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Friday the 13th … A Day to Be Feared or Celebrated?

Posted by on January 14, 2012

As  students arrived in the classroom yesterday morning, you could HEAR the hum. “It’s Friday the 13th!” “Did you know there’s a MOVIE about Friday the 13th?” “It’s a bad LUCK day!” Historically, Friday the 13th has always had a BAD rap. While I have always been somewhat indifferent to the superstition, over the years the “conversations” have clearly stuck in the back of my mind. Somehow I KNEW that THIS would NOT be one of those TYPICAL Friday the 13ths that so many people talk about!

As they settled on the carpet, one by one students began to notice our class schedule on the whiteboard.  “Oh ya!  Mrs. Emann and the ‘SURPRISE of the CENTURY!'”  “I wonder what it is?”  “I BET it has something to do with technology, though, cuz she taught us computers last year!”

Tannis and I had been WAITING for this moment to arrive … and it had been CHALLENGING to keep the surprise a secret until all the documentation and permission forms were ready to send home.  We began our afternoon, teachers with HUGE grins on their faces; students sat in EAGER anticipation for the unveiling of the “Surprise of the Century”!

We started the discussion by activating background knowledge.  “Who knows what a Blog is?”  “Does anyone have a FAMILY Blog?”  Very FEW hands went up.  This was NOT a surprise to either of us.  After all, Tannis and I had been following a few … she definitely more than I … and until she became deeply immersed into this world of blogging through her PIF, the educational benefits of a classroom blog were not as clear to either of us.

What IS a Blog? Our FIRST Thoughts!

After spending several minutes finding out exactly WHAT our students knew about blogging, we showed them the 2011 Edublog winner for BEST Classroom Blog:  Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog.  IMAGINE their enthusiasm when the FIRST thing to “pop up” was Mrs. Yollis’ post “Learn About Peru“!  I looked at Tannis.  She looked at me.  Neither of us could wipe the GRINS from our faces.

They LOVED the “ClustrMap” designed to track vistors to the blog.  They were AMAZED by the number of red dots indicating the people around the world who KNEW about the Yollis Blog.  “Wow – 1 105 visitors!”  Nope – THAT was just the number of people who had visited the site in the last WEEK!  So, we scrolled down the page, and found the “RevolverMap”.  “WOW – 110 136 – that’s AMAZING!”  It was a number SO large that a few of us needed a little HELP to read the number!

Student began to notice so MANY things as we explored this inspirational blog.  You could win AWARDS for great blogs.  You could share your LEARNING with people from around the WORLD.  You could learn from experts in the FIELD!  You could ask QUESTIONS and people could comment … that’s SO much more interactive than searching for answers on Google!

And THAT is when we announced … the SURPRISE of the CENTURY!  WE are the very FIRST classroom in the Calgary Board of Education to PILOT a classroom blog!

Looking at our blog for the first time.

But, with GREAT power comes GREAT responsibility!  With permission forms tucked neatly into agenda pockets, and excitement CONTINUING to build, we started a SECOND page … “What do we know about blogging NOW?”

So ... what do we know about blogging NOW?

The list was IMPRESSIVE.  In less than 45 minutes it was AMAZING how much our students had picked up.  Imagine what they will know when we write our FIRST classroom post together NEXT week, and MAYBE even leave a comment for the students in Mrs. Yollis’ classroom!  Until then, we EAGERLY await the return of each and every permission form sent home.

Recording the moment in our agendas.

Friday the 13th will ALWAYS hold a special place in our hearts.  It is a day to be CELEBRATED and NOT feared!

25 Responses to Friday the 13th … A Day to Be Feared or Celebrated?

  1. Corinne

    We had a look at the blog, very exciting

    • Laurie Renton

      Awesome, Corinne! Yup – it is certainly very exciting for us all! Please keep checking back – we will be updating it with a class blog post later this week – all about this wonderful city, province and country so that others will get a sense of the beautiful country we live in! It will be the first official class post together. Thanks for your feedback! Laurie 🙂

  2. Sophie

    What a marvellous idea for the grade three class to be the first CBE class to pilot a blog. We look forward to sharing information and learning from others around the globe. Sophie and Sheryl

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Sophie and Sheryl! Thank you SO much for taking the time to comment on the blog! It is an AMAZING priviledge for us to be piloting the very first blog within the Calgary Board of Education! Tannis and I can’t WAIT to see where it takes our students. You are SO right – opening the doors to learning from around the globe is an AMAZING opportunity for learning and adventure! We have TRULY flattened the classroom by creating our Global Grade 3 Blog! Keep checking back – we will be doing a class post at the end of the week … it will focus on the amazing city, province and country that we live in, so that people know a little more about who we are and where we’re from! Thanks again – your comments make this journey SO much more exciting! Laurie/Mrs. Renton 🙂

  3. Judy

    It is exciting to see this blog being developed here in Calgary and shared globally. And the FIRST class in CBE. We will keep checking back for sure. _ Eric and his family

    • Tannis Emann

      Thank you for sharing in our excitement and taking the time to comment on our classroom blog! 🙂 The power of technology to help us connect globally is truly amazing! We are thrilled you will be visiting us on a regular basis, we plan to have a class blog post by the end of this week. We really appreciate your support!

