Friday, September 12, 2014

Blogging 101 – Composing Quality Comments

Composing Quality Comments


Blogging has many parts: the post, the comments, and the sidebar.

If you do a good job with all of the parts, your blog will be more interesting.


One of the key aspects of blogging is composing quality comments. This is especially important because blogging allows for interaction, almost like an on-line conversation.


So to make what you say relevant to the person's post you are commenting on, there are a few tips you need to remember.


The Commenting 3C's + Q

1. Compliment - Start off positive. Compliment the person on something specific you have read or observed in the person's blog post.


2. Comment - Comment on something relevant and meaningful about what the person wrote. Be specific about what you're commenting on. Remember your comment might not always be agreement. You can "politely and tactfully" disagree.


3. Connect - Connect with something the person wrote. Text to self, text to text, text to world - but explain that connection with details. Try to give a complete explanation or picture to your audience of what you're talking about. Or think of it as adding information or insight - or another point of view.


4. Question - Ask a specific question about something written or to the writer. Keep the conversation going!



Content is key!

As a class, we will evaluate our blog comments. Each student will be expected to self and peer assess comments, as this opportunity to reflect and assess will make you a better writer.



The Quick Evaluation Guide to Comments...

A one-point comment is a general comment that doesn't add very much to the post.

Example: I like your blog. Please visit mine!


A two-point comment adds something to the comment conversation. A commenter might compliment the writer in a specific way or add new information.

Example: I like how you say.... I also think.... because...

Or, have you thought about....


A three point comment is when a Connection is made. Try to make a connection (text to self, text to text, text to world). Maybe the post reminds you of an experience that you've had or something you've read or seen in the news. Share that connection! But explain the connection fully, so your audience knows what you're talking about.

Example: In your post when you say.... It reminds me of .... (Connection explained)


After reading your post, I started wondering about…


Finally, for a four point comment... try to end your comment with a relevant question. That way, an interesting conversation can develop.

Example: After reading what you said about.... I wonder....

Or - Why do you think that...?


Have you thought about...?


What do you mean when you wrote… in your post?


Remember, Bloggers should always proofread a comment before publishing!!


If you are worried about spelling or grammar, use your tools... Your digital tools!! Type your blog post or comments in Word. Then use Spellcheck and grammar check to help catch mistakes. But be sure to revise for quality content, interesting voice and word choice - as the computer can't do all that.... Well, maybe try the thesaurus feature! After you compose in Word, copy/paste into your Kidblog post.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Calling All Geniuses!!

The latest idea that I am totally in love with is ... Genius Hour!!! It's an opportunity for students to explore an inquiry project that engages and motivates them.
The key is that the project must be:
*Researched (but if the answer can be found too quickly, then perhaps the topic needs to focus on a "bigger idea")
*Findings must be Shared with the world (which means digitally)

However rather than telling you about this amazing inquiry-based student driven approach to learning, check out these resources:

The Genius Hour Book (which looks at Genius Hour and other Inquiry and Problem Based Learning Ideas)

The blog, "My Own Genius Hour" for fantastic resources like a 
live binder, videos (oh, just check it out!)

Genius Road - A blog with great digital ways to bring Genius Hour alive

Ms. Bertrand's Class Blog - Great resources to help explain the concept

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thank you!

Thank you Grade eights for a wonderful year! I've really enjoyed your humour, your insightful comments and all your unique personalities. All the best and good luck to you, as you go on to high school. 

If you need to get in touch, feel free to send me a tweet via Twitter @jstewistewie. Take care!! 

Ms. Stewie

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Copy and correct the following, then discuss the changes for these Slack-jaw Yokel sentences... 

