Day 4 of 20 Days to BlogTastic - Linking it Together

Phew!  Last challenge for this week... 
Thanks to all of you who've stopped by this week and tried out the challenges, there have been some great blogs showcased in the comments.  Remember you can get the list of all the blogs that have been shared over the last few days here on Day 2's challenge

Today is Day 4 of 20 Days to BlogTastic if you'd like more information about this training please click here

We're going to look making your blog a landing page for your class today - linking it to all of your digital content that you currently use and hope to use this term. 

This is one of the best ways to ensure your blog becomes an integral part of your classroom and not just another add on that starts off great and then dies away.

Creating Pages
We're going to create a page for reading, writing and maths as those tend to be the big three areas teachers have digital content in.  I'd also recommend you look at creating a page for your term topic/theme/inquiry once you're a bit further down the track.

I use these pages to link to websites, games, and activities we use on a regular basis.  Here are a few examples of pages I've created on the training blog.




This video explains how to create new pages for your blog





You can treat a page just like a post and add text, images and video to them the same way as I talked about in Day 3's challenge. 


For a bit more flexibility you might like to try adding Google Drawings to your pages.  This next section explains how to do that.

Adding Google Drawings to Pages
This video explains how to create the images similar to those that are in the training blog using Google Drawing.







If you're after something a little different Chris Betcher created this video that explains how to create image maps through google drawings

This video explains how to add images and image maps created in google drawing to your blog page.


Here's the code I was talking about in the video above, the blue highlighted text shows where you paste the link from the drawing you've created, the pink highlighted text shows where you can change the height and width of the drawing:

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="800" id="281101257" mozallowfullscreen="true" src="https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1BxPOwThWAs32MOmYqsGwz3tatYYb8U5S0oC5HYUdc6k/preview?authuser=0&amp;h=800&amp;hl=en&amp;w=500" webkitallowfullscreen="true" width="500"></iframe>



What do you put in pages?
Whatever works for you and your students.  Things like links to activities, login pages, challenges etc. that you're currently using.  If you don't currently use any digital content in your classroom here are a few starting points for you:

Maths

Literacy

There are thousands of online activities for students these are just a few pre-made ones you might like to start with.  Google your topic or search on Pinterest and see what else you can find. 

You could also try making your own activities ... that's probably a whole different training.

Adding a navigation bar for pages
You'll need to give your blog readers and easy way to get to your blog pages. There are a few different ways you can do this, I find the easiest way is to create a navigation bar that sits just after your blog header and description.  You can also add it as a links gadget to your sidebar.

Here's a video that explains how to add a navigation bar or a pages gadget






Other Ways of Adding links to your Blog
There are lots of different ways to add links to useful digital content to your blog.  Here are a few you might like to try... 
Symbaloo
Google Site
Wikispace
Pinterest (Students older than 13+ as account required to view)
Learni.st 
You can add a link to an external site to your navigation bar.  I've done this on the Training blog for our school site.  The navigation bar video above includes instructions on how to add links to an external site to your blog.



Today you need to create at least one page for your blog and add links to other digital content you currently use or you're going to use.  Once you've created your page add a link to your class blog in the comments of this post so we can take a peek.



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. Hi Angela
    Just had a go at adding pages. WIll do more later on. Thanks for your tutorials. Amazing. :)
    http://room18papatoetoewest.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Glad tutorials were helpful, great start.

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  2. Hi Angela

    Finally completed the task...rm31franktonschool.blogspot.com

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  3. Enough playing around! Need to get some other work done!!

    http://mangarm5.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. I should probably have mentioned earlier it can get a bit addictive blogging. Great fun though.

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  4. Managed to access Day 4 challenge via the right hand side bar. Challenge completed! I actually already have a class webpage (google sites) where I post most of my planning/learning stuff which includes links etc - so is quite similar to what your blog page plan looks like. I am looking at using my blog more for reflection and wondering. Very excited that I managed to get ThingLink going (first time I have seen it/used it) - will you be covering that at all? Would love to learn how I can modify it - I guess you are using the Paid version? That the free version is limited - or do you have some tips that you wouldn't mind sharing? Loving all the learning that is happening for me. Thank you!!

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    1. Great that you've already got a google site going. A blog is a great place for reflection and is relatively easy to get student voice incorporated into it, this is a little harder with a Google site. I've done similar setups with previous classes were a blog is our process and our site holds more static information like links to resources.
      Great to hear there is lots of learning going on for you.

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  5. I have games and learning activities linked in my sidebar. On my unit page I add links as we move through the unit for kids to do further research or revisit learning activities we've done in class. It works really well.

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  6. Hi Angela
    Finally got time to complete the 3 challenges. Thank you for the tutorials, simple and easy to follow :-)
    http://room3cleverkiwis.blogspot.co.nz/

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  7. http://deepsouthptc.blogspot.co.nz/
    Professional Development page added - external link added to NZ Education Council PTCs. Question - the font when I am typing text is not the same size on my pages, even after selecting normal - any reason?

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    1. Thanks for sharing. Are you editing text that you've copied and pasted from elsewhere? You may need to remove the formatting on it, to do this select the text while you're editing your page and press the remove formatting button (T with a red cross on it). Flick me an email if you need more help.

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  8. Pages added - About Us and Literacy - still need to add some detail but getting there.

    How do I link to google documents I have developed as reading contracts using Daily 5?
    room7keateam2015.blogspot.com
    Need to get sleeeeeppppppp!!
    This is addictive.

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    1. Thanks for sharing. You can share Google docs in the same way I showed for Google drawings. Flick me an email if you need more help with this.

