Writing

4 Comments

To see Heather's post about prefixes and suffixes...

Prefixes and Suffixes

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Hello Heather, 

When I first saw your topic for the post I was curious. Words and something about words known as etymology are two of many interests of mine. Words because the more we know and understand of them, the more powerfully we can share with others.

Etymology is the study of where and how words began. Etymology can explain why words with silent letters came about or why other spellings or meanings exist.

You can try to find the etymology of words by going to this link. You will see a “search” box on the screen where you enter the word you want to trace…

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php

(It doesn’t include spellable.)

Your post was interesting for me not only because you shared words to help others grow in word power, you also made me think about how words begin.

Let’s look firstly at the word, "spellable". Believe it or not, spellable is a word although not shown in all dictionaries. As you know, it means able to be spelt. If people think it isn’t a word, here is a link…

http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/spellable

A little research and I find the word “spell” seems to have been around in some form for about 700 years but “spellable” is very different. I suspect it is much more modern and comes from our era. By using it, you are helping to make it a stronger word.

Made up words become real words the more people use them. Words can also change meaning over time.

Have you heard of an iPad? I’m sure you have.

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.

iPad is very modern and I think was invented by someone at Apple Computers but the way it’s said is what I find interesting. If we go back to the time I was your age and I heard someone say “iPad”, I would think they are saying “eye pad”, a medical dressing placed over an eye. Now, I have to listen to how it is used to know if people are talking about an “iPad” or an “eye pad”.

Words can be different in other countries. You walk on the sidewalk while we walk on the footpath. In USA, if you break the law you can go to jail yet here we go to gaol. Believe it or not, “jail” and “gaol” are said the same although many Australians are now using the US spelling.

Words can be very interesting and that leads me to what you have shared.

Your post on prefixes and suffixes is brilliant.  

You have set it out clearly and in an easy way for younger readers to understand. You may be a student in school but you are now also a teacher for younger children. To have knowledge and share it is a wonderful gift.

Can I come up with some words that have prefixes or suffixes?

I know one of the most confusing problems for many young learners is knowing which prefix to use. Look at these words…

impossible, unpossible, ilpossible

imlegal, unlegal, illegal

imnecessary, unnecessary, ilnecessary 

In each line, one word is correct and the others are wrong yet the im-, un- and il- prefixes can all make the words opposite. My choices for the correct words would be…

impossible,  illegal, unnecessary

Here is a link sharing some prefixes and suffixes people might like to try using…

https://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/lsu/content/4_WritingSkills/writing_tuts/spelling_LL/rules3.html

What is my favorite word that includes a prefix or a suffix? 

My favourite word containing prefixes and suffixes is…

antidisestablishmentarianism

base word: establish

prefixes:   anti- dis-

suffixes:   -ment, -arian –ism

meaning: opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England

Now that seems like a mouthful of a word but have a look at this one…

pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

It’s said to be a medical word for a lung disease but I can’t see it being used very often.

Here is a little fun with prefixes…

If we are given more money, we have an increase. If we are given less money, we have a decrease. Does that mean if our money stays the same we simply have a “crease”?

Can’t words be amazing?

4 Comments

To see Bronte's original post and possibly leave an ending of your own...

Can You Finish the Ending?

Bronte's story beginning...

I had to get away. I was pushed too far in this lesson, and in my life, I wanted to keep Stormy, my beautiful black horse. I galloped towards the forest, tears streaming down my face; I had to get away from this terrible place. As I entered the forest, I waited to hear hoofbeats behind me, just in case my friends chased after me. Nothing. Whew! Slowly, I pulled Stormy up. I’m never going to leave you, and I hope you’re never going to leave me. I whispered to my dark gelding

Soundlessly, I walked through the dark forest. I hadn’t noticed before that there were shadows. Shadows covered the winding path, they creeped up the silent trees, and through the river. They won’t leave me alone, they’re everywhere. What have I done? Galloped through the deep dark forest, or ruined my life forever? Getting away was all I could think of right now, away from evil, closer to good. No way could I go back, Stormy would get sold in a flash, I couldn’t go back. Even if I wanted to, these shadows stopped me, they crowded me, and blocked my way, yet they were not solid, they would not move….

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.

In a comment on her blog, I suggested four possible plots for the ending. Bronte preferred option 3.

 

I pressed Stormy on deeper into the forest in the hope of finding a safe refuge. I could see Stormy was nervous at the unfamiliar sounds we passed.