1. Maria had baked a cake tomorrow for the grade 8 fare wel?

2. Althea insissted on decoratin the gym for the country western perfermar on thursday am.

3. M.j. Planned on whereing a tuxedo they're at that event than at last minite changed his mind he would of cawsed quiet a stir with that there outfit 

Could you find the corrections?!? 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

RAD and Math Evaluation

For students who are away... We completed the RAD Final Assessment today. You will have a chance to catch up on it on Monday.
*We have been doing quite a bit of preparations for the test. See the pages on this blog for Text cue lessons and main idea lessons.
*This assessment is worth 10% of Reading in Term 3 ELA.

Mr. B has been administering the Math Diagnostic Final Assessment for the past couple days. If students are away, they will be completing the assessment asap. The students have been preparing for the past couple weeks doing review assignments.


French Quiz Monday - Aliments, viandes et substitutes, and condiments vocabulary
Allowed a study sheet on the Knowledge wall.

French Presentations - Wednesday and Thursday
*Need a script, recipe card (with ingredients and instructions), and any extra presentation items.
* I will provide some cooking implements (bowls, wooden spoons, cutting boards etc.), but be creative you can bring a costume!
* This assignment is in partners or small groups (up to 4 people), you must ensure that everyone has a speaking part.
*If you wish you can bring a sample to share, but it's up to you. See the assignment on the home page of this blog.
*Evaluation - script, recipe card (in french), speaking skills (practice!! Use the websites for vocabulary and videos that I provided links to.)

Hand in: Defying the Gods Questions (overdue)

Gods and Goddesses trait sheets (large paper - jot notes for each god/goddess x 12) due Monday.
AR Read it or Leave it Book Review and Trailer presentations start Tuesday and Weds.
Send me links to your reviews/trailers if on Prezi, Animoto or Youtube....
My e-mail:

Monday, June 9, 2014

RAD Prep

RAD Prep - Ancient Greeks Social Structure p. 60 -69

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Finding the Main Idea Assignment and Websites...

Here is another lesson to prepare you for the upcoming RAD assessment....

Assignment Sheet for Finding the Main Idea...

Websites to Videos and Slideshow Presentations on Finding the Main Idea...

French Food Resources

Answer key for Viandes et Substitutes, Aliments et Condiments
Grade 7 Quiz - Weds (Knowlege wall!)

French Food Show Script Phrases to help you...

Food Preparation Sites to check out...

Food Vocabulary for Food Preparation
*** Click on this link to get recipe preparation vocabulary. There are even sound clips, just click on the speaker to hear the words pronounced.

Food Preparation Videos from a French chef - watch the video with captions!

French Vocabulary "In the Kitchen"

The Assignment sheet to assist you...
Jot note words for your recipe and cooking show assignment on this handout!

Recipe Assignment and RUBRIC for evaluation - "Recette Asssignment"

Use this vocabulary from the 1st link on this blog...

Text Features Slideshow

Text features help you understand and make sense of Non-Fiction books, articles or essays. You need to know the vocabulary for identifying text features for your RAD assessment coming up in the next couple weeks. These handouts and presentations are to help you prepare.

Slide show on Text Features

Handout to assist in analysing the features

Friday, May 30, 2014

DOL Friday

Copy and correct the following.

1. Honey is sweet, nutritious, and spoilage is never a problem it's an favorite food of bears badgers and humans like it, too!

2. A disease called ichthyosis turn human skin scaly as a fishs this disease is hereditary.

3. With 90,000 victims each year the state of N.Y. has the most high rate of cancer in the U.S.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DOL for Thursday, May 29th

Copy and Correct the following sentences for today's DOL.

3. Albert einstein discovered that the faster things move, the heavier it became.

4. The cucumber & the tomato isn't vegetables, there fruits.

5. A redwood tree wont never burn because its bark is so thick the tree protects it from fire this way.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Creation of the Universe & Zeus Letter

For students who need to complete the "Creation of the Universe" assignment.
Here are the notes we explored in class last week. See other posts on the blog to assist you, as well as notes from class.

