We have been using Kid Blog for a little while now. This is an educational site that allows children to have their very own blogs! Each student in our class has their very own blog on our class Kid Blog site.
Kid Blog is a educational website made especially for kids to have their own blog site in a safe environment.
Please go to the Student blog heading at the top of the home page to find the Student Blog page. Please read over the “rules” of the student blog site! Click on the link to go to our classroom site. At the site the student will need to log in and add the password. They know what it it is!
The children have been posting to their blogs each week. It is amazing to watch them navigate their way through the steps it takes to create their blog each week. There are quite a few steps to create their entries.
I love the new interface on the site. It is much easier to navigate! That being said, I am still impressed with how fearless the children are when it comes to trying new things in technology! To create their blog posts, the children have to figure out how to navigate through a variety of steps to get to the site and then follow the procedures to add their header image, a title, write their post, choose the audience that they want to see their post, and then choose to send it to me for approval! That’s a lot!
After the first few weeks, the children are now able to go to the lab, choose the entry from their journal that they would like to share and complete the post with only a little assistance! Some of the students are choosing to write their own entries on the spot! They loved choosing their own avatars too!
The students are having a great time exploring our new app called Letter School! Really popular app!
The great thing is that the animations are fabulous. As the children work through several repeats the animations keep changing! Very cool!
I have added a few new pages to the blog. We now have our very own gallery of the wonderful snowmen. If you check at the top of the blog you will find the Snowmen Gallery.
I think I have almost all of them. The missing ones should be there shortly! I thought that the snowmen were just awesome and wanted to display all of them. I hope you approve!
I am also planning to start our spelling tests. I have created a new page and joined a website called Spelling City. You should see the page at the top of the blog.
If you click on the link on the page it will take you to our class home page on their site. The first list is posted on the site. The children can practise the words and there are some games such as word searches that they can do to help them practise. This is new for me and I am excited about the possibilities for the children to practise their words online!
Please make sure that you check in on the student blog site. This week our big buddies helped up personalize their sites. The children got to pick their own template and avatar! I know they are very proud of them. You will need to ask them for the password to view the contents of their sites. We posted a new entry about Twin Day this week. The Kid Blog site graciously increased our storage space! We had run out! We kept trying to post entries with pictures that refused to load until I realized that we had a storage problem. The people at Kid Blog were very helpful and we are very appreciative!
I would like to thank Courtlynd, one of our Grade Four big buddies, for her help with our student blogs on the Kid Blog site! She has become quite a blogging expert and was an invaluable help to me when we were trying to figure out how to get the permissions set so the children could personalize their blogs! Nice to know I have an expert to consult with about blogging!
Last week I discovered a new app that we had not worked with before on the iPads. It is called Strip Designer and lets the students create their own stories in a comic book style. I wish I had found it sooner! We have been having a lot of fun with it. It has a lot of potential for storytelling.
If I had more time with the iPads I can think of some really cool projects we could do! Take a look at what we have managed to do in just a few sessions.
The children have become masters at navigating around to create their masterpieces. They jump from app to app, importing files from the camera roll, recording their voices, etc with ease. Things that I would have really hesitated about introducing don’t even faze them! They find things that they can do and teach me and their classmates as we go! Today we were playing with the Strip Designer app and they were showing me how to do things! “Oh, you just do this, Mrs. Anton!”
The children created these comics with Doodle Buddy, made screen shots of their work, and then imported them from the camera roll into the comic format. They choose a balloon style and added the text to the balloon. Then they can add the Word stamps to accentuate their work. Needless to say a very popular app! If we had more time I think I would like to create multiple page comics.
The first day with this app we used just the pictures that were on the camera roll to tell a story! That worked great too!
Last Friday we did a story map. We read the story The Mitten by Jan Brett and then the children retold the story by creating a story map. They seemed to really enjoy putting it all together. I think they especially liked licking the envelope , sealing it, and then cutting it open at the end to make the secret compartment for the animals to disappear into behind the mitten picture! Hopefully, they shared it with you.