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  9. Hi Angela,
    I have already set up pages on my blog
    http://ehsallstars.blogspot.co.nz/
    Do you think I should separate the websites we like in to Literacy / Maths and other?
    Keri

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    1. Thanks for sharing. It's really up to you if you seperate them, I did because it seperated them for each maths, reading and writing group and they clicked on the activities for their group. It depends what you're going to use the pages for. Hope that helps.

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  10. Thank you! I have done it!!! Yippee I feel very flash!! Above comment was how do I show my pages.....duh ... scrolled down and got the answer :) . Can you tell me what the difference is between 'labels' and 'pages'. Thanks

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    1. Pages tend to be a static display so links to maths resources you use all the time for example. Labels are added to posts to categorise them. If you use a labels gadget and click on the 'maths' label for example it'll bring up all the posts you've added the maths label to. Great for categorising posts from and about each student and on a particular topic/inquiry. Pages don't have labels and won't show up when you click on a label in the labels gadget.

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  11. http://pesroom5ppk.blogspot.co.nz/ - started my literacy page :)

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  12. Thank you! I have spent today playing and trying new formats. The most useful resource I have learnt today is using Google Drawing. I have been able to link the everyone's blog address on one page, which up until now has been in the too hard basket. I have set up a maths page with this weeks activity links into the groups, even though they are all the same - I need to talk to my colleagues this week to personalise the activities.Question 1, with the maths page do you just make a new page with new links when you want to change them, eg make a new one for week 2? and Question 2, the code that you need to - eg iframe etc for linking sites to the google drawing - do I just keep this link handy and reuse? Thanks for the tutorials they have been very useful. :)

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    1. wow, you're on a role awesome! In answer to your questions - I set up a group picture for each group then go back and change the links for each picture once or twice a week. I don't tend to setup a page for each week. Your second question - yes keep that code handy (the post will always be here), it used to show up as an option in Google Drawings but doesn't anymore :(, so this is a work around essentially.

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  13. Have completed adding pages to my blog. Have completed one page completely, the other three are a working progress.
    http://room3islabankschool.blogspot.co.nz/p/maths.html

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    1. Awesome, thanks for sharing, getting so many great ideas for pages coming through.

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  14. Hi Angela,
    I've had a go at creating a few pages and linking them to my blog. I will definitely be adding to these pages and refining them as I go along. Thank you for creating this PD! My blog is evolvingdinosaurs.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Great news, more than happy to create the PD, so glad its helpful for you.

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  15. I have only added one page at this stage, but will continue to add more over the next few weeks

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    1. That's great, go with what's going to work for you and your class.

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  16. thanks ...have just done one at this stage too :)

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    1. That's great, thanks for sharing.

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    2. I have created a new page but its not showing up ??

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    3. I have created a new page but its not showing up ??

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  17. Hi Angela,
    I can't embed the google drawing into my blog page!
    Do I need a new page of can I edit a page? I was trying to edit the maths page. I can copy and paste the code, then take off the last bits and the slash, but I do not have the bit where you embed it in the code, it is not coming up.Please help!

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    1. Thanks for your questions, yes you can edit a page just like you would edit a post.
      I'll try and answer your question here but it might be easier if you email me a couple of screenshots of your page when you're editing it so I can see what you've got on it and perhaps what's missing.

      I think you mean that you've copied and pasted the code from this post and you can't find the code for the google drawing to then paste in and get your drawing to show on your page.

      You need to share your google drawing by pressing the share button then click the advanced link.

      You want to change how the drawing is shared - next to the line that says private click on 'change' then select 'anyone with the link' and then press save. Now copy the website address at the top of the share window. This is what you're paste into the code you copied from this post.

      I hope that helps, feel free to email me if you need more help :)

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  18. Sorry, I don't know how to take a screen shot.
    the iframe allowfullscreen "true ...etc does not come up on my screen. Is there a step between pasting the code and taking off the end with the backslash?

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    1. Hey Debbie, I'll email you through a few help files to see if we can get it sorted :)

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  19. Finally, I've gotten around to getting this done! http://cleverlclogs.blogspot.co.nz/ I'm working my way through a few of these today (hopefully) :-)

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    1. Keep it up, it's about your learning so do it at a pace that's going to suit you.

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  20. I did it! I added a page. I think the hardest part was thinking what I wanted on the page. I have Maths, Reading and writing pages waiting in drafts so when I feel they are blog worthy I will add them too. For now I have added a page about Māori learning.

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    1. Great idea Hine, I'm sure your Maths, Reading and Writing pages are fine, remember you can always edit them again later.

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  21. Hi Angela
    I have created my reading page and made a google drawing with links,
    but when I press HTML no code comes up at all.
    I tried just pasting the website address into the blank page but when I view my blog that address just comes up and not the actual drawing.
    I read your reply to Debbie but it hasn't really helped.
    Not sure what I've done wrong?

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    1. Thanks for you question Lyn,
      The code comes from your Google Drawing.
      Go back to your Google drawing, Press the Share button and share the drawing as 'anyone with the link can view' Once you've done that you'll see a fairly long website address in the share window. You need to copy that address.

      Paste the address into the HTML bit of your reading page.
      Copy the code from this post the one that starts with <iframe...

      Go back to editing to your reading page
      Click the html button again
      Paste the code

      Now replace the section of code highlighted above with the website address you've copied from your google drawing. This should be just above where you've pasted the <iframe... code.

      I hope that helps. Flick me an email with your blog address in it if you're still stuck and we can work it out :)

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    2. Thanks Angela. I have tried to do exactly that several times, but it still isn't working so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
      I will email you my blog address.

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  22. http://twsroomseven.blogspot.co.nz/

    Have just got one page set up.

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