Week 7: Visiting and commenting

 

I wonder how many comments you have received on your blog? How many are from your teacher or classmates? How many from a commenter in the challenge?

But most importantly, how many are from other people around the world?

When I first began blogging back in 2008, I had a personal blog and after a week of writing posts, I had only 6 comments yet my clustrmap showed lots of visitors had been there. Why weren’t they commenting?

So I wrote a post titled “Why has no one commented?”  Suddenly I had 16 comments on just that post. Here are some hints from the educators who left comments:

Write for yourself, put your heart into it, and you will start to see your map light up like a Christmas tree!  David

I still find those posts I expect to get a lot of comments don’t – whereas posts I didn’t expect any response to seem to get more.  Tim

What also helps to enhance comments is writing posts that give guidelines, how to’s or provide explicit opinions on things that are relevant. If you keep your posts open to interaction and truthful to yourself, the comments will start coming in. Inge

I’m here because YOU commented on MY blog, so you can see how that can help you make connections! In my experience if you practice what you preach and take the time to read and share on other blogs, more people will be inclined to do the same for you. Kate

Tried and true way to get comments – make comments. Susan

One person told me a couple of ways to develop readers, and this may also help with comments. And that is to treat every post as a conversation. If someone comments on your post, you comment back, and from your own blog. Cathy

Commenting activities

  1. Follow Cathy’s example – if someone has commented on your post, comment back. If they have left an URL, check it out and leave a comment there as well
  2. Follow Kate’s example – read at least 10 blogs and comment on those that really interested you

Visiting activities

  1. Follow Susan’s example – visit some blogs from the free choice or global issues posts and leave some comments – include your blog URL if you want them to visit your blog – or leave your post URL if you want them to visit a specific post to comment on. I’ve also included some great posts to visit below.

Writing post activities

  1. Follow Inge’s example – write a post that gives guidelines or how to do something or expresses an opinion. Invite visitors to comment by finishing with a question.
  2. Follow David’s example – write a post for yourself showing your voice and putting your heart into it.
  3. When you have finished commenting and visiting this week, write a post explaining:
  • which activities you did
  • which blogs you went to
  • posts you read and /or commented on
  • what you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about this week’s activities

 

Some posts I spotted when checking out comments:

Mrs Vazquez’s class created a thinglink explaining about commenting on their blog and also have a great image for their zoom story.

Give your opinion on pizza by visiting Figgy’s post here.

Arabella wrote a great story with an unexpected ending

Ben certainly researched for his expository on dinosaurs.

Rajyashoril asks what are some of the problems facing democracy and how can they be solved.

I can tell McKenna wrote with passion on Jerry Lee Lewis.

Lily notices lots of little things.

Shanta looked at one topic for her photo gallery – grass.

Check out the conversation happening between Allison and Shanta – also note how Allison has started her Blog Buddies list on the sidebar of her blog.

ADMIN UPDATE

Next week is game time, so make sure you have a blogroll on your sidebar or in a post or page. Have at least 10 links to other students or classes around the world that you have enjoyed visiting to leave comments on.

Also make sure you have a visitor widget somewhere on your blog – clustrmap, flag counter, revolver map are three of the most popular.

 

Fill in the form with the post URL for what you have written about this week

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Week 6: Quotes

This is a guest post from Kathleen Morris. 

Kathleen is a primary school teacher from Geelong in Australia. She began blogging with her students in 2008.

Kathleen writes on her own teacher blog and also on The Edublogger. 


All About Quotes

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

~Dr. Seuss

Have you ever tried adding a quote to your blog post? A quote is simply where you write someone else’s words.

You might use quotes from:

  • well known people
  • books or movies
  • other bloggers
  • your teachers or friends

Reasons To Use Quotes:

  • You can back up your thoughts and make your writing more credible (that means true or believable).
  • The readers of your posts can get new ideas by hearing from others.
  • A quote can be an interesting way to start or end your blog post.
  • You can learn a lot from researching quotes.

How Do You Put A Quote In Your Post?

You can just type your quote into a post and put it in quotation marks, but to really make it stand out and break up your text, try blockquotes.

Using blockquotes is easy. Below are the instructions for Edublogs.

When you’re in your visual editor:

  • type the quote
  • highlight the words in your quote
  • click on the quotation mark icon

It will then display like this…

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ~A.A. Milne

Note: The way the blockquotes display depends on your theme.

Where Can You Find Quotes?

You might already have some favorite quotes stored in your memory.

You might do a Google search for articles on your topic and find quotes from others.

You might browse your favourite blogs or books for quotes.

