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Week 7: Catch Up Or Free Choice

Phew! You’ve been working hard and now it’s time to catch your breath.

This week you’ll have some space to catch up on old tasks that interest you or write a free choice post.

Week seven of the Student Blogging Challenge allows you to catch up or write a free choice post.

Week Six Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere were many great posts submitted again by classes and students.

You can find them all here (or click on the week six box on the sidebar).

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • The students in Mr Howie’s class in Serbia all contributed to a class A-Z of science.
  • Jordyn incorporated her love for animals into an excellent post called What-ology?
  • Sophia made a great A-Z of science.
  • Kate has created two rounds of a ‘two truths and one lie’ quiz. She’ll respond to you in the comments.
  • Mrs. Kazanidi Class in Greece explains how a lot of science vocabulary comes from Greek words.
  • Daniel has researched non-Newtonian fluids and has a quiz for you.
  • Muscle Master has written about the life cycle of crayfish.
  • Bo reflects on a science video from America’s Got Talent.
  • You can view more great work on our 2018 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

Reminders

Here are a few important reminders:

  • The forms for week 1-4 tasks are now closed. You’re still welcome to complete these tasks at any time but won’t be able to submit them as our commenters are busy working through later tasks.
  • Some people have put a link to a Google Doc/Form/Slide presentation in their post BUT it can’t be viewed without logging in. This resource shows you how to make your Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms public.
  • Do your posts have images? Images make posts much more shareable and they stand out a lot more on our Flipboard magazine. 
  • Remember in week 3 we discussed that you can’t just use any image you find online in your blog posts? Sadly, I’ve noticed some people are still doing this. You might want to re-read the information in the week 3 post and go back and edit some of your old posts that include images that are not free to use.

Onto the tasks…

Week Seven Tasks

This week’s tasks are simple but I’ve offered a little elaboration below the summary graphic.

Week seven of the Student Blogging Challenge allows you to catch up or write a free choice post.

Task 1: Catch Up

You might not have had the chance to complete a task for week 1-6. Or you might have enjoyed one of the topics so much, you’d like to complete an additional task. Go for it.

Here are the links (you’ll also find them on the sidebar of the challenge blog).

Remember, the forms are now closed for the week 1-4 tasks but you can submit your task for weeks 5 or 6. You’ll find the Google Forms at the end of the posts.

Task 2: Free Choice

sign saying go

What’s something that interests you? Write about it!

Stuck for ideas? Check out these blogging prompts for students. 

If you write a free choice post this week, feel free to submit it in the Google Form below.

Task 3: Visit

You might have a bit of extra time this week so it could be a good opportunity to visit at least one other blog and leave a quality comment.

Remember to ask a question and check back to see if they replied to you (most platforms have a box to tick so you can get an email when there is a follow-up comment).

Task 4: Kahoot!

Have you ever played Kahoot? Get some friends together and test your blogging knowledge with our 15 question quiz!

How Kahoot! works:

  • The multiple-choice questions appear on the screen in the classroom and students submit their responses in real time using their computer, tablet, or mobile device.
  • Students can work in teams and can work for points (most correct answers and quickest responses).

Our Introduction To Blogging Kahoot goes over some of the key terms, vocabulary, and uses of blogs.

How To Play Our Blogging Kahoot!

  • To access the Kahoot, click on this link.
  • You don’t need an account to play, however; you will need to log in if you want to edit the quiz (teachers can adapt it for your own students if necessary).
  • You also need to be signed in to save results.
  • You’ll have the option for your students to play against each other individually (classic mode) or in teams.

Play as classic or team mode Kahoot

You’ll also have a variety of game options you can play around with (see below).

Once you finalize your selections, a game pin number will show up. Students will go to the Kahoot app on their device, or to https://kahoot.it/ and enter the pin number to begin!

Game options for kahoot

Feel free to leave a comment on this post and tell us if you tried the Kahoot!

Submit Your Post URL ⬇

If you write your own free choice post this week, feel free to submit it below (if you do a different task, you can leave a comment on this post to tell us about it if you like).

Remember to include the URL of the actual post (copy and paste it so it’s correct).

Examples of post URLS for STUBCThe Google Form

Teachers, feel free to put the link to this Week 7 Google Form on your own blog if you’d like.

https://goo.gl/forms/ZKrGDGjdX7Sr59UP2

 


Next week’s topic: Celebrations!

Week 6: Science

Some people think blogging is all about reading and writing but it doesn’t have to be. You can integrate any subject into blogging.

This week we’re zooming in on science and there’s something for everyone!

It's week six of the Student Blogging Challenge and we're talking science.

Week Five Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere were lots of great responses to our tasks about similarities and differences.

You can find all the submitted tasks here (or click on the week 5 box on the sidebar).

Many of these posts are interactive so the students would love to get a comment from you!

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • Lily was super creative getting to know her readers with a ‘Which Disney princess are you?’ quiz.
  • Rhiann drew a picture and asks how you like your food.
  • Morgan did a great job completing a number of different tasks that includes Google Forms.
  • Wolf used a tool called Voki to share a book review.
  • Cora explains the music genres she enjoys most and shared some videos.
  • Loe made some images and asks what sort of person you are.
  • Emily has 10 questions for her readers which she’d like you to answer in a comment.
  • Lianna is surveying her readers with quizzes made with AnswerGarden and Google Forms.
  • You can view more great work on our 2018 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

Remember — if you use a tool to create something, it’s a good idea to provide your readers with the link to the site so they know how you did it.

