Catch up and join challenge


Sam via Compfight

October through December, I run a student blogging challenge. There are often over 2000 students from about 20 countries of the world taking part. Each week I write a post with activities for students and classes to choose from. So this week there are two things to do if you want to join the challenge and connect with other children around the world that are your age and have the same interests. If you don’t want to join then go down the post to “Still got time for more work this week” and go on with activities from there.

I want to join the challenge, Miss W!

First you need to fill in a form to register for the challenge. Here is a link to the post where the form is. Read the information at the top of the post then fill in the form. If you make a mistake with your URL don’t worry as I will be able to change it.

Second, so you can easily get to the challenge activities from your blog, you need to add the badge to your sidebar. To do this, find the big purple challenge badge on my sidebar. Right click on the image and save it to your computer. Now in a new window, open your blog dashboard> appearance> widgets> drag across the widget called “image widget”

When it opens click on select an image>  top left corner click on upload files> now click on select files> find the image where you saved it on your computer and click on it and open it. Your screen will now look something like this:

  • Change the title to Connecting globally or I’m taking part in:
  • Click on the big blue button at the bottom
  • Now your screen will be back to your widget area and you only have two more things to do.
  • There is a box called Link – put in the following URL
  • Stay in window use dropdown arrow and make Open in new window
  • Align  use dropdown arrow to make centre
  • Finally click the Save button

When you next open your blog, your badge should be there ready to click on for the activities starting on 1st October.

Still got time for more this week:

  • Check on the work completed
  • Have you written an interesting post of your own choice?
  • Have you finished work from last few weeks?
  • Are you visiting the other student bloggers and posters on my sidebar?
  • Are you leaving me a comment each couple of weeks telling me which work you have completed so I know what to mark off?

Catch up week

Beautiful 2 year old Bei Bei ./we551.png

heights.18145 via Compfight

Have you completed the following things from the last three weeks?

  1. Written a post about yourself remembering to be internet safe
  2. Written a post about your favourite animal and included an image from compfight – some posts I have changed from pending to draft because you hadn’t included an image yet
  3. Added categories and tags to your posts
  4. Suggest you create these categories – blogging tips, favourites, school work, passions – go to your dashboard> posts> categories
  5. Left a comment about adding an image to your post on this post
  6. Watched the commenting video
  7. Written your visiting blogs post including copy of the comments you left
  8. Commented on three student blogs and one post written by a student poster
  9. Visited Jena and Thanumi’s blogs to see their posts about commenting – see last week’s post

If you have finished this work, you are doing well. What could you go on with?

  • Check the work completed spreadsheet up in the header area
  • Write a post about something you are passionate about
  • Visit some other students blogs and leave great comments
  • Has anyone left a comment on your blog yet? You might need to reply to them.

Leave me a comment on this post telling me what you have finished in the list of 9 activities.

Next week we will start to get ready for the student blogging challenge.

Start commenting

Previous work:

Have you finished last week’s work about adding an image? Have you left a comment on my post? I asked:

Leave a comment:

What was the hardest part about adding an image to your blog post? Why do you think it is important to add an image of some sort?

This week’s work

What makes a great comment?

Here is a video made by a group of grade 3 students in Mrs Yollis’s class in California, USA. There is a link to her special photograph blog on the sidebar under global classes.

Now you have finished watching the video, I want you to visit at least three student blogs on the sidebar and also one of the student posters blogs. But you will need to be prepared first.

  1. Start a new post on your own personal blog
  2. The title will be something like Visiting blogs or Leaving comments
  3. Write three or four lines about what makes a great comment – get ideas from the video – save your draft
  4. Visit one blog and leave a fantastic comment – copy your comment and paste it in your post you have started writing – mention whose blog you left the comment on – save draft
  5. Now visit two more student blogs and do the same – comment – copy comment, paste in post – mention blog again, save draft again
  6. Visit a student poster
  7. Find a great post you would like to comment on
  8. Leave a comment – copy comment and paste in post mentioning blog and post you commented on – save draft

You should now have a great post about commenting.

  1. Add your category –  blogging tips
  2. Add your tags –  comments, visiting

Here are some examples of posts written by other students learning about commenting

Jena – leaving comments and writing a post

Thanumi – how to leave a comment and commenting guidelines video she created

You have two weeks to get this post done. If you finish early then check the Work Completed to see what else you can do.


Let’s add an image


drzoidbergh via Compfight

Students in Mr Samphier’s class already know how to use the compfight plugin so this will be a refresher for you. But students in 4BC, you will need to do the following:

  1. Go to dashboard of your personal blog
  2. Look down the left for settings> hover over it and click on compfight (should be at the bottom)
  3. This will open a new window . Make sure you change the small size image to 240 on longest side
  4. Finally go to bottom of page to Save settings blue button again

You are now ready to start adding creative commons images to your blog posts.

This week’s task

To practice adding an image to your blog post, I would like you to write a post about your favourite animal.

  • Describe it
  • Where does it live?
  • What does it eat?
  • Why is it your favourite?

