Week 8: Let’s play a game or two

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Creative Commons License Hurca! via Compfight

 

Did you enjoy visiting the students and teachers blogs from a couple of weeks ago?

Did you leave a comment on one or more of them?

Have you checked back if the poster answered your comment?

I know that many comments were left by students and I also know many have been answered. Check these out:

Hello Ms. W,

This week by being one of the students on the list, I noticed quite a lot. Many people like to comment about their own stories and then ask questions to learn more, which is really nice. Their questions typically regarded my travels, so they were fun to answer and talk about, but mostly, I loved to hear people’s stories. It’s so great to hear from people with similar experiences! Thanks for choosing me to be on the list!

Regards,

Caleb

Dear Miss W,

I am very exited to have had participated in this week’s challenge. I received a lot of positive comments and although there were a lot of comments to answer, it was very fun meeting new people and getting to know their ideas. Thank you so much for organizing this week’s challenge.

Greetings,
Alicia

Hello Ms. W,
I have taken the time to answer to most of my comments, I couldn’t answer all of them because 236 comments is a lot.
Thank you,
Agathe

There are five activities this week and two are in the form of a game. They involve visiting other blogs, leaving quality comments and writing a post about the comments you left.

Before playing the games, make sure your blog is ready for visitors.

  1. You have lots of interesting posts for visitors to read and comment on.
  2. Visitors can find posts by using tags or categories on your sidebar.
  3. You have a visitor widget to see where your visitors are coming from.
  4. You have at least five student and/or class blogs from other places around the world on your sidebar.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

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.
  • included a link to their own blog or a similar post on their own blog

Activity 1: Game 1 

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:

  1. click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  2. now click on a blog from the new student’s blogroll – count two
  3. finally click on a blog from that new blogroll – count three
  4. leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.

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.

Activity 2: Game 2

This is a new one I have thought of to add to the challenge. Many great student posts are being flipped to the #17stubc Flipboard magazine, but I am not sure how many of you have actually checked them out. So here are the instructions for this game.

  1. Click on the flipboard magazine link here
  2. Click on the title of the post of what looks like an interesting image or a catchy title
  3. You should now be taken to the actual blog post, read it and leave a comment
  4. Come back to the magazine again and repeat two more times

Write a blog post mentioning the blog posts you read and the comment you left.

 

Activity 3:  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?

Activity 4:  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…….

Activity 5: Write a quick post then include 5 great examples of comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment.

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?

Week 6: Visiting others

Blue Heron in Butchart Cove

Jim Hoffman via Compfight

Some students and classes as well as some of the Edublogs managers have given me permission to use some of their posts for you to visit. Leave your comments on their posts rather than mine here. Remember what makes a great comment.

Activity 1

Visit at least three of the posts linked below. Read the post, do an activity if mentioned and leave a comment for the author. If possible carry on a conversation within the comments that might be left by other students as well.

Activity 2

Visit one of the posts below. Read the post carefully. Write a post on your own blog answering the question or the topic of the post. Once your post is approved, go back to the original post and leave a comment mentioning the URL of your post.

Teachers: If one or more of your students is/are listed, please make sure comments are approved daily to help with the conversations.

Blogs to visit – you can do the activities as often as you like

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 and students in the lists above the header of the challenge blog – add some to your blogroll or links
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog

Week 4: Free choice

Cabra hispanica Montserrat

Pedro Luna Guillen via Compfight

The first three weeks of the challenge were mainly learning lots 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

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

When you have finished your post(s), please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave one comment on this post. Mention what topic(s) you wrote about and leave a link to your post(s). Check out how Roman left one comment for all posts completed.

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. Help here from Edublogs and Blogger.

Mentors:

Can you please check your students blogs this week and get back to me via email or comment with names of students who are not really participating in the challenge activities? By now students should have an about me page or post and at least two other posts/pages relating to images, avatars or how to comment. You might need to search around the blog to find pages or click on the 3lines under each other to find a sidebar.

Also thanks to those mentors who are writing back on student blogs. There have been some great story endings where mentors have joined in the activity. The students really appreciate these comments.

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.
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog especially if from a mentor.

Find student blogs on the sidebar

Work using images

Some great stories to finish are found here: Fiona, Roman, Anusha, Christian, Leon, Idyl, Tristan, Quincy, Nate, Caleb, Layla, Isabella, Emma, Kait, Stefan, Phakamon,

Some jigsaw puzzles to try are found here: Mai Thao, Vince, Van Anh, Brandon, Isma3el, Jori, Anusha,

If using free Pixabay images, check here to see how Mai Thao wrote the attribution links

Caleb used a different comic strip creator

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.

Week 6: Time to visit

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There are two activities this week and they are in the form of a game. They involve visiting other blogs, leaving quality comments and writing a post about the comments you left.