We also worked on Kid Blog during our computer time. We have been running into some glitches adding the pictures so it hasn’t worked as smoothly as I had hoped. Today we managed to get some posts up with pictures! We had some really great help from three of our Big Buddies. Thank you, Courtlynd, Emily, and Karli! We couldn’t have got in done in half an hour without you! You can find the new posts on the Kid Blog page at the top of this page. Please remember that the blogs are password protected. Your child knows their secret password! If you don’t see a new post for today, we probably had some problem with the picture. I am working on it! The children can also post from home if you like! Or you can add a comment! Please take a minute to review the procedure on the Kid Blog page. The posts are previewed by me before they go “live” ! The website sends me an email whenever there is a post or comment that needed to be previewed. I have to go into each one to approve them so it is a bit time consuming…. Thank you for your patience!
I have also added some new links on the WIKI page. There are some more links for Dolch word practise. Take a look! The ever popular Word Bingo is there! The Popcorn words are fun, too!
Today we used the iPads to post on our student blogs! We managed to put the app for KidBlog on all the iPads. It is a great app! We walked through the steps to take a picture and then blog about it. The only real glitch we had is that some of the children inadvertently did their entries on someone else’s name. I think that we need to do a repeat of the lesson on how to sign out when you are done and make sure you are signed on as yourself. I will have to try to find the time to have the children who blogged on someone else’s blog to redo their entry!
But all in all I think we did GREAT! It is not a small task for primary students to navigate around the page and add images and so on. The children copied the title and the first sentence from the board and then were encouraged to write their own sentence. We had some interesting invented spellings but I think everyone can understand what they were trying to write! It is a lot of work for those little fingers to type those sentences. Everyone was really focussed and wanted to get the job done! We had a couple of the students who figured it out really quickly and were able to help everyone else! We couldn’t have done it without them!
I hope you take a minute to have a look! Gus and Sparkles even wrote their name on the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree!
The Elf and Gus have been having a good time in our classroom. They decorated a little tree and decided to read Christmas stories on Wednesday night. They left some Christmas confetti to play with too. We are trying to record what they are up to each day in our little booklets about their adventures.
On Thursday night they went for a ride on Mr. Mugs!
We had a great time making gingerbread houses with our Big Buddies on Friday! We hope to blog about it in our student blogs this week! We have downloaded Kid Blog onto the iPads and are learning how to use it. It is a free app!
I couldn’t resist getting a shot of our latest reading buddies! When the children have finished their independent assignments they have the opportunity to read. That morning I had received a new “suitcase” of books that the children were exploring. We had to go to the computer lab and when we came back I saw that they had left their “reading buddies” with their noses in a book! Too cute!
At the computer lab, the children have been exploring some of the new links I have added to the WIKI this week. I have added a few Christmas links and a link for the I Spy series. The Christmas links are from the ABCYa site. There is a Math practise site, decorating a Christmas tree and a Gingerbread House, and a Christmas word search. Love those word searches! Check it out!
Today we explored surface tension again with our experiment called Exploding Colors. This is another Dr. Zed experiment that I found many years ago! All you need is some milk, a drop of red, blue, and yellow food colouring, a toothpick, and some dish soap. Pour the milk onto a shallow plate. Add the three drops of food colouring. Then use the bigger end of the toothpick and dip it into a little bit of dish soap. I usually put out a little plate of dish soap. Dip the toothpick into the milk and watch the fun!
Today we blogged on our student blogs with our big buddy class. We wrote about our last big buddy day! Check it out!
It is amazing how quickly the children have learned how to navigate the various directories to insert their pictures! There are quite a few steps that they have to remember and then they also have to learn how to adjust the picture so that it comes up in the correct position. We are super impressed! Right now the buddies are scribing for us but soon we will begin writing our own entries!