Persuasive Zeus Letter: Be sure to hand in all elements of the writing process and post your good copy for other's to see on Kidblog.
(brainstorm, first draft, revised second draft, revision and editing checklist, and good copy.)

Please complete all 10 Greek Origins Word Webs for tomorrow (at the latest, this was due Tuesday).

Persuasive Revision Checklist

Monday, May 19, 2014

Read it or Leave it Book Review Assignment

Please check out the following assignment expectations for the READ IT OR LEAVE IT BOOK REVIEW ASSIGNMENT. Remember you were to complete an AR book for Tuesday and get ready to start your book review!
*** Remember your persuasive letter to Zeus draft is also due!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Farewell Memo Dates and Times

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday fun times!

St Francis Track warm up

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Persuasive Speech Videos to Reflect on

How do the speakers in the following video persuade you?

What is their tone?

How do they adjust their pace (speed of delivery)? Volume?

How do they capture your attention?

Video - Angelina Jolie speaks on Global Action

Video - Student Gives a Persuasive Speech

What does she do to captivate and engage?

How will you apply what you've learned to your speech?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

5 Slide presentation Rubric

Please add your changes to the rubric.

Presentation Rubric

Monday, May 5, 2014

Transitions to Persuade!

Remember to be an effective and convincing presenter, you need to load up with some persuasive phrases... Use this handout!! It's in your book!!

Track Schedule

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Persuasive Essay Organizer for your 5 Slide Presentation

Copy Paste the info below to assist you in writing your essay....
_____________________________ Essay

Introduction Paragraph

Hook Attention Grabber:

Introduction sentence (brief background):

Thesis statement: ________________________________________

Forecast: We believe that ______________________ because of _______________________(reason #1), _________________ (reason #2), and ______________ (reason #3).

The Body Paragraphs

1. Topic Sentence (Reason #1):

Supporting sentences, transitions to convince and build the arguement

Rebuttal? Acknowledge counterarguement.

2. Topic Sentence (Reason #2):

Supporting sentences, transitions to convince and build the arguement

Rebuttal? Acknowledge counterarguement.

3. Topic Sentence (Reason #3):

Supporting sentences, transitions to convince and build the arguement

Rebuttal? Acknowledge counterarguement.

Conclusion Paragraph - Wrap it up.

Review the 3 reasons you gave. Leave an impression. Make a personal statement to connect with your audience.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


We are starting organizational preparations for Farewell. The grade 8's are asked to bring a baby or a childhood picture for the slideshow. If students have photos that are from St. Francis School either this year, or years gone by, they may also submit them for the slideshow.

They may send this to me via or bring in the actual photo for scanning.

All photos are needed before next Friday, May 9th.

We are also forming student committees to assist in planning the Farewell, as many of the students have fantastic ideas. Students may join the following committees:

1. Farewell Slideshow & the Digital Yearbook
2. Decoration Creation (Silhouettes, Memory Stars, Stage decorating, Other??)
3. Technology Set Up (mics, data projector, lighting)
4. Gym Set Up (stage, chairs, assist with decorating)
5. Snacks - Organizing snacks (who is bringing what... note the tradition is grade 7 students, but this needs to be explored).

Other?? Feel free to offer input, if you have ideas.

Please sign up in the classroom. Information is posted.

Parents are also welcome to join in with any of the committees above! The help is always appreciated.

The date for the Farewell is June 19th at the school.


Persuasive graphic organizer for 5 slide partner presentation (see blog for more info)
Main idea identifier graphic organizer for analyzing persuasive essays
Wednesday and Thursday (April 30 and May 1st) must start 5 slide persuasive presentation. (Students may use Google Slideshow, Powerpoint or Prezi).
Start presentations Friday and continue on Monday.
Students must submit slides and persuasive presentation essay presentation.

All Dystopian Assignments are Overdue, this includes:
Kidblog responses,
Dystopian Visual Dictionaries
Edmodo blog posts
Fakebook final projects
*Students are expected to do complete these in the next week. Overdue lists are posted in the classroom for student reference. It is not acceptable for students to "take a 0%", but instead try their best to complete the assignment.