Reminders

There are a few things to take note of this week:

  • The forms for weeks 1-3 tasks are now closed. You’re still welcome to complete these tasks at any time but won’t be able to submit them as our commenters are busy working through the posts for the later weeks.
  • Please moderate your comments as regularly as you can. Comments are a great way to connect and learn! Teachers, find out how to moderate comments on My Class here. 
  • Consider adding a widget to your blog that displays your latest comments. You probably want to show around 10 of your latest comments so will need to change your settings. Here are the instructions for Edublogs/CampusPress. 
  • Falling behind? Don’t worry! You can complete your tasks late, or skip some tasks. Next week will be a catch up/free choice week!
  • Not getting many visitors? Make sure you submit your task in the weekly Google Form. Also, check out the tips about encouraging visitors in the week four post. Those who are commenting on others’ blogs are finding they’re getting more visitors.

Results Of Our Language Poll

Last week we invited you to take our quick language poll to see what languages our participants speak.

While English is the predominant language, there were a LOT of languages represented in our STUBC community. How wonderful!

Language survey results STUBC

We had nearly 800 responses! (I have now closed the poll).

Here are the top ten languages represented:

  • English 94.8%
  • Spanish 20.5%
  • French 12.5%
  • German 4.5%
  • Mandarin 3.1%
  • Italian 2.9%
  • Russian 2.8%
  • Arabic 2.2%
  • Portuguese 1.8%
  • Japanese 1.3%

Let’s take a look at this week’s topic…

Science

Do you have science classes at your school? Even if you’re not formally studying science, science is all around us!

Learning about science just means understanding our world better. Scientists learn about the world by describing, observing, and experimenting. Anyone can be a scientist!

Want to watch a short overview of the nature of science? This 3 minute video might help.

The Branches Of Science

The great thing about science is there are so many different fields and topics. Perhaps there are some areas of science you find very fascinating and others that aren’t really your cup of tea.

There are three main branches of science that are further divided into different categories.

The Physical Sciences: This includes things like physics, chemistry, and astronomy.

The Earth Sciences: This includes things like geology, paleontology, and meteorology.

The Life Sciences: This includes things like botany, medicine, and zoology.

What areas of science interest you? Task one involves blogging about this.

Why Learn About Science?

Here are 8 great reasons why children should enjoy science more (created by psysci.co).

Do you have any more ideas why science is important? Leave a comment or write a blog post about it!

Why kids should enjoy science infographic

Week Six Tasks

This week there are five science related tasks to choose from.

Our graphic summarises the tasks and I will explain each task in more detail below.
It's week six of the Student Blogging Challenge and we're talking science.

Task 1: What Are You Curious About?

For this task, consider what you’re curious about and write a blog post about it.

Are there any particular scientific fields that interest you? Perhaps you could do some research into the different areas of science. Maybe you could explain some different scientific fields.

Look around you. What do you wonder? Maybe you’re curious about how the internet works or where rain comes from or life on Mars?

Do some research and write a blog post about what you find.

Task 2: Single-Use And Plogging

This week, Collins dictionary announced their Word of the Year — “single-use”.

This was their announcement on Twitter…

There has been a rise in public awareness about plastic pollution recently and many communities are taking a stand. For example, in most parts of Australia, the major supermarkets and other stores no longer provide free plastic bags.

Continuing with the environmental theme, one of the shortlisted words was “plogging”

You can read more about the Word of the Year here.

Your task is to write a post about “single-use”, “plogging” or any other environmental issue that interests you.

Perhaps you could:

  • Write a persuasive piece about why single-use items are a good/bad idea.
  • Make a poster encouraging people to recycle, re-use, or try plogging.
  • Do some research into plogging and write a ‘how-to’ for others.
  • Explain what initiatives operate in your community or school to help the environment. Do you have a recycling service? Do stores offer you plastic bags? Can you recycle soft plastics to be made into things like playground equipment (for example, we have the REDcycle program that does this).

Any of the above ideas could also be adapted into videos if you’re feeling especially creative!

Task 3: Video Prompts

There are lots of great science videos online.

Here are two examples:

Find a video that interests you, then write a blog post about it. 

You might write a summary of the video and include your own thoughts or questions. Or, you can make a quiz for your readers about the video. Invite them to answer the quiz in a comment.

Remember to include the video in your blog post. Find out how to add a video from YouTube using Edublogs/CampusPress here. (Tip: If you have a free blog, use the URL method).

If you’re working as a class on this activity, the teachers could publish a video (or a selection of videos) and have the students write their responses as comments. 

Screenshot of TEDEd videos

Task 4: A-Z Of Science Words

Science can involve a lot of terminology or interesting words.

Your task is to make your own A-Z of words relating to science. You could even leave a few letters blank and ask for suggestions in a comment.

For example…

A is for astronomy: the study of outer space

B is for bunsen burner: a device commonly found in a science lab for heating

C is for carbon dioxide: the gas formed when humans or animals breathe out

D is for data: the facts or pieces of information a scientist uses

If you’re working as a class on this activity, perhaps all the students can be given a letter and come up with some terminology to include. 

Task 5: Two Truths And One Lie

Challenge your readers with a simple “two truths and one lie” quiz.

Your task is to write a post that includes two correct statements and one incorrect statement. Ask your readers to guess the lie!

For example, you might say:

  • The smallest bone in the body is found in the middle ear.
  • An archeologist studies the atmosphere and weather patterns.
  • The blue whale is the largest animal in the world.

Can you guess which one is not true?

Do some research in a book or online to make sure your information is accurate. If you use a website, include the link in your post.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, perhaps each student (or pairs) could make a contribution to a Google slide presentation as I did last year. 

Submit Your Post URL ⬇

If you want a commenter and other participants to visit your week six post, remember to fill in the Google Form below.