It was daytime yet it seemed this part of the forest rarely felt the warming sun. Eerie shadows in every direction waited for my frightened imagination to create dark creatures.

Without warning, Stormy stopped. His ears flicked around as though he was intent of finding the source of a sound, a sound my human ears couldn’t detect. I felt a sudden chill down my spine. Fear or the cold hand of a monster testing its prey, I couldn’t tell.

A terrifying sound ripped through the now frigid air. Stormy, startled beyond calming, reared up causing me to lose balance. I felt myself falling towards the shadowed ground…

My head ached as I stirred, “Mum?”

No answer.

“Dad?”

No answer.

I tried opening my eyes but was met with darkness. The chill in the air brought me to my senses. I remembered Stormy and our escape.

“Stormy!”

He always came when I called yet not a sound was heard. I was alone. There was no hint of sunlight in the trees above, no shadows on the ground. All had been swallowed by the darkness of the night.

Remembering my house key, I fumbled through my pocket. Relieved, I pulled out the key and felt the small torch attached. Pushing the button, light flicked through the nearby bushes.

A sound! I turned the torch in the direction I thought was the source.

Rustling leaves.

The same terrifying sound I remembered before falling from Stormy.

Light, two red eyes staring back at me. I stood frozen as the eyes approached. The eyes became a shape looming out of the darkness. I couldn’t move.

Wait, something familiar, “Dusty?”

A wag of a tail when the light revealed darkness’s secret. It was my dog, Dusty. He must have followed our trail.

“Let’s go home, boy,” I said glad of the company and the comfort of torchlight.

Arriving home, I saw people gathered.

“There she is!” one called.

My mum and dad ran over, dad picking me up in his strong arms. I felt safe at last.

Mum had tears in her eyes as she asked, “Where have you been? Stormy returned hours ago without you. We had people searching for you.”

“I.. I was thrown and hit my head. When I woke up, Stormy was gone and it was dark. Dusty found me and led me home.”

Dad was worried, “Why did you ride off like that? One of your friend’s said she saw you disappear into the forest.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I explained, “I heard you say you had to sell the horse. I didn’t want to lose Stormy.”

“Horse?” Dad gave a relieved laugh. “I said house. Your mother and I were talking about your grandma’s old house we needed to sell. We’re not selling Stormy.”

If it wasn’t for the dirt on my face from the fall, I know everyone would have seen me blush with embarrassment. We thanked all of those who had helped search for me.

The bump on my head checked by a doctor, clean and very tired, I was put to bed. I nodded off quickly and dreamed of future adventures with Stormy… but maybe not back in that forest.

5 Comments

Olivia's post and the comments we shared...

A Thank You Post

Olivia wrote a thank you post on her blog and asked if I would write an extended comment for her. I explained how I get ideas for extended comments...

There is something in a post that sparks the idea or I find I need to share pictures, video or sound but can’t in a normal comment section on someone’s blog.

See if you can give me an idea that will spark a post…

What are you interested in?

Have you ever been to or wanted to go to interesting places?

Have you seen something and wanted to know but aren’t sure how to find out?

Have I written something you found interesting but were curious about a part of the post?

In a reply to my comments, Olivia gave some answers to the above. While her answers were interesting, it was her questions at the end that gave me the idea for this post...

Why did you want to start blogging?
Have you always lived in NSW?
Do you ever feel like you would like to come and visit people from around the world?

Here are the answers to her questions...

Why did you want to start blogging?

I never really thought about blogging in early 2011. I had heard of it but not taken much notice. I was no longer teaching and was currently enjoying writing a children's novel I never bothered trying to have published. Seeing some links to blogs from teachers on Twitter, I saw students were making use of them to share ideas and work. Their teachers were writing posts about education. I decided to see what blogs were all about. To do this, I had to start a blog I called "Ross Mannell's General Education Blog". I wrote my first post in June, 2011. It was about teaching and education. Here is what it looked like...

 

This should not be copied, reproduced or used  in any way without my written permission.

This should not be copied, reproduced or used in any way without my written permission.

I found blogging interesting but have posted only 9 times to this blog in two years. Writing about educational and other matters didn't interest me as much as writing narratives.

What changed my mind and made blogging so important to me?

At first I visited some student blogs and left short comments for them. I found I enjoyed doing this and receiving replies. One blog I visited needed me to join the blog provider in order to comment. A new blog was born in late 2011.

I wrote a comment for a class in England. They were learning about volcanoes, an interest of mine. I offered to send them volcanic samples from New Zealand, Fiji/Samoa and Hawaii. In order to explain what was being sent, I needed to share photos. Comments sections didn't allow this so my newest blog was used.

