Day 1 of 20 Days to BlogTastic - Creation and Naming

You've made it to Day 1 of our 20 Days to BlogTastic Training.  If you'd like more information or want to join the training click here

Today we're setting up our classroom blog or for those of you that already have one we're checking the settings you've currently got.

What is a Blog?
If you're a bit unsure about what a blog actually searching Google tells us a blog is...

noun
a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.


verb
add new material to or regularly update a blog.
"it's about a week since I last blogged"

Or try this video created by the Wordpress team (Wordpress is another blogging platform)







Before you setup your class blog you need to think about your purpose:
  • What are you using it for?
  • Who is going to see it?
  • Why am I using a blog?
  • Where is my blog located?
  • When am I going to update it?
  • How am I going to ensure the content is useful for learning?
Here's a few answers that might help...
  • Your blog needs to become part of your classroom rather than another thing to do.  
    • Think replace rather than add
  • The schools I've worked in use classroom blogs to showcase their learning celebrations and the process of their learning.  
    • Blogs are used as a connection point for families, friends and other community members
    • Blogs are used as journals to show the learning process
    • Blogs are used as collaboration tools to connect with learners and experts outside the classroom
    • Blogs are used as landing pages for students to find 'where to next'
  • More often than not classroom blogs are open to everyone - anyone who knows the address can see them.   
  • The schools I've setup use the Blogger platform as that's the one I gave them. It integrates with GAFE (Google Apps for Education) really easily.  There are other platforms out there but for the purposes of this challenge we're using Blogger. 
  • Many classroom teachers update their blogs twice a month, some update them 2-3 times a day and some update them maybe 3 times a term.  You need to find a balance that's right for you and your classroom.  
  • My recommendation is that the students do most of the updating and that it becomes part of their learning rather than another thing to add to your to do list.
  • Ensuring content is useful can be tricky, sometimes you just want to say 'Yay, look at what we did' other times you want to get some thinking going on and get a few comments on what others might think.  Ask your class, other classrooms and teachers at your school as well as other teachers you know.  Have a look around other schools blogs.  Here are a few you might like to have a look at:
Marvellous Meerkats (6-7 year olds Year 2 )
Techno Titans (10-11 year olds year 6)
Room 14 Opunake (8-11 year olds year 4,5 and 6)
Room 15 Reremoana (8-9 year olds year 3 and 4)
Room 3 Pukete School (5-6 year olds year 1)
Botany Downs Kindergarten (3-4 year olds Kindergarten)
Mangare Bridge Kindergarten (3-4 year olds Kindergarten)


How to setup your blog
You will need:
Your school GAFE (Google Apps for Education) account 

If you don't have a GAFE account you will need a google account attached to your school email address.  This blog post explains how to get a google account without having to use Gmail.  

A name for your blog - you might like to use your classroom number or your class name.  At the school I'm with now we use rs (our school initials) 15 (the year blog was created) class name (all our classrooms have names rather than numbers), so our blog addresses are rs15classname.blogspot.co.nz 

Here's a video that'll walk you through the process of setting up your blog:



Here's a quick video that explains how to find your blog address:



Blog Settings
There are a few settings that I'd recommend changing on your blog these are outlined below:
  • Turn off Next Blog navigator bar
  • Email yourself when comments are made
  • make comments available to all 
    • remove word verification for comments
  • add an administrator email (an email other than yours) to your blog and make that email an admin on your blog
  • set timezone correctly
Start with this video and click on the setting you'd like to look at first.  As you click on each setting you'll be taken to a short video that just shows the setting you've chosen.



Here's a link to the playlist for all of these videos

If you'd prefer here's the full video with all the settings in one place (note there are no clickable links in this video it just plays through each setting).






Setup your classroom blog and change the settings mentioned above.  Post your new blog address in the comments below.  If you've already got a classroom blog setup, check your settings and post your blog address in the comments below.


Have you completed the challenge?
Remember to update your challenge spreadsheet!  
If you'd like to join the challenge please click here for more information
See you tomorrow!

Comments

  1. http://cleverlclogs.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing your blog Carleen, you've got some great learning photos on your blog already. It'll be great to get some connections going with your blog later in the training.

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    2. Hi Carleen. I love the Flipcard view you have on your blog. Its a great way to be able to see more than one post at a time. I'd love to learn how to do it!!! Mel

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  2. http://maungiroom6.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing your blog address, awesome to see you've already had a play with the template designer!

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  3. Hi Angela, Thank you for this training :) Here is my new blog address:
    http://room18papatoetoewest.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. You're welcome Fi, great to see your blog up and running, thanks for sharing!

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing Lisa, great to see an active classroom blog going already!

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  5. http://r1missdavis.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing, congrats on getting day one done!

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  6. Hi Angela

    Day One done! http://room5tpps.blogspot.com.au

    Thanks Jazz :)

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    1. Yay! congrats Jasmine, great to see your blog is already really active! Love how you've added student voice to your blog through their writing.

