in October is take part in Blog Action Day. Check out their blog, read the instructions, register your blog, add the badge to your sidebar. Start researching the topic and planning your post. Do not publish it though, until the date of the Blog Action Day.

Time for a break and visiting other blogs

We are now half way through the set of challenges, and many schools have either been on holiday or are about to go on holiday for a couple of weeks. So this week there are no formal activities to do. It is a chance to catch up on those you might not have completed or those you wanted to do but didn’t have time to get done.

It is also a chance to check that each post has been categorised and has had tags added to it, to make sure your visitors can find posts easily. You can also go back through the images you have used and make sure you have used correct attribution or else find another image to use on that post.

But there is one activity you can do this week and that relates to Blog Action Day. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned we would be taking part in BAD 2012 where the theme is “Power of We“. Once you have written your post, make sure you tag it with #powerofwe and #BAD12 then publish it on October 15, 2012.

One way we, as in the student blogging challenge participants, can make a difference is by taking part in Free rice where the blogging challenge has its own group. Make sure you join up, you can be a member of more than one group, but choose the group you want to have the rice added to when you first login each time. So far only 5 people have signed up since the beginning of October 2012.

Have time to visit other blogs then check out these:

 

Challenge 2: My Place

Last week we learnt all about you – your interests, your favourite foods, music and lots of other things when you wrote your ‘About’ page. This week we are going to learn all about the area in which you live.

As many of you know, I will be visiting the USA and Canada (in fact I am in California now). When you write your posts or use web 2.0 tools, remember to be internet safe and not give away any personal information. Check with your teacher or parent, to find out if you can mention your school name or town.

But firstly, a few administration pointers.

Please check to make sure you have the following widgets visible on your blog’s sidebar: blog avatar, pages, recent comments, recent posts, blogroll or links, categories. If not using Edublogs, the names of these widgets might be different.

Have you made sure you are getting an email whenever someone leaves a comment on your blog so you can moderate this? It can be annoying for your mentor to go to your blog and find no comments have been approved for the last month or so.

In your profile page, do you have your blog URL included? – this links to your name for when you leave a comment.

Now let’s get to the activities.

Activity 1. Add a widget to find out where your commenters 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  commenter widget you have put on your blog.

Activity 2. Add one or more widgets about your area of the world

This might include a clock or weather or a translator widget in case students who don’t speak your language can translate your post.

When adding widgets to your sidebar, copy and paste the embed code into a text box on your sidebar.

  • Save then close.
  • If the widget is too wide, you will have to adjust the number next to ‘width’ in the embed code.
  • This might appear more than once in the code.

If using blogger rather than Edublogs, you might need to check out the instructions for adding widgets and images etc from Bling For Your Blog, written by a teacher in New Zealand. Thanks Allanah.

If your blog is an Edublogs free blog, you might not be able to put all the widgets in your sidebar.

Activity 3. Write a post about a tourist attraction in the following  states or provinces.

Miss W and Mr Davo Devil will be visiting these states and provinces: California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and back to California. They enjoy visiting national parks and historical places. Where would you suggest they go while in those states and provinces? Suggest a tourist attraction in at least 5 places.

Activity 4. A year in your town

Write a post, create a glogster, make an audioboo tape, create a Storybird or add a Voki telling Miss W about the festivals held in your town throughout the year. Which festivals do you enjoy the most and why? When are the festivals held in case she can visit one while she is travelling? If under 13, check with your teacher or parent if you want to use a web 2.0 tool rather than writing a post in your blog.

Activity 5. Visit other participants and ask questions

Visit at least five other blogs from students or classes around the world and ask some questions in your comments. We have participants from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Russia, Colombia, Taiwan, Greece and Indonesia taking part in the challenge.

Activity 6. Questions in a post

Write a post asking questions about the different countries mentioned in activity 5. Have at least 6 questions in your post.

Activity 7. Where I would love to visit and why

Write a post or use a web 2.0 tool telling your readers about a place you would love to visit and why. Try to include some hyperlinks (links that are underlined in your post and take your readers to another website)

Activity 8. Create a game or quiz about your town, state or country

A few places to do this include: Quiz Revolution, Class Tools,  Remember to check with your teacher or parent before using these web 2.0 tools. Sometimes your teacher or parent will create an account that is moderated by them and is therefore safe for students to use. Do you know any other places to create games and quizzes?

Copy this trackback link in any posts you write about these activities: Challenge 2 Sept 2011  so I will know to visit your blog and read your post or else leave a comment on this post directing me to your blog.

Attribution:

Image: ‘party in the sky

 

Time for a break

As we still have some schools and students catching up with the challenges over the last four weeks, I think we had better have a break from the major challenges.

Instead, if you want to leave some comments on other student blogs, remember to visit the Sept students 2010 page and check out the interests of students who are your age.  Maybe add some interesting links to your blogroll, ready for the game next week.

If you want to write a post, then think about a place, from the past or the present, where you would like to live or go for a holiday or vacation.

  • Why do you want to go there?
  • What intrigues you about that particular place?
  • How long would you like to stay?
  • Include some images or maps with your post.

Also if you are wanting to have your blog upgraded so you can use embed code, then leave an idea for an activity on this post linked here. Edublogs are giving away many upgrades for the best ideas.

See you next week for some more exciting activities.

Original image: ‘Matcha Tea Kit-Kat

Matcha Tea Kit-Kat

by: Marc Phu

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Enjoy your break?

I hope you have all enjoyed your break from the challenge. I know many schools in the northern hemisphere are on spring break while some schools in the southern hemisphere are on Easter break or term 1 holidays.

So I thought, why not have a break from blogging? It will allow some students to catch up on some challenges they might have missed due to camp or other school activities.

Did you enjoy your break? What did you do? I hope you visited some of the blogs I have highlighted in previous posts. Maybe you visited  some blogs to leave comments.

Leave a comment here about what you did in your break.

Image: ‘Desk (Noted)

Desk (Noted)