So much learning going on!

Creative Commons License Topher McCulloch via CompfightON BLOGGINGCreative Commons License Topher McCulloch via Compfight

Yesterday we received a comment on this blog from a school in London. They are starting a blog and wanted to know some tips. Year 5 worked in small groups to come up with the following advice. I think our students have great ideas. Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know in a comment.

Hi Year 4 and Ms O’Donnell,

Thanks for visiting our class blog. We really enjoy blogging and think that you will too.

When starting a new class blog you should:

  • Include a Blogging Guidelines Page so commenters know how to comment and to leave a nice comment which keeps them safe on the internet. Respect your school’s blogging policy.
  • Make sure you don’t give away any personal details. Also you will probably have the ability to edit comments, so make sure that the people who comment don’t give any personal details about themselves.
  • Include an About me page – it is necessary to have an about me page so visitors who look on your blog know a bit more about you / your class
  • Add a few widgets: (example) Clustrmap, Flag Counter, or a Class Pet. This can make your blog look more interesting and organised. But please don’t go crazy with cyber pets!
  • Choose a theme that you like and don’t change it too often
  • Post once to twice a week (regularly) and use categories and tags. Make your posts interesting – write about things you love!
  • Add some media: pictures or videos – they will make your post much more interesting but be sure that you acknowledge where they come from and who owns them. Always check that you are allowed to publish images to your blog.
  • We would recommend telling people about your blog so they visit and comment. You can also add a subscribe by email widget which means your visitor gets an email when you publish a new post. You should comment on other blogs and interact with other classes. That way you will get more visitors and comments on your blog.
  • Once your have started we highly recommend that you sign up for the student blogging challenge on  you will learn lots about bloggging!
  • We use the edublogs platform and highly recommend it for student bloggers.

You might find this video from Mrs Yollis helpful too. She and her students are very experienced bloggers. We learned a lot from them.

We wish you well at the start of your blogging adventure. Please visit us again and let us know your blog address so we can visit you too.

From the Year 5 students at year5rc

Our blogging adventure awaits


Year 5 are about to return to school from our spring holidays. Term 4, the final term in our school year starts tomorrow. Our teachers are hoping that we will come to school eager to begin our blogging adventure and with our signed permission notes in hand. We have spent time thinking about why we should have a blog and what we might post about. So now it is time to begin.

At school we will set up our own student blogs and begin the Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge to help us learn some more of the essentials of blogging. The Year 5 teachers are very keen to get started and we are too.

Very soon we will have a blogroll here on the left so you can see our own student blogs too. Please visit and leave us some encouraging comments.

The Year 5 Virtual Museum

Year 5 have been working very hard to research and prepare information related to the development of Australia throughout the 19th century. We have focused on the central idea that “History can be viewed from a variety of perspectives”. Please take the time to wander through our museum. It contains many rooms and artefacts all of which you can access via a mouse click. Click the image below then click the full screen icon to view our museum with ease. Signs and links are designed to help you navigate your way around the museum. Parents and other visitors, after your visit Year 5 would love to hear your feedback. Please leave us a comment on this blog and let us know which rooms you found the most interesting and where you learned the most.

Inspiring role models

orange sky

Our student reporters have been busy this afternoon after watching an inspiring video. Here is what they have to say:

Mia writes “Today we watched a video of two young men called Lucas and Nic.  They have created a mobile laundry system where they go around and help homeless people who can’t do their own laundry or can’t afford it. These young men are role models to younger people who have good ideas like them and want to share it with the world and help those in need.”

From Maddie, “Today we we wrote about the Young Australians of the Year. They helped the homeless by washing their clothes so they can wear clean clothes for meetings or to get a job so they can then perhaps have a house to live in.”

Issie says “Two young boys called Nic and Lucas won Young Australian of the Year for washing homeless peoples clothes! Only 20 years old, Nic and Lucas have managed to make homeless peoples’ lives that much better by washing their clothes for them.”