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  7. Hi Angela
    Day 1 complete - I think!
    http://rcroom31upperfwhanau.blogspot.co.nz/
    Thanking you kindly for the step by step and the videos.

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    1. Yahoo! congrats on getting day one done. I'm glad the videos helped.

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  8. http://room10athorsham.blogspot.co.nz/

    Looking forward to the next challenge ....

    Thank you so much for facilitating this.

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    1. Love the colours on your blog! You're welcome, really I'll enjoy helping teachers out with Tech :).

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  9. Wahoo! You're all fantastic, great to see new blogs coming through for your classes! Looking forward to day 2 :).

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  10. Hi Angela
    I have taken over this classes blog and the video's where very helpful in helping me understand how this blog was set up.
    http://room3islabankschool.blogspot.co.nz

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    1. That's great, glad it made things a little clearer. Looking forward to seeing the students and your voice coming through the blog later in the training.

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  11. Hi Angela
    Here is our class blog address
    http://wairereschooltotara.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Yahoo! Really love your blog layout, bright, colourful and inviting. Great to see another blog that's already up and running.

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  12. Hi Angela,
    My class blog is http://thekidshes.blogspot.co.nz/
    Thanks for reminding me to change the timezone in my blog settings. It was something I have been meaning to do.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Hineata. Glad the list of settings to change was helpful. Really like all the great photos on your blog!

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  13. Hi Angela, I'm a Mutukaroa Coordinator at my school this year, so don't have a class of my own. I figure this is a great way to learn how to blog and to communicate with our families at the same time! Here's my blog address: http://mutukaroa-newtown.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Great idea Rachel, looking forward to seeing how it develops. I think Mutukaroa is a fantastic opportunity to connect with our parents/caregivers.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Hi Angela - haha first post and it had a mistake in it - can't have teachers posting with errors ;)
      Thanks for the step by step instructions - I am an absolute beginner and found them superb. http://bmpsroom112015.blogspot.co.nz

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    2. Lol, you can be my proof reader :). Glad the instructions were useful for you. Exciting to see you've got your blog ready to go!

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  15. Hi Angela, this is my blog for my practising teacher criteria. I got some of my inspiration from stumbling across your page and "borrowing" some ideas. I wasn't sure whether to make this public or not (and it hasn't been till now) but opened it up so you could see it.
    http://deepsouthptc.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing Tracy, entirely up to you if you choose to keep it public or not. It does depend on what you're posting, I've started lots of conversations with things I've shared on my blog and the collaboration that's come from that has been really valuable. This isn't always visible on the blog but it definitely happens.

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  16. HI Angela,
    Our blog address is... mangar5@blogspot.com
    Had set it up in April and done nothing with it so this will be great!!
    Tracey Schumacher

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    1. Thanks for sharing Tracey! http://mangar5.blogspot.com. Great that you've already got a blog setup. It's currently private so no-one else can see it, you might want to consider opening it for everyone to view if it's going to be a class blog. Here's a quick video that explains how to do that https://youtu.be/6ACJrvT5LHw

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  17. http://susanwo.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Yahoo! A Principal's blog, thanks for sharing Susan, looking forward to seeing how your blog develops.

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  18. Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing your blog develop over the next few weeks.

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  19. http://room3cleverkiwis.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing how your blog develops over the next few weeks.

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  20. Hi Angela,
    Thank you for your really easy to follow instructions and videos.
    My blog address is http://evolvingdinosaurs.blogspot.com.au/
    Elise

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    1. Glad they were helpful Elise, looking forward to seeing your blog develop over the coming weeks.

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  21. Hi Angela
    Our blog address is http://opawaroom.blogspot.co.nz
    Looking forward to the next few weeks
    Mel

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    1. That's great to hear Mel, love the weta hotel your class has made, great photos!

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  22. I'll try that again
    http://stanleyaveroom10.blogspot.co.nz/
    Sandie

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    1. Thanks for sharing Sandie, great posts already on your blog, love all the photos of students and their learning.

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  23. Hi Angela,
    I think I have done this now (after a few hitches and deleting old blogs off my email address - ones that never really went further that set up!),
    http://maeroaroom10.blogspot.co.nz/
    Karyn

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    1. Thanks for sharing Karyn, great to see your blog developing already.

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  24. http://lpsroom22class.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing your blog develop.

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  25. http://2015frankleyroom5.blogspot.co.nz/
    I think we are all set up!! Thank you so much for doing this challenge - I am learning lots already!

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    1. You're very welcome, glad I can provide some learning for teachers. Love how you're blog's developing already.

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  26. Hi Angela
    Hope you got my blog - gpsroom17.blogspot.co.nz

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    1. Thanks for sharing, great to see so many different posts from your students on your blog already.

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  27. Hi Angela,
    My blog name is room4matawai.blogspot.co.nz

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    1. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing what you get up to in Day 2's challenge.

