What is a Mystery Reader? Mystery Readers are special guests who come to our classroom to read a story to students. A mystery reader can be a parent, grandparent, relative, friend, sibling or educator.
When do Mystery Readers come to read? A Mystery Reader emails me and we set up a flexible time that works for both of our schedules.
Why should I be a Mystery Reader? This is a great way to model your love for reading and enjoyment for books. Ranchers will be thrilled with your surprise visit and to have a special story read to them. We will discuss the author’s message after the story is read.
How does the Mystery Reading Program work? The first step is to email me and we will confirm a time and date for you to visit. Start thinking about the book you would like to read to us. A few days before you come to our classroom, please email 5 clues about yourself so we can try to guess who you are. Clues should be somewhat general and at the end be a bit more specific.
Third grade is such a wonderful place at Stafford School and I am thrilled to to have you all in my classroom! The beginning of the school year is always a time of excitement around seeing our old friends, meeting and making new ones and looking forward to new learning. Stafford has an incredible community of students, teachers and parents. I look forward to spending a wonderful school year together. Ranchers, this blog will be just one way we can work together. It’s our classroom to your home connection.
“This is our last post for the Student Blogging Challenge until we start again in September/October 2016. I hope you have enjoyed the activities and the chance to make connections with other students and classes around the world.
I would like to thank Sue Waters from Edublogs for writing a few of the challenges this time, but also thank the mentors for taking time to visit and comment on student blogs.
We have had a great 10 weeks of blogging. You have learned so many skills to help you improve your blogs. Many of you have improved those writing skills or maybe digital skills with using a variety of tools to embed on your blog. But it is now time to evaluate your progress as well as the progress of the blogging challenge itself.
This week there are two things to do:
Evaluate your own blog
Evaluate the actual blogging challenge
1. This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of March 2016.
How many posts did you write?
How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
Did you change blog themes at all and why?
How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?
How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?
Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?
Now ask another student and teacher/parent from your school who might not have read your blog to do an audit.
Sit beside them while they navigate around your blog, record what you observe as they interact with your blog. When finished, ask them the following questions:
What were your first impressions of this blog?
What captured your attention?
What distracted you on the blog?
What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?
Write a post about your blog audit.
2. Evaluating the challenge.
I usually have a form to fill in here but this time I would like you to leave a quality comment giving your opinion of the challenge. You might want to mention some of the following things:
the most interesting challenge for you
how often you visited other blogs and left comments
whether you read the challenge flipboard magazine
a PMI or plus/minus/interesting point about the challenge
the most important thing you learnt while doing the challenge
Thanks again for taking part in this challenge. Hopefully you will take part again in October this year. If you have taken part in at least two sets of challenges, you can also become a mentor, so watch out for the mentor post in September.” BY MISS W.
Announcing Stafford’s first Family Engineering Night!
Thursday, May 19th from 6:00-7:30 in the MPR and on the Playground
There will be over 20 STEM challenges for families to work on together. Some stations include Rockets, Solar Cars, Wind Turbines, Binary Bracelets, and catapults. It is an awesome night- fun for families and lots of learning too!! Please come!!
The success of this event depends on volunteers like YOU! We are about 10 volunteers short. You do not need to teach anything, just monitor a station and replenish supplies as needed. It is fun and easy! If you, or anyone you know, can help us click on the link http://vols.pt/NwJ9Gc or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, this is our second last week in the March challenge for 2016. Over the last 8 weeks, you have learnt a lot about blogging if you have done most of the activities and checked out the links included in my posts.
It is now your time to do your best and show your teachers and myself what a great blog post looks like.
The one and only activity for this week:
Write a post on one of the following topics
What makes a great family
A global issue you would like to help solve
Having read many of your posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.
includes at least one visual whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
written in paragraphs – at least three of them
includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these
When you have finished your post, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post. Mention which topic you wrote about and leave a link to your post.Those posts covering the seven things mentioned above will be added to the flipboard magazine.
Still more time left this week:
Visit other student and class blogs.
Read posts and leave comments.
Decide on a student blog and/or class blog you would like to nominate for the Edublogs Awards this year. You will get a chance next week to write a post about the blog you have chosen. HINT: Can’t be your own blog nor one from another student in your class.
