An inspiring song

I have been tagged by Abigail to write a post about an inspiring song. I don’t listen to much of the modern music of this century.  But I do find inspiring the negro spirituals sung during the time of slavery – songs telling the life stories of those involved during this horrendous time.  But the song that I really love is “I still call Australia home“. 

This song reminds me of the times when I have been travelling, seeing the sights of the world, missing family and friends, but opening my eyes to the rest of the world – the people, the cultures, the similarities and the differences.

When travelling through Europe just the smell of a gum tree was enough to make me think of home, when in smog bound LA, that was enough to remind me of missing the clean air of home. Whenever I did arrive home, my first thoughts were, “I’m glad I live in Australia, particularly in Tasmania which is so clean and green compared to where I have been travelling.”

I am now going to tag five other students.  You have to write a post about an inspiring song and then tag five other students to do the same.  Make a link to their name like I have below, but also go to their blog to mention you have tagged them to write a post. Try to choose students from other schools rather than your friends. You need to copy what I have written here at the bottom of your post so they also know what to do.

Jessica from Australia,  Hailey from USA, Pedro from Venezuela, LittleMiss from New Zealand and finally Michael from Hong Kong

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We have won an update on Clustrmaps!

Thanks to all the visitors coming to check out our classblog.  We have recently had our clustrmap account updated and now we have been  announced as a monthly winner.  Check out this email I received.

I’m pleased to announce that you’re a winner of the ClustrMaps User Of  The Month (there are more than one this month)!  CONGRATULATIONS!!  I’ve already updated you to ClustrMaps+ status, and the ‘zoomed in maps’ (continents) will begin appearing after the next map update (normally overnight at 0400 GMT, but it also depends on there being an increase by 20% of the number of ‘dots’ shown, so it may take an extra day or two).

You’ll find your URL listed on our User of The Month page, at

in one of the collections reasonably near the top,

and the upgrade stays in effect for 2 years (after which I can easily guarantee plenty of great new features).

Best wishes, and thanks for being a loyal ClustrMaps user and fan!

Thanks again visitors and the Clustrmaps team!!

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Badges, Badges and more Badges

We thought some of you might like to add badges to your blogs to let your readers know you’re part of the Student Blogging  and Commenting Challenge.

So here they are!

For the Better Bloggers

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For your blog posts

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For the Better Commenters

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For your blog posts

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For the Challenge Helpers

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For your blog posts

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Adding to your blog sidebar:

All you need to do is add a text widget to your sidebar and write a link to the image here on this blog using HTML code.

Here is an example of how you need to write the code:

Where it says:

you replace it with the image location given above for the size of badge you want to add to your sidebar.


Miss W. says, “Thanks very much James  from Edublogs for designing and organizing these badges.  Also many thanks to Sue from Edublogs for writing this post to show students and me how to add them to their blog.  I am sure many students and classes will soon have them on their blogs and will have left a comment here thanking you for your support of the challenge.”

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Miss W is away, what will we do?

Hey, hey, just because I am away doesn’t mean you don’t have any work to do.  You have

  • your presentations about a period of time in earth’s history to get organized
  • check the history blog for links about the period of earth’s  history
  • if you haven’t finished your work on “Bridge to Terabithia” do that
  • read more of ‘Bridge to Terabithia’
  • in your blog write a post about a time you didn’t have to come to school - was it the fault of nature? was it illness? was it a special event?
  • leave comments on some new blogs in the blogging challenge
  • catch up with the activities in the blogging challenge

Finally, if the relief teacher brings work for you to do, I will expect it finished before going on with the work I mentioned above.

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I won’t be at school on Tuesday

Over the weekend, my neighbours and I held a regatta out on the street in front of our houses.  A regatta you say – but you need water for that. Well look below at the photos that I took.

One of the neighbours called the ABC and they sent down a photographer and reporter.  Our regatta was mentioned on the news on Saturday night.  Since then the water level has risen even further and two cars about the same size as mine have been stuck and had to be pulled out of the water on the road. This is not good for the underside of the car nor the engine and certainly not the brakes.

Underneath that water are some dangerous potholes – one at least two metres long and about 50cms deep. The council are going to try and pump away some of the water but that won’t be until Wednesday so we have been told.  With more rain due tonight and tomorrow, I feel safer in my house and not trying to leave my driveway to get to school.

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Week 4 challenge

Since last week, I noticed a few classes in the first list of the participant’s page now have blogrolls with student individual blogs listed on them.  Also please note the blogmeister blogs have individual blogs on their sidebar as well. 

Classes and students have been out visiting and commenting on lots of blogs and, thanks to Sue Waters from the Edublogger, we now have a teacher, pre-service teacher or student helping with commenting on all class and individual blogs.  Most people using Blogger blogs have made sure commenters can use a profile of anonymous or name/URL.

Lots of students have created blog and comment avatars, but remember, if you have uploaded it on Edublogs, then it will only appear when you comment on an Edublogs blog.  There is no way your comment avatar will appear on all blogs.

So, I hope everyone is enjoying the challenges.  We have classes and students taking part from the following countries: Australia, U.S.A., New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Hong Kong, Canada, Scotland, Thailand, Venezuela, Greece, Chile and Basq country.  Hopefully Portugal will also be joining us soon.

