October 19-23 Lessons

Monday: Acuity Reading

Tuesday: Acuity Writing


  • SOAR (15)
  • Acuity Writing Practice
  • Notice and Note SignPosts: Tough Questions


  • Acuity Question 14, Peer review and revise (15)
  • Mrs. Fab will talk to us about the Book Fair (5)
  • Notice and Note SignPosts: Words of the Wiser, Again and Again (25-30)
  • Student Blogging Challenge Week 3, continue working on your commenting and publishing skills (5-10)


  • Library: Book Fair! FIRST THING-BE READY! (30 min)
  • Notice and Note SignPost Marathon: Words of the Wiser, Again and Again, Memory Moment (25 min)
  • Finish up week 3 SBCs (if time)

Competition Results and Reading Assessment

Great job on the relay races yesterday!

Your point totals are based on how much each team member accomplished throughout the week, your performance as a team in the relay races, and your team’s average quiz score for the week.

And the winners are…

  • Period 1: Group 4 (192.8 points)
  • Period 2: Group 1 (214.3 points)
  • Period 3: Group 1 (210.7 points)
  • Period 5: Group 4 (209.3 points)
  • Period 7: Group 2 (204.3 points)

Your prize package this week includes eating first at lunch on Tuesday, extra credit in Pinnacle, free time for your group during stations, group selfie posted on the door, and candy!

Today is your chance to show how much you have grown in your reading level this year! Use the SRI app on your iPad, take your time, and do your best!

If you still have time in class, start working on your last Student Blogging Challenge. Read all the directions carefully so that you know exactly what to do. You need to audit your own blog by answering the questions listed in the instructions and then fill out the survey at the bottom of the SBC post (Evaluation March 2015).


The Week Ahead: May 11-15

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie Stepanek

Learning Objective: Students will be able to analyze a novel using Notice and Note strategies

Featured Skill: Character and plot development

Other Key Skills: Key ideas and supporting details, author’s craft, sentence diagramming

Essential Questions: How can you use reading strategies to understand a novel? How do flashbacks help us connect with characters? How would you survive in the wilderness without any help?

  1. Sentence Diagramming Review
  2. Read Hatchet chapter 4
  3. Publish signpost journal from last week
    • Title: Hatchet Journal 1
    • Category: Signpost Journal
    • Tag: Hatchet, Notice & Note
  4. Introduce and explain groups, stations, and station checklists
Tuesday Reading Station: Read Hatchet chapter 5 with signpost journalBlogging Station: Create post for signpost journal and read instructions for Student Blogging Challenge Week 9Language Station: Diagram sentences and create practice for group membersFree Choice Station: MobyMax Reading Level Assessment, Newsela Article, and Remediation with TeacherTuesday’s Sentences: Checked on Wednesday!

  1. Fast Sammy ran.
  2. Fast Fritz ran very quickly.
  3. Brayden dribbled quickly, but precisely.
  4. The fast teacher assigned many sentences.
  5. The smart teacher gave the students the blog assignment.
Wednesday Reading Station: Read Hatchet chapter 6 with signpost journalBlogging Station: Create post for signpost journal and read instructions for Student Blogging Challenge Week 9Language Station: Diagram sentences and create practice for group members

  • Watch THIS VIDEO and then diagram the 5 Sentences.

Free Choice Station: MobyMax Reading Level Assessment, Newsela Article, and Remediation with Teacher

Wednesday’s Sentences: Checked on Thursday!

  1. Hard working Christian tried.
  2. Christian worked very hard.
  3. Dillon smelled the stinky skunk and the ghost pepper.
  4. Alena handed the student the paper.
  5. Keen Jared found the clue.
Thursday Reading Station: Read Hatchet chapter 7 with signpost journalBlogging Station: Create post for signpost journal and read instructions for Student Blogging Challenge Week 9Language Station: Diagram sentences and create practice for group members

Free Choice Station: MobyMax Reading Level Assessment, Newsela Article, and Remediation with Teacher

Thursday’s Sentences: Checked on Monday!

  1. Elijah hurried the group.
  2. Everybody scored an exciting win.
  3. Thorr gave the donkey a hard kick.
  4. The table leg contained roasted marshmallow.
  5. The sneaky student secretly stuck the gum.

