Learning to manage your SFSD student blog

Lesson One

Update Profile

  1. Sign in: Upload the website, click "log in." Sign in using the same login ID as your email address (ex: 13teststudent). Use the password falls09 to complete the sign in process.
  2. Change profile: Once the dashboard of the blog has loaded click on "Profile" on the left side of your screen and then "Your Profile." You need to change your Nickname to your first name and last initial (no last names!). Change "Display name publicly as" to your new nickname. Double check that your email address is correct. Finally, create a new password. It is essential that you keep this password private and do not give it out to anyone else.

Change Themes

  1. Change theme: Click on "Appearance" on the left side your screen and then "Themes." A number of pre-approved themes have been activated use. You can view the different themes by clicking on "Preview." Once you have chosen your theme, click "activate." This will automatically change the appearance of your blog.
  2. Adding widgets: In order to receive full credit on your blog, you must have these widgets: Recent Posts, Recent Comments, Collapsing Links, Categories, Meta and Tag Cloud. Click on "Appearance" on the left side of your screen, then on "Widgets." Drag the previously listed widgets to your sidebar or footer. Do this by clicking and holding on the widget of your choice, dragging it to the sidebar/footer until you see the dotted outline appear and then release the widget. This will automatically add this to you blog. Some of the widgets, such as Recent Posts/Recent Comments, will not actually appear on your blog until you make a post/comment to your blog. Do not change widgets now; just click close.

Lesson Two

Create Categories

Students will create a list of categories to assign to each posting (ex: Independent Reading, Speak, Cyberjournal, etc.). Assigning categories to each post will allow blog viewers to filter posts based on what they want to read about. Example, if I just wanted to read what the blog owner had to say about "Scarlet Ibis," I could do a category filter for just that topic.
  1. Open "Posts" drop down bar on the left side of your screen. Click on "Categories."
  2. Create a category name that you want to add to your blog. Categories you must have: Scarlet Ibis, Independent Reading, Cyberjournal. Once you have named your category click "Add Category."
  3. You may also create categories that are assigned a "Parent Category." For example, if you were really inspired by the character, Doodle, and you feel you might blog about him a lot. You may want to create a separate category for him that is also linked to your "Scarlet Ibis" category. To do so, name the category. Then select a "Parent Category" in the drop down box located directly underneath your category name. Click "Add Category."

Create Posts

Students will learn how to create a post and submit it for review. Students will develop an understanding of what each post should consist of, what is appropriate and what is not, and consider the type of things they will want to discuss on their blog. Students will create a list of categories to assign to each posting (ex: Independent Reading, Speak, etc). Students will also create Tag categories and will be instructed on how to apply tags to each of their posts.
  1. Open "Posts" drop down bar on the left side of your screen. Click on "Add New."
  2. Give your post a title. Your title should be a clever way of telling your readers what your post is about.
  3. Assign you post a category so that your blog viewers can quick reference it.
  4. Type your post. Remember to check your blog, recheck, and check again for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors.
  5. If you begin a post but do not have time to finish it or edit it, click "Save Draft" on the right side of your screen. This will allow you to resume work on that particular post at a later date and time.


Each cyberjournal post will be placed on students' main page. Use the category CyberJournal for each post. Students will create titles that summarize the main idea of each post. Prompts and other specifications are to be found on the CyberJournal assignment page.

Independent Reading

Each Independent Reading post will be placed on students' main page. Use the parent category Independent Reading for each post. Create a sub-catagory using the title of the Independent Reading novel. Students will create titles that summarize the main idea of each post. Prompts and other specifications are to be found on the Independent Reading assignment page.

Lesson Three

Create Pages

By default, you have an About Page. Your teacher will delete this page for you, as you do not have the rights to edit it. Students will create a page called About Me. To create a new page, click on pages in the tools sidebar, then add new. The title will be About Me. Be sure to only save draft until you are ready to submit for review. Students will be required to have specific pages present on their blog (ex: Speak).
  • The first page to edit is their About Me page. On this page, students will publish their personal statement. The ps is saved first as a Word document. The text will be pasted into the editing window.

Lesson Four

Create Links and Manage Collapsing Links

Students will be required to have specific links present on their blog. They will learn how to create these links as well as discuss the types of links they may want to add on their own in the future; what is considered an appropriate link versus an inappropriate link will be discussed.
  1. Add the collapsing links widget to your sidebar. Change the name of this widget to Links instead of Blogroll (default). Save this change and close the widget.
  2. Open the drop down bar labeled "Links" on the left side of the screen, then click "Link Catagories." In the "Link Catagory name" bar add the following link catagories: Blogs, Teacher Websites, Course Sites, and Tools for Learning.
  3. to add links, follow this procedure: Click "Add New" under the "Links" drop down bar on the left side of the screen. Create a title for the link, which should be the title of the website or blog. Go to the site online in another window. Copy (control + C) and paste (control + V) the URL for the site into the "Web Address" bar. Click on the catagory the link should appear under. Choose [blank] to make the link open in a new window or new tab. Click "Add Link" on the right side of the screen to finish.
  4. To edit links, click on edit. The entire list of links will show up on your dashboard. You can filter the list by category. You should delete the default links to WordPress.com and WordPress.org. If you have put a link in the wrong category, you can change it. If you spelled something wrong in the link name, you can fix it in the editing window.


