Showing posts with label Student Blogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Student Blogs. Show all posts

Monday, April 22, 2013

What do People Say About You?

What describes you? Are you courageous, kind, caring, awesome, amazing, beautiful, cool, smart, hard working, funny, winsome, cute, pretty, friendly, smiley, thoughtful, responsible, confident, quiet, honest, loving, outgoing, leader, sincere, reliable, brave, jovial, super, great singer, joyful, good student, generous, imaginative, creative, artistic, energetic, inspiring, athletic, open minded, majestic, terrific, fabulous, keeps trying, motivated, never gives up, successful, poetic, positive, great attitude, truthful, faithful, determined, kindhearted, unforgettable, outstanding, intelligent, incredible, helpful, gifted, wise, polite, mannerly, always does her best, helps classmates, does all his work . . .

Your assignment is to write a blog post that tells of seven things people at Salt Creek say about you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How the Setting Impacts the Book

Students recently wrote a blog post about how the setting impacts the book they are reading.  We discussed the setting in the current read aloud, Watcher's Rewind written by Peter Lerangis.  In this book the whole story takes place near where a fatal accident happened.  This makes life extremely difficult for the main character, Adam Sarno.

Students also completed a lesson on Study Island, the online learning program that we use in Reading Workshop.

To see student blog posts, you can look HERE



Friday, January 11, 2013

How Involved are You in Blogging?

As the grading period comes to an end, please count and record the number of your posts and comments.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Are You a Title Champ?

Student blog post titles from Reading Workshop students have been a little on the lame side lately.  What's a teacher to do but have a contest and offer extra credit to the winners?  Hopefully titles in the future will grab the readers' attention.

Students were writing a blog post about their opinion of the main character in the book they are reading.

Great job to title contest winners.  You can visit their blogs at

Megan's Thoughts  with the title What You See Isn't Always What You Get writing about Jazz in Define Normal

Jaili's LA LA Blog with the title Just Another High School Geek writing about Annabelle in Girls Acting Catty

Colten's Country with the title A Courageous Main Character writing about Amy in 39 Clues, One False Note.

Monday, November 5, 2012

So Long Wordpress, Student Blogs are Moving

After using Wordpress to host student blogs for the last four years, Reading Workshop students will be switching to Edublogs.  Wordpress has supplied a great service at no cost.  It is easy for students to use and worked well.  However, there seems to be an increasing amount of ads on blogs when the viewer is not logged in.  As much as I can understand their need to support their service, I would prefer to have ad-free student blogs.

This may cause some inconvenience to those that have spots bookmarked and I apologize for that.  The links on the sidebar under 2012 Student Blogs should be correct.

So long Wordpress.  Here we come Edublogs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hey Tacky Blogger

Green pants and an orange shirt today?  Probably not.  So if you take care to not dress tacky, be careful what you do to your blog.

What am I talking about?  Well, most Reading Workshop students are working hard to create the best blog possible.  Their writing is improving daily.  Whatever we do, we don't want to waste that effort.  However, just because you learned how to change the color of words and background, it doesn't mean you should.

Fonts and text colors are part of a theme which is designed to match and look good, without distracting the reader.  When you change background colors or make the background flash, and change text colors be very careful because the next Reading Workshop award might be 


Tacky Blog Award2



I don't think you want that on your sidebar.  :)

Image from http://www.glnd.k12.va.us/index/ghs/

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reading Workshop Outstanding Student Blogger Award

Do you want to be a STAR?  Do you want recognition as an Outstanding Student Blogger?  Would you like to have an award like this on your blog?


Outstanding Student Blogger 2012#2

Outstanding Student Blogger Award



To earn this award, students must post often with interesting content that engages the reader.  Posts should be on a variety of topics that draw readers to your blog and keep them coming back.  There should be links to relative web sites and pictures that help illustrate the writer's point. And as always, PUGS (Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling) must be correct.

If you want to see some examples, these Reading Workshop students have already earned Outstanding Student Blogger Awards.

