Happy 2nd 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.

What an amazing two years it has been. This blog started out merely as a way of adding photos/drawings/video/audio when a simple comment wasn't enough. I had no idea how much a part of my life blogging would become. Being a retired teacher, I once again felt part of student learning.

As of May 21 there had been 73,400* visitors from 179 countries who have dropped in. My top five visitors have been from U.S.A., Australia, Great Britain, Canada and India. There has been so much interaction where students and I shared our learning journeys on many topics.

To celebrate, two friends of mine joined me for a birthday party complete with a cake. As you can see in the photo above, they really got into the swing of the party.

My two friends have a slight problem classes might like to help me solve. They don't have names. Can classes help me find names for them?

Let's have a closer look at them...

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.

They are an Australian made koala and kangaroo. If your class thinks of a name for each, write them as a comment on this post.

Only class entries will be taken, no individuals. If you are entering for your class, you must ask your teacher if it's okay.

Classes should only enter one name for each of my friends. Remember to mention which friend for each name.

I hope to have a panel of local students help me make the selection. They will not have entered for their class.

You have until the last part of the world reaches midnight on May 29, 2014 to submit your suggestions.

For my blog 's birthday, the gifts are for readers. My two friends are waiting for a new home.  The winning two classes will be notified and I will attempt to contact your school for the school address details. Your class will, if your class name is chosen for one of the friends, receive the friend you have named.


Below is the Clustrmap for this blog's first two years...

This is a screen capture of this blog's Clustrmap for its first two years before archiving.

This is a screen capture of this blog's Clustrmap for its first two years before archiving. 73,756 visits were recorded.

*73,400 was based on data from Clustrmaps and not actual visitors due to the Clustrmap being inserted some weeks after this blog commenced.

17 thoughts on “Happy 2nd Birthday “Extended Comments for Students”

  1. 4A and 4B

    Dear Ross,

    Happy 2nd birthday to your blog! Congratulations, what a wonderful milestone!

    We just love your idea of having classes suggest names for your two friends. However, we are actually going to suggest names for your three friends. We thought the little joey deserved a name too!

    Here are our suggestions with explanations for our choices:

    Koala – Eucy (pronounced Yooky). We thought this name was suitable as we know koalas love to eat eucalyptus leaves.

    Kangaroo – Didge. As you know, didgeridoos are an Aboriginal instrument.

    Joey – Cooee (pronounced Coo-wee). This is a popular shout used in Australia to attract attention in the bush.

    All of the students in 4A and 4B would like to thank you very much for your ongoing support, interesting comments and fabulous extended comments. Your extended comments always provide a lot of great information and we’ve learnt a lot from you! We look forward to learning even more from your posts throughout the year.

    Give your furry friends a big hello from all of us!

    Your blogging buddies,
    4A and 4B

    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Congratulations! The Year 4 students from a local school chose Eucy as the name for the koala. Eucy will be sent to you shortly. 🙂

  2. The Battalion Bloggers

    Hi Ross!

    Happy second birthday to your blog! It sure LOOKS like it was a FUN party! It’s AMAZING that you’ve had 73 400 visitors in only TWO years! Our blog is going to be THREE years old in JANUARY … and we only have 21 695 hits so far! It’s SO cool that you have had 179 countries visit your blog! That’s CRAZY! Our blog only has 138 flags so far! We have 41 more flags to go until we match your number of flags!

    Awesome challenge, Ross! We’ve done some thinking and writing about what names the koala and the kangaroo should have! First, we wrote all our personal choices on a document. Then, we had to vote on which names they should be. We whittled it down to the MOST popular name for EACH stuffie … INCLUDING the BABY!

    Our CHOICES are … drum roll, please:

    • Koala: Sapphire
    • Kangaroo: Boxer
    • BABY Kangaroo: Roo

    You may be wondering WHY we chose these names for the stuffies!!! Well … we think SAPPHIRE is the PERFECT name for the koala because you’ve told us SO much about Sapphire the koala who lives at the Patoroo Palace! One of our Battalion Bloggers ALSO told us that you can find REAL sapphires in Australia. Maybe THAT’S how Sapphire GOT her name!

    We think the kangaroo should be named BOXER. Why? One of the MANY videos you have shared with us on your Extended Comment Blog, after you sent us the baby animal cards and we did some research, showed us some kangaroos that were boxing!!!

    We know that you said you were looking for names for two stuffed animals. But … we noticed THREE! We think the BABY needs a name TOO! So … we think it should be called ROO! Why ROO? Well … it’s NOT a FULL kanga … it’s only a roo! 🙂

    Gosh … this was FUN!

    Happy Extended Comment Blog BIRTHDAY, Ross!

    The Battalion Bloggers 🙂

  3. Caitlin

    Dear Ross Mannel,
    Happy 2nd birthday for your blog! That is a really great mile-stone. I am a student from Miss Jordan’s blog and I love blogging!

