Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Comments for Kids #3

Investigative Reporting
NPR Ron Schiller

I was assigned to this particular blog post on Mr. McClung's website. This was a story about how James O'Keefe and his investigators went undercover as a Muslim group to find out how Ron Schiller felt about federal funding and the Republican Party (also called the Tea Party). Ron Schiller is the head of National Public Radio. They had him on video talking about how the Tea Party are a bunch of middle class, gun carrying racist! He then goes on to talk about how NPR would be better off without federal funding. He thought this Muslim group was going to donate 5 million dollars to NPR. The video goes on to interview Mr. O'Keefe and why he decided to make this video.

When the CNN reporter asked O'Keefe why he felt the need to go after NPR, he said that since the media wasn't going after these people then he would. The reporter then asked him if he felt like it was wrong to lie to find out this information. This is where O'Keefe said no because thats journalism. That is what the media does. Do I think it is morally wrong for O'Keefe to have lied to get Schiller to admit to this? I really don't know where I stand on it. I believe that it needed to come out one way or another and this seemed like the only way for someone to get it out of him. I see O'Keefe as going after people that need to be exposed. Though his tactics aren't considered "morally correct" he gets the job done and exposes bigger lies and scandals. 
Rocking Around the Clock
rocking around the clock
I was assigned to Charlotte's blog. She is 6th/7th grade class and lives in Adelaide, Australia. She wrote her blog post on how her classroom is performing a dance called rocking around the clock. She has a dance partner and talks about the different moves they will be doing at the same time. She also states that she is real excited about learning the dance and how it begins with the boys leapfrogging over the girls and then how a couple of them do cartwheels. Her performance was on April 2.

I responded by talking about how dance is a positive thing in our lives and how it can alleviate some of the built up energy from being in a classroom all day. I also talked about the style of dance they were doing and talked about how it is a fun one and its very energetic. I asked her to please post about how it went and asked her was it for a certain class or were they just doing it for fun. She seemed very intellectual and her writing was organized and fluent. 

Mrs. Yollis' Blog
  Mrs. Yollis' blog is well created and easily accessible. She gives information about herself, where her school is located (California), and videos and blog posts of how to do certain things to help her viewers out. It is easy to find out about her students and what they are required to do. She also has a tab called Time Zones of Friends where she has clocks showing what time it is in different parts of the world. When clicking on a link it takes you to her wiki where she explains everything about her blog. Mrs. Yollis has a blog because she loves how it connects the children and parents. She refers to it as Open House. She uses a blog because it helps her students have an authentic audience for their writing, there able to reflect upon lessons, navigate through the Internet,participate and contribute to an online community, and much more!

She involves her students by either assigning them to a post and asking them to comment on it or by allowing them to create a post individually or with another classmate. They can write about what they have learned in class, topics that interest them, a place they have visited, or give tutorials to something they at one time didn't understand or know how to do. They have also posted movies about what they have learned. Mrs. Yollis involves the parents by asking them to comment on the blog post and the students blogs as well. When she creates a new post she will email the parents about it and give them some sample questions to ask or answer about the particular post. She also provides them with a RSS feed. When she started to notice that the comments were coming from the same families, she started the Comment Counters. This is where a student will get a sticker on a chart for each time they comment on the blog and they will also get one for each family member that comments on it as well. This helps plug the parents in because the kids are pushing them to go comment. They involve other classes by participating in their blog posts as well. They leave comments on other students blogs and the same goes for the other students. 

Mrs. Yollis' blog is strictly based on educational purposes. She wants to help her students reach their writing potential. With her blog, she makes sure her students know how to write a comment as well as a post. She has different time zones, and educational links to help her students learn about other things besides what is being taught in her classroom. The How to Comment video was very informative. I like how you can open up the different tabs to collapse other comments or open up the post that you are commenting on. In the video, she gives a great step by step process of how to comment and how to do it properly. I am glad we were able to analyze her blog!

The post on Family Blogging Month was really great. I loved reading all the exceptional comments that parents and students had left. I also loved the fact that Mrs. Yollis asks the parents to be involved. This is something that I want to strive to accomplish in my class and also with my blog. I want to close the gap between school and home for the parents and students. Commenting on her blog had me so worried. I was hoping I wrote everything right so that my comment would get approved. I know I usually do but she puts a lot of pressure on you! I like that because it helps the students make sure their writing is where it needs to be as well.

Adia's Blog: My Brilliant Blog Mascot
monkey stuffed animal
 Adia wrote a wonderful blog post about how she has now made a stuffed animal at Build-a-Bear. It has become her mascot for her blog. She named her Angel Face and she loves to practice karate, sing, swim, play the piano,  swing on trees, and of course roller skate. She made a video of Angel Face doing all these activities. It was such a cute video. At the end of the post she asked her readers if they had a mascot and if so what kind.

I talked about how I would like to make a blog mascot from my favorite stuffed animal, Freddie the Frog. He would be a good mascot because I want to decorate my classroom in a tropical rain forest theme. He would be able to watch the students and let me know if they were acting up and also be visible on my classroom blog. I also told her that I have never actually went to Build-a-Bear but that I would love to one day!




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