Vocabulary test Weds (summer and winter olympic sports)
Sochi booklet due Weds (students will self evaluate). There will be a teacher evaluation as well.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Persuasive Book Talk

In the next couple weeks, you should be finished the book you chose for AR testing this month.  You will be creating a Persuasive Book Talk Presentation, where you will either try to convince us to "READ IT or LEAVE IT".

The book must be one that is within your reading level (see the AR colour dots on your folder), and be one that you have tested on this year (January 1st to May).

Your presentation may be at least 5 slides and be created using Powerpoint, Google Slideshow, or Prezi.
Your presentation must be approximately 2 minutes.

In the presentation you must use at least 2 techniques for persuading that we discussed in class... (Ethos, Pathos, Logos, Big Names etc...).

In the Book Talk Presentation, you need to explore the plot, character development and interactions (protagonist, antagonist and supporting characters, setting, tone, climax and author's message, but DO NOT give any spoilers!!

All books must be read by May 20th, at the very latest. 
We will start presenting May 23rd.

Late Edmodo Assignments

If you have not yet finished your Interschool Blogging Assignments... It's not too late, yet!

See the link below to get the questions for each Weekly Topic you might be missing. 

Edmodo Questions for the Dystopian Book Club...

If you have not yet posted all of your Edmodo assignments, please post to Kidblog (not Edmodo) and I will read them. ~ Ms. Stewie

Even though the interschool blogging project is completed, you still have to do these assignments. The overdues are posted in the classroom.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Last Today's Meet

The Interschool Digital Dystopian Book Club Last Today’s Meet Discussion!

It's our last chat!!!
Take a moment to watch a video based on our project. This short video sums up some of the issues and questions we explored, activities from the unit, and finally your reactions. The project was very well received by teachers who attended to Digital EdCamp a couple weeks ago. Teachers from all over Saskatchewan who are interested in using technology attended the conference and were quite excited to see what you did. You are famous… well among Saskatchewan teachers! ;-)

Video link “The Interschool Digital Dystopian Book Club Project”
**Allow for time to load. It takes awhile.

Before you start the chat, think about what Faction you would be in. Now find out if you are right. Take the What Faction Are You? Divergent test. It will only take about 4-5 minutes.

Divergent Aptitude Test

Questions to consider…
A couple weeks ago we had the opportunity to attend Divergent and meet F2F (face to face) all the other students from St Gabriel and Deshaye who were in our Dystopian Book Club! What a fantastic day!!

Anyways, for our last Today's Meet Live Chat... We are going to discuss your questions! Today’s questions were taken from the survey (Survey Monkey) as well as questions that you may have explored with your teacher after the movie, Divergent. Before we begin, we just want to thank you for your participation, engagement and excellent work you did in this project. Thank you again for taking the time to complete the survey! As teachers it is really important that we have an understanding of your thoughts from the project.
Thanks again for your time and for the honest feedback!

After watching the movie, there were a few themes or messages that seemed to come up. These questions included:

What faction were you? Were you surprised by the result? Is the test accurate?

Is categorizing people the answer to peace in society??

Why is conformity an easy answer to society's problems? How is it not a solution?
Is being "Divergent" a benefit to society? In a dystopian society or even our society?

What do you think “Divergent” would be in our society? Who are the divergent people in our society?

What message can we take away from the movie?

In the movie it was said that, “humanity is driven to destruction”. Is humanity really driven to destruction? What are your thoughts?

How is this film (and book!) and example of dystopia?

What characteristics from our Dystopian References do you have to back up your thoughts? How was Tris a Dystopian Protagonist?

What other questions can we explore? Add them to the chat! Jot note them on your paper or remember to share them during the chat.
Lastly, after exploring a few connections between dystopian trends in our society and our novels, do you agree or disagree that our world is becoming dystopian? Are there any recent events that make you feel this way? What is it about the event that connects to this theme?