When Finished, CREATE a birthday card for Grandma Ginny. Mr. Rob will deliver these tonight.

  1. Language Station: Test-Paper and Socrative
  2. Blogging Station: Complete and Publish your SBC #9 Post
  3. Reading Station: Design Brian Robeson’s cell phone- his wallpaper, two email messages, and his 3 song playlist
  4. Teacher station: Point tally and test check

The Week Ahead: April 27-May1



Learning Objective: Students will be able to integrate information from two nonfiction texts about the causes and challenges of stuttering

Featured Skill: Synthesizing

Other Key Skills: Characterization, key ideas and supporting details, text features, text structure, author’s craft

Essential Questions: How do we build confidence? Why are people sometimes cruel to those with differences? How do we overcome obstacles?

  1. Finish inference packet from Friday and introduce Student Blogging Challenge (SBC) Activities for week 7
  2. Widget instructions
  3. Peer Blog Review
  4. Independently research speech disorders with research checklist
  1. Define vocabulary using context clues
  2. Read paired Scope texts: “Stuttering Doesn’t Hold Me Back” and “The Incredible Power of Speech”
  3. Discuss close reading questions and critical thinking questions
  1. Students create vocabulary Kahoot quizzes and play with class
  2. Complete synthesis activity
  3. continue independent research on speech disorders
  4. SBC
  1. Play 2-3 student-generated vocabulary quizzes
  2. Complete summarizing activity
  3. Publish article summary on blog
  4. Continue independent research
  5. SBC
  1. Play 2-3 student-generated vocabulary quizzes
  2. Vocabulary test on Socrative
  3. Publish research on blog and comment on at least two peer posts
  4. Finish SBC

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.

Game rules

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:

  • click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  • now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
  • finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three

Leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog. Remember to include the URL of your blog, so that person can visit you as well.

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.


Student Blogging Challenge Week 6 Activities

Choose TWO activities to complete

  1. Research board games – when, where, and why were they invented?
  2. Create a new game for someone to de-stress from their lifestyle.
  3. Your family is stranded on a deserted island with nothing but your clothes. How will you entertain yourselves?
  4. Research ball games around the world. Find out the rules and then try playing something similar at school or at home. How did it go?
  5. Find out the ways soldiers and sea captains used to relax over 100 years ago.
  6. The electricity grid went out in your country. What would you change in your lifestyle? How would you relax?
  7. Survey class members about games they have at home. Are you going to include computer games? Create some interesting graphs about results.
  8. Find an image that has a relaxing feel to it. Write a poem about the image. Remember to give attribution correctly.

Make sure you are ready for our game in a week or so.  To take part in this game, all classes and students will need the following:

  •  a user avatar
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget – if your clustrmap is greyed out, check my post here to fix it if using Edublogs widget
  • at least four interesting posts – could be topics of your choice not necessarily from the challenge
  • your ‘Recent Comments’ widget on the sidebar with 10 comments as the choice – Edublogs
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice – Edublogs
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar or pages in the header – Edublogs
  • at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
  • at least three overseas blogs on your blogroll
  • posts tagged or categorized to make it easier to find interesting posts on each blog
  • the more students or classes you have linked on your blog, the more fun the game will be

The most important of these are the links to other student blogs on your sidebar. Try to have a couple of different headings like

  • My Friends
  • Class Blogs
  • Overseas Blogs

Having lots of  links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.


Student Blogging Challenge Week 4

Week 4 Introduction: Let’s Join Globally! Start using tags and categories with each post you write to make it easier for people to find posts on certain topics. Make sure you have the tags and categories widgets in your sidebar.

Activity 1

Join our Free Rice group called Student Blogging Challenge. Every answer you get right, means 10 grains of rice get donated to the World Food Program. Since October 2011, we have had 86 students join and donate 116,300 grains of rice. I wonder how many we could have by the end of Easter. Can you add a widget to Free Rice on your blog?

Activity 2 

Find a special celebration in one country of the world (other than the one you live in). Find three images of the event. Under each image, give an important detail about the event. Remember to include attribution for each image.

At the end of your post, write a bit more about the event for your visitors to read. Include a link to another website giving more information on the event. Finally, leave a question for your readers to answer.

Activity 3

Add at least five international blogs to your blogroll or links to get ready for a game we will hold after Easter.