Challenges this week

  1. To keep up the international flavour, add at least one widget to your sidebar that shows your reader a bit about the area you live in. This could be a weather or time widget.  What else might be appropriate?
  2. Visit a blog from at least five different countries not including your own.  Leave a useful comment on the blog. This might include asking a question about the area the blogger lives in. 
  3. Now write a post about what you learnt about the five bloggers you have visited. What did you find interesting about their blog? Is there someone in your class you would recommend read that blog as well?
  4. Make sure you have read this PDF blog post about adding a URL as a hyperlink in a comment.  Try using this in activity 2 by linking to an interesting website about your country that the blogger could visit.
  5. With so many countries taking part that have bloggers writing and speaking different languages, it is nearly necessary to have some form of translator widget on your blog. Can you find a widget to translate in Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Greek and Basq?
Original image: ‘Welcoming


by: fly      Released under an Attribution License

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Comment! Comment! week 3

WOW! Two posts for the challenge this week.  Some students and classes took a great deal of care writing their commenting guidelines from last week’s challenge. Have a look at these:

Abbey, Mrs Yollis, Mr Miraglia, Jessica, Brad, Chris, Emily, Kelly - teachers are the same, all over the world Kelly!!

  • Fab4 even made a video earlier this year about why they want to blog.
  • Mrs Cousino has some tips for starter sentences when commenting on blogs.
  • Mrs Bee’s class have created ‘scooper tops.‘  What are these you ask?
  • Mrs Thompson’s class were advertising the blogging challenge.

These students wrote posts about the comments they left:  Brad, Abby

This week’s challenges

  1. How are the comments made by Brad and Abby the same? How are they different? Which comment(s) would lead on to further conversation between Brad or Abby and the owner of the blog?
  2. How can you write a great post so lots of people leave comments?  Check out this post by Sue Waters from the Edublogger. Write a post you think will invite a lot of comments.
  3. When someone leaves a comment, are you leaving an answer for them in your comment area, are you visiting their blog to leave a comment or are you sending an email to them if they left their email address?  Which of these three do you think carries the conversation on about the topic in your blog? Why?
  4. If you want to have threaded comments in your blog, then enter this competition run by The Edublogger.  It closes soon so you might want to write this post first.

Comments (24)

Blog!Blog! Week 3

Too much to have to say in one post this week, so I have divided it up into a blogging challenge post and a commenting challenge post.

It is great to see so many students with their own blogs participating in the challenge.  Remember though, there are also some students on class blogrolls. Visit them to read their posts and leave comments as well.

What is a blogroll, you ask?  Now that you have started visiting other blogs and looking at the participant list to find students with similar interests, you might start finding some blogs that you really like.  You might visit these every day, but how do you remember their URL?  This is where a blogroll comes in handy.

If you look on the sidebar of my blog, you will notice I have certain subheadings such as:

  • 2009 bloggers
  • links numeracy
  • links science
  • teacher blogs  

These are all part of my blogroll.  Notice the subheadings or categories are alphabetical beginning with numbers.  So you will need to think about what the names are for your categories. 

If using Edublogs, to create the link category headings, go to  links > link category  To add some links such as this blog and your friends blogs, go to links>add new.  Remember to say what category you put the link under and also use http:// in front of the URL.

Just to confuse you and your teacher, there is also another heading called ‘categories’.  This though, relates to the posts you write about.  These categories appear in the header area or at the footer section of your post. 

What are your posts mainly about?

  • family and friends
  • schoolwork
  • my interests
  • my future 

You might use these as post categories.  If using Edublogs, to set them up from your dashboard go to posts>categories. Why are categories and tags important when writing your posts?  See if you can find out that answer over the next week.

Your challenges this week

  1. Add at least 10 blogs to your blog roll.  Make sure you have at least two different categories.
  2. When writing posts, begin adding categories. You should only have a few of these – it is like the chapter heading of a book. Go back to your previous posts and change the category.  If writing a post for the challenge, perhaps a category ‘challenge 09′ would be useful.
  3. If you have taken part in a previous challenge,  you also need to write a post recommending at least 5 blogs you think students and classes should add to their blogroll.  Remember to give reasons why that blog should be added.
  4. If you still have lots of time to do some more challenges, then visit the blog run by last year’s participants.  Leave some comments on the posts and perhaps you will also find some other links for your blogroll. Check out the categories used on this blog in their blog roll.

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Student organizing ‘green’ challenge

One of the participants in this blogging challenge has also organized her own ‘green’ challenge. I know we have many students and classes interested in our environment and how we can help improve it for future generations.  Please read her blurb below, and join in her challenge as well.

Hi! I am needing more bloggers for my blogging challenge, “The Big Green Help.” If you could help me “advertise,” or get bloggers, that would be great. Any ideas, posts, or comments will work.

For those of you looking for more information about this challenge, here it is:
“The Big Green Help” blogging challenge is to help students and teachers all around the world discover what they can do to help our planet Earth. Students and teachers will also get the chance to become better bloggers through posts and comments. Challenge participants will complete a series of challenges to try to help Earth. There will be a few different categories that you can become a winner in (there will be 1-3 winners per category). Winners will receive a cool banner that they can add to the side of their blog. They will also receive more visitors to their blog, more comments, and a mention in the winner list post. The first challenge will be posted on September 25, and after that, new challenges will be posted about once a week. Sign up at the link below (To participate completely, please sign up before September 25, although later admissions are welcome):

Here’s the link to sign up:

Here’s the link that challenges will be posted at:


So please visit Lauren and her blog where you can register for her ‘green’ challenge.


Can’t register for challenge??

Sue Waters from The Edublogger has told me some people are having trouble registering for the blogging challenge because Google docs is filtered in your school.  So I have included here an Excel spreadsheet for you to fill in and email back to me at tasteach56atgmaildotcom.

Also some of our younger students are having trouble knowing the difference between their email address and their blog’s URL, so maybe teachers could also fill in the spreadsheet and return to me.  This would affect those students who are already on the participant list, but have some red writing next to their name.

Register here for challenge if google docs blocked

Comments (2)

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