Using Tags and Categories in Your Blog

The purpose of a blog is to communicate ideas to a wider audience than your teacher or classmates. Tags and categories can help to create and to build the audience.

Tags and categories on posts are used to help readers locate information in different ways.

Categories are like chapters of a book; they provide a general overview of the topics you blog about. Whereas tags are more like the index at the back of the book and explode the topic into a million bits.

You are required to include tags for each post and you will be required to develop and include categories for each post by post #3

For additional information read Adding Tags and Categories to a Post. Follow the directions to add a Tag Cloud widget in your sidebar.

Managing Your Student Blog

  1. Log in to your Edublogs student blog.
  2. Go to your dashboard.

Adding the Class Blogs to Your Student Blog

  1. Click on Appearance in the left column. Then select Widgets.
  2. Drag the Class Blogs widget to the sidebar. At the bottom of the Class Blogs in the sidebar, click on Save.
  3. View the blog to see the links to the other students blogs in the ICS Technology class.

Profile and Name

  1. In the left column, click on Users, and then Profile.
  2. Change your nickname to your first name and initial.
  3. Change Display Name Publicly to your nickname.


  1. Go to the Voki website.
  2. Create a Voki. Enter appropriate text. Select a voice and accent.
  3. When you are satisfied with your Voki, click on publish.
  4. Give it a title and save it. Use your first name+last initial to save it.
  5. In the next window select the small size (100 x 133). Then copy the embed code.
  6. Log in to your student blog. Go to your dashboard.
  7. In the left column, click on Appearance, then click on Widgets.
  8. Drag the Text Widget to the sidebar.
  9. Paste the embed code in the text box. Then Save.
  10. View the site.


  1. Bitstrips – good avatar creator but you need to be over 13 years of age or have parent permission
  2. Or try Poptropica to create the avatar.
  3. Build Your Wild Self is another fun avatar site (I used this to create the sample student avatar on Ancient to Modern Music ) The avatar can only be 200 x 200 pixels in size, so it was necessary to crop the image down to just a portion of the face.

Adding Media to Your Blog

This method, Uploading files), can be used to upload any file provided:

  • Allowed file format Allowed file formats on Edublogs Include: jpg jpeg png gif doc pdf mp3 ppt wmv mp4 xls ins isf te xbk notebook m4a ist kmz kes mov flp avi swf wxr xml wav fjsw docx pptx xlsx xml m4v max kmz zip
  • The file is not larger than 32 MB.
  • You have adequate blog storage space available.  Your storage space allowance is displayed on your My Blogs module in your dashboard.

Note: You cannot copy and paste any media into a blog post. It must be uploaded and inserted using the directions in the link: Uploading files.

Class Guidelines for ICS Blogs

As Catholic, Digital Citizenship: We will

  1. treat others as we want to be treated ourselves.
  2. only use appropriate language in text and comments.
  3. only contribute positive, supportive comments.
  4. be respectful of differing opinions.
  5. never give out personal information, including names.
  6. not post anything unless we really want other people to see it.
  7. not use inappropriate music, pictures or videos.
  8. only use images or music or videos that we have permission to use.
  9. not plagiarize.


  1. Ideas: Express your own ideas.
  2. Conventions: Always check grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  3. Read carefully for sentence fluency.
  4. Think about your word choice.
  5. Use your own voice.
  6. Be organized.
  7. Presentation: Make it neat and appealing.