Here is a link about how to add a blogroll to your sidebar.


Remember, I will be deleting any students who have mentors already allocated over the Easter break if:

  1. there is no About Me page or post visible – make sure the pages widget is in your sidebar if your pages don’t appear up in your header area
  2. there is not at least two other posts related to the challenge activities
  3. you haven’t been commenting back to your mentor

Student Blogging Challenge Week 3

Week 3 Introduction: This week’s activities are going to be fun, but first there are some things you need to know so please read carefully.

Some students new to blogging have been writing some great posts, while others who have been blogging for a bit longer have started adding videos and images to their posts.

Yes, this week we deal with using images, music and sounds in your posts.

But can’t I use any image, music or sound that is on the internet?

No, you must use creative commons or in some cases the fair use rule.

But where can I find these images, music and sounds? Can’t I use anything when I google an image?

No, your blog is public so you must use creative commons images, sounds, music and videos.

Use creative commons images, not just any image on the net. Always include attribution of where you found the image. Compfight plugin does this for you.

Sue Waters over at the teacher challenge has written a fantastic post about images, copyright and creative commons. I would suggest you all head over there to read the post. She explains about creative commons and the licences, attribution, how to find images for your blog and how to upload images to your blog. This might be very wordy for some students, but Sue uses lots of images and how to do sections in her posts.

OK I want to use some legal creative commons images and music in my slideshow.Where can I go to get them?

Do you have compfight plugin for Edublogs? Follow the instructions from Sue Waters’ post.

Maria, a mentor from 2014 and also helping this year, created some lists of tools to use with images and audio.

Other places to get images and music:

You will need to work out how to get the attribution to put on your posts. Check Sue Waters’  post to get more help and more places for images. This post from Edublogs explains how to add media in all its forms to your blog posts or pages.


Music and sound effects

JamendoCCMixter, post with 14 websites for music, post with 20+ websites for music, post with 55+ sites with sound effects

Activity 1 – Creative Commons: Watch this video about sharing work and write a post about what you learned. Include words such as attribution, share alike, licences and derivatives to show you understand what the video was about.

Activity 2 – Create a Slideshow or Gallery: Create a slideshow or photo gallery about your interests to add to your about me page or as a separate post. Your final slide should include attribution for each image.

Activity 3 – Maintain Your Blog: Follow the guidelines below to improve the quality of your blog.

1. Reply to comments on your own blog

2. Visit other student and class blogs – leave some quality comments

3. Start using categories and tags with each post you write to make it easier for people to find posts on certain topics. For example, you could use the category “Student Blogging Challenge” for each post you publish from these activities. You could then use “Week 3″ as the tag for this week to organize your posts. Make sure you have the tags and categories widgets in your sidebar.

4. Have at least five other student blogs linked on your sidebar – students from other classes and schools – not your own. We will need this for a game we play in a couple of weeks.

Try to have a few different headings like

  • My Blogging Friends
  • Other Class Blogs

Having lots of  links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.

Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars.

Don’t forget to comment on this post to let me know that you have completed all of the activities for the week!

The above information and instructions were taken from StudentBloggingChallenge.org


Student Blogging Challenge Week 2

Week 2 Introduction: Check to see if you have a mentor assigned to you. Remember to check your comments and reply to any left by your mentor. Their first comment will probably be on your first post or your about me page that you created last week in the challenge. You might also need to check your spam folder.

Also check to see you are only mentioned once on the spreadsheet. Do this by using CTRL F and typing in your name. It will then allow you to scroll through to find out if you are mentioned more than once.

Activity 1 – Write a post or create a poster about commenting. This might include tips to get more visitors,  guidelines for acceptable comments on your blog, or examples of good and bad comments – think outside the square. Remember you don’t have to approve all comments. It is your blog; send some to the trash, and if it is a company trying to get you to visit their blog to buy something, then label it as spam.

Here are some links to commenting guidelines written by students and classes. Class in New Zealand, grade 11/12 class in USA, Huzzah class blog in Canada, Abbey has a blogging guideline page, Mrs Allen created a poster about commenting, Shaffer writers, WarriorKat uses lots of visuals in her guidelines,  Sophie had a great post, the Blogging Frogs have some great tips, Cole wrote about commenting,

Activity 2 – Have a family member write a post for you to add to your blog. This is your chance to give one of your family members a writing assignment of  your choice. This post may attract more visitors or family members leaving comments. Family members are always welcome to view and comment on your blog as well as our classroom blog! One family member regularly blogs on Mrs Yollis’ blog – Where is nonno?