Remember to include the URL of the actual post (copy and paste it so it’s correct).

Examples of post URLS for STUBCThe Google Form

Teachers, feel free to put the link to this Week 6 Google Form on your own blog if you’d like.

https://goo.gl/forms/QTuTwShLYiKb99EH2


Next week’s topic: Catch up or free choice.

Week 5: We’re All The Same… We’re All Different

We’re almost at the halfway mark of the Student Blogging Challenge!

Let’s get to know each other more this week and try out some fun activities.

Week five of the Student Blogging Challenge explores how people around the world are the same and different.

Week Four Recap

Trophy image -- great workOur emoji post proved popular and there were hundreds of great tasks submitted!

You can find them all here (or click on the orange box on the sidebar).

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • Morgan did a fabulous job of completing a number of last week’s tasks. Head over to her blog and guess the answers!
  • Jacqui invites you to translate her story.
  • Mikey wants you to guess the movies and maths questions.
  • Rajyashori added emojis to her commenting guidelines.
  • Mr Howie’s year 7 class in Serbia made stories out of emoji prompts.
  • Lianna included some emoji facts and made a fabulous slideshow where you can guess the movie.
  • Lucas put together an emoji extravaganza!
  • Tamara presented her emoji maths questions beautifully and even made a separate post with the answers.
  • You can view more great work on our 2018 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

Remember — if you use a tool to create something, it’s a good idea to provide your readers with the link to the site so they know how you did it.

Special Shout Out

Miriam and her dogAll teachers know how great it is to hear from former students. This weekend I was so happy to hear from not one of my students but one of Linda Yollis’ former students!

Back in 2011, Miriam was a role model 3rd grade blogger. She’s now a college student who is running a creative writing club for children at her local library.

Miriam is back blogging after all this time!

This is my second year with the writers club at my library and I decided to try to add blogging so that the children both in the club and anywhere in the world could contribute to the conversation.

Would you take a moment this week to drop by Miriam’s blog and say hi? If you leave your blog URL she will no doubt be happy to visit your blog as well!

Tip: She introduces herself in this post.

Reminders

There are a number of important reminders this week:

  • We are now going to close off the forms for week one and two tasks. You’re still welcome to complete these tasks at any time but won’t be able to submit them as our commenters are busy working through the posts for the later weeks.
  • Some people have put a link to a Google Doc/Slide presentation in their post BUT it can’t be viewed without logging in. If you share a link to a Google Doc, you need to change the settings so anyone can view it without logging in.
  • Please moderate your comments as quickly as you can. Some blogs have comments that haven’t been approved in over a week. Comments are a great way to connect and learn! Teachers, find out how to moderate comments on My Class here. 
  • Consider adding a widget to your blog that displays your latest comments. You probably want to show around 10 of your latest comments so will need to change your settings. Here are the instructions for Edublogs/CampusPress. 
  • Do you have Spanish speaking students? Michelle has a 13 year old student who’d like to connect with other Spanish speakers. If you can help, please get in touch with Michelle by leaving a comment here.
  • Falling behind? Don’t worry! You can complete your tasks late, or skip some tasks. Week seven will be a catch up/free choice week too which will offer you some breathing room.
  • Not getting many visitors? Make sure you submit your task in the weekly Google Form. Also, check out the tips about encouraging visitors in the week four post. Those who are commenting on others’ blogs are finding they’re getting more visitors.

Let’s dive into this week’s topic…

Similarities And Differences

We have a diverse group taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge. Even though we live in all different parts of the world, we have many similarities as well as differences.

Blogging is a great way to connect with people that we might otherwise never meet!

At last count, we had students and classes from 27 countries and 6 continents registered for the challenge.

Student Blogging Challenge Participants Oct 2018 - 6 continents and 27 countries

Why Learn About Similarities And Differences?

  • It’s important for all children and adults to understand that everyone around the world is different and that’s okay. We need to be respectful and accepting of everyone, whether they’re the same as us or very different.
  • Even though we might look different, live differently, and enjoy different things, we’re all the same on the inside. We’re all humans!
  • It’s super fun to hear about how other people live and what sort of things they enjoy or their everyday routines.
  • If everyone was the same, the world would be pretty boring. Differences in beliefs, cultures, skills, and interests can enrich our lives and bring new ideas to our world.
  • Hands united togetherIf you respect and get along with all sorts of people, there are many benefits. You’ll have more friends and enjoy living in peace. The world will become a better place.
  • As students grow older, they can enjoy working in a global workforce. At Edublogs, we have people from all over the world on staff. More and more companies are working this way. Geography is no barrier.

Any other ideas? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Quick Language Poll

We know we have students from all over the world taking part in the challenge. Most (not all) are writing their blog posts in English, however, there are lots of participants who can speak another language.

We’d love to know what languages you speak! Take our quick poll below.

Edit: This poll is now closed. The results will be shared in the week 6 post.

Week Five Tasks

This week there are four tasks to choose from that are all about similarities and differences. 

Our graphic summarises the tasks and I will explain each task in more detail below.

As this topic hasn’t been used as part of STUBC before, we don’t have actual student examples to show you this week. 
Week five of the Student Blogging Challenge explores how people around the world are the same and different.

Task 1: Two Types Of People…

I recently came across a fun website called 2 Types of People. It shows a series of illustrations that categorise people into two broad groups.

I reached out to the creator João Rocha who kindly said we could use his images for the challenge.

Here are some of the images.

 

Now make your own image or series of images!

Come up with something that you think categorises two types of people and make an image. Add the image to your post and ask your readers to comment.

How will you make your image?

