Happy First Birthday “Extended Comments for Students”!

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

On May 22, 2013 this "Extended Comments for Students" blog turned one. I would like to thank everyone who has stopped by to see what has been happening and those who have also taken the time to add a comment to one of the posts. When this blog was started on May 22, 2012, I had no idea so many would think it worthwhile enough to visit, even if by accident.

By the end of May 22, 2013, there had been 38,737 visits from over 150 nations in its first year.

Birthdays are often a time for gift giving to the birthday person but I decided this blog would give a gift to celebrate its birthday. I chose to send a gift to the class whose extended comment was posted on or nearest to the blog's birthday. While no posts were made on May 22, two classes received a post on May 23. As such, each has been sent the cute little echidna (spiny anteater) toy seen in the photo below as well as a metal token from Potoroo Palace, my favourite native animal sanctuary. Potoroo Palace is my source for these cute little guys as well as many photos and video clips.

The two winning class blogs are...

4KM and 4KJ in Geelong, Australia

and

Battalion Hawk Bloggers (aka Global Grade 3) in Canada

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Below is a photo and video clip of a real echidna from Potoroo Palace. His name is Spike. Potoroo Palace also has a rare white echidna. Below the photo is some information about the echidna taken from a previous post on this blog.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

Short-beaked Echidna or Spiny Anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-beaked_Echidna

Class: Mammalia

Order: monotremata (egg- laying mammals)

The echidna has a spiny defence. When frightened, they dig their strong claws into the ground and show only their spines. The different species of echidna and the platypus are the world’s only surviving species of monotremes, i.e. egg laying mammals. The short-beaked echidna in the photo is common in most areas of Australia and I have even found one in my garden.

The short-beaked echidna can reach 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 in) in length, with 75Β mm (3Β in) of snout, and weigh between 2 and 5 kg (4.4 and 11 lb).

Luckily the gift echidna toy being sent is much lighter otherwise postage would have been very expensive. πŸ™‚

25 thoughts on “Happy First Birthday “Extended Comments for Students”!

  1. Heather

    Dear “Extended Comments for Students” and Mr. Mannell,

    Happy Birthday, “Extended Comments for Students”! I am mighty happy to see your blog grow. πŸ™‚

    I heard that you will be sending a gift to a class that you made a post to most recently. Since it is not Mrs. Yollis’ class, I wonder what the gift is.

    I have earned a blog from Mrs. Yollis and my blog is from Blogger. My blog is not even one years old! It takes lots of time for your blog to grow. If you want to take a look, copy this:

    heatherym.blogspot.com

    If you go to Mrs. Yollis’ blog, you will find out how old her’s is. Just copy this:

    yollisclassblog.blogspot.com

    I have to say that your camera that I saw yesterday was very good. Your camera is even better than the iPad or iPhone. I saw a big camera and a little camera. What type of brand is it?

    Hope to see you next year,
    Heather

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Heather,

      The two classes receiving the birthday gift have now been informed. You already know 4KM and 4KJ but the Battalion Hawk Bloggers are a Canadian class and another class whose blog I often visit. There is a birthday post on this blog so the classes can see what has been sent. http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/05/24/happy-first-birthday-extended-comments-for-students/

      It’s great news you have your own blog. You are correct, it can take a lot of time for a blog to grow but if you make regular posts about things you love or things interesting you, you’ll find others who share your interests will visit. I will be dropping in soon. I’m always curious to see what others are doing. πŸ™‚

      I know Mrs. Yollis and her classes have been blogging much longer than me. It was wonderful when I first discovered the blog one day. I thought, “WOW!” It made me more determined to increase the blogging I had already started.

      I noticed on January 9 this year Mrs. Yollis restarted her ClustrMap on the blog. A little maths shows the class blog has been getting a little over 8,000 visits per month. My blog received an average of 3,224 visits per month so your class blog is way ahead. πŸ™‚

      The big camera I use is an Olympus brand camera. It has three different lenses I can change depending on the photos I want to take. The second, smaller camera is a Sony brand camera. Being small, I usually have it with me so I can take unexpected photos.

      Perhaps I will see you blogging again in the future. πŸ™‚

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
      1. Heather

        Dear Mr. Mannell,

        I absolutely love the post that you left me. πŸ˜€ My favorite picture is the one that shows the Tropic of Capricorn. It is really funny how a person drew hot and cold on ether side. Do you think he used chalk?