Megan's Thoughts     Holden's Home     Kylie's Rocking Blog     Hailey's Paradise   

Will you be next?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can You Give Students a Helping Hand?

Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, could you spare a few minutes a week to help the students in Reading Workshop?  All you need is Internet access and some type of devise  to post comments (laptop, PC, IPad, smart phone, etc.).  

Students have been working hard on their blogs.  Their writing is getting better, both with content and mechanics.  Although they are beginning to build readership, getting frequent comments motivates them like nothing else.  And here is where you could help.

On the right sidebar, students' blogs are listed with links under 2012 Student Blogs.  They are listed by classes 601-604.  If you would comment on a few blogs, you could help make a difference to a young writer.  Some students get quite a few comments, but some hardly ever get any.  You could let these kids know they have an audience that cares about their blog by posting a short, positive comment on their blog.  

This idea originated from Laura Crosby who has been taking some time to comment on The Reading Workshop student blogs for the last few weeks.  The results have been very positive and students really have felt great reading her remarks about their posts.  

Please take a few minutes and make a student's day.  It doesn't matter if it's someone you know or not.  Believe me, all students appreciate it when someone has something good to say about their writing.

If you have questions about how to get started, just send me an email at  Mr. McGuire.


P.S.  Any student that can get their parent/grandparent to start commenting on blogs will earn extra credit.  :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Student Bloggers Made My Day

How would you feel if you had seven students that wrote on the weekend?  This wasn't an assignment, and they didn't get extra credit.  This was just students taking pride in their work and writing on their blog.  I can tell you this teacher is proud of the effort!

If you want to check out some good examples of students' blogs, here is a good place to start!

Holden's Home

Jaili's la la Blog

Emily's Extras

Kami's Place

Kirsten's Blog

Kylie's Rockin Blog

Colt's Chat Zone

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Caps Cause We Care


This is being reposted from Megan's Thoughts

 Hello again, its Megan! I just wanted to remind everyone that Friday, October 13th  Saltcreek Intermediate School  is going to have a hat day!

All you have to do is bring in 25 cents or more to wear your hat all day long! All the money that student council raises is going toward a special girl in the sixth grade who has leukemia. We will donate the money toward whatever her family needs, to help her get better.

Just remember to bring in a hat and a quarter to help her. Your classes student council representative will collect the money in each class. Thank you for reading!


This is a great cause so please bring in money on Friday to help the Student Council help one of our students and her family.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A How-to For Blog Comments


Students in Reading Workshop are building their blogs, post by post.  In addition, many are taking the time to comment on their peers' blogs.  Here is some information about commenting to help with this.

Everyone that blogs wants comments.  We want every single person that visits our blog to comment.  In fact, almost any comment is better than none.  So if you visit a blog, the most important rule for blog comments is to comment.  Take a minute and let us know you were here and what you think.

You need to know though, that commenting is a competition. You are vying for the reader's attention. You are trying to make others agree with you.  You want the reader to listen to you over other commenters, and you want to sound better than others. If you care enough to write, then you care enough to want to sound intelligent. 

If you agree, say so.  If you disagree, or have a different opinion, say so.  But whatever you do, be assured, bloggers love comments. All comments are appreciated. However, nothing beats a comment from someone that is intelligent and makes a great point.

Here are the Reading Workshop rules for Blog Comments.

1.  No personal abuse or name-calling, please. A positive tone wins over the reader, a negative tone drives readers away.
2.  Your content is just as important as the bloggers.  The first sentence MUST grab the reader. The first paragraph should give the reader an idea what the comment discusses. Keep on topic.  Don't write a comment that has little or nothing to do with the subject of the article.
3.  Opposing opinions are welcome, as long as they are respectful of the views of others.  If you disagree with the opinions of the author, express it politely.
4.  Mistakes, especially in grammar and spelling cause the reader to move on to the next comment. Readers assume if you can't write correctly you are not intelligent enough to be worth reading.
5.  Avoid repeating yourself.  If many people have already said something, please don’t say it again.  Once you make a point, support it, but don't keep saying the same thing over, and over, and over.
6.  Don’t make comments like “Great post.” If you read it, say why it was great.  Add some­thing to the con­ver­sa­tion.   Add your own view, or thoughts to the topic. Throwing out a statement without telling why it matters, or how it impacts others, or what significance it has to the reader is worthless.