Before you start, please make sure you have at least 5 other student blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog, in a page near your header area or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students or Global classes. Here is how to add a blogroll if using Edublogs or Blogger. If using Kidblog write a post mentioning at least 5 great blogs you enjoy visiting.
Game week is all about visiting other blogs.
Student and class blogs – new bloggers and old hands at the blogging – mentors as well as participants.
Remember one of the main aims of blogging includes commenting and carrying on conversations with the author of posts and their other readers.
A good commenter will have:
read the post carefully,
checked out the links in the post
read the previous comments before they leave one of their own
added to the conversation with a quality comment – remember that video from Mrs Yollis’ class.
This is a game we have run for many challenges and allows you to connect globally.
Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:
now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three
Leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog. Remember to include the URL of your blog, so that person can visit you as well.
Students: Make sure you are also replying to any comments that have been left for you.
Do this activity at least three times and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and which posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post? Remember to include a link back to the post you left a comment on.
Get to it – start visiting and leaving quality comments that show you have read the post.
How many quality comments could you leave this week? Can you leave 10, 20 or maybe 50?
Write a post about the commenting you have done this week or throughout the challenge so far.
What have you enjoyed about commenting?
What is annoying about commenting?
How have you found interesting posts to comment on?
Are your posts getting lots of quality comments? Why or why not?
Create a list of great comment starters to help new students to blogging. There are some lists on the web but try to create your own. Here are a couple of examples from Anne Davis:
Another thing to consider is…….
I can relate to this…….
This makes me think of…….
Write a quick post and then include 5 great comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment!
“Once you have finished your work at school, you can often go and play with something in the room.
But let’s also think about people with unusual jobs – what did they do for play or relaxation?
I think about my great great grandfather who was a whaling captain in the 1870’s. He was stuck on a boat with thirty other men, maybe his wife and a child was also on board. What sort of things did the sailors do for relaxation out in the middle of the ocean?
Here in Australia and New Zealand we have just celebrated ANZAC Day and we are thinking about the soldiers of the Great War – World War 1. If they weren’t fighting in the trenches or charging across the open ground, what could they do for relaxation? If they had been injured and were recuperating in a hospital tent, what could they be doing?
Activities to choose from:
1. Research board games – when, where and why were they invented?
2. Create a new game for someone to de-stress from their lifestyle.
3. Your family are stranded on a deserted island, with nothing but your clothes. How will you entertain yourselves?
4. Research ball games around the world – find out the rules and then try playing something similar at school or home. How did it go?
5. Find out the ways soldiers and sea captains used to relax over 100 years ago.
6. The electricity grid went out in your country. What would change in your lifestyle? How would you relax?
7. Survey class members about games they have at home. Are you going to include computer games? Create some interesting graphs about results.
8. Find an image that has a relaxing feel to it. Write a poem remembering to give attribution correctly.
Try to use a variety of web tools to create your post not just basic writing.”
Ranchers, we are already in Week 6 of the Blogging Challenge. As we enter this new week of our global outreach, there are many activities that we can choose. Our assignment is to select one of the four challenges to research and write a new blog post to share with the world. Here is the assignment from the 2016 Blogging Challenge:
“An important part of blogging as part of a global community is learning more about each others’ culture. Food is often one of the first things you notice when visiting another country. (If you completed this activity last year, you might want to change the topic to stories, songs or clothing from your culture)
This week we’re going to learn more about each others’ culture by sharing stories about food popular in our country or asking other participants questions about food in their country.
To help you get started I’m going to tell you about food that is popular in Australia.
Vegemite is uniquely Australian and most Aussies have a jar of Vegemite in their house. We even have our own Vegemite song! It’s a dark brown food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast, vegetables and additives.
Our favorite way of eating Vegemite is on toasted bread with a layer of margarine (or butter) spread with a thin layer of Vegemite.
While some might say Vegemite is an acquired taste — the true secret to eating Vegemite is the thin layer of Vegemite on toast. Most of the hilarious taste testing Vegemite videos on YouTube are caused by trying to eat Vegemite like you would Peanut butter, Nutella or Jam.