Now you have written the post in your own words (and saved the draft) it is time to add the image. Read the 7 instructions before doing it

  1. Click your mouse cursor (black line) in front of the first word of your post. Press enter once.
  2. Now put cursor in the empty space above the post you have written. This is where your image will appear.
  3. Above the post area icons are two little buttons – add media and compfight
  4. Click on the compfight button
  5. In the keyword area type in the animal you have written your post about eg elephant or gorilla or crocodile or ….
  6. Click the search button
  7. A lot of images will appear. When you have decided the image you want in your post, click on the S underneath the image.

Your image will now appear on your blog post with a few symbols and words after it. These symbols and words are the ATTRIBUTION for the image – it tells who owns the image and where you got the image from.

  1. Very carefully put the cursor immediately after your image and before the symbols. Click the cursor in place.
  2. Make sure the image doesn’t have little squares in the corner. You just have a long cursor line on the right hand edge of the image before the words.
  3. Now hit enter again so the symbols and words are on a new line.
  4. Highlight the image and symbols/words then decide if you want them to appear on the left, centre or right. Click the icon you need.
  5. Save your draft again.
  6. Preview your post (next to save draft button) – this will now show you what the post will look like on your actual blog.

Adding categories and tags

So your readers can easily find posts you have written, you need to learn how to add categories and tags. These are found on the right side of your post area.

Categories – you might want to include schoolwork, favourites, 17SBC, family and whatever your passions might be eg stamps, flowers, bushwalking, minecraft etc

To add a category, click on Add new category> in the box which appears write in your category then press the add new category button. Notice the category will now be in a list with a tick in the box in front. If uncategorized is also ticked, click in the little box to untick it. So for this week’s task, you might have the category animals or favourites or you could have both of them as categories.

Tags – these are like the keywords you search with – science might be the category and the tags could be magnets, magnetism, microscope, energy, power and so on. This week’s task means your category could be animals or favourites but the tag will be crocodile or gorilla or elephant etc.

To add a tag, write your tag in the box and click the Add button. You can add as many tags as you want that relate to the post you have written but tags are generally single words not phrases.

Now it is time to send your post in for reviewing by your teacher – the big blue button on the right side.


You know how to add a creative commons image to your blog post and how to add the attribution as well. This will be marked as one of your own blog posts on the work completed spreadsheet. Leaving a fantastic comment – correctly spelled and punctuated, including capitals and paragraph if needed – will mean this is also marked off on your work completed under comments.

Leave a comment:

What was the hardest part about adding an image to your blog post? Why do you think it is important to add an image of some sort?

More new students



Creative Commons License Bill Smith via Compfight

We now have two groups of students working with their own blogs and another class where students are writing lots of posts on their class blog. You will see on the sidebar of this blog the list of students who have their own blog and another list of student posters. Please make sure you visit each other and leave fantastic comments.

Students with their own blogs

On Sundays I will post on this blog a suggestion of what you could be doing that coming week.

Monday afternoons at 2pm I will be available for a Google Hangout with students who want extra help or have a question about how to do something on their blog. If this time doesn’t suit Mr Samphier’s students, please get back to me.

Fridays I will be checking blogs and marking off what you have finished on the Work Completed section above the header.

Student posters on class blogs

You are also invited to join the Google hangout if you have a question or need some help. If this time doesn’t suit Mrs Hortle, we can organize another time.


Work to complete Week1

Hyacinth, Gemma and Julian with rain on their faces....

Creative Commons License Bennilover via Compfight

G’day Mr Samphier’s students,

In my previous post I mentioned the area in the header labelled “Work completed”. It is now up to date as at today. You will notice the green squares mean you have completed that work, red squares relate to the word in red in the first column, yellow means you have done part of the activity and a blank square means you still need to do the activity.

Many of you have timezone in red; this is because you haven’t gone to dashboard>settings>general and changed to Hobart and then saved that change by going to the bottom of the page and clicking the big button.

As you complete something, leave me a comment on the Work Completed page and then I will check it and mark it off on the sheet.

If you have a question about something you are asked to do, leave a comment again on the Work Completed page again.

Over this next week, try to complete the work up to and including the bootcamp comments. Some of you have written your comment about logging in and your profile which was step 1. But step 2 is about creating your avatar and writing a post – you need to leave a great comment for Sue Waters for me to mark off step 2.

Next week, we will look at embedding some widgets so you can know where people are coming from to read your blog posts. Once you have added a visitor counter, I will start mentioning your blogs to my teacher friends around the world and they might leave you some comments on really great posts you have written.

Welcome new student bloggers

Welcome to the students blogging with Mr Samphier. I spent some time with you this week and I was very impressed with the amount of learning you covered in about a four hour period.

You will notice below the header area in this blog, there is a page called “Work completed“. This is where I will be keeping a record of the blogging you do over the rest of the year. Students who have completed all the work will receive a gold certificate at the end of the year and the students who have completed most activities will still receive a certificate.

If you are unsure about the work to do, leave a comment on the work completed page. I will either leave an answer there for you or I will direct you to a post which explains things.