What do YOU think we can do in our own lives to ensure that we do not head down one of the many paths of dystopia? What trend in our society is one we must consider the most in preventing dystopia?


Teacher Leader
Today’s Meet Link
Mr. Bresciani
Ms. Stewart-Mitchell/Ms. Treptau
City of Ember
Ms. Stewart-Mitchell
Hunger Games
Mr. Rieger
Among the Hidden
Ms. Nicolson
Eleventh Plague
Mrs. Folk

Mr. Redler
Maze Runner
Ms. Treptau

Edmodo Questions for the Dystopian Book Club...

If you have not yet posted all of your Edmodo assignments, please post to Kidblog (not Edmodo) and I will read them. Ms. Stewie


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Homework and Easter

Reminders to students who have not completed homework and have been notified. Please complete and hand in after the holidays, before it gets away on you!

Tomorrow will be our last Today's Meet from the Interschool Dystopian Book Club Project. Please be sure to make any last touches to your Fakebook, as I have yet to finalize marking the project. I have had a chance to work with and chat with many of you about your project, or leave comments on your kidblog. So please take the time to act on these recommendations. We are all busy, but this was a major project, so take a little time to finalize what you need to.

In terms of the Pink Day Persuasive 5 Slide Partner Assignment (see previous blog post), this will not be due over the holidays. We will resume when you return. I think this project will be interdisciplinary and incorporate Health. If some of you are interested in working on the project over the holidays, Google Docs (slide show) is definitely the way to go with collaborating. I will explain tomorrow. Or... You can use prezi and share an account with your partner.

Thank you to the Teacher Liturgy Team that put on the wonderful "Sensory Stations of the Cross" activity. What a memorable experience! Thank you also to the students who took the time to pray and reflect on the stations and who were respectful of the sacrifices that Jesus made for us.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone. Remember no school on Friday, as it is Good Friday. Take a moment to pray on Good Friday. Perhaps watch a video or powerpoint. See below.

If you have a moment take a look at a powerpoint for the Stations of the Cross...

Click on the link below and view the Stations of the Cross Powerpoint...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dayplan and French links

French Jouer et Faire Presentations

Watch slide shows…

Day of Pink Partner Persuasive Writing Lesson

Part A. REVIEW THE POWERPOINT "The Art of Persuasion". Focus on the format of the persuasive essay. 

Part B. In partners you are going to take your brainstormed notes that you previously made regarding getting students to care about Pink Shirt Day, and organize them into an Outline for an Essay. 

The Art of Persuasive Writing PowerPoint - ReadWriteThink

*Click on the title above to download "Art of Persuasive Writing" Powerpoint.

To assist you in organizing your thoughts, you will use the Read
Write Think Interactive Persuasive Writing Map... See link below.

Read through the steps below. They will help walk you through the
Persuasive Writing Map.

Persuasive Writing Map - You can complete on-line then print

1. First, think about why you are writing this essay. What are you trying to prove? 
Go back to the question, and think about what you believe in.

How can you show you care with a colour? Why should you show you care?
Why should people care about supporting pink shirt day? Imagine a fellow peer says that they don't care about pink shirt day, and  that they don't understand how can wearing pink make a difference. What would you say to them to change their mind? In partners, brainstorm some convincing reasons to care, using at least 4 different persuasion techniques that we've studied; such as claims, pathos, logos or research. You have permission to go on line to quickly access some facts or statistics to support your reasons.

Once you have your reasons, order your arguments in terms of strength, and jot note supporting ideas to go with each technique to be more convincing. Finally decide on the best way to the grab attention of your peers. We will be using the Persuasion Interactive Organizer to help you in organizing your ideas. See the other blog posts. 

Now, write your thesis. What will be the point of your essay?
What will you will prove? What point are you trying to argue about Pink Shirt Day?