  • You could try a tool like Google Drawings, Google Slides, PowerPoint, Adobe Spark, or Canva. Just save your creation as a PNG or JPEG and upload it to your blog like any other image.
  • Or you might have software on your computer (like 3D Paint in Windows) or a drawing app.
  • You could also use some of the websites we mentioned in week three to find free images.
  • You can even draw your own images, take a photo, and upload it to your blog.

Here’s a very quick example of an image I made using Canva. (Canva can be used by under 13s with supervision).

Cat or dog

If you’re working as a class on this activity, perhaps each student could make an image and the teacher could add them to a series of blog posts or a Google Slide presentation. Readers could be invited to comment and tell the class what ‘sort of person’ they are. 

  • Remember, Alethea Vazquez has a tutorial on how to put a Google Slides presentation together. 

Task 2: Get To Know Your Readers

Sometimes blogging can be a little ‘one way’ — the blogger writes the posts and the readers read them. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can get to know your readers and learn more about your similarities and differences!

There are a few ways you can do this. Here are some ideas:

  • Make a poll for your readers like the ‘What Language Do You Speak?‘ poll I added above. I used Google Forms to create this.
  • Interview a Student Blogging Challenge participant, a classmate, or a family member and record some of your similarities and differences in a blog post. You could make a Venn diagram using a tool like this one from ReadWriteThink (see the example below).
  • Write a post with one or more questions that you’d like your readers to respond to in a comment (remember to reply to your comments). Your questions could be things like:
    • What are your favourite sports?
    • What fruits or vegetables do you like best?
    • What do you like to do when you get home from school?
    • What makes you happy/sad?
    • What activities do you like doing with your family?
    • Where is one place in the world you’d like to visit?
    • Anything else! 
    • You could also visit some other participants’ blogs and ask them questions in a comment.
Venn diagram made on ReadWriteThink

Note: You can save your Venn diagram as a PDF but I took a screenshot instead. (This article shows how to take a screenshot on any device).

Task 3: Books

One of the great things about reading is you can feel like you’re “walking in someone else’s shoes”.

Fiction can play an important role in helping you learn about different types of people and different perspectives.

There are some great books out there that encourage young people to think about similarities and differences.

This task involves writing a book review or book response.

Activity for classes

Read a book together that explores similarities and differences and then write a response.

The teacher could write the post and the students could comment. Or, the students could write their own reflections which could be shared in a post (or series of posts).

You could use any book but here are just two suggestions:

This is one of my favourite books by Mem Fox which could be a handy prompt for younger students (under around 10). It’s called Whoever You Are.

Click here if you can’t see the video above.

Another great prompt might be Mirror by Jeannie Baker (thank you to the fabulous teacher librarian Kim Yeomans for this recommendation. Check out her blog, Wild About Books).

This book is actually wordless but tells a powerful story for all ages nonetheless.

Click here if you can’t see the video above.

Activity for students

Write about a book you’ve read where the character was very different from you. Maybe they lived in a different place, had different interests, had a different family structure or so on.

Don’t forget to include the important details like the author and full title.

Invite your readers to leave a comment. Make your questions “open ended”. So instead of just, “Have you read this book?” You could invite readers to tell you about their favourite book or author.

Task 4: Music

Music can bring people together! You might find you a have a similar taste in music to someone else. It can be a good conversation starter. 

Or perhaps your taste in music is very different from someone. That’s okay too!

This task involves writing a post about your favourite type of music. You can add a video clip of a favourite song if your teacher agrees.

Find out how to add a video from YouTube using Edublogs/CampusPress here. (Tip: If you have a free blog, use the URL method).

Example of an embedded YouTube clip

I’ve been teaching music to prep (kindergarten) students so we’ve been finding some lots of fun songs. I really like this one because we all enjoy doing the actions.

It is called The Silly Song and is by an Australian group called The Fairies.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, perhaps you could have a class vote about your favourite types of music and share some information in a collaborative post. Or students could write their own piece about their favourite type of music and the teacher could publish these in a series of posts. 

Submit Your Post URL ⬇

If you want a commenter and other participants to visit your blog, remember to fill in the Google Form below with the URL of the post you published for this week’s task.

If you complete more than one task, please choose your favourite one to submit.

Remember to include the URL of the actual post (copy and paste it so it’s correct).

Examples of post URLS for STUBCThe Google Form

Teachers, feel free to put the link to this Week 5 Google Form on your own blog if you’d like.

https://goo.gl/forms/kmkm4Hly9VDcIyG82


Next week’s topic: Get ready for some fun with science!

Week 4: Emojis

You’ve been working hard to learn about some important topics for the first three weeks. Well done!

Let’s have some fun with emojis!

Week four of the Student Blogging Challenge is all about emojis -- the universal language.

Week Three Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere were so many great posts submitted again by classes and students.

You can find them all here (or click on the red box on the sidebar).

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • Georgia summarized the places you can find images and included a slideshow.
  • Mrs. Kimball made a Halloween themed slideshow for her class that included some information and tasks. There’s also the beginning of a story that others can complete.
  • Eshaan invites you to complete the story of when dolls come alive!
  • There’s a great farewell to summer poem on Frog’s blog.
  • Emily asks you to guess her sentence.
  • Nightshadebloom shared her own artwork.
  • Chris explains why you can’t take images off Google.
  • Emmitt shares some favourite images in a slideshow.

Flipboard

Remember, you can view more great work on our 2018 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

Reminders

Here are a few general challenge reminders:

  • Please remember to keep approving the comments on your blog quickly — it keeps the conversations going!
  • Haven’t caught up on the first three weeks? Don’t worry! You can complete your tasks late, or skip some tasks. Please submit your task in the correct form (e.g. if you complete a task from week one, go back to the week one post and add it to the form).
  • Posts that are proofread and written in short paragraphs are much easier to read! Need help with proofreading? Try a free tool like Grammarly. Note: Grammarly is 18+ but if you’re aged between 13-17, you can use it with permission.