Hope you enjoy blogging this year and remember

  • You can blog on any computer, anywhere in the world
  • You just need to know the URL of your blog and how to login
  • Remember to log off your blog though, if other people use that computer

How to … create a Voki

A Voki is like a talking avatar. Follow these instructions to create your own Voki and add it to your blog sidebar or in a post.

Visit the Voki website here

Click on create


This will take you to the Voki dashboard


Start customizing your character


  1. Choose your person by
  2. Moving the arrows across to find a group that you want eg anime, politics, holidays
  3. Do you want male, female or all choices?
  4. Scroll up and down if there are more than 9 choices – you can’t choose one with a hat in the right corner as these are for the paid version of Voki
  5. Finished the type of person, now head back to the top to choose clothing
  6. Last step is choosing bling like glasses, lipstick etc
  7. Finished – click done

Now it is time to give your character a voice


As you are in Australia, you don’t use the telephone but you can

  1. type the text
  2. use an inbuilt microphone or attach a microphone
  3. add an audio file you have already created
  4. When typing your text, make sure it is correct spelling and punctuation as this will make a difference when the Voki speaks.
  5. Click the arrow to play back the text as you go
  6. Choose the accent or language you will be using
  7. Choose the voice – male/female Aussie/English/American etc
  8. Finished – click done

Now for the final touches – tweak your colours


Choose the background you want for the Voki


Decide on the colour theme of the Voki player before you add it to your blog.


Now it is time to share your Voki

  • Click Publish
  • Give a name to your scene and save
  • When the email screen comes up click on No thanks then close on the next screen
  • Choose the size of your Voki
  • Copy the code making sure you scroll down to get it all

Adding Voki to a post

  1. Start a new post
  2. Put in the title
  3. Click on Add Media button above the post writing box
  4. On the left hand side choose Insert embed code
  5. Paste in code in the box then bottom right corner Insert into post
  6. Your post writing box area will now have a grey square

Finish writing your post explaining why you created the Voki and what it is about. Include a link to the Voki website as well so your readers can visit and have a go for themselves.

Adding Voki in sidebar

  1. Go to dashboard> widgets
  2. Drag a text box up to the sidebar area
  3. Paste in the code in the box
  4. Give a title to your text box
  5. Save



Welcome to a new year of student blogging

It is great to see many teachers now having students with their own personal blogs.

Make sure you visit these blogs which include new student bloggers on the sidebar:

Grade 1/2 Mrs Moore

Grade 2/3 Miss Johnstone

Grade 3/4 Mrs Coe and Mrs McKibben

Grade 8 Ms Ferencz

Grade 9 Mrs Smith

Grade 10 Mr Waddilove

As more teachers get their students blogging on their own, I will add them to this list.



Term 4 blogging

Student challenge 2015

There will be no formal online classroom this term. Instead you will be taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge. You can find this by clicking on the badge on the sidebar or on your own blog if you have added the badge and linked it.

Week 1 is about avatars and your online personality compared to your real life personality.

Complete either of these activities then leave a comment on the blogging challenge website under the week 1 post. Make sure you mention which activity you did and if you enjoyed it.

  1. Describe your avatar and how it represents you – remember to include your avatar as an image in the post
  2. How is your online persona and real life persona the same or different?

Week 2 is about commenting and there is only one activity I want you to do for this

  1. Open a new post on your blog.
  2. On the challenge blog, click on the page above the header labelled October 2015 students.
  3. Find 4 blogs of students your age or with your interests.
  4. Leave a comment on one post or the About Me page on each of those 4 blogs – before submitting the comment, copy it and paste it into your new post on your blog. Make sure you include the URL of your blog in the comment so they can then visit your posts to leave comments for you. Once you have submitted the comment, click the URL of the blog and copy that also into your post.
  5. You should now be able to improve your post so it looks something like these: Mia included the URL as a link while Rachel down near the end of her post actually included the URL
  6. Once I have published your post, go to the challenge blog and leave a comment on the week 2 post mentioning what you did and include the URL of your post.

Week 3 is about using images.

From this week on you have free choice of which activity to do. If you choose to do a lot of commenting on other student blogs, then you need to write a post similar to the week 2 post. There are also special event posts – the first one is about #RaiseYourVoice – you can do these as well if you want.

Admin Work

Remember each week to moderate any comments that might have appeared on your posts. You don’t have to approve it, if it doesn’t make sense or isn’t a quality comment. Reply to the comment on your blog if the person asks a question. If they leave their blog URL in the comment, go visit them and see if you can leave a comment on their blog.

If you look on the Work Completed in the header of this blog, you will see which work needs to be completed by the end of term. I will be publishing your work on a Friday evening so you will be able to leave a comment on the student blogging challenge website after that time – remember to include the link to the post I will have published.

If you have any problems throughout the rest of term, try to work it out between yourselves, or ask Mrs Brooks or email me like Zach did the other day. I will try to have my email open Friday afternoons so I can answer you quickly.