See the example...

2. Second, go back to your brainstorm and decide which points you are going 
present in your argument as reasons. Examine your brainstorm, what point stands 

3. Rewrite three main reasons that would convince someone that your thesis is
valid (which means good or correct).

4. Now for that first reason, think of 3 facts or examples which will support 
your argument. 

5. Think of 3 supporting facts or examples for Reason 2 and 3. Repeat the same

6. Finally in the Conclusion, you will write 2 sentences that will summarize your
argument and wrap up the essay. These closing arguments will briefly restate
your main points that you previously explored.

This will be the basic outline for your essay. Imagine the Persuasion Map Below,
completed with your arguments. If you make a mistake, you can go back.
Be sure to complete all aspects of the map. Do not skip steps.
If you take the time to complete the map, the easier it will be to write the essay.

Part C. 5 Slide Presentations
You are going to Persuade Members of the Class to care about your stance
on PINK SHIRT DAY. Rather than write an essay, you are going to create a 5 Slide 
Presentation on reasons why people should (or shouldn't) care about supporting
Pink Shirt Day. 

We will be using the following handout to assist in creating this 5 slide presentation. 
Use the Outline you already created to assist you! Remember that the images
you chose for the presentation should reflect Pink Shirt Day and explore Anti-
Bullying messages. Please be considerate and sensitive when selecting images
for your presentation, as this is quite a serious topic.
Here's a link...

After you complete your outline, explore the Five Slide Persuasive Rubric 
so that you understand how you will be evaluated in persuasive presentation.

***** Note the duration of the presentation will be between 2-3 minutes. 
Please ignore this aspect of the rubric, as I will not be evaluating as strictly as what 
is indicated here!! :-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pink Shirt Day

Got a QR Code Scan App? Videos for Pink Shirt Day...

Pink Shirt Day

Mean Stinks Promo

Mean Stinks Video - Meanomophosis

Cyber Bullying Virus Video

Show you care with a colour!

Why should people care about supporting pink shirt day? Imagine a fellow peer says that they don't care about pink shirt day, and  that they don't understand how can wearing pink make a difference. What would you say to them to change their mind? In partners, brainstorm some convincing reasons to care, using at least 4 different persuasion techniques that we've studied; such as claims, pathos, logos or research. You have permission to go on line to quickly access some facts or statistics to support your reasons.

Once you have your reasons, order your arguments in terms of strength, and jot note supporting ideas to go with each technique to be more convincing. Finally decide on the best way to the grab attention of your peers. We will be using the Persuasion Interactive Organizer to help you in organizing your ideas. See the other blog posts. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

School Reminders

St. Francis Community School – Reminders for Monday, April 7th
Tomorrow, Tuesday April 8th
  •   Grade 8 Farewell photos will be taken in the morning. Students are reminded to bring the class composite order form with $10.00. It is recommended a white blouse for females and a white collared shirt and dark ties for males.
  •   Spring photos will also be taken all day. Siblings will be photographed individually and as a pair or group. Just indicate siblings and grade on the Lifetouch Portraits flyer, also indicating desired pose. Flyers were sent home last week.
    Wednesday, April 9th
Don’t forget to wear pink today in support of antibullying day.
Thursday, April 10th
12:45 pm Reconciliation Liturgy and Examination of Conscience for all classes. Families are welcome to join us.
Friday, April 11th
9:45 am Reconciliation for grades 4 – 8 in the gym with Father John and guest priests. Families are welcome to join us.
Monday, April 14th
11:00 am Palm Sunday Liturgy. Families are welcome to join us.
Tuesday, April 15th
7:00 pm – CSCC Meeting (Catholic School Community Council). Parents are invited to attend.
Wednesday, April 16th
A Lenten Retreat will be held in the morning for the entire school.
Friday, April 18th to Friday, April 25th – No School Classes resume on Monday, April 28th at 9:20 am