If you are going to take the time to comment, take the time to do it right. Win the comment contest by writing a fabulous comment that makes readers think, or wonder, or smile, or cry, or agree, or disagree.  Write a comment with meaning.

Bloggers love comments. All comments are appreciated. However, nothing beats a comment from someone that is intelligent and makes a great point.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Student's Good First Blog Post

Students in Reading Workshop have begun blogging as part of their language arts class.  The first assignment was to write about the main character in the book they are reading.  Students all choose their own books based on their interests and ability.

Megan set the standard with her first post.  You can follow her work throughout the year on her blog, Megan's Thoughts.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Bloggers are Back

Christmas break is over and students are getting back in the groove.  Students spent some time today working on their blogs publishing drafts and working on new posts.  Although we were all a little fuzzy-brained yesterday, the brain cells have awoken and quality work is coming out.

Molly posted over the break recommending a few of her peers' blogs.  You can find links to blogs she thinks are great on her blog, Molly's Mystery Journal, or links to all of the students' blogs on the sidebar on the right.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Student Poetry

Here are a few samples of students' poems.  To see more, just click on the links on the sidebar.

From A Daily Bailey
I Think I'm Going to Puke
I’m not really feeling well
It’s something that I ate
I think I’m about to puke
It tasted like fish bait

Uh oh!
I’m gonna spew
I’m really, really sorry
If I get some on you

It’s all over the carpet
It kind of looks like plums
Hey! What’s that thing there?
It looks like lots of thumbs

I shouldn’t have eaten that food
It looked like an old baseball mitt
I’ll never eat it again
Not even a little bit

It’s all over the room
Even on the couch
I’m sorry it got everywhere
No need to be a grouch

I went and cleaned up                                                                       
Now it’s all gone
Next time I’ll go puke
Outside on the lawn
Divorce, Divorce
Where do I start
It’s a course.

Divorce, Divorce
Why do our parents do that?
It makes me sad.

Divorce, Divorce
My sister and I
Had to cry

My Sister by Keifer
Inspired by Sara Holbrook

My sister is
a splinter
deep down in my skin



My sister is
a baseball game
one I can not win



My sister  is
a rat
with her little mice



Keifer's sister is the sweet looking one on the left.  Hhhhhmmm!
My sister is
a cucumber
one I want to dice



My sister is
a bug
one I want to crush



My sister is
an apple
that has turned to mush



My sister is
a bumble bee
always stinging me



My sister is
just mean
come on can’t you see

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Veteran's Day

Thank you to Austin for this Veteran's Day post.  I couldn't have said it better, so I just used the post from his Reading Workshop student blog.

Many people may already know this but Veteran's Day is on Friday, 11/11/11. At my school we are going to have an assembly to honor them for their service to our country. I know a lot of people who were in the armed forces.  More than I can name and count have been in the air force on my grandma’s side in the Lallier family. 

My grandpa is going to be at the assembly.  He was in the army in Vietnam. I think it was 5 or more people on my grandma’s side who were in the armed forces. Veteran's Day is a day to honor people who have died or served or still serve in the armed forces. So don’t forget to honor them and their service to our country.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yes, Commas do Matter

Take a breath, and then another, and another.  How do you know when to pause when you are reading? 

           PUNCTUATION!

Or, as the picture says, save a life by using a comma.  Besides, Grandma is probably old and tough anyway.  No one would want to eat her.


Another example of the need for a comma is a song we are singing as part of building fluency in Reading Workshop.  The song Crazy Girl by the Eli Young Band uses a comma that changes the meaning of the phrase crazy girl or crazy, girl throughout the song.