Let’s dive into this week’s topic…

Emojis

Do you like emojis? 😎😁😍

Emojis were first used on mobile phones in Japan in 1999 and become popular worldwide about ten years later.

Before emojis were emoticons (or smileys). Emojis are different to emoticons. Emojis are pictures, whereas emoticons are the punctuation you use to symbolise emotion.

Emojis look different depending on what sort of platform or device you’re using. As Emojipedia tells us,

Emoji is a standardised set of characters that is available on iOS, Android, Windows and macOS. While the artwork for each emoji character varies by platform, the meaning of each symbol remains the same.

Two years ago, a report stated that 92% of internet users use emojis. No doubt this number has grown now.

The great thing about emojis is that they’re a universal language! They can help people communicate, even if they don’t speak the same language!

More Emoji Fun Facts!

  • The original 176 emoji are on display at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
  • There are now 2,823 emojis.
  • New batches of emojis are added every year.
  • Oxford Dictionary named the Face with Tears of Joy Emoji 😂 as the 2015 Word of the Year.
  • The Face with Tears of Joy is the most popular emoji. Twitter tracks the most popular emojis here.
  • Emoji or emojis? In Japanese the plural is emoji but both are accepted in English.

Sources

Help With Emojis

If you’re using Windows 10 or a Mac computer, there is a simple way to choose an emoji as Tony Vincent demonstrates in the graphic below.

Call up an emoji keyboard in Windows 10 by holding down the Windows key and pressing period (full stop). Holding down the Windows key and the ; key also works.

On macOS, hold down Control and Command and press the space bar to make an emoji picker appear.

Both of these keyboard shortcuts require the cursor to be in a text box.

Tony Vincent add emojis graphicNot sure how to use emojis on your iPad? Check out this article. 

Week Four Tasks

This week there are four fun tasks to choose from to get creative with emojis. 

Our graphic summarises the tasks and I will explain each task in more detail below. I’ve included some examples and ideas for how classes can approach each task.

As this topic hasn’t been used as part of STUBC before, we don’t have actual student examples to show you this week. 

Week four of the Student Blogging Challenge is all about emojis -- the universal language.

Task 1: Emoji Story Prompt

Thank you to Tony Vincent for this great idea about using emojis to help you create a story.

  • Go to byrdseed.com/emoji. You’ll see one random emoji on the screen.
  • Press “And then…” to add some more inspiration for your story with new emojis.
  • If you don’t like the emojis, just press “Start over”.
  • Write your story in a blog post. If you prefer, you could make an audio recording or even a video.
  • You could ask your visitors to finish your story in a blog comment if you like.

Don’t forget a screenshot:

Take a screenshot of your emojis to add to your blog post so your visitors can check out your inspiration.

  • This article shows how to take a screenshot on any device.
  • Click here to find out how to add an image to an Edublogs or CampusPress blog.

Tony Vincent Emoji Prompt Story generator

If you’re working as a class on this activity, perhaps students could make individual stories and the teacher could add them to a series of blog posts or a Google Slide presentation. 

  • Check out Alethea Vazquez’s tutorial on how to put a Google Slides presentation together. 
  • If you need more help with making a collaborative Google Slide presentation, check out this video from Matt Miller.

Task 2: Emoji Guessing Game

There are lots of ways you can use emojis to make fun guessing games for your readers

Emoji Quiz

Make a quiz for your readers using only emojis.

Have them guess something like:

  • Book title
  • Movie title
  • Book/movie character
  • Food
  • Word
  • Phrase
  • Country
  • Idiom

You could present this however you like — as a simple blog post, a video, a Google Slide presentation. Or you might have other ideas.

Here’s an example of a video where viewers are asked to guess the Disney movie.

If you add emojis to a blog post like I’ve done below, they’ll be quite small.

🐟 + 🍟 = ?

Quick tutorial: Make an image

If you want a simple way to present your emojis so they’re larger, try making an image in Google Drawings or Google Slides. Google Drawings has a transparent background by default and Google Slides has a white background by default.

  1. Go to Google Drawings or Google Slides and open a blank presentation.
  2. Add a title (press on T in the toolbar in Google Drawings).
  3. Add the emojis you want. If you’re on a computer, try going to Emojipedia or EmojiCool and copying/pasting the emojis into your Slide/Drawing.
  4. When your Slide/Drawing is done, go to File > Download as > PNG image (or JPEG image). Save the image to your computer.
  5. You can then upload the image to your blog post (here are the instructions for Edublogs/CampusPress users).

Here is an example I made:

Globe flag and koala -- guess the country

Guess The Word

Tony Vincent demonstrates how to make a Guess The Word emoji puzzle in this graphic.

Want to make something like this? You could try a tool like Google Drawings, Google Slides, PowerPoint, or Canva. Just save your creation as a PNG or JPEG and upload it to your blog like any other image.

Guess the word with the emojis Tony Vincent

EmojiTranslate

Here’s yet another idea from Tony Vincent.

  • Write out a blog post as you normally would. This could be about anything — a pet, a school event, a favourite sport. The choice is yours.
  • Copy your blog post text. Go to emojitranslate.com and paste your text in the box.
  • Some words will be replaced with pictures. If you don’t want to use some of the emojis, just re-type the word.
  • Take a screenshot of your result and add it to a blog post.
  • Ask your readers to guess what it says in a comment.