The original blog I started in late 2011 had to be moved to another blog provider in 2012. This "Extended Comments for Students" blog and was started in late May, 2012. The volcano posts are still on this blog.

Here is a link to their first volcanic post...

Volcanic Samples post

 

I didn't plan starting to blog for students. It just happened because I wanted to share with others. 🙂

Have you always lived in NSW?

Yes.

I was born in Sydney and grew up in Bankstown as had my father. I studied at Sydney University then Sydney Teachers College before becoming a teacher. For the first few years, I was a casual teacher working in south-western Sydney until I was able to work as a full time teacher.

In 1981 I was offered a full time job in western N.S.W.. I lived on a sheep station and drove the 20km to school each day and rarely saw another car on the way.  My first school has been shown on this blog before but here is the photo again. As you can see, it was very small an 100km from the nearest town. I was the only teacher with children from Kindergarten (Prep) to Grade 6

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.

In 1983 I was sent back to Sydney and worked in a school with over 800 students. It was very different to my first school. I only needed to walk through the back fence to reach a K-Mart and Woolworths. 🙂 In 1988, I moved to another Sydney school. It was the same school I had gone to when I was in primary school. Part of the school is pictured below. The old, yellow, wooden building has two small classrooms. When I was in third grade fifty years ago, my classroom was the closest one. This photo was taken in 2000 just before I left the school and Sydney.

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.

Missing being out in the country, in 2000 I was transferred to a school along N.S.W.'s south coast and this is where I stayed. I now live in the town and have many family members around. This area is where my mother's side of the family first settled. They came from Scotland and moved to this area in 1847.

Do you ever feel like you would like to come and visit people from around the world?

Yes.

While teaching, I travelled to New Zealand about seven times and met many other backpackers from around the world but I didn't have any school contacts back then. My last trip was in 1999. Below is a photo of Milford Sound on New Zealand's South Island.

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.

In 1996, I was in Hawaii and again had the chance to meet and talk to a number of people but still no school contacts. Below is a photo of a volcanic crater on Kilaeua, Hawaii.

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.

In 2010, I visited friends in Singapore before flying on to visit France, England, Scotland and Wales. I met many people but none directly linked to schools.

Singapore

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.

Paris

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.

London

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.

Now that I am connected to schools around the world through blogging, a trip to Europe and the U.K., New Zealand, America and even around Australia would be very different. I would probably be able to visit some of the schools I have come to know through blogging. 🙂

15 Comments

To see Molly's story, click the link below...

The Secret Spy Mission

Hello Molly,

I think you have realised a way of gaining ideas for stories. I have seen many stories written based on movies and TV. It's not a matter of copying the story, it's just getting an idea and seeing where it leads.

Most places I go I have a notepad and pen with me just in case I have a story idea. When an idea comes, I write it down and keep it. It's too easy to forget ideas if we don't note then down. When I have the time to write, I look through the ideas and choose one or sometimes start on another idea.

What is my favourite of the stories I've written? I write two challenges a week mostly with a 100 words limit. Can you imagine one challenge asked me to write my autobiography (life story) in only six words? What did I write?

Seeking ways to make a difference.

It's now my motto (words I live by).

There are now over 190 stories in my writing blog. I'll share a recent one and it's picture. We were asked to use "ARGH, MATEY!" in a story of 100 plus the prompt words, 102 words. Some of the words are a little harder. All of my stories are G rated. There is a glossary (list of harder words and the meanings I meant in the story) at the end of this post. See what you think...

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Captain Silver Beard Jones eyed his motley crew, “ARGH, MATEY!”

Audible sighs were heard.

“Today’s the day we separate the crew from plank walkers.”

Another sigh as one whispered, “I knew it! Another spelling test!”

The first few times the class had seen their teacher’s alter ego, they’d enjoyed the fun but they soon learned it was his way of breaking the tension when he intended giving a test. This time they were ready.

Captain Silver Beard Jones was shocked, “Everyone scored 100%.”

The class smiled at their bountiful plunder. Their teacher had forgotten to erase their spelling list from the board.

 

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.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

My favourite story overall was written in 2011. It is over 48,000 words and was called "Samuel Samantha". It tells of a boy who has unusual experiences with friends. Perhaps one day I will see if it can be published but, so far, only family has read it.