Aussie Meat Pies
The Meat pie is considered iconic in Australia and New Zealand. These are hand-sized meat pies made up of diced or minced meat and vegetables.
Most Australian bakeries sell a wide variety of meat pies, sausage rolls in addition to bread and cakes. Meat pies and sausage rolls are a common lunch food here and you can also buy them at most lunch bars and petrol stations.
Selection of pies and sausage rolls at a bakery
Each bakery has their own unique recipes.
You might enjoy making meat pies with your students. It isn’t hard.
Write a post on food, songs, stories or clothing that is popular in your country.
In your post, include links to where you researched and some images with attribution. You might also want to a collage of images or a slideshow you have created.
Visit Inside Scoops Taco Tuesday post to learn what their students eat for lunch. Leave a comment on Taco Tuesday post to let them know what you eat for school lunches in where you live or write a post to share what school lunches are like where you live.
Create a poll or survey and embed it into a post to find out more about the types of foods eaten by your readers or songs sung, stories told or clothing worn.
Visit at least 5 blogs from countries other than your own. Leave a comment on a post at each blog to ask them questions about food, songs, stories or clothing in their country. Now write your own post including the comment you have left and linking to each post you commented on.”
Ranchers, as we begin to familiarize ourselves with the etiquette of posting, we need to give credit to the sources that we use. On the Student Blogging Challenge website, we find the following information:
“There is a lot to learn in this challenge so it will be running for a two week (fortnight) period. The next challenge will be posted on 17 April while I am away on holidays.
Students and teachers please read this before doing the activities:
This week’s activities are going to be fun but first there are some things you need to know so please read carefully.
I have been visiting many blogs over the last few weeks. Some students new to blogging have been writing some great posts while others who have been blogging for a bit longer have started adding videos and images to their posts.
Yes, this week we deal with using images, music and sounds in your posts.
But can’t I use any image, music or sound that is on the internet?
No, you must use creative commons or in some cases the fair use rule.
But where can I find these images, music and sounds? Can’t I use anything when I google an image?
No, your blog is public so you must use creative commons images, sounds, music and videos.
Other places to get images and music:
You will need to work out how to get the attribution to put on your posts. Check Sue Waters’ post to get more help and more places for images. This post from Edublogs explains how to add media in all its forms to your blog posts or pages. If using blogger, check out the posts from this blog.
Activity 1 Watch this video about sharing work and write a post about what you learned. Include words such as attribution, share alike, licences and derivatives to show you understand what the video was about. Do some more research on the topic and perhaps create your own class video about using images, music and videos in class.
This video is the reaction of students in Mrs Yollis’ class when she mislabelled their artwork. How would you have felt?
Activity 2. Check out this story using remix and fair use of video. What was interesting, positive or negative about it? Could you and your friends create a 20 second video using remix and fair use? Mrs Miller’s class left some comments on her blog about creative commons
Activity 3. Find an image or piece of music. Add it to your post (with attribution) and write a poem relating to the image or music. Invite your readers to write their own poems. Here isFernando’s example, Samantha is confused
Activity 4. Similar to activity 3. Find an interesting landscape image (include attribution). Write the beginning of a story relating to your image. Remember to include a conflict of some sort between your characters. Invite your readers to finish the story. How many different endings can you get? Which ending do you prefer? You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to finish your story. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on.
Activity 5. Write a sentence using just images – no words. You still need to include attribution for each image you have used.
Activity 6. Find 5 images that create a story – again no words only the attribution for each image.
Activity 7. Create a slideshow, photo gallery or poster about your interests to add to your about me page or as a separate post. Your final slide should include attribution for each image.
Activity 8. Create your own images and add to a post of your choice. In your post add a link to the website or tool you used to create your image.
Other options for creating your own images include:
Mixing up your images using these types of tools can really spice up your posts! Leave a comment on this post, if you or your class can recommend some other image sites to add to this list.
Activity 9. Zoom out from an image
We first tried this activity in the challenge in September 2010. Choose a picture, and have your readers zoom out, so to speak, by leaving comments. Check out the example from Huzzah who finished their story. If doing this activity, include the word ‘zoom’ in your title so I can find it easily. Remember to give attribution. Most important here is to read previous comments, so you can add to the story.