        I never knew that the small camera was the Sony brand because MY camera is the Sony brand! Which camera do you use more often?

        Warmly,
        Heather

        Reply
        1. rossmannell

          Post author

          Hello Heather,

          Whoever thought to add the line on he road used paint to make certain it lasted for some time. The photo was taken in the 1980s. I wonder if someone repainted it? πŸ™‚

          The larger Olympus camera is the one I use most often. I carry the small camera most places when out just in case I see something making a good photo.

          Ross Mannell

          Reply
  2. Yunus

    Hi Ross,

    Congratulations on having you r blog for a year. I might have celebration when I have my blog for 1 year.

    Thank you for the Echidna and the little token from Potaroo Palace. We haven’t named it yet but it’s going to be Leo’s new friend.

    If you forgot how to get to my blog you can access it from the 4KM and 4KJ blog or the URL is yunus.global2.vic.edu.au πŸ™‚

    From Yunus

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Yunus,

      Thank you for congratulating my blog. It has been a busy year for it.

      I wonder what name your class will choose?

      I will be visiting your blog in a day or two. I visit a large number of blogs around the world so it can take time to visit. Adding your blog address to a comment is a great idea. It invites people to visit your blog in return. πŸ™‚

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  3. Jacob

    Dear Ross Mannal,

    That edcidna video clip was so cuit of that edcidna and happy birthday to the blog Ross Manal.

    Great gye to blogwith

    From Jacob 4KJ

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Jacob,

      Thank you for congratulating the blog’s birthday. It’s hard to believe how far it has come in a year.

      The echidna video is interesting as Spike, the echidna, waddles around exploring his enclosure. When I found one in my garden, I wondered how many house in our street it had already visited. I think they might walk long distances int he wild.

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  4. Connor

    Dear Ross Mannell,

    Great post it’s awesome.

    Anyway I wanted to tell you that the echidna video was great I loved it.

    Sincerely Connor

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Connor,

      I’ve always found the spiky, egg laying echidnas are fascinating. I have seen them many times when hiking and have found them around town, including one foraging in my garden. They’re very gentle creatures. Spike, the one in the video, is a great little guy who isn’t afraid of people because he has grown up in an animal refuge.

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  5. Molly (4KM)

    Dear Ross Mannell,

    Great post !

    We got our prize in the mail today and it was so cute. Leo is enjoying his new play mate.
    Great job on your achievement on your visitors.

    I have a blog of my own and here is the URL : http://mollyg.global2.vic.edu.au/
    I have 60 visitors and hope to get 100 some time soon.By the way my blog is only new so it doesn’t have much visitors.

    Best wishes on more visitors,
    From,
    Molly

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Molly,

      I was hoping Leo would be a good friend to the echidna. Leo does look friendly.

      Don’t worry about a low number of visitors when your blog is new. If you write posts regularly, people with similar interests will visit. You might choose a theme for your blog or write general posts about things you find interesting. My blogs all have themes but I have visited many interesting blogs sharing many subjects.

      It’s also a good idea to do exactly what you have done for me. Leaving a comment and including your blog address invites others to visit your blog. It works. I will be visiting your blog within the next day or two. At this time I am a little busy working on a school music camp DVD but I do have the chance to visit blogs and write comments when the computer is working in the background. At this time, video is uploading to the computer so I am able to write comments. πŸ™‚

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  6. Ava

    Hi Ross Mannell,

    I’m Ava from the class of 4KJ or 4KM and 4KJ class blog. Thank you so much for choosing us to be winners and thank you for the cute little echidna.

    Wow! Congratulations for getting 38, 787 visitors on your extended blog comments on your blog.

    We put our little friend (anteater that you gave us) with our mascot Leo and he was happy to have a new friend.

    Thank you so much again.

    Bye for now,
    Ava

    PS- Here is a link to my blog: http://ava.global2.vic.edu.au/

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Ava,

      I’m glad you liked the echidna. πŸ™‚

      Some time back I decided to send a gift to the class receiving a comment on, or nearest to, the blog’s birthday. By chance, the closest were two classes, your class and one in Canada. Each received a comment the day after the blog’s birthday. I had also sent out gifts for the class receiving the 100th post on the blog. As it turns out, Mrs. Yollis and her class received a gift for the 100th comment. They received a small wombat. It makes me wonder who will receive the 200th comment but that is still some time off. πŸ™‚

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  7. Anneliese (4KJ)

    Hello Ross Mannell,
    Happy Birthday to Extended Comments For Students. I’m sure this is very exciting for you. Congratulations!