  4. Jesse

    Very nice blog. We saw that there have been 212 visitors already! You are doing a great job 🙂

    Seema

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Seema! Thank you SO much for checking out our classroom blog! This is very exciting for ALL of us! Yesterday, when we left school, there were only about 163 views. By this morning, at 9 am, there were already 52 MORE! Wow! The students are really amazed and inspired by this! Keep checking back. On Thursday afternoon, we will be doing a large group post with the students … all about the incredible city, province and country we live in! We can’t wait to see where this blog goes! Laurie 🙂

  5. Natasha

    I am so excited about our new Class Room blog! I was researching my question when we came across a magnificent video that told us all about Machu-Picchu! It was about 50 minutes so if you find time it would be wonderful if you can show it to the class.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/ghosts-machu-picchu.html

    • Laurie Renton

      Natasha, I am THRILLED to see how excited you are about this classroom blog. I am also INCREDIBLY excited that you are working on your personal research question. Wow. I LOVE that you found a video that you describe as “MAGNIFICENT” to share more information about Machu Picchu. What I really love about the link you provided is that everyone can check it out on their own if we are unable to find the time in class. It will ALSO be fantastic for OTHER blog readers who visit our site. Congratulations, Natasha – you are a TRUE inquirer! Mrs. Renton 🙂

  6. Jeff

    Helloooooooooooooooooooooo! We are reading this blog as an appetizer before dinner! Yummy!

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Jeff! I hope you’re sitting down and that you are ready for TONIGHT’S pre-dinner appetizer! Have WE got a POST for YOU!!! Hope you’re HUNGRY!!! We are hoping you can help us to answer some of TODAY’S questions on our LATEST post, written WITH our students, and ALL about CALGARY!!! Bon appetit! Laurie 🙂

  7. brenden

    This is truly a unique experience for all of you to be involved in. We will be passing on the blog address to all of our out of town relatives so they can also get in on the fun!

    Brenden and Shelley

    • Laurie Renton

      Thank you SO much for your awesome comment, Brenden and Shelley! You MADE my night! You are SO right … this is a “truly unique experience” and we are all just so PUMPED to see where it takes us! What an AWESOME thrill to know that you will be passing the blog address on to your relatives. The students have been SO excited to watch the revolver map and the red lights that indicate the places people are checking us out from! Thank you for helping to make this journey even MORE magical! Mrs. Renton/Laurie 🙂

  8. Martin and mum

    We love that you got the idea to start a blog for the class! It will be exiting and fun! Hopefully there soon will be some visitors from my relatives in Norway 😉

  9. Janne Rege

    Hello from Norway! I am Martin’s aunt, and it was fun to read this blog. We will follow you here from time to time.
    We are so lucky to come to Canada in March! Greetings from Janne

    • Laurie Renton

      Howdy, Janne! We are SOOOO glad that you wrote a comment on our Class Blog! We are VERY excited for you that you get to come to our beautiful city in March! When you GET to Calgary, which place do you think you’d like to visit FIRST? Did anything on our list jump OUT at you as a place you’d like to visit? The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  10. Siv Erevik Vollan

    Excellent initiative, nice to see your blog! We miss you Martin (and your family)!
    “Hilsen” from Vollan family in Stavanger

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Vollan Family! We are THRILLED to know that our Blog has made it ALL the way to NORWAY!!! We think that if you EVER get the opportunity to come to Calgary, you should DO it! We hope that some of the information that we’ve shared has helped you to learn a little more about our incredible city. Thank you SO much for commenting on our Blog … it has been SO exciting to see all the visits we’ve had from NORWAY in the past two days! The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  11. Rod and Sue Gatenby

    Hi Mrs.Renton
    I can’t find the 3D world map!!! See you tomorrow!!

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Sophie! Ms. Emann and I were working on the blog last night. She was able to find some new widgets for the blog, so you will have to scroll down the page a little further to be able to see the revolver map. I think that is one of my favourite parts of the blog to watch too. I love seeing which countries are logging in to read our thoughts! I hope this information helps! Mrs. Renton 🙂

  12. Taina

    Wow I can’t believe you guys made Friday the 13th special!

    • Tannis Emann

      Thanks, Taina, we were very excited about that too! Every time we do something with Q’enqo is a special day for us! We hope you keep visiting our blog for updates. 🙂

  13. Vanessa

    I like the idea of your blog.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Vanessa. Thank you for your comment. We are really enjoying this blog – it is the first in our system! Does your class have a blog? 🙂

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