You don’t have to use EmojiTranslate. You can always just make your own post and substitute some words for emojis.

Emoji Translate tool Tony Vincent

If you’re working as a class on these activities, all the students could make their own image and the teacher could compile them into a Google Slide presentation or simply add them to a blog post (or series of posts). Or students could work together to make videos. 

Remember, last week Alethea Vazquez made a tutorial on how to put a Google Slides presentation together if you need help with that.

Task 3: Emoji Maths

Emojis aren’t just about writing. They can be fun to use in maths too!

There’s a popular site called Solvemoji.com where emojis are used in maths puzzles.

  • You could try making your own puzzles using a tool like Google Drawings, Google Slides, PowerPoint, or Canva. Just save your creation as a PNG or JPEG and upload it to your blog like any other image.
  • You could draw you puzzles on paper, take a photo of them and add them to your blog post.
  • Instead of making puzzles, you could solve some of the puzzles on Solvemoji.com and write your solutions and reflections in a blog post.

Here are some examples from the Solvemoji.com website.

Solvemoji puzzle -- fruit Solvemoji puzzle -- nature

If you’re working as a class on this activity, all the students could make their own puzzles and the teacher could compile them into a Google Slide presentation or simply add them to a blog post (or series of posts). The students could solve the puzzles in a blog comment. 

Task 4: Emoji Art

Do you enjoy creating and making artwork?

There are a few ways you can make your own emoji:

  • You could draw a picture of an emoji and take a photo of it then upload it to your blog post.
  • There are lots of places online where you can find ‘how to draw’ emoji tutorials. For example, how to draw a peace sign hand on YouTube or how to draw heart eyes emoji on the How to Draw website. Under 13s should check with an adult.
  • If you have an iPad, you could use an app like Emoji Me Kids to make an animated emoji of yourself.
  • You could design an emoji in a program like Google Drawing or Google Slides. See the instructions listed in task two.
  • You could try Google’s Made With Code Emoji Project. This is lots of fun!
  • You could use emoji.ink to create an artwork using emojis. Tip: Use the slider in the bottom right corner to change the size of your emojis. Take a screenshot when you’re done.
  • You might have other ideas!
A quick picture I made with emoji.ink
Made With Code Emoji Project

Add your artwork to a blog post with a description. Don’t forget to include an explanation of how you made it and a link to a tool if you used one.

Final Tips

Add a visitor tracking widget to your sidebar

You will notice on the sidebar of the Student Blogging Challenge blog we have some visitor tracking widgets to see which countries our visitors are from.

You can add these to your sidebar too. Find the instructions for Edublogs and CampusPress users here.

Because you need to use embed code, you’ll only be able to add these visitor tracking widgets with an Edublogs Pro or CampusPress blog. Embed code isn’t enabled on free blogs to prevent misuse by spammers.  

Using a different blogging platform?

  • You’ll find the instructions to add Clustrmaps here and there are instructions to add RevolverMaps here.

Not getting many visitors?

Try visiting other people and inviting them to visit your blog.

If you look on the sidebar of the Student Blogging Challenge blog, you will see the links to the tasks that participants completed for the first three weeks.

Choose some people to visit. Make your comment a high quality one — proofread it, ask a question, and show a genuine interest in the blogger. Then leave the URL of a post you’d like them to check out.

Which approach do you think would come across better?

Comment one

Hi Pip, Please visit my blog and leave a comment https://mrskathleenmorris.edublogs.org/2018/10/30/emojis From Kathleen

Comment two

Hi Pip, I really enjoyed reading your emoji story about your pet dog. I laughed when you described the tricks your dog performs. What's your dog's name? I've also written a blog about my pets. Maybe you'd like to drop by my blog sometime and take a look? The URL is https://mrskathleenmorris.edublogs.org/2018/10/28/pets Best wishes, Kathleen

Check back to see if the blogger replied to you too (if possible, tick the box to be notified of follow-up comments).

If you keep visiting a few of the same people over the coming weeks, you could really get to know each other!

Submit Your Post URL ⬇

If you want a commenter and other participants to visit your blog, remember to fill in the Google Form below with the URL of the post you published for this week’s task.

If you complete more than one task, please choose your favourite one to submit.

Remember to include the URL of the actual post. This graphic below should help you understand what a post URL looks like if you’re using Edublogs/CampusPress/WordPress.

Examples of post URLS for STUBCThe Google Form

Edit: This form is now closed but feel free to still complete the tasks!


Next week’s topic: Similarities and differences around the world 🌏

Week 3: Images And Creative Commons

This week’s topic is an important and useful one to know about. We’re going to explore how to use images easily, legally, and safely.

Some people find this topic confusing but don’t worry. I’ll break it down for you in this week’s post!

Week three of the Student Blogging Challenge is all about images and Creative Commons. We'll learn how to use images easily, legally, and safely.

Week Two Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere were hundreds of great posts submitted by classes and students.

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • The McDowell Media students have made some great how-to videos to let everyone know how to comment on their blog. Also checked out the graphic they positioned on their sidebar as a handy commenting reminder.
  • Ms Blessings’ grade two/three students have started visiting other blogs and shared some examples of the comments they left.
  • Mrs. Yollis added some comment starters to the end of her post. Is this something you could try this week?
  • 12th grader Rheinhard reflects on commenting in this well-written post. 
  • Rajyashori from India shared some of the great comments she left on various blogs in this reflective post. 
  • Sling’s class in Canada has completed some more fabulous work including this must-watch video on commenting.

Flipboard

Remember, you can view more great work on our 2018 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard. Our commenters will be adding some notable posts and pages to the magazine over the coming weeks.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

A Special Tutorial

A big thank you goes to Alethea Vazquez for creating a special tutorial this week.