    We really enjoyed naming your cute little friends but we did have quite a lot of trouble doing so. So we decided to go with Eucy, Didge, and Cooee. I am really inspired by your Extended Comments For Students. I hope I can start a blog if I am a teacher.

    I love it when you leave comments on our blog because I usually try to reply first. Do you like blogging?

    Happy 2nd Birthday blog!

    1. Sienna

      Hi Catilin,
      It is really good of you to reply on Ross’s blog!
      I think I like the names we picked for the little austalian animals they really suit them.
      I also want to be a teacher to when I am older and start my own blog! I
      think when we get to high school we are going to have to study to be a teacher!
      See you soon

  4. Sienna

    Dear Ross Mannel,
    Happy 2nd birthday for your blog! That is a really big milestone even if you only ha dir for two years. 4A and 4B really enjoyd naming your cute little Australian friends, but at first we ha a little trouble. We all decided to choose three because we included the little joey. We all nammed them cute little names. For the Kola we called that Eucy and then we also nammed the joey and the big kangaroo, the big kangaroo was called Didge and the little joey Cooee. When I am older i would like to be a teacher and start my own blog.

    I love it when you write a new post because it gets me all excited.

    Have a wonderful happy 2nd birthday blog!

  5. Eevie

    Dear Ross,

    Happy second birthday to your blog! What a big achievement! I think it is a great idea to get classes to name your three cute little friends.

    I hope you liked the names our class suggested! I think Eucy is a really cute name. We choose names to do with Australian things.

    It looks like you had a good party ! The cake looks wonderful. Was it yummy?

    Eevie 😉

  6. Heather and Keira

    Dear Mr. Mannell,

    Happy Second Birthday, Extended Comments for Students! By the way, how did the cake taste?

    As you said, we can only give names with a class. We are doing a story about these two blogging buddies, and we have some names for them. We had many names for them, but we picked out the best.

    Kangaroo: Boomer, Roo, and Aussie

    Koala: Victoria, Alexia, and Allure

    We would appreciate for your feedback on our possible names for the kangaroo and the koala. Also, we know that the time zone is different, so please tell us if we are too late. Thank you!

    We’ll make sure we alert you when we are finished with our story. Since we have Google Drives from our district, we can type our stories in there. There is a button where you can share, and all you have to do is to type the other person’s name in there. That is how we see each other type. Do you know about Google Drive? If so, have you ever used it?

    Now, we have a simple question. We are both interested in your favorite animal. Heather’s favorite animal is the giant panda, and Keira’s is the pygmy hedgehog. We were thinking that you may like the platypus, kangaroo, koala, or wombat. It doesn’t have to be an Australian animal, but either is fine.

    Happy Birthday,
    Heather and Keira

    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      The Year 4 judges from my local school had a difficult decision to make with so many great names. They chose Eucy for the koala and Boxer and Roo for the kangaroo and joey.

      Eucy, Boxer and Roo were excited about their new names and the thought of having new homes but they were worried because it would mean leaving their friend behind. They asked me to find another home for their friend and, with such creative naming ideas in your comment, they thought you could make a good home for their friend.

      Pepper Possum has now joined the excitement and will be making the journey to you.

      Eucy, Boxer, Roo and Pepper should today start their journey in the post to their new homes in Australia, Canada and the U.S.A.. 🙂

  7. Mrs. Y♥llis

    Dear Mr. Mannell,

    Happy second birthday! You have contributed so much to our learning, and I am forever grateful to you for that!

    I see my two students contributed too many names. So, what about….

    koala: Eugene
    kangaroo & joey: Boomer & Roo

    Looking forward to seeing how it goes!

    ~Mrs. Y♥llis

  8. Eli

    Dear Ross,

    Eucy has just arrived in our class room!

    We are all really excited to have him here.

    Miss Jordan’s student

    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Miss Jordan, 4A and 4B,

      Eucy’s arrival is great news. I have also received the news Pepper Possum has arrived. I only hope Boxer and Roo will arrive very soon. 🙂

      Ross Mannell

  9. Heather

    Dear Mr. Mannell,

    Today, as you know, Pepper Possum just arrived in our classroom. What made it even more rousing is the way Mrs. Yollis opened the package:

    Firstly, she tore a slit in the package. To my surprise, a gray tail stuck out! Then, Pepper Possum decided to come out. I think that he was a little shy, but he still crawled out. When we all got to see Pepper’s face, the class was flooded with, “Awww”s or “Pepper Possum is so cute!”s.

    Thank you for shipping us Pepper. We will always treasure him even though tomorrow is the last day of school.


    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Heather,

      Possums like Pepper are found on many places in eastern Australia and can be found near my home. They tend to come out in the evening and spend most of the daytime sleeping in nests they build in trees. Pepper is s little different. Pepper seems to enjoy being out any time of day.

      I hope you and all of your class have a wonderful summer vacation. The school year has gone so fast. 🙂

      Ross Mannell


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