Most students usually start blogging in school classes, but true blogs are usually about one topic only eg scrapbooking, quilting, NASCAR, cricket and so on. But within that topic you will have certain categories you write about. For example in cricket, you might have equipment, famous batters, famous bowlers, wicketkeepers, World Series, Local cricket, State cricket.
On the sidebar of this blog, my categories include information, March 2010, March 2011, September 2010, September 2011 and Visit these. These are called post categories. For your school blog, you might include book reviews, literacy, numeracy, family, me and my friends, hobbies, sports, holidays. You make the choices.
Activity 1. Create your post categories
On your dashboard > posts> Categories. Type in the name of the category, then click add button at the bottom. Now to go back and categorise each post you have already written. Dashboard> all posts > quick edit under each post you want to categorise. Change category and update. Also make sure you have the widget for categories on your sidebar. The category will only appear once you have a post labelled with that category.
There is a second set of categories in blogging and these are sometimes called links. This is where you have a list on your blog of the other blogs you often visit or could recommend your friends go to. Usually students have a list of the other students in their class and perhaps some class blogs they might be working with. Once you start visiting other student blogs, you might make friends and add their blog to your links.
Activity 2. Create your links or blogroll
Go to your dashboard> links> link categories. You might want to use my classmates, overseas friends, classes, favourites, get help. Under get help put the link for edublogs help (should already be there, just change the category) or if using blogspot or kidblog etc, find your user guide and link that.
Now to add the links of your classmates. Dashboard> Links> Add New. If your teacher has a list of student blogs on the sidebar of the class blog, all you have to do is hover over the name, right click and “copy link location”. Go back to the Add New and paste in the link. Make sure you don’t have http:// twice. Use your friend’s first name only just to be internet safe.
OK, the setting up your blog activities for this week are now done, let’s get to the fun activities.
Activity 3. After school activities
Students around the world do a variety of different activities after school. Some might relate to school work such as band, cheerleading, sports teams. But what are some of the things you most enjoy doing once you are let out of school for the day. Write about this in a post but remember to be internet safe and not mention what time and place you do these activities. Class blogs might like to include a poll or survey about your students’ after school activities.
Activity 4. If I could learn anything ……
If there were one thing in life you could learn to do, what would it be? How are you going about achieving this dream?
Activity 5. Write a story beginning …….like a choose your own adventure
As other students visit your blog, they can add to the story in the comments.
Activity 6. Visit other blogs in the challenge
How does the life of students in different countries differ from your life? Leave some questions on their blogs and make sure you have their blog on your links in your sidebar, so you can go back to visit and find out the answers to your questions.
Activity 7. Find other blogs relating to topics you want to learn about
Interested in NASCAR, scrapbooking, cheerleading, bungee jumping? Find two or three blogs about the topic and write a post about what you found out. Remember to link back to those blogs in your post. If using Google to search, make sure you click on blogs down the left hand side.
It is very important to moderate and approve comments left on your blog as quickly as possible.
It is just as important to answer any questions that might be left on your blog by either replying to it in your blog comments or visiting the blog of the student who left the comment and answering it on their blog.