Technology Learning Coach – One Year On #1 Reflection

Technology Learning Coach – One Year On #1 Reflection

One of my many favourite sessions with Grade 5 bloggers has to be our Beginning Blogging Sessions.  When classroom teachers decide that they want to blog (individual blogs) with their students, they can book me for 4-6 getting-started sessions.  These sessions go hand-in-hand with our Digital Literacy Unit for the start of the year.

Our Guiding Question:   What makes a quality post?


We used the “noisy round-robin” techniques to get all our ideas down on paper.

Noisy Round Robin Technique:
In groups of 4, brainstorm ideas for 1-2 minutes then pass your sheet of paper to the next table.
Rule 1: 1 person to read all responses to rest of group
Rule 2: Add more ideas/responses to the new sheet but DO NOT repeat what you have already added to the previous sheet/s.  Repeat process 3-6 times.  Groups then decide on top 2-4 ideas on their sheet.


One person from each group reported back the top idea from the chart.  No repeats are allowed, so students had to listen to each other.  Everyone had to agree that the idea belonged on the master list of what makes a quality post?


Here’s what I was hoping they would come up with:

Make sure your work is the best it can be;

Think before you post: Make sure what you write is appropriate to put online;

Always tell the truth on your posts;

Say what you mean, and mean what you say;

Online work is NOT private. Never say anything on a blog that you wouldn’t mind seeing on the school bulletin board, or in the local newspaper;

Get descriptive in your title. The title helps your audience decide if they want to read your post or not;

Try to link to other ideas or resources that back up the point you are trying to get across or further explain or enhance your content;

Is your post learning related?

Make your writing physically attractive. Add a supportive image, use bullets and paragraphs appropriately;

Give credit in your works cited list to anyone whose work you use. Never use other people’s work and call it your own. In other words, don’t cut, copy, or plagiarize Internet content!

Share your knowledge with others; when you learn something new, pass it along to someone else who can benefit;

Carefully proofread your online work before you post, just like you would a regular letter. Use good form, spelling and grammar;

Capital letters are regarded as “SHOUTING.” Be careful with them;

Don’t publicly criticise (or “flame”) others. Don’t be offensive, and don’t ever use bad language.

Here’s what they came up with:

Final List for “What Makes a Quality Blog Post”:

Don’t offend people (no swear words, insults, racist comments, and no discrimination).

Add images, videos, and captions if necessary or if it is related to your writing.

Be thoughtful when posting. Start with a good idea.

Check your punctuation spelling and grammar! (Capital letters= shouting, so only use it when it is needed).

Keep your personal information PRIVATE!

Make your reader (audience) feel like you are talking to them.

Always have a title. And be sure to make your title a hook.

Final Thoughts

What I’ve noticed is that when students help construct a list, they are more likely to understand the foundations of a good quality post – more so that just brainstorming a list together as a class.  It gives the teacher more of an idea of what the students are thinking about blogging already.

The “noisy round robin” technique is certainly that – noisy!  But I like it and I’m pretty sure the students do too.  Everyone has a voice, everyone can contribute and from others’ ideas grow more ideas!

Technology & Learning Coach – Reflection #1

Over the next few weeks I’ll be reflecting on my first year as ES Technology & Learning Coach for the International School of Bangkok.  It’s my first year out of the classroom after 14 wonderful years as a teacher of Year 2/3, then Year 7, and off course, two years as a Grade 5 teacher at ISB.

Leaving a Comment on Someone’s Blog

We are learning how to be better commentors on blogs.  Here are some thoughts from our class discussion.

  • Refer to the facts of the post: Comment on the things that are interesting and new to you
  • Make Connections: Relate and compare things you are reading in the post to things that you already know.
  • Ask Questions: What about the content of the post is confusing to you? What don’t you understand? Remember that there will ALWAYS be questions in an active thinker’s mind!
  • Give Your Opinions: Make judgments about what you are reading. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Like? Dislike? Do you support or oppose anything that you have read? Why?

You could use the following sentence starters below to help you begin your comment

This reminds me of…
This is similar to…
I wonder…
I realized…
I noticed…
You can relate this to…
I’d like to know…
I’m surprised that…
If I were ________, I would ______________
If __________ then ___________
Although it seems…
I’m not sure that…

Adapted from: Bill Ferriter’s Digitally Speaking

Destiny Quest Widget

You can now add a Destiny Quest Widget to the side of your blog!  It will look like this on your sidebar!

Virtual Room 231

Here’s how:

  • Log into the back end of your own blog
  • Click on Appearance, Widgets
  • Drag a Text widget box over to your sidebar
Widgets ‹ Virtual Room 231 — WordPress

  • Click the link below to download a pdf that contains the code you need to copy
  • Very Important! when prompted, click Open file – do not click Save file)


  • Copy the code from the open pdf file – make sure you copy all of it.
  • Paste the code into the text widget.
  • Remember to click Save in the Text widget box!Your text widget should now look like this:
Widgets ‹ Virtual Room 231 — WordPress
Don’t type anything in the title of the text widget!

Check out the front of your blog and see if it’s there – click on it and it should open a new tab right to Destiny Quest!




Good Comments & Great Comments

Today in Grade 3, Ms H and the students were talking about “what makes a great comment”. We also talked about making “good comments” into “great comments”.

After much discussion and brainstorming, here’s what we came up with.

A good comment:
  1. Is positive
    (it doesn’t make someone feel bad about themselves)
  2. Is always polite
    (that means it’s not mean or nasty and there’s no swear/curse words either)
  3. Stays on topic
    (your comment matches what the author of the post is talking about)
  4. Is more than one word!
    (one word comments are not very helpful and neither a lot of exclamation marks!)
  5. Sometimes disagrees with what someone says in their post
    (but remember Number #2 – and explain why you disagree)

A great comment is everything from 1- 5 with an added extra!

  • Is useful
    (gives a piece of advice on how to make the post better or improve something, if possible)

What does everyone else think?  Have we missed anything?

Image used under Creative Commons License by Mis Miah:

Guide to Navigating A Blog – Made by Grade 2 Students!

Hi there, new Grade 2/3/4/5 bloggers!  Check out these very clever Grade 2 bloggers from MJDGS and the video they made to teach their parents how to navigate their classroom blog.

Blog Tutorial from langwitches on Vimeo.

What did you think? It was pretty awesome wasn’t it? Do you think we could make something similar for our parents?
How do you think MJGDS students put this together?
How much did they prepare before filming?
What do you think they prepared before filming? During filming? After filming?
What would we have to do to make our video just as good?
Could all the grades work on one video together or do we need a video for every grade?