Thursday, October 9, 2014

Student Blogging Basics One Sheet by David Theriault

David Theriault created a Google document for his class.  There is a lot of good information for any student or teacher that is interested in blogging. Be sure to check it out. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Adding Media (Pictures or Video) to Your Kiblog Post

In this post I will show you how to add video or pictures to your Kidblog post. After logging in and clicking on the new post link you will be here. 

Notice right above the tool bar on the writing area there is a link that says Upload/Insert Media. Click that link. 

You will then have a pop out menu that looks like this. Notice the three tabs at the top We will look at the From Computer tab first. 

Click on the Select Files link and it will open another pop up menu. From here you can search for the pictures from your computer you want to add. Please note this view is on an Apple computer. Your computer pop up screen may look slightly different. 

After you choose your picture click on the Open button/link at the bottom of the page. 

You will be redirected back to the original pop up page. The picture will show up below the box. Here you can choose the alignment of the picture (I almost always choose centered.) You can also add a caption which is great for accessibility for blind readers. When finished click the button/link Insert Into Post

Now you will see the pop up menu disappear and the picture will appear in the post window. 

Back to the pop up window. The second tab, From URL, opens up the following choices. All you need to do is add the URL to the box (that means the address of the picture from the address bar.) You can also add the Image Caption here and Alignment.

The third tab is Media Library. This allows you to pick media that has already been used on the blog or media that has been uploaded by the teacher. 

Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them in the comment section. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Publishing a Post in Kidblog

If you are not sure how to log into your account, please read the last post. After logging in, follow this tutorial to write a post. 

Now that you are logged in, look at the top, right corner of the page. You will see several links to choose from. 

All Blogs is a link to the default page you are already on. My Blog shows your page with just your posts. Click New Post to write a new post. 

Now you are on the post writing page. Type in your title and the body of your post. 

After you have finished writing your post you should probably add some tags. Since this post is about reading, Alan added reading as a tag. Alan also added his name. This will allow Alan to easily find his posts on the main class blog page. 

If your posts are moderated you will push the link to Submit for Review

This page will load after you Submit for Review.

Notice the note that says (This post needs teacher approval). This means the post will not show up on the main classroom page until the teacher approves it. Now go bug your teacher until he or she approves it!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Logging Into Your Kidblog Account

Here is a quick walk through for you to see how to log in to your student account. 

First, go to your blog home page. Your teacher will provide the link for you.

In the top, right corner of the class page you will see a Log In link. Click the link.

On this page you will see a drop down menu under user name. Click on the drop down menu and find your user name. 

This is what it looks like when you click on the drop down menu under Username. 

After you choose your user name, put in the password supplied by your teacher. If your password works you will now be logged in.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Blogging Connection: A Guest Post by Sarah Gorbatov

This post was written by Sarah Gorbatov. follow her blogging on Come Somersault with Sarah!

I have had many great memories during my years blogging, but my favorite has been learning about our world in Mrs. Yollis’ third grade class. Mrs. Yollis has a class blog that describes her class activities with students, parents, and other teachers around the world.  During the middle of the year, we had a project called “Our World Our Stories.” Students from seven elementary schools from three different continents and six different countries (Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A, Canada, Ghana, and Belize) participated. Each class led a topic and published a post every week, and all other classes would leave questions and comments. Some of the topics discussed were school games, hobbies, favorite foods, and each classes’ environment. Through this activity, I learned about the daily activities of children around the world. It also taught me about the difficult life that children in some of the other countries have.
When it was our turn to lead, we wrote about our favorite schoolyard game at Chaparral Elementary School called Bamboo. The game is played with two parallel bars and two people on opposite sides trying to tag each other. As part of our post, we included a video of how the game was played. The best part of the day was when our nature-loving teacher, Mrs. Yollis, joined in the fun. She was smiling from ear to ear as she played and tagged most of my friends and me.  In addition, she brought our class mascot, a fluffy, soft bear named Beverly, out to play. One week later, we were pleasantly surprised to receive a video from our blogging classroom friends, Canada and Australia, of their classes playing the exact same game of Bamboo and having a marvelous time. The project Our World Our Stories came to an end once every school had a turn to lead a topic. To honor this project, we had a small celebration through video. Every class put together a video of their school singing a verse of the song “Make New Friends.” The teachers then put all the verses together to create the entire song sung by the seven classes. It was interesting to hear everyone singing it with different accents.
We also learned about the world through Skyping with numerous different classes all over the world. My favorite class was in Australia, where my best blogging friend lives. We both regularly comment on each other’s blogs and have learned many interesting things about one another. The biggest challenge was the time difference. We Skyped at the end of our day, which was the beginning of their school day. Sometimes we were so involved that we would lose track of time and stay after school to continue our conversations.
In addition to regular Skyping, we also had mystery Skypes. This was when we didn’t know who we were skyping with and would try to find out what country, continent, or state they lived in from the clues they gave us. Our class worked as a team to be successful and find the location of the other classroom. Each child had a specific job, such as Question Keepers to type the questions and answers, Inquirers to ask questions, and Google Mappers to review atlases for clues. Some of our mystery Skype calls were with classrooms in Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Iowa. Sometimes our class guessed the location first, and sometimes the other class would win. However, both classes always had a great time and learned a lot about each other and the map of the United States. I always looked forward to the next mystery Skype call.
Through this blogging experience, I have learned about the world and made new virtual friends. It also made me feel very lucky to be living in the United States, because in countries such as Belize and Ghana, they were very poor and didn’t have as many things as we have here, such as a nice playground and school supplies. Now that I am in fourth grade, I have my own blog and continue publishing posts on my experiences.  I also stay in touch with my blogging friends, who have taught me many things about their cities, and I try to make new friends through the blogging community.