  1. Blogs: student.sheboyganfalls.k12.wi.us, student.sheboyganfalls.k12.wi.us/aldegenhardtor student.sheboyganfalls.k12.wi.us/dehogue
  2. Teacher Websites: msdegenhardt.weebly.comor mshogue.com
  3. Course Sites: http://mshogue.com/ce9/index.htm, http://www.sheboyganfalls.k12.wi.us/staff/dehogue/ce9/chalkboard.htm,
  4. Tools for Learning: Moodle, PowerSchool, (copy urls from location), and Falcon Skills & Style Handbook, and Nettrekker (link to the high school page).
  5. Later: Email me: student email is their login@sheboyganfalls.k12.wi.us

Lesson 6

Comment Etiquette

One of the main advantages of a blog over a static website is that readers of blogs can leave comments for the writer. This establishes a real sense of audience as well as promotes dialogue, especially when blogs are used for learning. There are "rules" regarding comments, just as there are rules governing blog posting. Everything posted on a blog is public, and therefore must be appropriate for a general, public audience.

How to comment?

Simply click on the link located near the post (different places depending on the theme). You will be asked to give your name. Just put your first name and your last initial. You will need to supply your email address. You should also add the link to your blog. If your comment will be longer, and you need time to compose just what you want to say, please compose it in Word first, spell check it, read it several times, and then when you're sure you're ready, you can simply paste the text into the comment text box.

When to make comments

  • Students may sometimes be required to make comments on either the teacher's blog or on peers' blogs. Directions for those experiences will be given separately.
  • Students may want to comment in general, even if not prompted by an assignment. This is good, but silly or frivolous comments will not be approved. It is not worthy of our Web space or time to leave comments that are too casual or without much merit.

Types of comments to make

  • Give a different point of view, a different way of seeing the issue.
  • Add an example that the writer may not have considered.
  • Link to a website that is an example of what you are writing about. But don't just link, explain also.
  • Relate the post or piece of literature to a life experience. Make a comment about the human experience or society.
  • Make a comment about the author's use of a literary term.
  • Relate the piece of literature to something new.

Comments to avoid

  • Critiquing a blogger's spelling, grammar or punctuation.
  • Telling the blogger that their posts are confusing.
  • Commenting on your's/blogger's social life.
  • One liners (I agree) or (I like what you say) are pointless, even if they may make the writer feel good that someone has read their work. Instead, write something that actually has a point.
  • Do not make comments that would embarrass the writer.

More comment tips

  • Maintain a positive tone in comments. This does not mean that one always has to agree with the writer. One certainly may disagree, but do so in a respectful way.
  • State their main point clearly and support what they say with examples or reasons.
  • If referring to a particular point the writer has made, it is appropriate to quote a part of that point in the comment. The commenter is therefore setting the context for the comment/conversation.
  • Add links when appropriate to sites, data, examples if they are available on the Web.You would need to know how to insert an html link. <a href="html://www.webaddress.org">Name of Link</a>

All comments are held for moderation and must be approved by teachers. Derogatory, silly, or senseless comments will not be approved.

Lesson 7

1) Adding links to posts

2) Adding images to posts

Click Here for guides.

About hyperlinks

  • Purposes for links:
    • to add information
    • to clarify an idea
    • to extend understanding
    • to make connections to similar ideas or topics
  • Integrate your links into your text. Write first, then select text to make into a hypertext. Links are generally not more than three words long. Never just plop in a URL.
  • Always test your links by previewing your page/post in the browser. Click on them to see if they work. This is your responsibility.


One reason to own and manage a blog in high school is to learn how to be a responsible Web content generator. Think of this blog much like you would your locker. It's yours, but really, it's the school's, and you are not allowed to do anything you want with it. In addition, the school (your teachers, as well) has your safety in mind. Therefore, the following common sense rules/limitations apply to your blog:

  • Your last name does not appear in your title or anywhere in your blog. Also, do not mention other students by their first and last name.
  • Never post other personal information like a phone number, address, etc.
  • Remember always, that this blog is public. Your word choice should be reflective of your awareness that your audience is public.
  • Absolutely never engage in speech that is hateful to another.

  • Do not upload images that would be against school policy if they were seen on a t-shirt or other clothing. Check your student guide to be sure if you don't know.
  • Do not upload or post copyrighted images, including photos of celebrities (it is your responsibility to check copyright) Do not post corporate images, logos, products, etc. this includes images of sports teams, personalities, and logos. You are not a salesperson for a corporation.
  • Do not create links to commercial web sites (selling products, CDs, etc.)

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