    In 4KM and 4KJ we would like to thank you for your wonderful presents. The echidna we received was very cute.
    I looked at your post. It was a very long post. I didn’t even know some of those facts. Thank you very much for putting so much effort into this post.

    Once again I would like to thank you for our wonderful presents and congratulate you for having a first birthday with Extended Comments For Students.

    If you want to have a look at my blog the address is anneliese.global2.vic.edu.au

    Cheers,
    Anneliese

    The information about the echidna was very interesting. I never knew some of these facts.

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Anneliese,

      I am honoured by your two comments. I know my system sometimes lets people think their comment wasn’t sent so comments can be repeated. Like your class blog, I need to see and approve all comments before they appear on the blog. This is a good security practise because it stops people leaving ads for companies.

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  8. Anneliese (4KJ)

    Hello Ross Mannell,
    Happy Birthday to Extended Comments For Students. I’m sure this is very exciting for you. Congratulations!

    In 4KM and 4KJ we would like to thank you for your wonderful presents. The echidna we received was very cute.

    I looked at your post. It was a very long post. I didn’t even know some of those facts. The information about the echidna was very interesting. I never knew some of these facts. Thank you very much for putting so much effort into this post.

    Once again I would like to thank you for our wonderful presents and congratulate you for having a first birthday with Extended Comments For Students.

    If you want to have a look at my blog the address is anneliese.global2.vic.edu.au

    Cheers,
    Anneliese

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Anneliese,

      Thank you for the birthday wishes for my blog. When I started it I didn’t realise it would do so well.

      The echidna is cute. I have a number of photos and some video of the real thing so I thought sending the little echidna would be a great idea. πŸ™‚

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  9. Jordi 4KM

    Hi,

    Thanks so much for the echidna teddy and token, Leo looks very happy to have ANOTHER friend.

    YAY! What a birthday… My blogs birthday from years ago ( jordisblog.global2.vic.edu.au ) is still going and it was its exact birthday about a week ago. I put up a post of it if you want to look (the birthday is about 2 years of being a blog)… My other blog is about 2/3 months old!

    I love echidnas so much.
    From,
    Jordi
    4KM (4KJ)

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Jordi,

      I don’t know how it happened but I noticed a comment had been placed in the spam folder. Seeing it was your comment, I immediately approved it. πŸ™‚

      I remember your old blog. You and your class have come so far in blogging since then. I don’t have a link to your old bog so I didn’t see the birthday message. πŸ™‚

      Echidnas are cute little animals. The biggest danger for us would be accidentally treading on one in bare feet. I have seen many when hiking as well as in my town’s park and my own garden. πŸ™‚

      Ross Mannell

      Reply
  10. The Battalion Hawk Bloggers

    Hi Ross!

    Wow … your extended comments for students blog is ONE YEAR old!!! HAPPY birthday!

    Mrs. Renton is being REALLY tricky!!! She isn’t opening the link to your extended comment about your blog’s FIRST birthday … until we’ve made some GUESSES about what the “small gift” might be!!! Some of us think this small gift MIGHT be:

    – a whippet … nope … TOO big!
    – some samples of different rocks!
    – the cow that RIDES in the whippet, (Daisy)? Nope … TOO big!
    – the Udder Gang … nope that’s REALLY too big!
    – a BIRTHDAY cake? Nope … that would … squish in the mail! (Actually, with how long snail mail CAN take … squashed would be the LEAST of our problems!!!)
    – a DVD about how to use a clapperboard … nope … you’ve already explained THAT process!
    – a letter about how you celebrated your blog’s birthday … maybe with a QR code for a link? Hmm … maybe!
    – a SIGNED copy of the “Don’t Let the Cow Drive the Whippet” poem … since you are a PROFESSIONAL poet TOO! Maybe!

    Okay … now she’s actually going to let us check it out!

    WHAT … an ANTEATER?!? We sure hope it’s STUFFED!!! Actually, MANY of us think it would ROCK to have a REAL spiny anteater come to stay with us!!! But, after reading some of the AMAZING information and watching the video you shared with us on your Extended Comments Blog … we think stuffed was the BEST choice … especially with the Echidna’s “spiny defense”!!!

    We think MANY of us have a NEW favourite animal … and that means we are going to have to do some more research! We CAN’T wait for our new little Australian mascot to come and hang out with us and our koala!!!