Writing allows us to create worlds and share them and their characters with others but I think you already know that. Keep writing! 🙂

Ross Mannell
Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

 

GLOSSARY

alter ego - A second personality. The person in the story was a teacher but sometimes pretended to be a pirate.

audible - Able to be heard.

bountiful - Having plenty.

motley - Very different looking.

plunder - Stolen goods.

tension - Worry, being anxious.

7 Comments

James, Nick, Tommy, Constantine, Joyce and Ella from the Battalion Hawk Bloggers asked, "Did you have to dip the pen in ink before writing?"

Global Poetry

You will need to scroll down the comments for this post.

Pen, Paper and Inkwell

When I was in school, students in Grade 3 and above used ink and pens to write. When I started Grade 3, I became one of the inkwell monitors. It was our job to make certain each small inkwell in the desks had ink for the day. When writing, we'd dip the pen nib in the ink, wipe off the excess on the sides of the inkwell and start writing.

We would be in trouble if we smudged the ink on the page. This made it very hard for left hand writers. They would have to twist their hand around so they wouldn't smudge the ink. It's part of the reason children were once in trouble if they wrote with their left hand. I can remember some being hit on the hand with a ruler if they did. Luckily that old fashioned idea disappeared many years ago and modern pens don't have to be held correctly (but it's better if they are).

While I was in Grade 3, we were finally allowed to use ballpoint pens so I lost my job as inkwell monitor. You will find many people still enjoy the feel of pen in hand and writing on paper. They like the art in calligraphy (handwriting). You don't need to plug your pen into power.

When using pen and paper, it isn't as easy to change errors. You can't cut and paste as on a computer but, for those who enjoy handwriting, the writing they do with pen and paper is much more personal. You can't push a button and send it around the world but it can be scanned or sent my snail mail.

For fun, I had made old fashioned feather pens, some with metal nibs, for some of my classes to use. There were smudges, fingers blue with ink and strange scratches on their page but they always seemed to enjoy the experience.

Here are some photos of the pens used.

I had a look into my stored resources and brought out the old pens I made for my classes. The feathers may be a little old and worn but the pens still work after about 12 years. There were still blue ink bottles with them although I also had other coloured inks.

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.

The basic feather pen was just a strong feather cut to have a point. A small slice along the point helped the ink to flow.

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.

 

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.

Being a feather, the pen would blunt with use and need to be trimmed back into shape. To make this feather pen, I simply collected and cut large strong feathers. They cost nothing to make but cutting with a sharp blade is best left for adults.

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.

A more expensive option was to use feathers but add a metal pen nib as a point. The writing would be finer and the pen didn't need to be regularly trimmed.

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.

When I used pen and inkwell in class, we had plastic pens with metal nibs. If you didn't hold them correctly your writing would look scratchy or might be smudged. The pen below is very similar to the pens I used in class.

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.

A few times I have mentioned holding the pen correctly. Here is a small graphic I drew many years back to show students how a pen is best held. It was based on the method advised by our Department of Education.

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.

Writing with pen and paper is an art form when we take the time. The flow of characters across the page and the feel of the pen is very different to the tapping of keys. While I seldom write more than notes on paper because of the lack of time and ease of sending text by computer, I still have a place for pen, paper and inkwell. If the power fails, my pen and paper won't. 🙂

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.

What do you think?

In response to a question from Christopher, Dimitri, and Tre, I am adding a photo of my Grade 3 room as it looked in 2000. I had returned to my old school as a teacher and was there for over twelve years. The old wooden building held two small classrooms. My third grade room was in the end closest to the camera. There were 44 students in my class. There was no room for group activities. When inside, we stayed at our desks. Each desk was permanently screwed to the floor and had a fold down seat for two. The front of your desk was the back of the seat of another. Grade 3 classes now normally have about 25 to 30 students. My old Grade 3 classroom no longer had any fixed desks when I returned as a teacher. It was used as a craft room.

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.

25 Comments

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 75 mm (3 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. 🙂

6 Comments

To see "Don’t Let the Bear Drive the Model T!" from Mrs. Moore and the 4th Grade Techie Kids, click the title below...

Don’t Let the Bear Drive the Model T!

Hello 4th Grade Techie Kids,

What an amazing book you have written. I can see the bear was really keen to drive the Model T but he wasn't allowed. I think you left us wondering what the next adventure might be in the bear's future. Would it be called, "Don't Let the Bear Fly the Helicopter?"