Admin this week

I have asked mentors to get back to me with those students who have not been doing the activities relating to the challenge. I have coloured their country pink on the student participant list. I will be deleting these students from the list over the next week if I feel they have not really been participating in the challenge.

Out of 106 comments left on the challenge blog over the last couple of days only 61 included the URL of the actual post I needed to visit. Many students are still leaving just the URL of their blog rather than the post. I only visit and flip to the magazine when a post URL is left here.

Before playing the games, make sure your blog is ready for visitors.

  1. You have lots of interesting posts for visitors to read and comment on.
  2. Visitors can find posts by using tags or categories on your sidebar.
  3. You have a visitor widget to see where your visitors are coming from.
  4. You have at least five student blogs from other places around the world on your sidebar.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

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.
  • included a link to their own blog or a similar post on their own blog

Game 1: 

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:

  1. click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  2. now click on a blog from the new student’s blogroll – count two
  3. finally click on a blog from that new blogroll – count three
  4. leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.

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.

Game 2:

This is a new one I have thought of for this challenge. Many great student posts are being flipped to the #16stubc Flipboard magazine, but I am not sure how many of you have actually checked them out. So here are the instructions for this game.

  1. Click on the flipboard magazine link here
  2. Click on the title of the post of what looks like an interesting image or a catchy title
  3. You should now be taken to the actual blog post, read it and leave a comment
  4. Come back to the magazine again and repeat two more times

Write a blog post mentioning the blog posts you read and the comment you left.

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 quick post then include 5 great examples of comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment.

Great blogging posts

Here are the posts I felt deserved recognition in challenge 8.

Remember there were some rules to get your blog mentioned on this post.

  1. This post will be ten paragraphs long, one for each of your favourite things.
  2. In at least three of your paragraphs include a link to another website.
  3. Include at least two images related to your favourite things.
  4. Make sure you have tagged and categorized your post.
  5. Use a tool other than writing to tell us about one of your favourite things eg include a video or Voki or audioboo or slideshow – the list is endless.

Classes

Merrybeau include audioboos and a photopeach slideshow – Ireland

Mrs McKelvey’s class have written about lots of different animals as part of their science program – USA

Students

Mrs Vilas’s class – USA

Isabelle included a prezi, Elijah included a Voki, Janiece has a delicious image of cheesecake, Juliana includes clip of One Direction, Angelika and I love waves crashing, Dorian used images from pics4learning, Cayla has an interesting Voki, Ghislane includes One Direction, Dayanara used images from photobucket,

Mrs Donofrio’s class – USA

Anthony included a video about flowriders,

Mrs Schmidt’s class – USA

Caitlyn included a Voki, Michael included an animoto, Marissa has a poll about animals, Andres has a voki, Max included a QR code, Braeden has a couple of polls to answer, Will is polling about candy,

Mr Hoff’s class – Vietnam

Lisa included a YouTube playlist she created,

Mrs Neidlinger’s class – USA

Sydney has a thinglink and Voki, Chelsea sorry I had to disagree with you,

Mrs Majdoub Hayfa – Tunisia

Arwa is very philosophical in this post,

Mrs Tharp’s class – USA

Mike created a voicethread, Andrew created a Voki, Makayla enjoys rock climbing, Noel loves donuts from Paulas,

Mrs Cliff – Australia

 Pyper has two posts to cover her favourite things, here is the second one

Mentors recommendations

Mrs Vilas recommends 2 posts to visit,

Many thanks for everyone who took part in this the 10th student blogging challenge. Remember the next one will start in September 2013. Registration will be out by mid August and challenge start early September.

If you have any great ideas for challenge activities, please leave a comment here on this post or send me an email with your ideas.

Have you visited these blogs?

Thank youI would like to say a big thank you to those people who have taken on the role of mentor throughout this challenge. I have noticed lots of comments from them when reading posts for this visit post.  We have quite a few student mentors this year – they are students who have taken part in at least three blogging challenges – so they have been blogging for nearly two years or more. We also have some adults who have offered to be mentors on more than one occasion. In their bio on the mentors page they have left a link to a personal blog, so I could check them out before allocating them some students.

If your mentor or another student or class leave you a comment, make sure you reply to their comment – this is where the conversations will happen.

If you find a great post when visiting student or class blogs, leave me the URL in a comment on this post and I will add them for the next visit post.