Creating Student Blogs

  1. I created usernames, passwords, and email accounts for each grade 7 student. I used the gmail system which allows students to be entered into Edublogs without a real email account. I created one gmail account, then added the student username to the email account. For instance, becomes Gmail ignores everything after the + so any email sent to goes to
  2. In the Dashboard, under My Class, I added the Student Users.
  3. The students blogs are set up, so the students will post on their own blogs, not on the class blog. Ms. Whitaker, the English language teacher, and I will approve posts and will approve comments on the student blogs.
  4. Students logged into Edublogs  They completed the information in the image below.
  5. They had decided last week what the topic would be for the blog. That went into the Blog Title line. From there they went back to the first line to enter a name for the Domain. Since this Domain name becomes part of the URL, students understood it had to be simple to remember and to type and it had to be unique from any other edublogs blog. They left the Blog Language set as English and said the Blog Type was Student.
  6. They entered the Captcha, agreed to the Terms of Service and clicked on Start Blogging.
  7. Some students were asked to enter the name of someone in-charge at the school. This should be an administrator or technology person at the school. I didn’t figure out why not all students were asked to enter this information.

  1. Once the blog was created, they went to their dashboard, then to My Class to search for the name of the class blog (this blog) and sent a message requesting to join the class.
  2. As the requests came in, I approved each and made some suggestions for changes for their blog titles – adding capitals, etc. I created the list of students blogs in the right column of this blog.
  3. Student clicked on Appearance in their dashboard and began to experiment with theme templates that complimented their blogs.
  4. They have questions about adding images for backgrounds and headers, etc. I emphasized that all images had to have creative commons licenses and suggested they look in They will add a link to the website to the original source of the image that they decide to use.
  5. They are excited that they will write about topics that interest them, and eager to get the right look for their blog topic. Many said they were going home to work on the design.
  6. We have widget and avatars, etc to develop, and of course have to start writing posts, but that won’t happen until next week.
  7. We also have to agree to digital citizenship guidelines for the blog before we begin writing. We have had a start on that discussion so should get it finished soon.

See Edublogs: Create Class directions.


Science Links: Digestion and Excretion

Science links for grade 5 students.

Digestion and Excretion 

A Healthy Diet

  1. Watch and listen Nutrition (on BrainPop – Excellent summary)
  2. Play Kevin’s Interactive Nutrition Game
  3. Play Blast Off (USDA nutrition game)

Science Links: Soil and Cycles

Science links for grade 5 students.


Cycles: Nitrogen, Water 

  1. Composting with Willie the Worm (Michigan Kids by
  2. Compost Tips (University of Florida IFAS Extension)
  3. How to Compost (Washington State Department of Ecology)
  4. How to Compost (Video by organic Garden , but sorry advertisement first)


Science Links: Earth Systems and the Water Cycle

Science links for grade 5 students.

Freshwater: Clean Water for Drinking and Agriculture

  • EPA Water Cycle animation (by – a review of the water cycle)
  • Florida Water Cycle diagram (by Southwest Florida Water Management District)
  • Florida’s Hidden Water Sources (by Southwest Florida Water Management District)
  • We All Live in a Watershed (by Southwest Florida Water Management District)
  • Florida Watersheds and River Basins and Tampa Bay Watershed (by
  • Is Your Watershed Healthy? (by
  • Gross or Good? (by
  • Is Your Yard Florida-Friendly? (by * Essential: Know the 9 Florida-Friendly Landscaping Principals *
  • Florida Toxic Slime: (TV ad on YouTube by Florida Water Coalition) Extra fertilizer that is not used by the plants in a lawn or garden will get into the groundwater and then into canals, rivers, and the ocean. Fertilizers and pollution from factories that get into the water can cause an increase in numbers of phytoplankton. We need phytoplankton to produce oxygen. If we pollute the water so phytoplankton die, we destroy an important source of oxygen, but too many phytoplankton is a problem also. Nature needs to be kept in a balance. Too many phytoplankton can release chemicals that kill fish and cause skin irritations for people. President Obama and our local Florida government need to know that we want our waters protected and clean.

Methods of Producing Clean Water for Drinking and Agriculture

Earth’s Oceans


Science Links: Earth Systems and the Atmosphere

Science links for grade 5 students.

Convection Currents

The Atmosphere:

Interactive Weather – Air Masses, Fronts and Storms

Storm Safety Tips

Scientists Make Measurements


Air Quality