And this from Tara, “Today, after lunch we watched a really interesting video about these two young men named Lucas and Nic. These two young men had set up a non-profit charity organisation. They called it Orange Sky. In this organisation, they put two washing machines into a van and drove around to homeless people and washed their clothes. These two young men are only 20 years old. And for this great act of kindness, they were made Young Australians Of The Year. Our teacher asked for our reaction to this video and this is what some of my friends said:

“It made me feel guilty because I felt that I wasn’t doing all that I could.”

“It made me feel happy, because all of those homeless people were getting clean clothes.”

“I felt really inspired and now I feel that I want to do more.”

“I felt pleased that some people were helping people in need.”

What do you think about Nic and Lucas’s idea? Does it inspire you?



What did you learn in the holidays?

Welcome back to our last term.  It will fly by very quickly but we still have lots of exciting things to do.  During the holidays Mrs Thomas and I have both been doing some thinking about you and the way that you learn best and the way that we can improve our teaching to make your learning more effective.

I went to two conferences here in Sydney, I met lots of people and I was inspired with lots of new ideas that I am keen to share with you.  Since Mrs Thomas was sick she stayed in Sydney but she read lots of teacher blogs and a couple of books that gave her plenty to think about.  We are both really interested in learning and hope that you are too!

My question to you, is what did you learn about during your holidays?  I’m sure that if you think about it you have learned something in the last two weeks that you didn’t know before.

  • perhaps you talked to someone new,
  • perhaps you read an interesting blogpost or book,
  • perhaps you travelled to a new place and learned something about it,
  • perhaps you participated in an activity and learned a new skill.

We all learn in different ways and we would love to hear about your learning so please post a comment here on our blog and we can all see what you’ve been thinking and learning about

Reflections on the break from school that wasn’t quite what I had planned…

On Monday 26 September when I woke up with a tummy ache I thought I had my usual school holiday illness. (This often happens to teachers because they work very hard for a term and the body says “relax” in the holidays). But things progressed and I had my appendix out on the Thursday, 5 days in hospital and now I am recuperating at home.  The point of this post is not to have you worry or fuss over me at all but I want to tell you what has been happening during the holidays when I haven’t been able to get out the door.

It is an amazing world we live in.  I was meant to speak at the ASLA conference with Mrs Miller on Tuesday but joined in with what was going on there via Twitter and edmodo. I would have gone to another great IWB conference called ‘See Share Shape’ on Thursday and Friday with 5 teachers from our school but again I could follow what was happening via Twitter from my bed. All this via my iphone.

As well as my own professional development needs being met I have been able to link in to what many of your have been doing in the holidays. I have done this in a few different ways.

  • Our various edmodo groups have been visited regularly by a few girls who have been extending their learning through the holidays. Some of your have joined the new Global Classroom 4-6 group and have been introducing yourselves to students in the USA and NZ.  This is like an edmodo pen pal group with the aim of students getting to know one and chatting about things that are important to you.
  • My google reader keeps bringing to my attention the many students who are blogging regularly about what you are up to in the holidays; there have been posts about things we’ve done at school, reflections on your term and more.  All of this is unprompted by any teacher which makes me realise that you must like blogging and are using it as a tool to create your own learning.
  • I was thrilled to see many of you mentioned in the Blogs to Visit post at the edublogs Student Blogging Challenge.  This means that edublogs thinks that your entries in the variety of challenges on offer are good ones and are being recommended for others to read! Well done to those girls who have a mention.
  • Our Quadblogging buddies have also been busy reading and writing comments for us and I was delighted to receive this tweet from Mr Gagnon at Stratham Memorial in America. He said ” Whenever I want high quality blog comments from my class all I have to say is Australian style comments. LOL :)” That is great to hear that your comments have been so well written and are great examples of what comments should be.
  • The Blogger’s Cafe is continuing to receive many hits and comments from students around the world, as does our own blog here at year5rc