There are some online collection of quotes such as GoodReads Quotes and LitQuotes (Note: these aren’t designed for children so we recommend only teachers or older students use these sorts of sites).

Using Quotes The RIGHT way

We know we can’t just take images that we find online, and we certainly can’t copy others’ writing and publish it as our own. So, many people might wonder about using quotes.

It’s fine to use quotes from others but there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Make it obvious which words are your own, and which words belong to someone else (you do this by using quotation marks or block quotes).
  • Make your quotes brief. Perhaps a few sentences. Never copy the whole post.
  • Always include the person’s name (also link to their site, article, or book if you can).
  • If you’re using blockquotes, the attribution could be before the quote, inside it, or below it.
  • If you shorten a quote, use an ellipsis (…) in place of the missing words.
  • If you’re adding any words or corrections to the quote, use brackets.

Your Weekly Activities

Now you know a little about the how and why of using quotes, it’s time to get creative! Choose one or more of the following activities.

Activity One: Make Your Quote Visual

Write a blog post that has one or more visual quotes.

There are many ways to add quotes to an image. You can do this offline using a program like PowerPoint or Paint.

There are also many online tools for turning your quote into an image. Some of these include:

Here’s an example I made in Canva.if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Don’t forget to add the image you create to your blog post.

Activity Two: Quote other students

Interview some of the students in your class or around the school and include their quotes in a blog post.

You could choose a specific topic to interview students about.

For example:

  • opinion on your school uniform
  • favourite things to do at lunchtime
  • best places to play around your town
  • reasons why your school is great

Activity Three: Explore a quote in a post

Choose a quote from a fellow student’s blog post as a topic for a post of your own. Write the quote at the top of your post. Explore the quote in detail and add your own thoughts and opinions.

You might want to look back at some of the posts from the Global Issues topic in Week Four for some inspirational quotes.

Activity Four: Make a post full of quotes

Create a blog posts that is a compilation of quotes.

For example:

  • If you were studying World War Two, you could put together a collection of important quotes from this time in history.
  • If your class went on an excursion, like the museum, you could add quotes from all the students about the day.
  • If you were studying a divisive topic, like animal testing or closing a local library, you could interview members of the community and include their quotes in the post.

Still more time to spare?

Complete another of the above activities or consider doing the following:

  • Visit the blogs of other students and classes involved in the challenge. Leave a comment of one of their recent posts. Don’t forget a question and compliment can be great to include in comments.
  • Leave a comment on this post sharing your favourite quote with me.

Fill in the form with the URL of the post you have written

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Week 5: Free choice

Cabra hispanica Montserrat

Pedro Luna Guillen via Compfight

The first few weeks of the challenge were mainly learning  about blogging skills you need when working on public sites on the internet. You should have learnt the following so far:

  • Avatars – what they are, how they are used, how to create one and upload to your blog
  • About me pages – difference between page and post, what is private information and what you can say on your blog, being a good digital citizen
  • Commenting – what makes a great comment, what you expect from a comment on your blog, guidelines for blogging and commenting in your class
  • Images, sounds, video – what is creative commons, how to find safe and usable images, what is an attribution and how to write it, websites with great images, creating your own images, using images for puzzles and games, an image paints a thousand words when writing a story or poem
  • URLS – difference between BLOG URL when leaving a comment on someone’s blog you are visiting and POST URL when filling in weekly form or commenting on the challenge blog

In a couple of weeks, we will be playing a commenting game. But you need to get prepared for this.

Make sure you have at least 5 other student/class blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog, in a page near your header area or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students/classes around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students and/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. Your teacher may be able to add links on the class part of the Kidblog.

Have some visitor widgets on your blog sidebar – maybe a revolver map or a flag counter – this way you can see where your visitors are coming from. Remember only one visitor in 30 will actually leave a comment.

Make sure your blog looks interesting:

  • Maybe change your header to suit what you are writing about.
  • Do your pets make a noise as soon as your blog is opened in a tab? That can be annoying so make sure the visitor can click on the sound button if they want to hear your animal pet.
  • Have you changed the tagline under the title of your blog?
  • Have you included some tags or categories to help your readers find a great post?
  • Does your background image make it hard for your visitors to read your posts?
  • Have you written some interesting posts for your visitors to comment on?

This week’s activity is free choice

Have some interesting posts for your visitors to read when they get to your blog.  I am not going to give any clues as to what to put in your posts but remember the following, especially if you want a post flipped to our magazine. Also take note of the page titled ‘Post ideas’ above my header.

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

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least one visual (with attribution) whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
  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

Those posts covering the seven things mentioned above will be added to the flipboard magazine. Many students are forgetting to add links to other websites relating to the topic they have written about. Remember links show you have researched your topic well and found opinions of others to include in your post.