Alethea has participated with her classes in previous challenges and is now a volunteer commenter.

Her tutorial demonstrates how to create and embed a Google Slide presentation into your blog post. 

Click here to find it.

How to create a Google Slide presentationYou may remember, we shared Alethea’s slideshow in week one as a way of sharing the avatars and blurbs of all students in the class.

Many classes did a fabulous job of creating their own slideshows but if you were scratching your head as to how they achieved this, this tutorial is for you.

Google Slide presentations in blog posts are SO handy — you can share all sorts of student work or information.

Reminders

Here are a few general challenge reminders:

  • Are you on our mailing list? Sign up here and make sure you add support@edublogs.org to your email contacts so it doesn’t end up in junk/spam. I send an email every Sunday.
  • Edublogs/CampusPress users with student blogs — If all the students in your class have blogs and your teacher uses ‘My Class’, you should have a widget called ‘Class blogs’. Make sure this is on your sidebar. This video shows you how.
  • Are you writing in a language other than English? Please add a Google Translate widget to your blog by following these instructions. 
  • Haven’t caught up on week one and two? Don’t worry! You can complete your tasks late, or skip some tasks. Please submit your task in the correct form (e.g. if you complete a task from week one, go back to the week one post and add it to the form).
  • Posts that are proofread and written in short paragraphs are much easier to read! Need help with proofreading? Try a free tool like Grammarly. Note: Grammarly is 18+ but if you’re aged between 13-17, you can use it with permission.

Let’s Learn About Images

A blog without images would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it?

Images can really jazz up our posts, pages, headers, and widgets. Students and teachers also need images when they’re making a presentation, video, or other digital creations.

But where do we get those images?

Can’t we just use Google Images?

Do you know how to find pictures using Google? It’s so easy. You just type in the word you want, find the image you like, and save it to your computer.

But stop right there!

Should we be doing this? Should we be getting any image we like from Google and using it in our own work?

The answer is no.

As Ronnie Burt’s cat has told our community before…

Just because you find it on Google doesn't make it free
Photo by Ronnie Burt used with permission

Most images on Google are protected by copyright. This means, they are not free to use and you can get into trouble if you do use them without permission.

You can use Google Images advanced search filter to find images that you are allowed to use but this isn’t as simple as it seems. You need to know what the usage rights mean and how to attribute correctly.

We have some easier options to share with you this week.

Including the source is not enough…

A situation we commonly see on blogs is where someone uses an image they found online and then include a link to the site they got it from.

For example,

Image from Kathleen Morris www.kathleenamorris.com

Just because you link to the source of an image, does not mean you can use it. You would need to ask the image creator for permission.

Unless stated otherwise, everything on the web is protected by copyright.

Let’s take a look at some options for finding images…

Where Can You Find Images?

I’ve recently updated a post on my own blog that goes through the 5 main ways to find images for blog posts or other digital work.

Here is a summary. Feel free to use this poster on your blog or in your classroom if it’s helpful.

5 options for finding images Kathleen Morris

Let’s take a closer look at each option:

1) Making your own images is an excellent option

This can be done either by drawing, taking your own photos, using computer software, or using online tools.

Just be mindful of two things:

  • This can take a long time and leave you with less time for your writing or other work.
  • Many online tools have age restrictions (often over 13).

2) Many businesses purchase stock photography

We often do this for our posts on The Edublogger.

We pay a hairdresser when we get a haircut, pay a baker for a loaf of bread, so why not pay a photographer for their work?

This is good to know about as an option but isn’t something schools or students would usually do.

3) Using Google Images is not usually a good idea

We talked about this above.

Most images that you find on Google are protected by copyright. Find out more about copyright by watching this short video.

4) Creative Commons is worth knowing about!

Everyone’s work is protected by copyright unless stated otherwise.

Many people are happy for others to use their work (as long as they give them credit etc.). They give their work a Creative Commons license to tell everyone what they can or cannot do with their image (or text, videos, music etc).

  • Copyright means the person who took the photo (or created the work) does not allow anyone to use it.
  • Creative Commons means the person who took the photo (or created the work) does allow people to use it IF they follow certain rules.
    • Usually, these rules mean saying who created the image/work and where it’s from.
    • Sometimes the rules state that you can use the image/work only if you don’t change it or don’t use it as part of something you’re selling.
    • These rules are called licenses.
    • There are a number of Creative Commons licenses creators can choose from.
    • No matter what license is used, you must always attribute the creator of the image/work (unless it’s a Creative Commons Zero license — see point 5). Attributing means crediting the author. In a blog post, this usually means putting the attribution under an image as I’ve done below.

Cute koala image
By Erik Veland [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Here’s a short video by Nancy Minicozzi that explains Creative Commons.

Plugins to make attribution easy

The trickiest part of using Creative Commons images is often the attribution (crediting the creator: saying who the creator is, where it’s from, what the license is etc).

If you’re using Edublogs or CampusPress, there are two plugins you can use to find and insert Creative Commons images without worrying about attribution.

Note: While these plugins provide safe filtered options, nothing is foolproof. Younger students should be supervised or use Photos For Class for the safest option.

5) Creative Commons Zero or royalty free images are the easiest choices

If your mind is spinning with all that talk of Creative Commons licenses and attribution, don’t worry!

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or royalty free images are easy to use.

These are the least restrictive licenses so anyone can use the images freely and attribution is optional.

There are an increasing number of sites where you can find CC0 or royalty free images but remember:

  • Many sites contain inappropriate content if you search for it
  • Many sites have age restrictions

I made this comparison chart to show you about some of the best options to find images that you can use freely without attributing.

