New Zealand!


We’re excited to have new blogging partners in Mr. Webb’s Room 1 in Auroa, New Zealand.  After introducing ourselves, Room 1 wrote a post about what they knew about Texas, so we thought we’d put together a list of what we know about New Zealand.  Like Mr. Webb’s class, we realize we have some research to do in order to complete (or correct?) our knowledge and impressions.

From period 2 and 3, here’s a compilation of what we think we know:

  • New Zealand is near Australia
  • The fly fishing for trout is supposed to be awesome there!
  • Some students have heard of a famous NZ rugby team called All Blacks
  • Cricket is a popular game (but most of us aren’t sure what it is)
  • There are many sharks in the waters off the coast of NZ
  • New Zealand has a sister city to our Aspen, Colorado…but we can’t remember its name
  • There are REALLY big turtles in New Zealand
  • New Zealand is in the Ring of Fire
  • The countryside is beautiful (we saw the scenery in the Lord of the Rings movies!)
  • People in New Zealand say “mate” after their sentences

We look forward to learning more about New Zealand and Mr. Webb’s class in the weeks ahead!



free glitter text and family website at


Some students have asked about how to add some special text effects to their blogs. Enjoy playing with the possibilities below! You can search the web for more options. If you find more cool bling for blogs, leave your recommendations in the comments!

Glitter Text @


Get this text and many more glowing fonts here .  After you create your message, choose “get web code” and paste it into your post.  Remember to use the “text” option when pasting in codes.


Do you like Minecraft? Check out this site for generating text. When you finish designing your message or header, there is no html code to copy. Just download your text for use in your blog, or use a tool like the snipping tool to cut out and save the image for upload as you would any photo. That’s what I did for “Purple Power.”

A Busy Week


What a difference a week in the computer lab makes.

All two hundred and fifty WRMS seventh graders now have blogs, and wow, are they looking good!  We borrowed inspiration from Mr. Miller’s Blogging Boot Camp (thank you for posting this, Mr. Miller) and brought everyone into the computer lab for five consecutive days to get our blogs up and ready here at the start of the school year.  Lessons on proper use of images and video will come later; for now, we’re ready to write!

The timing of our abbreviated boot camp was just right to coincide with iPad roll out and this week’s library/lab orientation.  Soon students will download the Edublogs app and connect their new blogs to their tablets (and to their smartphones if they have them).  We are grateful to be a 1:1 iPad campus and plan to make good use of our technology in English class this year.

Eventually, students in my class will be authorized to post here to the class blog, using it as a sort of literary magazine.  In the meantime, check out some first posts on the individual blogs of period 4 and 2 students:  Dillon discusses character arcs in a post about book endings, Ellie extols the deliciousness of cheesecake,  James describes the fun of fishing, Olivia explores the “Writer’s I”  and the joys of PB&J, and Steven writes about a mysterious adventure in his neighborhood.  Keegan has a love for animals, Nick loves to read, Nina enjoys Friday night football games, Ryan is excited about his second year playing French horn in the band, and Sam compares and contrasts soccer with other sports.

Do you like our avatars?  Students found that their favorite avatar-building sites were Face Your Manga, Build Your Wild Self, and The Hero Factory.

Tomorrow is our last day in the lab.  Students who still have their first posts in draft status will publish, and everyone will create an “About Me” page by the mid-week.  Our class is participating in the Edublogs Class Blog Challenge, so we’ll come up with a class “About Me” page for this year, too!


I didn’t want to title this post “Under Construction,” but in one sense, this blog is indeed under construction.

I’ve been archiving the class blog posts of last year’s seventh graders, so the categories listed above for fiction, poetry, narrative and expository work will be empty…but only for a short while!  This year’s seventh graders will soon be posting work of their own, and many of those students will want to publish to the class blog.  I’ll leave the custom menu in place for them to fill.

Tomorrow is the last day for last year’s seventh graders to have their individual blogs on my blog roll.  Their blogs are being transferred to their eighth grade teachers, and I’m excited that my students will be continuing to blog upstairs in their new classes.  I promise to continue to visit their blogs, read their work, and leave comments.  What a talented group of writers they have been, and I will miss working with them!

Coming Monday:  A brand new class blog roll of seventh grade readers and writers, ready for a year of blogging together!