[For Reference, below is the URL to the Our World Our Stories final celebration and the recess game Bamboo.]

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ideas for the Use of Google Forms on Your Blog

Google forms are really handy to use when embedded on your blog. I have used them for all sorts of things over the years. In September when we held our student council elections I embedded a form created for students to vote for their selections. This made it very easy to see who won the election and we didn't even have to count the votes.

Here is a form I created to get some feedback (and require some reflection) from my students after working with digital tools in my classroom. It is very easy to break down the data after using the forms.

Here are some other ideas to get you started:
  1. Use them as an assessment tool.
  2. Take a poll.
  3. Collect web site urls.
  4. Collect student emails/phone numbers.
  5. Collect parent emails/phone numbers.
  6. Sign ups for parent/teacher conferences.
If you have any to add please leave them in the comments section. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Embed a Google Form in Blogger

After you create your Google form, you ned to click the Send Form button on the top, right of the page. Next you will see the link to share, Send form via email or Embed. Choose Embed.

Now you will have the Embed form dialogue box come up. You can copy the HTML code in the box. First notice the size of the form in pixels.

At this point it is a good idea to change the form size to fit your blog. Typically you want your width to be around 500 pixels. The height is something that you have to play with to get right. I prefer to have the whole page of the form showing on the post. This means you will need to change the height of the embedded form to your liking. 

I changed the form height to 400 because the form only has one question. Next you will need to click the HTML button on you blog post page. You will find it on the top, left side of the page.

Notice that I have already placed text and pictures on the post so you will immediately see all the html code on the page. I simply scrolled down to the bottom of the page and pasted the code I copied earlier. 

The '<iframe src=...' is the actual code for the form. 

This is what the page looks like now with the html for the form added. If you don't have anything already put on the post you will not see nearly this much code.

Now you click back on the Compose button and you can see the form is now part of the post. At this point you may want to go back and adjust the width or height of the form html to make it fit right. 

When you are finished, publish your post and it will show up with the form embedded on it. Now all you need is people to come and respond to your form! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Ugandan Global Project: A Guest Post by Miriam Gorbatov

This post was written by Miriam Gorbatov, follow her blogging on Miriam's Magical Moments.

In all my years of blogging, I have had many different memories, but this memory was beyond great.  In third grade, my teacher, Mrs. Yollis, got the class involved in blogging.  This was an amazing opportunity to learn about the lives of other children around the world.  The highlight of the year for me was the Uganda Project.  We corresponded with a class in Australia, a class at Chaparral Elementary School, one in China, and one in Connecticut. We all wanted to keep this school in Uganda from losing a piece of land that they used as a playground. This class in Uganda, Africa, was grateful for anything they received.  The children had to walk three miles to school and three miles back just to get a good education. In contrast, the children in America often get driven to school even if the school is within a few minutes’ walking distance. They were also grateful to have any meals they could receive.  I felt heartbroken that we have anything we want, but they had nothing.  I also admired how hard they worked to receive an education.  Our school was determined to help save their playground.  Together, the five different classes organized a three mile walk around the neighborhood to raise money for the school.  
The five classes started the walk at the same time, at 10:00 am.  After walking for only ten minutes everyone was pretty exhausted.  But we all knew that we were going to finish the walk to help the school whether or not we were tired.  When we finally finished walking, we sang a song that we learned from one of the other classes. The song was about saying hello in all different languages. Though everyone was exhausted from the walk, we were still really enthusiastic about helping the class in Uganda.  I had learned a very important lesson that day that one should be grateful for anything one has or has an opportunity to do because these children are struggling even to get meals or a piece of land to play on with no playground.  
Over the next week, we continued to collect donations to help the school in Uganda. Mrs. Yollis taught us about the different types of currency from all of the countries. The teachers then counted up all the donations from all of the other classes that did the walk.  All the schools involved collected a total of $19,592. The teachers sent the money to Uganda, and we got a response saying that they had enough money to purchase the land for the ABC Divine Foundation Primary School, ensuring the children now have somewhere to play. We have also provided enough money for the school to start building a sheltered kitchen and dining hall. Everyone was very cheerful because all our hard work had paid off on our project, and it had been a great success.
This experience has inspired me to continue blogging about my experiences and travels. I hope to one day become an elementary school teacher and share what I have learned with my students.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Calling Student Bloggers: We Want You!

Are you a student blogger? Are you willing to share what you have learned from blogging? If so, we want you!

Blogging4Kids is looking for student bloggers to write posts about blogging. Some of the topics we would love to add to the blog are:
  1. Why do you like to blog?
  2. What have you learned from blogging?
  3. How has your attitude about learning changed since you started blogging?
  4. What transformative learning experiences have you had through blogging?
  5. Why should other students try blogging?
  6. Why should teachers encourage student blogging?
Please leave your contact information here and I will get back to you.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blogging4Kid Superlative Student Blog: Come Somersault With Sarah!

Sarah is another former student of Linda Yollis, and has a great blog, Come Somersault With Sarah! Sarah has been blogging for four years and does a great job of writing posts that include good text and great pictures. 

When you look through Sarah's posts you will notice that she shares a lot about herself. She is a very talented musician and she shares her talent on the blog. You should also notice the sidebar where Sarah has several visitor counters and a special widget that keeps track of her most popular posts.