Help here from Edublogs and Blogger for adding links to posts.

 

Still more time left this week

  • Read some of the posts in the flipboard magazine – your teacher might want to create a class flipboard magazine to add to your class blog
  • Visit other classes this time in the lists above the header of the challenge blog or in the list included below
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog especially if from a commenter.
  • Check out the posts written by classes and students that are in our Google spreadsheets (Your posts on sidebar)

 

Remember YOU have to visit other blogs, leave comments and the URL of your blog before you will get any comments on your blog. This is how the conversations and connections get made – by visiting and commenting on other student and class blogs.

Check out these class blogs for students aged 7-9. Many students have their own blogs in the sidebar.

Creative thinkers, Penguinville, Mrs Avnor, Smith Kid Bloggers, Mrs Kundhi, Mrs Moore, CW East, Friends of 3rd Dimension, 3E News, La Decouverte – leave comments on the Welcome post for this blog

No form to fill in this week, instead leave a quality comment here on the challenge blog explaining your choice for your post. Also explain what you have done to improve your blog ready for your visitors in a couple of weeks.

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Week 4: Global issues

Color dominoes

Creative Commons License Carlos ZGZ via Compfight

Think globally, act locally

Locally

  • My recycling bin has more in it every week than my normal rubbish bin.
  • I have a worm farm that chews up any extra fruit and vegetable rubbish I might have left over.
  • Whenever I go for a walk, I pick up any rubbish especially on the beach nearby.

Globally

  • I sponsor a Panda with World Wildlife Fund
  • I sponsor a child in Sri Lanka to improve the lifestyle of the child, their family and community. Have sponsored since I received my first pay cheque as a teacher back in the 1970s.
  • I donate to Kiva with micro loans of $25. I have made 69 loans so far and 8 friends I have invited have also made loans

What could you do about some of these world problems?

Here is a great website with lots of information about many topics below.

There might be some that are more specific to your area of the world. But this week research one of the following topics:

  • hunger
  • water
  • racism
  • use of resources
  • global warming
  • specific aspects of the environment
  • unemployment
  • war and unrest
  • use of land
  • terrorism
  • HIV/Aids
  • child labour
  • women’s rights
  • education and literacy
  • another global issue of your choice

Activity 1: For this challenge we are looking at research skills, attribution, links and creativity in how you have presented the work.

For the topic you have chosen you might want to create two or three shorter posts rather than one very long one.

In your posts, include links to where you researched and some images with attribution. You might also want to include a poll or survey, a collage of images, a slideshow you have created. You may have found a great video you could also include.

Teachers – Here are some links to where you might get some ideas –  ACEE – student voices, Global Oneness project – bringing the world to your classroom, students and teachers becoming Global Citizens

Activity 2: Global issues in your classroom

Have you or your class taken part in some work associated with a global issue? Create a post about what you were involved in. Maybe it was a global activity rather than issue – eg Pi day, Global Read Aloud, Earth Hour

Here is a wonderful newish website about projects students and classes can join in.

Activity 3: Visit other blogs

Visit at least ten other blogs not from your country. Ask questions about some of the issues they might have in their country. Make some comparisons between the countries taking part in the challenge. Write a post about your findings.

Activity 4: Be creative

Use a web 2.0 tool to be creative about global issues. This might be a poll or survey, a quiz, write a poem, create a poster, draw a picture, write a story or cartoon about a super hero saving the world – just be creative. Check out the tools to use on the sidebar of the challenge blog.

Activity 5: Do something

Do something about a global issue. Here are links to games and activities for kids about global issues. What did you choose to look at? Write a review in your post.

Teacher resources – Action Aid resources, Know My WorldiEarn in many countries of the world, World Savvy, Kiva help entrepreneurs around the world

Still more time to spare?

Visit students and classes from the other countries involved in the challenge. Leave a comment or question relating to a global issue that might be affecting them.

Leave a comment on this blog telling Miss W. the global issue you think is most important to be solved. It might not be one of those mentioned in the post. Give reasons why it should be the first issue solved.

Fill in the form with the URL of the post you have written. Remember I delete any that are just blog URLs.

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Heads Up

The post next week is all about global issues but there are some interesting events happening this week that you might want to take part in ready for the activities in next week’s challenge.

This is an excellent website showing what happens every day of the year. These are some for this coming week:

Students have taken part in Earth Hour since I began the challenge in 2008. Make sure you visit their website and perhaps add a widget to your blog.

Teachers here is a link to their school starter kit.

 

 

 

 

 

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