Welcome to Mr. Miller’s Classroom Blog

Hello new visitors! We are taking part in the class blogging challenge run by the awesome folks at Edublogs and our first challenge is to introduce ourselves.

Our school is a middle school located along the Central Coast of California, in Monterey County. We live in a rural area and our town is pretty small, about 10,000 people. There are lots of agricultural fields surrounding the city where food is grown year round. Some popular food grown around here are onions, lettuce, garlic, broccoli and cauliflower.

KarottenZwiebeln 266

Do you have farms around where you live? What kinds of food to you grow?

We are also located near the United States newest National Parks, called Pinnacles. It is an extinct volcano that has many hiking trails throughout. It is also great for one of Mr. Miller’s favorite activities – rock climbing!

Pinnacles National Monument (5839423135)

Are there any fun places to hike, swim, or enjoy the outdoors around where you live?

We have about 750 students on our campus. It is a pretty new school, only about seven years old. The students in Mr. Miller’s class have netbooks that are used everyday. We also have Google accounts that we use for email and to create and share documents. We also use Minecraft for learning in history class. It is still very new to many students, but they are catching on FAST!

Cube terre minecraft

Do you have Google at your school? Do you play Minecraft at home, or at school?

We update our blog once or twice a week. Each student will have their own blog where they will be writing about what they learn, but also what they want to share with their visitors. A few students have their blog ready now, but many more will be coming online over the next month. You can visit them by clicking on the Student Blog link in the sidebar.

Student Challenger – Recommended Post by Areli

This week I’d like to highlight a post by Areli that she wrote for the Edublog Challenge. I think it is wonderful. You can visit her blog by clicking HERE.

 

For Challenge#5 I have decided to write about my baby sister, Airani. Here is a picture of her in her ankle-foot braces and walker. Enjoy!

In 2010, my brother, sister, and I were expecting a new baby sister to join our family. We were very excited and anxious, and my parents already had a name for her–Airani. Unfortunately, the doctors had informed our parents that the new baby would be a little, extra special compared to other babies.  Airani was diagnosed with a birth defect called spina bifida. Spina bifida is when the tissue surrounding the spinal cord does not develop completely and (many times) nerves in that specific area are affected. Airani’s spina bifida condition does not allow her to move or feel her feet, not allowing her to walk.

That August, we welcomed our new little sister into the world. After three weeks in the hospital, she finally came home. Airani is now two years old and will be turning three on August 5th. Right now she is going to physical therapy to help her become stronger from her lower body and she has definitely found her ways to move about, usually to find Mom. When Airani was younger, she would roll around on her back to reach a certain destination. Now that she is older, she is bending her knees and is trying to crawl!  She does move around quite well now. In order to stand properly, she needs to be wearing her ankle-foot braces so her feet can stay straight. Since she is growing and people can’t be carrying her all the time, she is using a walker to help her move around as well and is soon to have her new wheelchair. That’s pretty exciting!

Airani has made great improvements and (hopefully) will continue to make more throughout her life. She cannot walk now; however, there is a possible chance that she will be able to someday. Even though she is limited in what she can and cannot do, we still make her a part of everything and try to be creative so that she can participate. Seeing her and how strong she has become is more than I could have ever asked of a happy, healthy little sister and I hope that Airani won’t give up on her dreams.

Edublog Challenge #6 – Volunteering

This week we are completing Edublog Challenge #6  which asked us to look at “work” and we decided to focus on volunteering in our community. Students are writing blog posts about volunteer work in our community. We will highlight several posts below as soon as they finish.

One organization we feel is worthy of helping in our community is the Monterey County Historical Society. The goal of this organization is to help preserve local history. We feel that it is mportant to help because we don’t want our history to be forgotten. It’s something that we must preserve for future generations. In return for helping this organization volunteers will feel better connected to their community, meet new and interesting people, and be able to say that they helped preserve local landmarks.

They are looking for volunteers to help support numerous local projects. Please consider taking our survey below and visit the highlighted student blogs.

‘Burning (Bixby) Bridges’ flickr.com/photos/43559902@N07/519333426

Blogging Challenge #6

Your challenge will be easier this week

Your challenge will be easier this week

This is a fun week to be part of the blogging challenge! You will each get to play a game. Since many schools are on spring holiday (we had our break last week), some students may not be participating in this challenge until after they return. Testing is also coming up. We will pause our challege participation while we complete our testing next week.

So let’s have some fun this week. Here is your challenge via Miss W  . . .

The game is called count out three. Those students who have taken part in a student blogging challenge before will have already played this game. But we have many different students taking part in the challenge this year, so you should be visiting different blogs for the game in 2011.

Here are the instructions:

  • click on a blog on the student list – count one
  • 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 blog.

Do this activity at least three times and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and what 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 so that student gets a pingback or trackback.

When you finish this activity, you can do one or more of the following activities . . .

1. “Learning Time” – Think about something important you have learned outside of school – remember we should all be life long learners not just learners while at school. How did you learn it? Why is it important to you? Who or what taught you about it? How has this learning helped you in your life?

2. “Worlde your Blog” – Have you created a wordle from your blog? Check out the one Abbey created for one of our previous activities. If you have problems embedding your wordle, ask Abbey some questions or try to get rid of some of the extra spaces in the embed code. Remember if you do a printscreen and save as an image, you still need to give attribution to the wordle website.

3. “Internet Safety” – The students at our school recently had a drama performance by Bamboo Theatre company from Sydney who were touring around Tasmanian schools. Both students and staff found much interesting information about being safe on the web. Part of it was facebook and your settings. Have you had lessons on being internet safe? Do you use a certain program at school that teaches these things? Write a post about how you learn about internet safety.