Activity 3 – Write a paragraph about how digital distractions can be harmful. Your paragraph should include at least one piece of text evidence in the form of a paraphrase or a direct quotation, and a sentence explaining how that evidence supports your central idea.

All assignments are due by Sunday evening.

Most of the above information was taken from the Student Blogging Challenge.


Student Blogging Challenge Starts!

Week 1 Introduction: Whenever you meet a new person or join a group, there are three things you will most likely do.

  1. Look at the outside view of the person – do they look like the type of person you would enjoy being with?
  2. Then you would go deeper by asking some basic questions about the person and their interests.
  3. Finally, you would connect through shared interests.

We are going to cover those three things this week by creating an avatar to represent our outside view, creating an about me page to show your visitors the type of person you are and your interests, and searching for other students your age who also have similar interests.

Activity 1 – Creating User Avatars (Due Tuesday): Click here for step-by-step instructions and a list of great websites for creating avatars. Do not use a photo of yourself. Make sure you save your avatar as a jpeg file format no larger than 200 x 200 pixels. You might need to crop and resize. We are creating user avatars, not blog avatars.

Instructions for creating your avatar:

  1. Go to MyBlueRobot.com to create your avatar
  2. Click download and then press and hold to save your avatar to your iPad
  3. Upload your avatar to media in your dashboard
  4. Edit the picture by scaling it to 100 x 100
  5. Save the photo to your iPad again
  6. Upload your avatar by going to users > your avatar

Activity 2 – Creating About Me Pages (Due Thursday): Create your own About Me page or post. Be careful about how much personal information you include. Try to be creative in both your words like Felix, or by including visuals like Warrior Kat. More students to check out: Nicole, Kendall,  Tina,

  • Write a poem
  • Write an A-Z paragraph eg I am an athletic, yet brainy child who decided that saving the environment is one of my future goals.
  • Create a video like our mentor Dinah has done
  • Create a list of things people might not know about you like Ms Herring has done
  • Write a Who am I like Mrs Keane or Mrs Lyttle
  • Students in Ireland paired up to create their about us page, Ms Seitz’ class did the same

Below are instructions for creating your About Me page in Edublogs.

  1. Login to your blog, go to the dashboard>pages>add new
  2. Change the title to About Me or something similar.
  3. If you only have one row of icons above the box, click on the last icon called the kitchen sink or toggle. This opens a second row which allows you to change font colours.
  4. In the box, write a bit about yourself remembering to be internet safe. Make sure you have checked out the pages from other students mentioned – many of them have been blogging for a while.
  5. When you have finished click the big  button on the right side of your screen – it probably says update or send for review.
  6. Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
  7. If your theme doesn’t show pages in the header area, then you will need to go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag across the Pages one to your sidebar.

Activity 3 – Visiting Other Blogs (Due Sunday): One important aspect of blogging is commenting on other blogs. Classes and student participants are grouped according to similar ages. Visit some other blogs, read posts, get ideas from them, and leave a comment. Make sure you include your blog URL so they can come to visit your blog.

Are there other students your age with similar interests to you? Visit them and leave a comment on a post or their about me page.

Most students will also have a mentor who will be leaving comments. Make sure you read their comments and reply back to them. In fact, you should reply back to any interesting comments you receive – that is how conversations get started.

The above information and activities were taken from Week 1: Lets talk about us.

Happy Blogging!


Blogging Challenge Sign Up!

About the challenge

The aim of the student blogging challenge is to connect student bloggers with a global audience while supporting teachers with their classroom blogging.

It runs twice yearly, starting in March and September, and guides the participants through blogging and commenting over 10 weeks.

Each week participants are given weekly tasks to increase their skills.

The Participants

The student blogging challenge has been running since 2008. It started with 9 countries and 500 students. The March 2014 student blogging challenge involved:

  • 115 classes
  • 1300 students
  • 15 countries
  • 32 mentors

Click here to register and join the student blogging challenge!

The above information was taken from http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/about/