When I read powerful student writing, something happens to my knees. They actually shake. I know that sounds silly, but it just happens. I get weak in the knees. It’s a good thing I am usually sitting down when I read student posts because these days I would have to strap a pillow to my derriere.
Good writing is not effortless. My students are really sweating over their work. I am proud of their willingness to polish their writing and hope you can tell how much thought goes into each blog post.
The post below is written by Jenna. You can tell she has a topic she cares about, one she has been thinking about.
I believe with art you can never go wrong with being yourself and letting your true passion shine. When you pick up a pencil or paintbrush you can just let your feelings flow. I love art because it’s a way to express yourself, inspire and be inspired.
With art you can express your passion and you can make a difference if you care. My favourite form of art is painting, I usually use acrylic paints and paint on canvas instead of paper. I don’t like painting “exact” but I don’t have a specific technique. There are many forms of art, sculptures, paintings, drawings, clay, origami, etc. Lots of artists have specific techniques that they use every time. One of my favourite artists is Gustav Klimt. I love his tree of life painting and I’ve even done one myself at our local 4Cats Art Studio.
Art is not about being exact; it is about being spontaneous, courageous and creative. Some people get so caught up in trying to make it perfect that they lose the meaning and importance to the the piece because art isn’t about perfection it’s about having fun and being able to express yourself whether it’s with a pencil, or a paintbrush it’s your chance to be creative and I love that about art.
Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz who was wide-eyed at the thought of “Lions and Tigers and Bears–oh my!”, my eyebrows are up as I read the engaging posts on Huzzahnian blogs. Just click your heels and click a link…
There’s no place like blogs, there’s no place like blogs…
Are you a remote control buff? Visit Trevor‘s Blog.
On both Noah and Jacob‘s blog you’ll find great food reviews–burgers or bbq, anyone?
The second essential skill of blogging is commenting.* It makes blogging a dialogue, not just one way communication.
It requires careful thought, attention to detail, and a compassionate heart. Commenting is the glue that connects bloggers to each other. I asked Huzzahnians to work in teams to show what they know about commenting. They organized their thinking then created visual messages though SlideRocket. They had to consider their essential messages as they had only five slides (as well as title and credit slides) to work with. Here are two of the finished presentations–more to come after final edits. (Image credits appear on each slide–mouse over the image to see the credit.)
*And here is a news flash: READING, not writing, is the first skill of blogging. Read blogs. Read read read.
So readers, fellow bloggers, what would you add to our list of commenting guidelines, suggestions, and tips?
If you’re here from the Student Blogging Challenge or Quad Blogging, please say where you’re from, what you like to do, and something unique about yourself. We enjoy meeting our neighbours, be you from our school, our Valley, our country – continent – hemisphere – or many, many time zones away.
Our friendly promise: when you leave a comment on this blog or the student blogs we will do our best to answer back on our blogs andtry to leave a comment on yours if you leave a link.
Please leave thoughtful comments, more than “Hey, nice blog, come see my blog!” We call that Nicki Nicki Nine Doors commenting. It’s like ringing our door bell and running away. If you are from the UK, you might call it Knock Knock Ginger while in the US it’s known as Ding Dong Ditch. We would like to open the door on real conversations.
So please, take time to read our work, think about what we say, offer feedback or ask a question. We will try to do the same.
Bloggers, do you get “Nicki Nicki Nine Doors” comments? How do you handle them? What should teachers and students be doing to encourage quality conversations on blogs?
Hoot! We have had over 25 000 visitors to our blog! It must be true because our ClustrMap says so.
Well, maybe. I think we can agree that just because a car passes your house and the passengers look at your front door that doesn’t mean they have visited you. A lot of “site seeing” goes on while people are looking around online. Sometimes people come back for a second look, but many just drive by. And then there are spammers who come to leave digital crumbs so we will buy their handbags or shoes. So while the milestone of 25 000 visitors sounds substantial, it is important to have perspective on it.
So I ask: do the dots on the map distract us from our real purpose of reading, writing, thinking, and connecting? Are we too mesmerized by the maps, like crazy collectors? If so, how do we switch our focus back to what matters?
We are grateful to readers. We love the visitors who arrive, look around, READ, and perhaps leave a thoughtful comment. Our goal is to connect with others and to create blog posts that are worthy of their time.
Celebrating With a RrrAWRRRR!
One class we are (re)connecting with is the Pirates of Rm 162 and their teacher Mr. Miller. Last year they sent the Huzzahnian Dragon, a geocaching travel bug our way and we tracked it as it travelled from California to the eastern United States and on to our own back yard. He waited in our room for the right moment, and a milestone day seemed like the right moment to send him home.
On the Hunt
Seeking the Cache
The brave Huzzahnians remembered exactly where the geocache was from last year hunted high and low for the location of the geocache. We walked into the woods trekked over arduous terrain over a light skim of snow through a raging blizzard to get to the hidden treasure. Keen eyes noticed that the cache was exposed spotted the cleverly disguised geocache. We logged our visit in the log book performed a ritual dance dressed in feathers and furs to appease the forest trolls and then headed back for Music class began the onerous journey back home. What a day!
The Deep, Mysterious Woods, temporary home to the Huzzahnian Dragon
Friends, Romans, Huzzahnians–
–Lend me your thoughts: go back to the question I asked–does the ClustrMap distract us? Motivate us? Give a false sense of audience?
And if you have something to say about geocaching–well, say that too!