Your story had me thinking of the first car on the old family dairy farm when my mother was a girl. They didn't have a Model T, they had a Whippet. Just by chance, a nearby town had a car and truck show for charity recently. As I wandered around adding to my photo collection, I found a Whippet amongst the collection. Here is the photo.

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

Location: Pambula, N.S.W., Australia

Reading your story, I wondered what would happen in a story entitled, "Don't Let the Cow Drive the Whippet!"

I think I'll take the challenge with a short story with a little rhyme. Here goes....

 "Don't Let the Cow Drive the Whippet!"

.

Farmer Arthur was a special guy,

He was my grandad you see,

He'd tell his tales of make believe,

Especially for me.

.

But of his stories, there was just one,

I’d often ask to tell,

It was of Daisy, the brilliant cow

And a car called Whippet as well.

.

One day when heading off to town,

He’d left the cow a warning.

“Now don’t be bad while I am gone,

I’ll be back in the morning.”

.

But Daisy was a naughty cow,

She’d never, ever listen.

She sneaked the keys and took the car

“He’ll never know it’s missin.”

.

Now if this was a simple spin,

Nothing bad might happen.

But she forgot there was a spy,

And the spy dog wasn’t nappin’.

.

Daisy took for her gang of five,

The others knew to fear.

They were the dreaded Udder Gang,

They’d been a scourge all year.

.

Daisy sat behind the wheel,

With Belle who sat beside.

And in the back were Milk and Cream,

There’s no room left inside.

.

But of the gang there was a fifth,

And she’d not be one left out.

So on the roof she took her place,

The crazy milking lout.

.

They had their spin round country roads,

Before heading back to farm.

They parked the car and all got out,

They thought they’d done no harm.

.

The morning dawned and Arthur came,

The cows saw spy dog talkin’.

Their fear now grew as they watched on,

For Arthur was their way walkin'.

.

“What have you done, you silly cows?”

They knew he was quite mad.

But Daisy smiled her innocent smile,

Said, “Moo?” and then looked sad.

.

Her acting might have worked you see,

For Daisy was so convincing.

“I know you did it you naughty girl.”

Her sadness turned to wincing.

.

While dog had told, that was not all,

For Arthur saw his Whippet.

With milk on floor and hooves on roof,

Daisy’s forgotten one small snippet.

.

She promised she’d never repeat her deed,

Her naughty jaunt that day.

But as she spoke her hooves were crossed,

She's always sneaky that way.

.

Daisy gathered her gang to have a chat,

“The next time we go a driving,

We’ll take the dog and clean the car.”

The Udders were so conniving.

.

 Click on the drawing to open another window and hear the poem read.

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

6 Comments

Recently, I have been asked a few times what tips might I give new bloggers. The following is an updated set of tips I first posted in May, 2012.

What tips would I give to new bloggers?

1. The first and most important tip is to have a go. Sometimes people are held back because of a fear others mightn’t like what they post or people might think them dumb. It’s true, there are some people out there who only want to criticise others but you will find the majority of people are supportive. For younger users, there is always comment moderation. A trusted adult checks on comments before they are allowed on the blog. When I first started this blog I had no idea it would be visited so many times.

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

2. The second is to make posts. There is no use setting up a blog if you don’t intend making regular posts. While people may enjoy what you write, they will stop visiting your blog if nothing new appears.

Adding  graphics, sounds and video clips can add to your posts but the work should be your own. If using something another has made, make sure you have permission and give them credit. On this blog, many photos and graphics have "Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes." under them. If you are using them for school work, I have given you permission to use them.

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

3. The third is to visit other blogs. It’s not only polite to visit a blog of someone who regularly visits your blog, it’s also an opportunity to add comments to another person’s blog. When you do this and possibly add a link to your blog in the comment, the other person is more likely to visit and comment on your blog.

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4. The fourth is to be positive in comments. I like to look for the good things in a person's post and highlight these in my comments. I also might make suggestions on how a student’s post might be improved. I never say their post is bad. They have taken the time to share their ideas and I appreciate what they do and know they’re doing their best.

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

5. The fifth would be to try to reply to anyone who leaves a comment on your blog. I try to write a reply on my blog to any comments left. This can sometimes take up a reasonable part of my day. Any comment left on my blog normally gets a reply thanking them for commenting. I always add a little extra in my reply to acknowledge what they have written.

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

6. The sixth tip is one I don’t always use due to lack of time. In your comments, it's okay to ask questions of the person who wrote the blog if you want to carry on a discussion with them. Questions invite the person to answer you.  🙂

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4 Comments

This post was one off my 100th Extended Comment post. As the 101st post, Year 4 will be receiving a copy of “Wombat’s Secret” book, two small souvenirs from Potoroo Palace (where I have taken many animal photos) and some Australian animal postcards.

