Sunday, April 28, 2013

Student Blogging Challenge - Guest post by Mrs Coffa

At the moment we have our third group of Senior students working their way through the Student Blogging Challenge.  Last year in March and September and again in April this year, almost 50 of our students have created their first blog, personalised their pages, written posts, added widgets, and responded to others by way of comments.  They have learnt so much!  They have connected to so many other bloggers and created wonderful blogs.  I have had the privilege of mentoring students from other schools (and countries) who are also participating in the challenge.  

As part of Challenge 8, I have been asked to mention a few posts from this round.  It was really hard to pick just a few as so many students are working so hard, so I just randomly went through the participants list and chose a few. 

Tarah's Blog post on Challenge 3 about the Three R's based on the Earth Hour theme.  Tarah write clearly, explaining herself very well and used an attributed image . 

Hailey's Post on Basketball for Challenge 2 in the Free Choice section.

Amrita's response to the Secret in the forest Challenge No 5.

Amber's creative use of a spare sock and use of ToonDoo for Challenge 2.

I was also really impressed by Simon's post last year as he shared his first draft of his writing - asking for ideas, before it was finished.  I really like the idea of blogs being used to ask for help and not just showcasing our finished work.  Simon was lucky enough to get some great ideas from an author who read his draft ! 

Conor wrote a very emotive piece in last years challenge on a 'My Place' theme and I loved the comments he received. 

This process made me think about "What makes a good blog post?" My list would start with the following :

  1. Characterful - letting the author's personality shine through
  2. Easy to read - not too much or too little writing and of course correct spelling and punctuation
  3. Sharing - whether it be an idea, a piece of writing, artwork or a question - blogging is about connecting with your reader, so a good post shares something
  4. A simple graphic or image to make it appeal to the eye (of course the owner will be attributed!) 
What would you add to my list ? 

Friday, April 26, 2013


Today's responses are to the poignant story, Angel of Kokoda, told through the eyes of a child along the Kokoda Track during WWII. Our focus was on how the author used a variety of devices to bring alive something of the past. The following are excerpts of Senior MY's writing.

Madi wrote: Mark Wilson has yet again written an emotive, soulful book that really makes you think. The themes of war and friendship were intertwined really well as each theme made the other shine. Talking about "shine', the illustrations were amazing. I loved the impressionistic feel to them and the vibrance of the colours added light to such a dark topic that is war......
Amber wrote:Kokoda, a very famous trail in Papua New Guinea, has had many different stories written about it, but one very well written story is "Angel of Kokoda" by Mark the story, the use of colour made a big difference and helped me understand the story better...especially the way black and white were used for emotion.
Rylee reflected: Kari and the soldier struggled through the jungle, over rocks and through the mud until they finally stopped, tired and sweating. A butterfly landed on the soldier's wounds as his breathing became lighter and lighter...a beautiful story about friendship and bravery woven together!
Carley thought: Combining the black and white images with the colourful ones was very clever as it told us which action reminded Kari of his mother....some images stood out to me such as butterflies and angels. These symbols represent a new life and freedom.
From Caitie: The author, Mark Wilson, made great use of effective action language such as "trickled","emerged" and "fluttered."
And Mairead:As sad as the story seems, the saddest, most symbolic and moving part for me was when the butterfly was like the dead soldier's spirit flying into heaven.