Recommendations from mentors

7-9 year olds on Kidblog – week 2, I am poem by Emily,

Posts from Weeks 1&2 challenges

Arwa on being positive, Cogan , Mrs McKelvey and her frogs, Gabriella, John and music, Em on cyber bullying including a movie, Em finds sand dollars and tidepools, Dylan on rugby, Arwa on 10 people, Breeyana on anime, Zeth on music and knitting, Paige, Jackie on Sacramento, Leslie experiences a roller coaster, Daisy on music and football, Stephanie on minecraft and zombies, Daniela on music, Paloma on parents and their sports, Martina on two bands, Jacob on dirt biking, Uriel on minecraft, Jonathan on minecraft, Euriel on elephants and ivory trade, Natalie on Las Vegas and Yuma, Cassie on things to do before she dies, Miranda on cheerleading, Saray would like to live at …, Berenice and London, Matthew, Tracey and reading, Niko, Julia’s favourite things, Pyper, Esmer’s favourite artists, Gisela’s book summary of Amigo Brothers, Edith on travelling, Samantha plans her future, Yesenia and her sister, Brisa and dance, Jack, Antonia sings and dances, Vanessa and Lupita are Directioners, Gio and dinosaurs, Molly, Grace at the beach, Emily loves dogs, Mia loves surfing, Natalie

Some great uses for a holey sock

Carson, Riley, Jayen, Will, Mackenzie uses a voki, Willis, Lisa uses Pixton, JakeG, Tosh includes socks in the story, Merry Beau’s class have fantastic ideas,

Reduce, reuse, recycle

JakeG mentions a 4th R, Lisa includes a collage and animoto,

 

Some students are leaving links to their posts in Twitter. They are using the hashtag #13stubc which is for the 2013 student blogging challenge. This makes it easy for me to visit their posts from the link in their tweet. I have linked to their main blog rather than each separate post, so they wont receive a pingback in their comments.

Sydney M, Corbin, Hannah excellent sock ideas, Kalee, Branden, Benji uses thinglink to annotate an image, Sydney S, Mrs Neidlinger uses thinglink to add other tools to an image, Emily has some great sock ideas, Mikayla
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Avard Woolaver via Compfight

Challenge 8 – freedom again

I hope students and classes are finding these free choice weeks useful. It is a chance to catch up but also time to show off your passions. I am also using it as a chance to show you more blogs to visit, instead of writing a separate post for that.

Mentors, how are you going? Have you been visiting blogs regularly and leaving comments? Many thanks for taking the time to do this and I am sure the students appreciate that.

My passion post for this week

I have never enjoyed gardening but now that I have retired, I seem to get out there more often. I now have 4 vegetable patches and the following growing well – strawberries, brocollini, cabbages (with their moth grubs), brussel sprouts, lettuces, radishes, carrots, snow peas, runner beans, butter beans and tomatoes. I have also been out weeding the plant garden area. I am trying to attract some more smaller birds to my garden, so mainly have Australian native plants. This might be difficult though as the next door neighbours all have dogs, cats and chickens, so the smaller birds might be too frightened to settle on a shrub. Do you have your own garden at home?

So what is your passion for this week? Books, girl’s education, global climate change, Hurricane Sandy, One Direction, Lego, caffeine and kids, cyberbullying, reality shows – wow too many to think about.

Science games to look at, play and review

Animation

  • Automatoon will not work with Internet Explorer but great way to create an animated movie.
  • Another great site is goanimate – teachers there is an education version of this as well
  • Kerpoof is great for all ages

Visit these blogs that have left pingbacks or trackbacks over the last month or so

CJ on gala day, Nick on top ten travel destinations, Chloe on Amanda Todd cyberbullying, Amy and her sayings, Chris looked at his clustrmap, Hannah loves free rice, 5G Legendz tessellate (and teacher learns to pingback), Bridget enjoys the season Fall, James’ mum asks a question, Esha talks about inventing, Mrs Flowers class and M&Ms, Matt on trees, Becky on endangered animals, Nickolas on Mars Rover, Dawso on micro-organisms, Hannah on horses, Jess on astronomy, Kara on hurricanes, Isabelle makes an erupting volcano, Jess wrote about Fred Hollows, Esha wrote about dolphins, Morgan likes microscopes, Harry hangs with a moose, Angie quizzed her noodle, Chris looks at cells, Natalie thinks about future technologies, Kaela created an A-Z of science

Visit some classes that are the same grade as you.

Image source: Miss W – will be in flickr account soon.

Visit these weeks 2 and 3

Lots of great posts being written. Classes, students and mentors have been adding links to their posts, allowing me to visit and leave a comment. I don’t think links are coming through from weebly sites so you might need to leave a comment back here at the challenge blog until I find out how to solve the problem.

Check these out:

Mentors:

Dinah created a prezi about herself so her students could know more about her, Astaneh wrote about his country,

Classes:

Bonfigli Beat students photographed their school, the students from this virtual classroom are noticed because of their links back to the challenge, Room 2.1 writes about their passions, this school has a theatre, Mr Waugh’s class researched the Eureka flag,

Students:

When checking out these posts, remember to also read other posts written by the student and check out their blogroll for more student posts to read.

