Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Today is Halloween! At our school we all get together in the gym and each class has a chance to parade around and show off their costumes. There were some fabulous homemade costumes this year!

We got to dress up in costumes and parade around the gym. My favorite costume was the fortune teller. -Sarah

I liked the two Monster High costumes. -Rhyan

My favorite costume was the two boys dressed as girls! -Adrianna

My favorite costume that I saw was an iPod! -Carson

We got to have a party with treats and chocolate juice in our classroom. -Carter

People go trick or treating and they get candy. -Rhyann

Trick or treating is going to be fun. -Lucas

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quality Commenting on Kidblog

Since we seem to be getting the hang of posting to our student blogs, I thought it was a good time to venture into the world of commenting. A number of my smarty-pants 7 year olds very quickly figured this out on their own but we hadn't set criteria for leaving comments.
I referred back to my tweep, @pernilleripp for a great way to explain the type of comments we want to write. We discussed and compared the difference between "highway comments" and "dead end comments". It always feels great to get a comment and know that there are people out there reading your posts, but we are hoping to generate discussion with our comments.
Dead end comments are kind and usually involve a compliment. For example, "Great job on your post, Leslie!" A highway comment is kind and complimentary but it also opens the door for discussion to begin. For example, "I really enjoyed reading your post, Leslie. I am reading it in Vancouver, Canada. Can you find that on a map? In Vancouver it is warm and sunny right now. What is the weather like in Winnipeg?" One of our main goals in commenting on blog posts is to start a conversation. When a commenter asks a question, the blogger can reply to their comment with the answer and perhaps another question.

Our criteria for quality commenting on blog posts is:
  • Be kind and appropriate.
  • Give a compliment.
  • Ask a question.
  • Make a connection.
  • Re-read your comment for spelling, punctuation and upper case letters.
  • Sign your first name only.
We would love to hear from you too! You can comment to us on our class blog, here, or on our Kidblogs as well.

Halloween Howl at the Henderson Public Library

Henderson Public Library is hosting an exciting Halloween event that you may be interested in. I double checked with the library and it does not matter if you have a library card or if you are not residents of the City of Winnipeg, you are still welcome to attend. As it mentions on the poster, please call to register. Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Finally Online! Adventures in Kidblogging :)

We are so excited that our blogging adventure has finally landed us online! While the children may have thought it was a drawn out process and that I talked too much (who, me?!), I am very happy with my new "road to student blogging" plan. I used many ideas from one of my tweeps, @pernilleripp This was the perfect opportunity to go through all the important things about being online like digital citizenship, global audiences, quality posting and (still to come) quality commenting. While I did this in the past, I don't think it meant as much to the kids because I did it in a mini-lesson style while they were in the computer lab or in conversation when it came up. Covering these things in a more formal way was more meaningful to them and I can see they are taking it seriously.
It also made the moment today when they actually got to use their real, live personal blog a big deal. They are taking the responsibility of having a personal online space seriously and they did a great job. There are so many little things to learn along the way.

It's not just "start your sentence with an upper case letter" but rather, "how do you make an upper case letter on a computer?"

"Where is the period?"

"How do I make an exclamation mark or a question mark?!"

"What's my password again?"


Saving a favorite so they can get back to their kidblogs next time, the importance of a catchy title to entice your readers, adding detail, re-reading your post to make sure it makes sense. It is really amazing how brilliant these little 7 year olds are. The number of little details we ask them to learn,  understand and remember for next time is really unbelievable. The even more amazing part is when they actually do!

When I talk to other teachers about blogging with young students, the topic of editing student posts always comes up. "You're going to publish it with all those mistakes???" Here is my theory. This is their space. I will guide them and teach them and many, many little lessons on spelling, punctuation, meaning, and purpose will come from their blogging. I look at their posts before I publish them and if they have met expectations as we have set them as a class (see the last photo), they get published. I want their posts to be a reflection of who they are as writers and learners right now. As the year goes, their blogs will show amazing growth in their writing just like their paper/pencil work in the classroom will. If I expect perfect spelling before each and every post is published, a single post would take many, many days for some kids. This will discourage them from writing and that is exactly opposite of what I am trying to do.

Please check out our first posts and leave us a comment. Comments from our global audience and families are a major driving force in our purpose to blog.

-Mrs. Dent Scarcello :)

It was exciting to start our own kidblog. -Rhyann

I had fun starting our own kidblog. I like to type my post. -Anthony

It's hard to find which letter you need to type the words on your kidblog. -Carter

I thought it was hard to type all those letters. You get exhausted after you are done your kidblog. Our criteria was to use punctuation and upper case letters for name and the start of a sentence. -Carson

I like my new kidblog because you get to do lots of stuff. -Georgia

Everything has to make sense for your own kidblog post. You have to go back and check for mistakes before you press submit for review button. -Carter

You had to re-read your post  before you save it. -Madison

When you write a blog post, it has to be appropriate. -Matthew

To make an uppercase letter, you press shift and the letter you want. If you press CAPS LOCK all the letters go upper case. -Anthony

Put spaces between your words or ifyoudon'titwillbehardtoread. -Carter

If you put something inappropriate, Mrs. Dent Scarcello won't approve it to publish. -Carson

Check out these typing skills! Carson will be able to type without looking like his teacher one day soon!

We have posts!

Our criteria or checklist for blogging

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Paper Blogs! {IBL}

We made our paper blog posts. We wrote something about us like what we like to do. -Carter

We tried our own blog posts on our blog paper. -Corbin

We always start our sentences with upper case letters. We end our sentences with punctuation. -Anthony

We have criteria for blog posts. We have to sound it out if we don't know or ask a friend. And no personal information. Include all the important information and it has to make sense. -Carson

Don't use your address and be kind when blogging. -Georgia

We use a catchy title for our blog posts so people will keep on reading. -Adrianna

If you don't know how to spell a word, sound it out or ask a friend or look around. -Mikaela

When we are done we gave it to our teacher. -Lucas

It was fun making our paper blog posts because soon we are going to have our own blogs. -Isabella

I loved writing the sentences because we will have our own blogs someday. -Rhyann