Image: ‘Cyril the squirrel up for a challenge+15:54:50‘ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32659528@N00/1184487050

Student Challenge #5

We were on spring holiday last week so we did not get the last challenge done. This week we will be working with images on our blogs. We usually use  FlickrCC to get our images, but we are excited to try out some new sources of images. The first part of our challenge this week is to read the posts below and learn more about copyright and web images:

Part two of our challenge will be to visit these sites below and test them out. How well do they comparre to FlickrCC?

2786353230_6414a20c63_mThe final part of our challenge will be to:

write a post about your favorite color using at leaast three CC images, or

use one of these sites to create your own image and write a post about it,

or from the Challenge site . . .

From Bill Ferreirae – I sometime find a picture and tell students to use that picture to come up with a story. It can be about the picture, what happened before, what will happen next, etc. So, at the top of this post is the image I have chosen for you to start with. Copy the image to your post, then write the story. Remember to give attribution. If you don’t have your own blog, tell your story in a comment here.

Finally, make sure your blog is ready for a game challenge coming up soon. In order to play, you must have the following completed on your blog:

  • a blog avatar and a user avatar
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE not post
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget
  • at least three interesting posts – could be topics of your choice not necessarily from the challenge
  • your ‘Recent Comments’ widget on the sidebar with 10 comments as the choice
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar
  • at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
  • at least three overseas blogs on your blogroll

Image: ‘untitled‘ 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21337009@N02/2786353230

Edublog Challenge #3, Going Dark

student_challenge-17fpfd0It’s week three in the Edublog Challenge and there are several activities to choose from. Student bloggers from Mr. Miller’s class will be adding maps and badges to their blogs, writing a bit of their posts in another language (we’ll try out Google Translator too), write about Earth Hour (we will be on spring holiday), and visit at least ten blogs from other countries. Here is how we will break it down:

Student Bloggers

1. Add a map to your blog (view instructions)

2. Add a Challenge Badge to your site. Follow these directions.

3. Add a translation tool widget

4. Write part of your post (below) in another language so that our Spanish, Danish, and Romanian readers can read it.

Screen shot 2011-03-20 at 7.56.23 PM5. Write a post about Earth Hour after visiting the site. Explain to your readers what it is, where it originated and how interested folks can participate. If you will be participating, tell your readers how. When you finish your post, copy it, and paste it into Google Translate and turn it into either Spanish, Danish, or Romanian. Copy the translation and paste it into your blog post as a text document (T). You will then publish your post in English and another language.

Class Activity

1. We will be writing a post about Earth Hour and how we might be able to participate.

2. We will be reaching out and commenting on blogs from ten different countries. Here is a partial list:

  • Vietnam
  • Argentina
  • China
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Philippines
  • Spain
  • Malaysia
  • United Kingdom
  • Thailand

A busy week of commenting!

We have been very busy this week commenting on our friends blogs. Room 162 is definitely branching out around the globe. These week we are connecting with classes in Canada, Denmark, Illinois, and Texas.

Screen shot 2011-03-15 at 6.31.55 PM

Our newest blog buddies include Mr. Heinrichs and Division 19 in Canada. Their class has a cool survey that they would like us to fill out and we have one for them too! We will be Skyping after break and compare answers. :-)

Our other latest friends are a school in Denmark – Vonsild School. They have a really fun blog, and since we have a teacher at our school that has in-laws in Denmark, perhaps we can learn a little Danish this year too.

We have also been visiting our quad blog partners this week in San Antonio, Texas. They are the 49ers and Ms. Kistler. We are getting to reflect on all of the beautiful places to visit that offer us a glimpse of spring practically right outside our doors. We are also learning about folktales that we may have in common.

Through the Edublog Challenge, we have meet two new classes and have been exchanging comments with them this week. Mrs. Clayton is in Canada and Ms. Allen is in Illinois.

Edublog Challenge #1

student_challenge-17fpfd0Several students in Mr. Miller’s class are so excited about blogging that they are taking part in the Edublog Challenge. Over the next 10 weeks they will be completing numerous challenges and writing blog posts on a variety of topics. Our challengers are listed below. We encourage you to visit throughout the rest of the school year and offer encouragement to keep writing.

The Origami Master
The Atom Smasher
Ying and Yang
Marcos’s Blog
Black vs. White
Michael’s Blog
Big Dog
Volcom
Sweet Like Sunshine
The Mystery
A Child’s Point of View
Natures Beauties Are Forever
Javier’s Blog

Our class is also participating in the challenge and each week we will have one or two blog posts sharing our thoughts with the rest of the world on various subjects. You can expect to find an Animoto video tour of our school appearing in the next few days along with post written by a student that provides reasons why other classes should visit our blog.

We are also paired up with two great class blogs from our new friends that have joined the challenge this year along with us. Each week we will be visiting their blogs and interacting with them.

Picture 7

Ms. Clayton’s Class in Canada

Picture 6

Ms. Allens’s Classes in Illinois

This week’s individual challenge is to create an “About Me” page to share a bit about yourself with the readers of your blog. The second challenge is to write a blog post describing your blog to your readers. Let your readers know why your blog will be interesting and tell them what you will be writing about and encourage them to come back each week to read more. Some of Mr. Miller’s bloggers have already completed this activity.

Read Amy’s About Me page
Read Chloe’s About Me page
Read Gabi’s About Me page that includes a quote from Lao Tzu.

Also check out these great examples from other student challengers.

Abbey

Lizzie

Katy

It’s going to be a fun and busy week!

Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge

Screen shot 2011-02-05 at 8.00.28 AM

It’s time to sign-up for the March 2011 Edublogs Student Challenge! Several of Mr. Miller’s students will be participating in this year’s challenge. We will also join in the fun with our class blog. This is a great opportunity for students and teachers to learn how to set up and run an educational blog.

Students can enter the challenge now, by visiting this link.