Week 1: All about me

Welcome to the first week of activities in the 8th student blogging challenge. As at writing this first post, we have 112 classes, 748 students and 36 mentors taking part in the challenge. We cover the following 22 countries:

  • Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA – majority of students and classes from these countries.
  • United Kingdom, Russia, Vietnam, South Korea, Turkey – more than one participant.
  • Netherlands, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Taiwan, South Africa, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Uganda, Malaysia and Indonesia – only one participant or mentor.

Activities will be divided into three sections:

  • Blogging – check if you have done these activities before going on to the other sections. It is here where you will learn how to improve your blog.
  • Students – activities for writing posts or adding comments.
  • Teachers – activities for your classes either writing posts or leaving comments.

Let’s get started!!

Blogging

With participants from so many countries coming to your blog, you will need to have a post or page all about yourself – your interests, your favourites, your family and so on. Remember to be internet safe and not mention personal information like your last name, phone number, email, school name. Check out these great examples: Mara, Colton and Reece  A slightly different version from Nolan

If using Edublogs, go to your dashboard> pages>edit sample page or about page. Remember to rename the title. If your blog header doesn’t include pages, then you will also need to go to appearance> widgets> drag  ‘Pages’ into your sidebar.

You will also need to make sure visitors can leave comments on your blog – you might need to create a text widget to explain how to leave a comment. Check out this blog for an example: Image a Day  To know how to cheat and put this info in your sidebar, visit this post from The Edublogger and start at part 6.

If using other blogging platforms, check out the Get Help links on the sidebar of this blog. I have tried to find tutorials for improving blogs for each of the other platforms. If you know a good tutorial site leave a comment on this post and include the link. I will then add it to my sidebar.

Students

  1. You might need to re-visit your ‘About’ page and update it for this year.
  2. Otherwise check out some interesting ‘I am’ posts from students in Mrs Kelly’s class. You could write one of these for your blog.
  3. Find your name on the student participant list, check that the link works, then visit at least ten blogs with the same colour as yours and leave comments on one of their posts. Write a post, recommending at least three different blog posts to visit and why you think they are interesting.
  4. Who is your mentor? Check on the student participant list, then go to the mentor registration page and find out about your mentor. Write a post as if you are interviewing your mentor. They might visit in the next couple of weeks and leave some answers for you.

Teachers

  1. You might need to re-visit your class  ‘About’ page and update it for this year.
  2. Otherwise check out some interesting ‘I am’ posts from students in Mrs Kelly’s class. You could write one of these for your blog but instead it will be ‘We are’ as a class.
  3. Find your class name on the class participant list, check that the link works, then visit the class on either side of you. Leave a comment on their blog and some of the student blogs if linked on the blogroll.
  4. Write a post posing  some questions to be answered by the visiting classes which might come to your blog.
  5. Check out this post about commenting from Mrs Smith. What type of comments do your students leave?

Everyone:

If you have any great ideas for activities in this challenge, please leave in a comment on this post.

Remember to create a link back to this post if you have completed any of the activities where you are asked to write a post. You might copy and paste this to the bottom of the post: I got the idea for this activity from Student Challenge Blog March 2012

Image: ‘Welcome Piggies

Challenge 9: Favourites

This is the penultimate week of the student blogging challenge for 2011. Only one more week to go to prove to your teachers that you are blogging well and showing improvements in your posts and commenting skills.

So this week, the theme is FAVOURITES. This allows you lots of choice. But to show a great post to your teacher you will need to include:

  • at least three paragraphs of writing
  • an image with correct attribution
  • a link to another website where you found information

Your teacher will also be looking to see if you have used tags and categories in your posts. If you need help with these, check out the guides for your blog platform eg Edublogs, Kidblog, Blogger, Weebly etc

You might want to write three or four posts on this theme.

Next week, we will be asking you to nominate a student blog  and a class blog for the Edublog Awards. You will need to write a nomination giving reasons why you love that blog, as well as leaving a comment giving reasons as well. Think about the blogs you have visited, so you are ready when the directions for nominating are given next week. You will not be allowed to nominate a blog from your class so make sure you are visiting lots of other blogs around the world.

Next week you will also be doing an evaluation of your blog so make sure your blog is the best it can be. If you have a blog avatar in your sidebar, make sure it is one you have created. Make sure there are some widgets about your state or country, at least 10 comments and posts can be seen via the sidebar, as well as the archives as you will be comparing your first post in the challenge to your last one about your favourites. Make sure you have completed lots of the challenge activities from the September 2011 challenge.

Next week you will also be evaluating the blogging challenge by filling in a Google document survey.