Monday, June 18, 2012

Classroom Blog Series- Part 6 {Posting}

Hey everyone! :)

So if you're just joining us- this is the last part of the Creating a Classroom Blog Series.  If you want to check out a step-by-step tutorial of how to create your own classroom blog, check out the rest of the series here.

On to the final part of the classroom blog! :)

About Posting
Posting is super easy.  In fact, I'm Posting right now! :)  Before I show you HOW to create a Post, I'm going to tell you how I use Posts on my classroom blog.  

I use posts for:  
-sharing a book review that I wrote about a book that my students might like to read.
-sharing a fun poem.
-weekly spelling lists.
-notes to parents and students (usually I just use them as a reminder).
-a student poll.
-a place for students to interact with me outside of the classroom.

*Note:  for the last two uses of Posting, all I do is put up a question and let students answer it by posting a comment.  I don't hang out on my blog all night long after school's out.  I mainly do polls and questions for my students as a way of drawing them to the blog, and making them feel a part of it.  I also have a sneaky plan that goes along with this... if my students are spending time outside of the classroom looking at the blog, they are READING the blog.  It's a proven FACT that the more students read, the better they become at reading.  That's part of the reason I want them to give their opinions on the blog.  Not only does it promote classroom unity, and makes them feel like they "own" a part of the blog, but maybe while they are there they might read a book review I've written, or a poem I've posted or just some posts that they haven't read yet.  That's the goal! :)

Check out my future classroom's blog for some Posting Ideas (keep in mind that I don't have a classroom yet, so I don't have any notes to parents or student polls yet).

How to Post
* Go to your Dashboard.
* Click on Posts (highlighted in green below).
* Click on the Pencil Button at the top of the screen (highlighted in green below).
Below is what your screen will look like.  

1.  In the green box, you will type the title of your Post.  The title of this post you are reading is:  
Classroom Blog Series- Part 6 {Posting}

2.  The yellow box is where you will type the content of your post:  any notes, messages, poems, book reviews, questions to students, etc.

3.  The red box is your tool bar where you can change the font, color, size and orientation of your text, just like you would in Microsoft Word.  There is also a spell check button on the toolbar to the far right.

4.  The blue box on the right is where you label your post.  Label each post with a key word or two.  This way if someone is searching your blog, they can find all of the posts about one subject.  For example:  if this post was a spelling list, I would click on the Labels Button, and type Spelling List.  When you've finished your post and Published it, at the bottom of your post on your blog, you will see a link that says "Spelling List."  If a parent wanted to find ALL of the spelling lists you've posted, all they would have to do is click on that Label at the bottom of the post and all of the posts with the Label "Spelling List" would come up.

I also use labels as one of my gadgets on my sidebar.  If you look right now to the left of this post, you will see "Search By Labels."  This is simply a gadget you can get if you go back to your Layout section.  This way anyone can find the topic they are looking for easily.

5.  Finally, when you've typed your title, your post content and your labels, then you click the orange Publish Button at the top of the screen next to the title.

That's it! :)

**To create another Post, just go back to your Dashboard and repeat all the steps! :)

**If you want to edit your Post, then go back to your Dashboard and put your mouse over the post's title you want to edit.  You should see the word Edit appear underneath the title.  Click it.  Then you should be able to edit it any way you want.  Just don't forget to click Publish when you are done.

**To add a picture to your Post, click on the picture icon on your tool bar (right next to the word Link).  Then a screen like this will pop up:

Click "Choose File."  Find where you saved the picture.  When it is done loading, this screen will pop up:

Make sure the picture is highlighted in blue (above).  If it is not, just click on the picture to highlight it.  Then click the blue, Add Selected button at the bottom.

I like my pictures to be large sized on my blog.  So, once the picture is on your post, click on the picture itself.  This will bring up a little toolbar at the bottom.  Click on whichever size you want it to be! :)

**To link something in your Post:
1.  Type the word(s) you want your link to take you to.
For Example:
Mrs. Stout's Class Website

2.  Highlight the word(s).

3.  Click on the word Link on the toolbar at the top of your post.

4.  A screen like this will pop up:

Type or past in the actual URL (web address) in the Web Address box (highlighted in red above).

5.  Click OK.

You did it! :)  If you do your links like this, then you don't have the ugly, long web address on your page--only the words with the link and it should end up looking like this:  Mrs. Stout's Class Website.  Yea!! :)

So now you are masters of creating and using your own classroom blog! Well maybe not masters yet, however with time, it will get easier and easier.  The set up of the blog is the hardest part! You made it through!  Now all you have to do is log in to your blog every once in a while and update it with notes to parents and students, newsletters, updated links to websites, etc.   

Blogs are all about having fun and being able to USE the technology that's been given to you to use.  I hope this series has been helpful to you in starting your own classroom blog.  If you follow the steps I've given you in the last 6 posts, you should be able to create one on your own...even if you aren't so much "with the technology" as Joey from friends would say :).  I hope you are encouraged and have a great day! :)