Search Engines for Kids

Before we even get started with Search Engines, we need to understand a little more about how search engines work. View the video below from the very good Common Craft Plain English series on Web Search – Strategies in Plain English

SquirrelNet
SquirrelNet is a kids only search engine that has Google SafeSearch activated. From the homepage itself, you can also access the Google directory of websites relevant for children.

Dib Dab Doo & Dilly Too!
The search engine is again based on Google Custom Search and it tries to keep the content as children friendly as possible.

Kids Click!
A web search site designed for kids by librarians – with kid-friendly results!

Boolify
Librarians, teachers and parents have told us how hard it is for students to understand web searching. Boolify helps students bridge that gap by visualizing the process and letting students interact with the abstract concept behind the search process in a tangible and hands-on way.

Check out this 1:25m video on how to get started with Boolify

 

Search Engines for Kids
- and what they search -

No Search Engine is entirely 100% safe. Custom search helps to keep out a lot of unsavory links, but it is definitely not foolproof. Most of the search engines for kids also display ads with some undesirable ones sneaking in. Parental control software in combination with these search engines can help to keep children shielded from the bad side of the web. It is a tough battle but at least with these sites, parents and teachers can worry a little less.

As with any use of technology, the lesson will always include strategies for what to do when the “undesirables” sneak in.

Information also adapted from: Make Use Of: 10 Search Engines for Kids with Safe Browsing

Help! My Meta Widget Disappeared!

A lot of students have been changing their theme this year only to discover that the meta widget (the little widget that helps you log in) has “disappeared!”  Well the good news is, it hasn’t actually disappeared and there is a way to get it back.

First, you need to know:
Each theme comes with it’s default widgets – that means all themes start off with certain widgets automatically when you switch to a different theme.  Sometimes the default widgets do NOT include a meta widget.

If your meta widget has “disappeared”:

  • Type the url of your blog into the address bar:  (I’ll use my URL as an example) http://blogs.isb.ac.th/chrissyh
  • Add /wp-admin to the end of the url so it now looks like this:
    http://blogs.isb.ac.th/chrissyh/wp-admin
  • Click enter/return

You should now be able to log into the backend of your blog.

  • Go to Appearance, then widgets
  • Find the Meta widget and drag it back onto the sidebar
  • Remember to click save

You should be able to see the Meta widget on the frontend of your blog again!  See? I told it was easy!

 

Leaving a Comment on Someone’s Blog

We are learning how to be better commentors on blogs.  Here are some thoughts from our class discussion.

  • Refer to the facts of the post: Comment on the things that are interesting and new to you
  • Make Connections: Relate and compare things you are reading in the post to things that you already know.
  • Ask Questions: What about the content of the post is confusing to you? What don’t you understand? Remember that there will ALWAYS be questions in an active thinker’s mind!
  • Give Your Opinions: Make judgments about what you are reading. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Like? Dislike? Do you support or oppose anything that you have read? Why?

You could use the following sentence starters below to help you begin your comment

This reminds me of…
This is similar to…
I wonder…
I realized…
I noticed…
You can relate this to…
I’d like to know…
I’m surprised that…
If I were ________, I would ______________
If __________ then ___________
Although it seems…
I’m not sure that…

Adapted from: Bill Ferriter’s Digitally Speaking

Virtual School Activated

Flickr Photo Download: Sorry We're Closed

attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tommy-ironic/61969725

ISB will be closed Thursday 20th October and Friday 21st October 2011.  All classroom blogs will activate a Virtual School Blog Post by 9am, Thursday morning.  Each blog can be accessed via our Inside ISB Elementary Blog.
Click on your child’s classroom teacher’s name on the right hand side of the Inside ISB Elementary Blog front page.

There are also plenty of links to a wide variety of websites full of activities and games for learning on our Home Learning Links page on Inside ISB Elementary.

Happy Virtual Schooling!

Destiny Quest Widget

You can now add a Destiny Quest Widget to the side of your blog!  It will look like this on your sidebar!

Virtual Room 231

Here’s how:

  • Log into the back end of your own blog
  • Click on Appearance, Widgets
  • Drag a Text widget box over to your sidebar
Widgets ‹ Virtual Room 231 — WordPress

  • Click the link below to download a pdf that contains the code you need to copy
  • Very Important! when prompted, click Open file – do not click Save file)

htmlcode_destinyquest

  • Copy the code from the open pdf file – make sure you copy all of it.
  • Paste the code into the text widget.
  • Remember to click Save in the Text widget box!Your text widget should now look like this:
Widgets ‹ Virtual Room 231 — WordPress
Don’t type anything in the title of the text widget!

Check out the front of your blog and see if it’s there – click on it and it should open a new tab right to Destiny Quest!

 

 

 

Good Comments & Great Comments



Today in Grade 3, Ms H and the students were talking about “what makes a great comment”. We also talked about making “good comments” into “great comments”.

After much discussion and brainstorming, here’s what we came up with.

A good comment:
  1. Is positive
    (it doesn’t make someone feel bad about themselves)
  2. Is always polite
    (that means it’s not mean or nasty and there’s no swear/curse words either)
  3. Stays on topic
    (your comment matches what the author of the post is talking about)
  4. Is more than one word!
    (one word comments are not very helpful and neither a lot of exclamation marks!)
  5. Sometimes disagrees with what someone says in their post
    (but remember Number #2 – and explain why you disagree)

A great comment is everything from 1- 5 with an added extra!

  • Is useful
    (gives a piece of advice on how to make the post better or improve something, if possible)

What does everyone else think?  Have we missed anything?

Image used under Creative Commons License by Mis Miah: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35438812@N00/4191979465/

Guide to Navigating A Blog – Made by Grade 2 Students!

Hi there, new Grade 2/3/4/5 bloggers!  Check out these very clever Grade 2 bloggers from MJDGS and the video they made to teach their parents how to navigate their classroom blog.

Blog Tutorial from langwitches on Vimeo.

What did you think? It was pretty awesome wasn’t it? Do you think we could make something similar for our parents?
How do you think MJGDS students put this together?
How much did they prepare before filming?
What do you think they prepared before filming? During filming? After filming?
What would we have to do to make our video just as good?
Could all the grades work on one video together or do we need a video for every grade?