If you have used images in any previous posts you have written, then you are ethically obliged to give the correct attribution or take the image out of the post if it does not have the right creative commons license. Check out where Holly found her image, Samudra also wrote a great post,”
Welcome back Ranchers! I trust you had an amazing week of refreshing and fun with your families. It will be exciting to hear your stories filled with the details of your vacation.
It’s Week 4 of the 2016 Spring Blogging Challenge. You’ll want to click on your Student Blogging Challenge Badge and read the choices listed for writing new posts and reaching out to the world. There are 8 choices to select from listed in the suggested activities. Here is a brief summary from Miss W.
Activity 1. Add a widget to find out where your commenters are coming from.
There are many different widgets you can use – clustrmaps, flag counter, feedjit or revolver map. Have you seen any others while visiting blogs of other students?
Activity 2. Add one or more widgets about your area of the world
This might include a clock or weather or a translator widget in case students who don’t speak your language can translate your post.
Activity 3. Write a post about 3 tourist attractions in your country.
Miss W and Mr Davo Devil will be visiting outback New South Wales and outback Queensland for two weeks in April then at the end of June going to Denver, Colorado USA for 10 days. They enjoy looking at historical places and nature. Suggest 3 tourist attractions in your country they would enjoy visiting. Don’t copy and paste, write about them in your own words. Try to make it a personal piece of writing if you have actually been there.
Activity 4. A year in your town
Write a post, create a glogster, make an audioboo tape, create a Storybird or add a Voki telling Miss W about the festivals held in your town throughout the year. Which festivals do you enjoy the most and why? When are the festivals held in case she can visit one while she is traveling?
Activity 5. Visit other participants and ask questions
Visit at least five other blogs from students or classes around the world and ask some questions in your comments.
Classes from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, England, Spain, Philippines, Serbia, Nigeria, UAE and Italy taking part in the challenge.
Students born or living in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, China, Ireland, England, Spain,Serbia, Italy,Mexico. Pakistan, Dubai, Bahrain, Scotland, Holland, France, Denmark, Iran, Korea, South Africa, Vietnam, Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, Zimbabwe, Burma, Puerto Rico, Russia, Thailand and Venezuela.
Activity 6. Questions in a post
Write a post asking questions about the different countries mentioned in activity 5. Have at least 6 questions in your post.
Activity 7. Where I would love to visit and why
Write a post telling your readers about a place you would love to visit and why. Try to include some hyperlinks (links that are underlined in your post area and take your readers to another website)
Activity 8. Create a game or quiz about your town, state or country
A few places to do this include: Quiz Revolution, Class Tools, Scratch
Are you ready to open the doors to the 2016Spring Blogging Challenge? Last fall, we received our own student blogs and are now ready to reach out to other participants taking the challenge. As part of the Student Blogging Challenge, we are excited to share our learning with children and educators from around the world. Let’s also take a peek at what other students are experiencing in their classrooms. What a “bodacious” opportunity for us as a classroom of 27 third grade ranchers.
As we get started with the spring challenge, let’s review the game challenge from the Fall Student Blogging Challenge. Here’s what Miss W posted about game time:
“Remember one of the main aims of blogging includes commenting and carrying on conversations with the author of posts and their other readers. This is a game we have run for many challenges and allows you to connect globally. Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:
Third graders are beginning their new unit of study entitled From Pitchfork to Plate. We launched this unit today. Oregon’s agriculture will be our starting point and we will be looking at the crops and diverse farming found throughout the regions of Oregon.
According to the ABC’s of Oregon agriculture, “Farmers and ranchers grow and produce more than 220 different commodities. In fact, Oregon is in the top 3 states for most diverse crops, climates, topography, and agriculture variety. ”
It will be exciting to study the different aspects of life from the farming community to our own tables. Our new expedition begins!
Over the past two weeks, Lane Kadel presented 4 Junior Achievement lessons for our third grade students.These inspiring lessons instruct third graders about zoning structures set up for city planning and money management. The Junior Achievement curriculum is dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, production strategies, the role of the government and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on lessons.
Junior Achievement also has a kid-friendly curriculum that helps students better understand the real world by showing them how jobs are created and how to apply finances and voting rights into decision making. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of goods and services provided for the benefit of the community. We also learn the importance of paying taxes for these services and about an economy’s circular flow of money.
