Little Bird Tracks

A picture that I took of a bird watching me.

These are the blogs that I looked at and these are the little bird tracks that they had and what I liked about them.

Tabitha’s sidebars have a little bit of information about herself, a word map for visitors, most popular posts for the month, blogs that she follows, and a blog archive. I like how Tabitha has a little bit about herself right on the front page with an avatar. I am following her blog because she is an art teacher and her name is the same as my daughters. It is because of her side bar I found this out and follow her blog.

Britt’s Technoscience bird tracks are really nifty. She has a world map, a picture of herself, where you can find her, what she is tweeting, her 365 photos and projects, her blog roll, science resources, science teachers, web 2.0 resources, blogging about, what you say, search, log in, and subscribe. Wow it’s a lot! But, as a teacher I like having the list down the side so it’s easy to find. I also like how there are resources. As a teacher it’s an easy way to find things, almost like a book mark. I get my best ideas from others.

Miss T’s bird tracks are on both sides, on the left she has her information, a voki (really cool!) live traffic feed, visitors, and links. On the right side she has teacher challenge blogs, blog roll, blog archive, labels. I really like how Miss. T has the link for the teachers in the blog challenge. I feel pretty nifty to be on her list.

Lydia Schultz’s bird tracks include a little bit about herself (she’s from Minnesota so of course I added her), a way to search her blog, twitter updates, poll, tags, recent posts, voki, visitors, and blog archive. I really like the poll on the side bar because then visitors don’t need to search your blog for the latest poll. What a great idea!

Stacy’s bird tracks include, categories, archives, SRR feed button, blog award badges, followers. I like Stacy’s categories and how they link to a spot where you can get the information that you want.

After looking at other’s bird tracks, I thought about mine. And came to the conclusion my bird tracks need a bit of cleaning to do. So I have changed a few things. I added a picture of my avatar, I added my Prezi lesson plans links, follow the leader for RSS feeds, and email subscriptions. I still would like to put a picture of myself with my information. I haven’t figured that part out yet.

This activity could also be done with students. Before students go forth and look at other blogs sidebars, they should make a list of things that they think make a good side bar. Have students make this in a graph format or excel and have a spot to mark yes or no. After making their graph they then would look at 5-10 blogs and check off if the blog has what they considered a good side bar. Next have students write about their findings. Ask the students:

  • What did you discover about side bars in blogs?
  • What changes would you make to your list of good items to have on a side bar?
  • What changes are you going to make to your blog’s side bar?

Enjoy my little bird tracks.

-Mrs. Berry


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Britt Gow
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 02:51:13

    Hi Christy,
    Great work on Challenge #7 and thanks for mentioning my blog! I’m glad you found it with all the widgets, because I had to do a bit of work this morning to reinstate them. I am not sure whether it is as easy to add a picture and text in the sidebar of a WordPress blog as it is in Edublogs, but is something I have only recently learnt how to do. You need to know a little html code, which I see you have been practising by adding links in comments.
    I do have a LOT of links and widgets on my blog because that is my central storage place on the internet – I can easily direct students and other teachers to science resources, find blogs that I read regularly and access web2.0 tools. Perhaps I could post these links on another page of my blog?
    Best wishes for the last few challenge activities, Britt Gow.


  2. murcha
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 12:15:59

    Hi Mrs Berry, you certainly did a lot of investigating in a short period of time and thanks for sharing this detailed blog post. It is interesting to read what you discovered and then what you added to your sidebar. With your avatar is it possible to look at the html code and find the dimenstions for the size of the avatar. You may be able to increase the dimensions for both width and height and make it a little larger.
    I am going to try adding a gravatar in my wordpress blog, to see if that will work. Did you try that, or is that how you got your avatar in? How did you get the blog stats widget to show up on the sidebar?


  3. Anna Bring
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 12:20:25

    Hi, I like this post about the sidebar and I especially like that you thought of how to use this exercise with your students. I like your sidebar as well. I also think you should have a larger version of your beautiful avatar, I hope you can figure out how to!