You can read a detailed description of each one in my blog post if you’re interested.

Comparison chart of free images teachers students Pixabay Unsplash Pexels Photos For Class Openclipart Pics4Learning

In the activity section below, you’ll also find some task cards to help you easily source images.

Help With Images

Adding an image to a post or page on your blog is quite straightforward.

If you haven’t figured out how to do this yet, check out these help guides:

Week Three Tasks

This week there are five tasks to choose from to help you learn more about using images. The third task links with doing either task four or five.

Here is a summary. I will explain each task in more detail below with some examples and ideas for how classes can approach each task.

STUBC week 3 tasks summary

Task 1: Educate Others

Many teachers and students around the world know very little about using images legally, Creative Commons, attributing Creative Commons images etc. You can help them learn while learning more about this topic yourself.

Do some more research into any of the topics discussed this week and make a blog post, poster, video, slideshow etc.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, perhaps students could work in small groups to create a poster or video to share in a post (or a series of posts). Or, all the students could make a slide for a slideshow. 

Example:

This video is the reaction of students in Mrs. Yollis’ class when she mislabelled their artwork. It helps people learn about the importance of correct attribution.

Task 2: Make An Image

Creating your own images for your blog posts is a great idea! You don’t have to worry about copyright and Creative Commons.

You can:

Remember, some online tools have age restrictions.

Leave a comment on this post if you know any other good tools for making your own images.

Add your image(s) to a blog post and tell us a bit about the images and how you made them. If you used an online tool, include the link so others can try it.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, all the students could make their own image and the teacher could compile them into a Google Slide presentation or simply add them to a blog post (or series of posts). 

Example:

Task 3: Image Task Cards

This connects with task 4 and 5. 

In the blog post I wrote about images for teachers and students, I prepared two task cards.

Depending on your age, use one of these task cards to find an image or a series of images to add to your post.

You could add a slideshow with some of your favourite images you found and write about why you like them. Or, you could use your images to complete task 4 or 5 below.

Tip: If you’re using Edublogs Pro or CampusPress, you can use the slider feature in the Live Shortcodes plugin to quickly add a slideshow to a post, page, or sidebar. Instructions are here. (Another option is the Metaslider Plugin) Find the instructions here.

Examples:

  • My son's favourite animal is a tiger.

  • My daughter's favourite animal is a peacock.

  • We love going to the beach.
  • I'm currently teaching music to prep (kindergarten) students!
  • We enjoy going on bike rides.
  • Tomatoes are one of my favourite foods.

 

Task card for over 13s

Task card for under 13s

You’re welcome to print these task cards, or add them to your blog. To do this, you’ll need to click on the download button under the task card. Find out how to add a PDF file to your blog using Edublogs or CampusPress here.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, perhaps all students could use the task card to find an image. They could create a story, poem, or description for the image and these could be placed in a blog post (or series of blog posts). Or, the teacher could add some images to a post and ask the students to write an imaginative response in a comment. 

Task 4: Write A Poem

Find an image using one of the task cards above. Or you can try one of the plugins we mentioned earlier if you’re an Edublogs/CampusPress user.

Now write a poem about your image.

Need some inspiration or advice? Check out Ken Nesbitt’s site which has lots of poetry resources.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, you could write a poem as a class, or have students write their own poetry and publish them as a series of posts. Alternatively, the teacher could publish a photo and have the students write a poem in a comment. 

Examples:

Task 5: Picture Prompts

First, find an image or series of images using one of the task cards above. Or you can try one of the plugins we mentioned earlier if you’re an Edublogs/CampusPress user.

Next, you have two choices:

1) Add an image with the start of a story and ask your readers to complete the story.

Examples:

2) Or, come up with a sentence and find a series of images to illustrate your sentence. Ask your readers to tell you what the sentence is in a comment.

Examples:

Tip: You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to look at your post and complete your story or guess your word. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on.

If you’re working as a class on this activity, you could publish a series of posts with the students’ picture prompts. Perhaps students could work in small groups. Or the teacher could publish the picture prompts and invite the students to respond in a comment. 

Final Tips

Beware of advertisements

Remember, some of the free image sites have advertisements for paid image sites. We don’t want to click on those ads.

For example, on Pixabay, I typed ‘dolphin’ into the search box. The top row of results has a Shutterstock watermark on it. Clicking on this takes me to the Shutterstock website which is a site where you can pay for images.

Pixabay ad example

Note: You won’t see advertisements when using the Pixabay plugin.

Do you need to go back and fix images in old posts?

Have you been using images from Google on your blog so far? Whoops. You might want to go back and fix these up when you have time. Remove the image or replace with a Creative Commons image.

Have you tried using categories, tags, or labels yet?

Categories, tags, or labels are all ways to organise your posts. It’s a good idea to set up a category (or label in Blogger) called Student Blogging Challenge or STUBC. You can assign this category to all the posts you write for the challenge.

Submit Your Post URL ⬇

If you want a commenter and other participants to visit your blog, remember to fill in the Google Form below with the URL of the post or page you published for this week’s task.

Did you complete more than one task? Awesome! Please choose your favourite one to submit.

You need to submit the URL of your post/page

  • Click on the title of your post/page and then copy the URL from your address bar.
  • Don’t submit the URL of your blog or your dashboard.
  • Don’t include anything that includes the word ‘preview’. Others won’t be able to see the post.

This graphic below should help you understand what a post URL looks like if you’re using Edublogs/CampusPress/WordPress.

Examples of post URLS for STUBCThe Google Form

Edit: This form is now closed.


Next week’s topic: We’ve been working hard … let’s have some fun with emojis! 😁 😎