Lane, our wonderful JA volunteer and former ranch parent, always inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves, showing that they can make a difference in the world. Lane, we thank you for your dedication to Stafford students and families.
Our Winter Holiday is here! How exciting for families to enjoy more time together. We know that times of refreshing are so important for all of us! It’s that gift of time that is always on our wish list. Thank you so much for your love and generosity this year. I love that we are connected as ranch families. It’s been a great fall together.
We also rejoice that our classmate Ethan placed in the Top Five for his student blog. Congratulations Ethan! We are so proud of you and thankful that you and a few of the “ranch experts” have mentored us with our own Edublogs. I have enjoyed signing up for a personal conference with you when I have blogging questions! It is a gift for all of us! Check out the Edublog results by clicking the link below:
Ethan has been nominated and is a finalist in the category for the 2015 Edublog Awards: Best Student Blog. We are thrilled to support Ethan with our votes. We started student blogging this year with the help and guidance of Mrs. Amri, Ethan, and Joseph. Ethan and Joseph started blogging as second graders under the mentorship of Mrs. Amri. We give thanks to Mrs. Amri who had the vision to challenge her students with Edublogs and to Ethan and Joseph who gave all of us such a great start with blogging this year.
Look where we are now! Just today, we learned to put a revolver map as a widget on the sidebar of our blogs. Fourth graders in Pennsylvania are reaching out to us and are commenting on our blog posts! As a way to show our appreciation for the ongoing mentorship that we have enjoyed, we are excited to vote for our classmate Ethan. Ethan represents all of our success with learning how to share our education with our classmates, families and the world. There are many ranchers who are now serving as mentors with our blogging challenge. That’s how we all flourish!
Voting for the awards is happening now, and runs through December 16. You can vote once per day per category. Look for Ethan’s url when voting. It is ethancaba14.edublogs.org.
For the rest of this week, and the following two weeks, 3rd grade homework is going to be enriched with kindness.
*Several times each week you will make a “Kindness Link” that will be added to our 3rd Grade “Kindness Chain” outside of our classrooms.
*An act of kindness needs to be something you did for someone that is out of your ordinary routine. This could be at school or outside of school. For example: If you took the trash out for your family and that’s not one of your normal chores, you could put that down as an act of kindness.
*After completing an act of kindness, you will write down what you did (as well as your name) on a piece of the provided colored paper. You will then bring that strip of paper back to school and we will add it to the Kindness Chain that will extend from the ranch to the other third grade rooms.
It will be such a delight and joy to think of acts of kindness to spread happiness around our families, the school and the world. Look for creative ways to participate throughout the next 2½ weeks before our winter break.
Let’s make new traditions by spreading random acts of kindness! Enjoy the holiday season!
The third grade team~
Here are some random acts of kindness links and a song you might enjoy:
Families are the people who love you. As you enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday, the hope is that your love for your family continues to grow and flourish. Feel free to add to our Thanksgiving padlet your favorite things to do with your family over Thanksgiving.
On Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, third graders will be traveling to the Lelooska foundation in Ariel, Washington. This field experience will be the introduction to the first people in Oregon research and supporting our understanding of the Native American Culture. We will experience the songs, dances and stories as they are showcased in the Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial house. Following the program, we will visit the Lelooska Museum and Cultural Center. On display are extensive collections of Native Artifacts from North America.
Here is a link to explore the Lelooska foundation:
As we begin this unit about the first people in Oregon, we are looking for speakers to come in and share first hand experiences and stories. If you are affiliated with a Native tribe, or know anyone who would like to come share with us please let us know.
Ranchers will be celebrating the fall harvest season on Friday, October 30th from 12:25 until approximately 1:45. Volunteers will help set up the celebration at 11:45 when the ranchers will be at recess. Lily’s mother, Kipi and Auntie Deena are planning such an incredible party integrating our salmon research with our fall celebration. We give thanks to all of our parent volunteers for helping us with this beautiful celebration!
Thanks also to the parents who are making Trunk or Treat happen for Stafford students. It’s such a privilege to experience the beauty of a community who support the children of Stafford Primary.