  4. Trackback: Posts of the Week – Visit these blogs- Weeks 3/4 | Teacher Challenge
  5. Theresa
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 04:44:10

    Great thoughts and I like how you used the ‘little bird tracks’ theme throughout! I also like your widgets but would like to see a few past blog posts to read more of the latest ones. I agree with Anna in getting your avatar bigger. I had to adjust mine a lot before I thought it looked decent.
    If you have a chance, please visit my blog and answer my form to see which widgets stay and which ones need to go!


    • berryart
      Feb 01, 2011 @ 12:24:19

      Thanks you for the feedback. I found the size and manage to get the avatar to be as big as possible. I also added recent posts. You are right, I like how it looks.


      -Mrs. Berry


  6. Kathryn
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 05:12:37

    Mrs Berry
    Thanks for the mention! Actually it is a bit risky, with all the people doing the challenge because I lost track of who and who I did not have! I have you also in my google reader, so this is how I found your post!! I have been without a computer for the last 36 hrs as our computers were updated to windows 7 and there were difficulties as usual!! Anyway I am now back setting up my computer all over again the way I like it! Quite a job!!
    Great post. Like how you have number of visits sitting on your side bar. I found wordpress difficult for widgets, although I did find that the widget that rolls on who arrived on your blog and when does work on wordpress.
    We start school tomorrow. I am ready to go with your art activity and remembered to charge my camera batteries!


  7. Malyn
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 10:35:46

    Well done for visiting so many blogs and posting so quickly. I agree with the comments above as well.

    My posts now show my avatar and for the life of me cannot remember how I did it. I did some sleuthing to try and answer your question but failed in that regard. I’m not sure if it’s the new theme I have or a checkbox I ticked. If I ever stumble on it again, I’ll let you know.

    Here’s my post for this activity: Badges as Blog Blings



  8. Carol Satta
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 12:02:59

    Hi Mrs. Berry,

    I also like an avatar and a little “about me” at the top of a sidebar. It lends a welcoming ambiance and adds a face and credibility to the writer of the blog. I first noticed something like that on Lydia Schultz’s blog a few weeks back.


  9. Jana
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 03:57:08

    Wow! You have been busy with this challenge. I have been looking through a few blogs today looking for what I want to put in my sidebar. I am definitely looking at the blogs you mentioned. I also am putting together some lessons on blogging with students and I would love to use your questions for students about sidebars. Great post!


  10. Kay
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 12:45:36

    As always, I learned a lot from your blog. I love the suggestions for classroom use. How did MN fair in the big storm? We are far enough south that we escaped the brunt.


    • berryart
      Feb 02, 2011 @ 13:02:40

      Well, I’m not in Minnesota. I just love Minnesota. I’m actually in Michigan and I am currently enjoying our snow day today. As of now we have 8″ and we still have several hours more to go. I was telling students as they were leaving yesterday to read a book while they had their snow day. That’s what I will be doing. Today, I will be reading Honneysuckle House by Andrea Cheng.

      Honeysuckle House by Andrea Cheng.

      -Mrs. Berry


  11. Lydia Schultz
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 14:37:53

    Hi Christy–
    Thanks for the kind mention of my blog! Because of you and another comment I received, I am probably going to keep using a poll in the sidebar. (I thought I might delete it because it was sort of cluttery, but I am willing to bow to popular opinion.) I love the visuals in your posts. I am also looking forward to trying Prezi.

    Luckily, we did NOT get hit with this storm, but I suspect the rest of our family (Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Boston) will get buried! We did get 5 inches of snow earlier in the week, but that just seems normal here.

    Enjoy your snow day!


  12. Jenny Gilbert
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 01:18:12

    Hi – I enjoyed your post and I am looking forward to reading all the links generated by it. I can’t doo much else in all this rain and it is nice to have the time.


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