Cerys is a Year 4 student from N.L. school in the U.K. She presented a story as part of the 100 Word Challenge. Having a distinct Australian flavour, I thought I would prepare an audio presentation of her introductory sentences.

 

This video clip is not to be copied. It is based on Cerys's writing.

These are her opening sentences...

Once upon a time in a far away land there lived a girl. She lived in the forest.

She heard something. It sounded like the thump of bounding kangaroos, the laugh of the kookaburra, rustling leaves under the slithering snake and there was another sound. The faint chirp of the cricket rattled on. Dark ravens circled.

Trying not to be tangled by the strong creepers, she pulled out her sword slicing ever so slightly to the enchanted steps. At the bottom of the steps she turned left and then she heard it.

5 Comments

For 4KM and 4KJ’s original post…

CAFE Strategy

Hello 4KM and 4KJ,

I always enjoy a good story beginning. You asked us to predict what might happen next. I love a writing challenge.

Here is what 4KM and 4KJ shared…

The door creaked as Sam carefully pushed it open. It took a few moments for Sam’s eyes to adjust to the dark. Her heart was beating rapidly and she could hear herself breathing heavily.

Sam’s mind was racing with thoughts of what she might find inside the small room. She made herself take a step forward. Suddenly, something caught her eye and she jumped…

My prediction of what happened next…

A voice was heard, “What brings you here child?”

Recovering from her initial surprise, Sam studied the little creature before her. It was small and green but it’s care-worn face spoke of wisdom and great age. Not human-like yet, somehow, it seemed familiar, at least to Sam’s eyes.

Again the voice, “Are you deaf, child? What brings you here?”

“I… I… I…”, Sam couldn’t bring herself to say more.

“Strange child, you have but two eyes yet you speak of three. Where is your third eye? Is it on the back of your head?”

“You… you… you…”, Sam was still lost for words.

“First three eyes and now you speak of sheep. What a strange creature you are. You are a giant with long string on your head. Your fur is of different colours and your feet are hard and leathery. Can you not speak more?” the creature asked.

Sam finally recovered, “I beg your pardon. You surprised me when I first saw you. I have two eyes and no sheep. The string is my hair, the fur my clothing and the hard and leathery feet are shoes.”

“Finally,” the small creature smiled. “Who are you?”

“I’m Sam. Are you who I think you are?” she asked.

“I’m who I think I am. Who do YOU think I am?” the creature asked.

“Are you Alice’s caterpillar?” Sam asked hesitantly.

“Yes,” came the reply. “The White Rabbit sent me to remind you you’re late. Come, we must go.”

My challenge to anyone interested: Now, what do you think Sam did next?

To see the original 6th School of Puns competition, click the link below...

http://schoolofpuns.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/sixth-school-of-puns-cartoon-caption.html

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With the 6th School of Puns competition underway, I have listened to The Headmaster's call for punny entries and have two possible versions for Samar's wonderful picture shown below.

1. The dog won the race but he thought he was only yelping them chase the shot-put.

2. Ever since dogs have been allowed to enter the Olympics, they've been a howling success.

 

2 Comments

To enter your own captions for the School of Puns fifth competition, go to...

http://schoolofpuns.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/fifth-cartoon-caption-competition.html

The competition is open to 4 to 13 year old students, and teachers

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Hello Headmaster and the School of Puns,

My apologies for missing the fourth competition but I was at least able to vote for one of the chosen three . It became necessary to rebuild this extended comments blog as rumour has it the blog provider of the original blog will be shutting down at some time. My original post for you is now on this new blog at...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/for-the-school-of-puns/

Now for the fifth competition...

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Below is the picture drawn by Alexandra for the fifth competition showing yet again the School of Puns is home to budding artists...

As you can see in Alexandra's wonderful drawing, it's the Diamond Jubilee celebration for H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II yet something has gone wrong. One of the the corgis has made off with the crown. Now, a pun is a play on words so let's see how I can play with words coming to mind on seeing this wonderful drawing...

Crown

 

The corgi ran away after stealing from H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II.

It was his crowning achievement.

 

 

 

If you're not already entering the School of Puns, why not try. If you're 4 to 13, or a teacher, visit the School of Puns blog for all the details and how to enter. It is open to students around the world. Here is a link to the School of Puns home page...

The School of Puns

@RossMannell