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  28. Hi Angela,
    Did you get Ruma 7 Mua I Malae

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    1. I can't seem to find your blog, have you created a new one? If you check out this video it shows you where to get your blog address - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPxtH31Az7Q Once you've got your address just make another comment here and paste the address into it. Looking forward to seeing your blog :).

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  29. Hi Angela

    My blog name is room312015.blogspot.com.

    Thanks Vickie

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    1. Thanks for sharing Vickie, like the different background on your blog :)

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  30. Hi Angela
    I have a few teaching friends who want to learn how to set up a blogg and don't think they are on facebook. How can I get them to sign up.

    Vickie

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    1. They're most welcome to join point them towards: http://bit.ly/20daysblogtastic and tell them to fill in the sign up form.. or you can point them directly to the sign up form at http://bit.ly/20daysblogtasticsignup no need to be on Facebook to sign up.

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  31. Loving this Ange - so cool to see the process!
    rs15technotitans.blogspot.co.nz :-)

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    1. Thanks, I'm loving seeing all the different class blogs there are out there... lots of people for us to collaborate with :).

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  32. Hi Angela,
    Thank you for the step-by-step!
    http://mrsbartlettblogs.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Thanks for sharing! Glad the instructions were useful.

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  33. http://room8explorersmilson.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Wahoo! great to see another blog up and running!

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    2. Oh boy I think this is right. Anyhow hi Angela this is Awesome!!! hehe.

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    3. http://moonm15.blogspot.co.nz/oops sorry Angela i forgot to cut and paste. Work in progress.

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    4. Thanks for sharing Maraina great to see another blog up and running!

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  34. Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing, love the variety of pictures in your header! Remember your blog address is: http://room7keateam2015.blogspot.co.nz adding the @ symbol won't give people a link to your blog.

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  35. horotiuschoolroom.4blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for sharing, love the spacey background on your blog, so great to be able to see each student's posts via your labels gadget. Just a reminder your blog address should be: http://www.horotiuschoolroom4.blogspot.co.nz

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  36. Think my last post disappeared into the abyss. My blog is at:
    3eeeps2015.global2.vic.edu.au

    I've been blogging for a term and my class and I love it. I'm in the process of helping the rest of my year level setup their class blogs so your series will be helpful for that. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks for sharing, great that you're helping out other teachers with blogging it's an awesome way to give students a voice.

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  37. Hi Angela, I know it's a bit late... My class blog is:
    http://ehsallstars.blogspot.co.nz/

    Thank you for putting this course together. I look forward to making our blog bigger and better through upskilling my learning :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing your blog develop.

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  38. Just got into it today. My class has had its first 8 weeks of BYOD so are just getting into it really!

    http://room42015waihopai.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing, hope you BYOD journey is going well.

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  39. Hi there!
    I commented on Wednesday but it looks like it didn't pop up.
    I'm a first year BT and have blogged for two terms now. I've gotten half my resources off other blogs nz and abroad. This is a great course/pd !
    Thank You

    rmadozen.blogspot.co.nz

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  40. Hmm yes sometimes comments do seem to disappear, not sure why. Thanks for re-commenting, great to have a new teacher on board. I hope you're enjoying your start in this amazing career.

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  41. Hi, catching up before the term starts. My class blog is room28ptchev.blogspot.co.nz

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    1. Oops just realised that isn't correct. My class blog is ptchev28.blogspot.co.nz

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  42. kia ora koutou - here is my blog so far http://pesroom5ppk.blogspot.co.nz/
    I am not a classroom teacher this year (reading recovery and ESoL) but goal is to share more on this blog. Cheers, Gretchen

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    1. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing your blog develop.

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  43. I am just catching up on all of the challenges from Week 1 today, as I was away last week. Here is my new blog:
    http://room6and7amazingalexlearners.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing, great to see you've already started your blog and no problem with catching up challenge posts will always be here.

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  44. Hi Angela

    Here is my blog

    http://wsroom1.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing! Been past Whakamaru many times - originally from Tokoroa :). You're student blogs are looking great.

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  45. HI Angela
    here is my new blog
    http://la72015.blogspot.co.nz/

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  46. Thanks for sharing, love that lego song, I'm sure it'll be stuck in my head for days now :)

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  47. Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing, love the bright blog colour scheme!

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  48. http://7jon2105kavanaghcollege.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks for sharing, congratulations on creating your blog.

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  49. Oops bit late getting started but on my journey now.
    http://twsroomseven.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Yay, great that you've started, thanks for sharing.

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  50. Better late than never getting started. I've also started my own reflections blog. So this training is doubly welcome and useful. Thank you so much for doing it.
    http://garstonrm2kids.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Welcome to blogging, great to see you've started.

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  51. I took a bit longer to get started and am working through the days. Here is my blog. Thanks for this excellent PD.
    http://mathsclubatmis.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. You're most welcome, great to see a maths club blog!

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  52. http://smcpsroom4.blogspot.co.nz/
    Thanks for your detailed instructions Angela

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    1. Thanks for sharing! Think about making your blog open to everyone if you can as the power of blogging comes from sharing with a worldwide audience :)

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