Juliana, my 4th grade student, created a tutorial for embedding a google form on a blog.  Check out her blog post.  She embedded a form for anyone to ask her questions.

What do you think of her guestbook?
1)  I recommend Juliana's blog post: Let's Play a Game.  I loved how Juliana tried to interact with her readers.  She wanted her readers to learn about her and her blog.  What a great way to get readers to check out your blog!

Bill Martin noticed her interactive presentation.  Read his twitter comment:
2)  I enjoyed reading Isbelle's post: Go to the Road Less Traveled!  What an interesting how-to-essay about becoming a superhero.  Great sophisticated writing for a 4th grade student!  I love your use of voice.  I can imagine you speaking to me and your personality coming through.  You put quite a bit of time into creating an amazing blog!
My students enjoy reading blog posts written by kids their age.  Which student blog post do you recommend and why? 
I decided to try out Audioboo today.  I noticed it allows you to create a 3 minute audio recording.  I recorded myself describing the game "Count Out Three."  Make sure to hear my boo below. 

I recommend taking an audioboo quick tour to better understand audioboo or watch the video below: 
If you like audiboo, you can ask your parent to sign you up.  It is free, and it is great if you want to record an interview, great sound, music you made, radio show, or a report. You can practice storytelling or just create a boo to let your friends know what you are up to!  Just record the audio and share it OR just save it for the future.  

What are some additional ways students can use audioboo?  Have you ever created a boo? Let me know what you think of audioboo, and if you do create a boo, please share the boo by posting the link in the comments section below.  
Categories are like chapters of a book; you can think of categories as the table of contents in a book, and tags as the index at the back of the book. Tags serve to describe your post in more detail and explode the topic into a million bits.

If you add new categories this means you will need to go back through old posts and assign them to these new categories.  For example if you have a personal blog where you write about your life as a kid. Your categories can be something like: Friends, Family, School, Rambling, and Books. Now when you write a post about something that happened at school, you will add it in the School category. You can add tags like math, writing, physical education, assemblies, etc...    

If you are planning on using categories you really need sit down, think carefully about what topics you will blog about and assign categories that reflect this. Each post goes into one category.  Categories are not for you, they are for your reader. 

You are better off with 5 generic categories that have fresh content rather than 30 top categories with topics which are not updated.  If you can’t write five blog post titles/ideas on a topic, then you don’t have a category.  Categories with only one post tells the reader you don’t know much about that topic.

If you do not categorize your post, then it will be categorized under the “uncategorized” category. People often rename the uncategorized category to something like Other, Rambling, Miscellaneous, etc...  

Categories can have unique names and be wordy; you want them sufficiently descriptive so your reader understands the type of subject matter they will find when they click on the link.

A tag is usually only a word or two and reflects the keywords or points of your blog post, keywords that your readers will understand.

Avoid duplication. Try not to use names for tags that are the same as the names of your categories. It’s redundant, and it can confuse your readers.

Your Turn

What do you think? How do you use Category and Tag? Share your experience and insights in the comments box below.

Dear parents and students of room 309,

    I can't believe the school year has almost come to an end.  We still have over a month of school, but 8 months have flown by so quickly.  I love how it feels like we are one big extended family!  The end of the year will be quite tough for me because we had so many great times together.  We had fun moments, sad moments, tough moments...but overall it was all worth it!

    I want you (my students) to know that the NJASK4 only shows a very small picture of who you are as a student.  There is more to showing your progress and growth as a learner than a number on a test.  I will soon add a comment for each of you that will show the world who you really are and how you all have grown in one way or another.  I would like the world to see you as more than a number.  Give me a day or two, and I will post the great comments which show who you are as a "PERSON."  I did a voice recording in which I mentioned memorable times and how I think you have shown growth.  I will listen to these notes and add these notes to the end of this blog post.
    Parents, each child in this classroom has brought joy and happiness to this classroom.  They have all touched my life in a positive and rewarding way.  It has been my pleasure and privilege to watch your child's personality unfold day by day.  We learned and struggled, but best of all we laughed!  Thank you for trusting me and allowing me to experiment with fun and interesting activities.  One of the best parts of teaching this year is watching how much students learned about technology and the real world of writing.  I have enjoyed the blogging experience, and soon we will speak to other students around the world by doing a video call (skype or google hangout).  The students enjoyed people from around the world such as Australia, New Zealand, England, and Scotland reading their writing.  I hope students will continue to blog about whatever interests them.