It is indeed an amazing, connected world in which we live.  I think back to my school holidays when I was in Year 5.  I probably didn’t go away, I might have gone to see a movie and had a friend over to play. Most of the time I would have been hanging out with my brother at home.  (Speaking of my brother look and see what he has been doing these holidays.) In 1970 we had a television, could listen to music on records or tune in to the radio. Don’t get me wrong these are good things to do as well and I would encourage you to go outside and play but in 2011 there are so many choices available to you. What I really hope is that Mrs Miller and I are helping, teaching and guiding you in sensible choices for a balanced and enriching life!  I look forward to seeing you all back at school for more creating, learning and growing together!

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Quad Blogging

What on earth is quadblogging?

Blogging on  a friday afternoon in Year 5.

Year 5 are excited to have been asked to join in with quadblogging. Quadblogging is where a group of four schools join together to read and comment on each others blogs. If you look at our blogroll on the left hand side of this page you will find a new heading called quadblogging. What you will also notice is that there are more than three other schools there. This is because we were asked to be part of two quadblogging groups. So we may end up as an octagon blogging group! Last week we spent time writing comments for the schools on our Quadblogging buddies blogroll.

They will be visiting all our student blogs this week. Those of you with personal blogs have I hope been working hard to create interesting content. Let’s hope we receive lots of interesting comments too.

I wonder if our quadblogging buddies have learned how to write  in-depth and interesting comments yet?

If you would like to learn more about quadblogging please read this.

Student Blogging Challenge

Are you looking for new and interesting ideas for posts and for ways to increase your readership?

As Mrs Thomas mentioned on Friday the annual Student Blogging Challenge is about to start. This is a great challenge created by a wonderful teacher in Tasmania called Miss W. Every year Miss W creates a series of challenges for student bloggers. If you enter this challenge you will be given ideas on what to blog about and if you link your post back to her post, as well as write something really interesting; she will mention your blog and your readership will increase. So it is a win win situation.

To enter The Student Blogging Challenge you need to register here. You can then search for other students who have also entered the challenge and build new relationships and hopefully make friends all around the world.

Our family blogging afternoon

We held our first family blogging afternoon today and welcomed Grandparents, parents and younger siblings into our classroom. They all agreed it was a fantastic way to showcase just how much we have learned about blogging this year. They were amazed at how much some girls are writing and the interesting widgets they had on their blogs. It was a bit noisy but we certainly all had fun.

Our family blogging afternoon on PhotoPeach

Starting your own Blog

So you want to have your own blog? Your parents have signed the permission letter and you are ready to go? As discussed last Friday the next stage is up to you. Follow my instructions below, click on all the links I have added and read the instructions. Then spend some time designing and creating your blog this week.

These links and instructions should help you to create your own blog. Once you have created your blog and given it a name you like, we will link it to this blog.  For you to start this process you will probably need a grown-up’s help, as although it is not difficult, there are a number of steps you need to follow.

Start by reading the following links:
Abbey : This link will take you to a students page. She is called Abbey, read her blog and visit her slide show to help you get started. it is a great example of a good student blog. She also has some interesting hints to get you started on what to blog about.

How to sign up: Follow this link for instructions on how to sign up to edublogs. Remember you will need an email address to do this, so check with your parents first. Edublogs have lots of help pages, once you are started you can search for advice and help for such things as adding a country cluster map. The extras on a blog page are called widgets, so start with those.

If this seems too much for you and you would prefer to have your name on the side of our blog, please wait until next week and I will make sure you can do this.

MrToft’s blog is a good example of a class where the students are users of his blog. Have a look at it and you will see that his students have their own page on the left hand side of his blog. You can have this too however it is not the same as owning your own blog. If you look at this page you can see a heading called class posts, your name would appear here and every time you wrote a post it would be added to your name here.

So, it’s up to you, get creating, get writing and start your blogging journey. Even if you do nothing, please continue to visit other class blogs, to read and comment and share your exciting global connections.