    It is SO generous that it is YOUR blog’s birthday and yet you are sending gifts to us! It is JUST like you to continue on with generosity this way too! We think you are AMAZING!!!

    When the small package arrives from Australia, we will take a bunch of photos … and MAYBE even do another blog post about this amazing experience!

    Thank you, Ross! We MAY have some MORE questions about the Spiny Anteater after we do some more research! We are SOOO excited! Happy Birthday Extended Comment Blog!!! πŸ™‚

    The Battalion Hawk Bloggers πŸ™‚

    Reply
  11. rossmannell

    Post author

    Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

    Mrs. Renton may be tricky but I know I would have done the same if I had a surprise for my class. It must be a teacher’s trick to build the tension and get imaginations working. πŸ™‚

    I like some of the creative ideas for what the gift might have been. They show you have been following what I’ve shared on the blog.

    Our spiny anteaters (echidna) are remarkable little animals. They are protected in Australia. To keep one you need a zoo licence but that doesn’t mean they won’t choose to visit. I have seen them a number of times when hiking, have seen two in parks around town and even found one exploring our garden one day. Their spines are hard to the touch and sharp but they are gentle animals. They can’t bite and rely on digging strong claws into the ground and showing only their spines until danger goes.

    Your little echidna is around 15 to 20cm long. I wonder what you will call it? He or she didn’t tell me if he or she was a girl or boy. πŸ™‚

    In a writing challenge, I was asked to write 104 words using the prompt “the points were sharp”. I know many would write about making points in an argument or speech but I thought about the little echidna. Here’s a link to the story. It does use some harder words…
    http://rossmannell.com/2013/05/25/100wcgu-wk90-prompt-the-points-were-sharp-104-words-echidna/

    The other class receiving their little echidna already has it but they are much closer to me, about a nine or ten hour drive.

    If you have any further echidna questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. If only there was a way to experience touching and holding one over the internet, I’m certain my friends at Potoroo Palace would arrange it.

    Imagine if one day Skype or Google HangOut catered for all five of our senses. A virtual echidna might appear in your room. πŸ™‚

    Ross Mannell

    Reply
  12. Pingback:

    An Australian SURPRISE … but … WAIT … it isn’t even OUR Blogging Birthday! | Global Grade 3

  13. The Battalion Hawk Bloggers

    Hi Ross!

    We received your little SURPRISE in the MAIL yesterday!!! We spent LOTS of time on the iPads researching MORE about Spike! He is SO adorable! We felt SPOILED because YOU sent US a present when it was YOUR blog’s BIRTHDAY!!! You are SUCH a giver, Ross!

    We had SO much fun opening the gift, naming our new classmate, introducing him to our koala, Slowpoke, and RESEARCHING … that we wrote YOU a SPECIAL blog post.

    http://globalgrade3.cbegloballearning.ca/blog/2013/06/07/an-australian-surprise-but-wait-it-isnt-even-our-blogging-birthday/

    Be WARNED … we have MORE questions for you! We LOVE the way you’re ALWAYS get our minds wandering!!! Happy READING, Ross!

    We LOVED your 100 word story about the echidna … it would have been HARD to think of a story with the starter “… the points were sharp …” unless you KNEW about the adorable echidna. πŸ˜‰

    The Battalion Hawk Bloggers πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

      I was happy to read your new friend had a safe journey. With Slowpoke and all of you to keep company, I know your new friend will love being with you. πŸ™‚

      Questions are the way we find out. I look forward to any you have. I find I learn when I answer questions. I always try to check the information before sharing and, in the process, I often learn more interesting facts. No matter what our age, we should always keep our minds open and be willing to ask questions when we aren’t sure.

      The Echidna story was written for a writing challenge. I know most saw the prompt as making points in a discussion but I had been thinking of your new friend so I knew I had to write about the gentle echidna.

      I wrote my first entries for the 100 word challenges in late 2011. With over a year of writing around two per week, I find it can be easy to write but I add a little complication. When I see a prompt, I try to think of an unusual way of using it and then write the exact word limit. The two challenges I will soon be writing have the following prompts…
      1. “If a June night could talk…” – I have a limit of up to 106 words. I wonder what I will share?
      2. YELLOW – I have 100 words. The topic has to have a “yellow” theme. A graphic has already been drawn so I need to think of the story.

      Ross Mannell

      Reply

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