    Students, I told you the most important part of learning is reflecting on your learning and experiences.  I want you to help me reflect on my learning.  I learned as much as I could about blogging, but I want to see what suggestions you can give me for next year about blogging.

    Do you enjoy drafting your writing on the computer and then publishing the writing for the world to read?  Maybe you can let me know how writing this way compares to writing the drafts in class (on paper) and then submitting the papers for grading.  Most teachers publish the writing by posting the writing in the hallway for other people to read.  What is your opinion about students having their own blog?  I value your opinion, and will then take your comments and decide what I should do differently next year when it is time to start blogging.  Post your comments below.

Mrs. Vilas
Blog Post #1:
Play game of ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:
1. click on a blog on the student list – count onehttp://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/particip...
2. now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
3. finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three
Leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.

Do this activity at least three times (Game 1) and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and which posts you left a comment on. Please provide the three links to your comments in the blog post you will write so that everyone can go read your comments. Write about one of the three posts you commented on. Why did you find interesting about that post? Remember to include links to the 3 or more posts you left a comment on.

Blog Post #2:
Now write another post in which you mention three posts (blog challenge 2013 assignments) you have found interesting while taking part in this March blogging challenge 2013. You could include posts you have written or ones you have read while visiting other students. Here are the list of blog challenges: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/
Pick 3 different blog challenges you enjoyed and give me an example of a blog post for each assignment (the example could be one you wrote, one written by a student in our class, or one of the following students: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/participants-march-2013/students-march-2013/). Write a paragraph telling me why you liked that blog challenge and what you liked about the example of the blog post you provided.

Learning Goals: 
  • write a comment that others find value in 
  • provide feedback
  • share ideas
  • initiate a discussion
  • encourage others to check out your blog

Success Criteria for written replies to blog posts:
  • (star) identifies 2 positive aspects of the work of a peer. What did you like about the blog post and why? Compliment in a specific way. It is a great way to begin a comment. "I really liked your vivid descriptions of the theme park. It made me feel I was there."
  • (wish) Expresses a wish about what the peer might do next time in order to improve another aspect of the work (identify an area that needs improvement).  "I want to give you a star for the start of your story and a star for the way you described your house. I wish that you will tell us more about Billy."
  • makes connections to your own life or learning. Add new facts. If you know something about the topic, add more factual information. Make a connection to yourself, to the world, or to another text. "Your post reminded me of the time I went to Great Adventure two years ago."
  • written in a positive way (looking for things to do well).  Compliments the blogger in a specific way.
  • Reply has question(s) for the blogger. Try to start a conversation. Ask the blogger a relevant question and hopefully the blogger will reply.
  • Reply is written in letter format (only first name at end and state, country mentioned; started with a greeting; addressed blogger by name).
  • connects your reaction to the blogger's intent. Put yourself in the place of the blogger. Why did the blogger write this particular piece? What's the ONE thing the writer wants you to know?
  • A link to the main page of the replier's blog is provided at the end of the reply.
  • Person commenting obviously proofread the reply before submitting. Many people may read your comment. Instead of using an exclamation mark, use stronger words to show more excitement. Reread your writing aloud to yourself before submitting. Write a capital letter when writing the word "I." Use capital letters at the beginning of sentences and punctuate at the end of sentences. Check your spelling to show you took your time and care about the writing you share. 

An example of a reply to a blog post:

Dear John,
Wow! That painting on your blog post looks so real. I felt like someone was surfing on the water. I really think that was cool. Could you imagine walking on that? 