Crazy girl, don’t you know that I love you?
And I wouldn’t dream of goin’ nowhere
Silly woman, come here, let me hold you
Have I told you lately?
I love you like crazy, girl

So, Reading Workshop students, when there is a pause in a sentence, but not a complete new thought, be sure to put in a comma.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Student Blogging Stars

Student bloggers have made an excellent start, displaying their writing, sharing their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. As the first nine weeks comes to and end, the students in Reading Workshop were given the task of evaluating their blogs

Next, I looked at their responses, and took them into consideration as I graded their blogs. For the most part, students and I agreed on how their blogs should be scored. A few students met all expectations, publishing work that any sixth grade teacher would be proud to display. 

Jessica wrote interesting posts, had great detail, and pictures to support her points. And, she even took time to have a little fun at her teacher's expense. 
Megan always links to relevant sites, shows pictures that fit with the topic, and writes extra detailed posts. 
Sara writes in detail and spends her own time writing extra posts to make her blog interesting and informative.
Alex's blog looks great.  Her content is good too!
Shala posts every assignment and a lot of extras too.  She is also the first to help peers when they need it on their blog.
Tyler is a sports nut and his blog shows it.  Go Browns!
Ridge works to make his blog right.  He posts in detail, finds pictures that fit, and links to relevant sites.  Plus, he writes extra posts.

Great job to these students for their excellent work!

Image from http://www.uwicsu.co.uk/content/440693/membership_services/representation/stars/

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Students, Grade Your Blogs

As the first 9 weeks comes to an end, it is time to grade The Reading Workshop students' blogs.  This is a chance for students to have input into their blog grade.  With this embedded Google Docs Form, students can evaluate their work.  

We will be using the Blogging Stair Steps to Success from the post on Grading Student Blogs as a basis for this evaluation.



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nothing Like a Blog to Get Them Working

Walk into the Reading Workshop classroom and it is so quiet.  Students are intensely focused on their screens.  About the only sound is the pecking on keyboards.  Occasionally someone will ask a peer for help, which is quickly given because the helper wants to get back to their post.  At times, students will skim through their book, looking for correct spelling, or a detail that will support a point. 

Students created their blog the first week of school.  A lot of the second week was spent learning the basics of Wordpress and blogging.  As students begin posting, once again the value of integrating technology into the curriculum shows.  Discipline isn't an issue.  Everyone wants to get a post written so their peers can read it and comment on it.

Fake reading during SSR is limited.  Let's face it, if you know all of your peers are going to read what you write, you better make sense.  And how can you write about a book if you haven't read it and/or don't understand it?

Technology contributes in many ways to the success of students in Reading Workshop.  The greatest benefit though is motivation.  Students are working, doing their best to produce a great blog.  And with the way they are working, I have no doubt they will succeed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Downing's Visit Shows the Importance of Web 2.0 in the Classroom

Author, Erin Downing visited The Reading Workshop blog last week.  She commented on a book talk about Prom Crashers by Hadley.  This was an extremely important event for all of the students, and especially for Hadley.  

Students have worked throughout the year, with technology being integrated into everything they do in language arts.  I have continually stressed the importance of high quality work, and we have had many discussions about how work published on the Internet can be viewed by anyone.  This was never more evident than when Downing took the time to watch the book talk, and then comment.

It's ironic how so many little events led up to this memorable one.  Several years ago, computers became a tool used daily in Reading Workshop.  We started with word processing, built a class wiki, used Study Island online learning, and eventually started student blogs.  This year, after I watched a session on Book Talks by David Hayward from ITSCO, I started having students use a Flip Video Camera to film their book talks. 

Although there are many benefits to using Web 2.0 tools for learning, none can top having the author of a book take the time to comment on a student's work.  It shows the power of blogging and how an online presence can contribute to students' education and motivate them to the highest level of success. With the use of technology in the classroom, an author can visit online and have a positive impact on students that read her book.

Thank you Mrs. Downing for making the effort to interact with The Reading Workshop, and for recognizing the work of Hadley.   A few minutes of your time helped make a memory that will last a lifetime.