I also liked your vivid description of your art classroom. It made me feel like I was there. I imagine being in a place with paint brushes in glasses with water, student work all over, and paint splatter all over the floor the way you described it. 

I wish you would tell me more about your art teacher since you mentioned she is your favorite teacher at school. I wonder how she is different than the other teachers at your school. Maybe you can describe her the way Joanna Coal described Ms. Frizzle in the Magic School Bus series. I want to know her personality and the way she looks.

I wonder how you could do a chalk painting like that. Would you need a different kind of chalk because it looks like you can't do that with normal chalk?

Good job John! Your blog is really coming together.

New Jersey, USA

**As you can see in the above reply Ana mentioned 2 stars (2 positive aspects of the blog post and explained WHY). She made a wish (mentioned an improvement that could be made/gave a helpful suggestion and explained the suggestion).  She asked a question to start a discussion with John.  Ana made sure it was written in letter format.

Write a post about 10 of your favorite things.  It CAN'T be movies or games, but must be about ten DIFFERENT things.

Some examples could be:

movie star
book to read
place to travel in the future
invention ever made
blog post you have written
etc, etc, etc

1) This post will be ten PARAGRAPHS long, one for each of your favorite things. 
2) In at least THREE of your paragraphs include a link to another website. 
3) Include at least TWO images related to your favorite things (proper attribution please). 
4) Make sure you have TAGGED and categorized your post. 
5) Use a tool other than writing to tell us about ONE of your favorite things, example: include a video or Voki or audioboo or slideshow – the list is endless.
6) left a comment on this post (more info below):http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2013/04/...

As I am expecting fantastic posts for this, you will have 10 days to do this (you should be able to handle adding one favorite thing per day and explaining that one thing through writing or a web 2.0 tool such as Voki). Next week will be the two games and the final week will be an evaluation of the challenge, so really make a great effort on this post.

Please leave a comment on this post when you have finished and published your complete blog post (http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2013/04/29/challenge-8-favourites/). The only way the people from the blogging challenge will know if you have completed this activity is if you leave a comment on this post and include the URL of your post.

Just before the last challenge they will write a post highlighting the thirty bloggers and five classes they feel have done a great job with this particular challenge. They are looking for students who will have included links, images, other tool, tags and category as well as having left a comment on this post:http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2013/04/...

Good luck everyone on this challenge since it will show off to EVERYONE what you are capable of doing using your blog!

What is your favorite book?
What is your favorite song?
What is your favorite destination?
What is your favorite memory?
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite dessert?
What is your favorite treat?
What is your favorite car?
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
What is your favorite fashion accessory?
What is your favorite perfume?
What is your favorite leisure activity?
Who is your favorite author?
Who is your favorite actor/actress?
Who is your favorite singer?
Who is your role model?
Where is your favorite place to be?

*Write a post about your favorite tool to embed on your blog (OPTIONAL)

Many students mentioned they wanted to know about some more web2.0 tools they could use on their blog. So here is your chance to promote a favorite web2.0 tool. Remember to create a link in your post so your readers can visit the site you are recommending.

*What is digital citizenship? (OPTIONAL)

Write a post telling your readers about digital citizenship – what you should do rather than what you shouldn’t do. Maybe you would prefer to create a book, poster or video about digital citizenship. 

*Activity relating to number 10 (REQUIRED)

What 10 educational online games or iPad apps should all students be able to use at school? Give at least one great reason why it is considered educational.  

Blog challenge #8 due on or before 4/15:
This week’s number 10 challenge relates to the image below.

What could the secret be that is hidden in the forest? 

Write a story about the image, use a comic strip with 10 frames or a flip book with 10 pages. Get creative. 

***Use a website which creates comic strips or makes a flip book and embed it on your blog post (no link, MUST embed)!!!!

Here are some websites you can use to make a book or comic strip:http://edmodo.com/folder/1149839