Blogging Guidelines


Since this blog site is a new thing it is going to take some time to figure out the guidelines for use. I’d love to see it turned into a place where we can communicate about more than me just giving you an assignment and you just turning it in. I’d like to post articles and ideas. I’d like to see you do the same. It’d be great if we could use the site as a regular stop for communication with one another about a whole range of issues; from social to political and beyond. I do not want you to dread a blog assignment, and consequently just go thru the motions.So, with that in mind I’m asking you to check the site regularly. The first thing to do is go to the calendar and check the appropriate date. Post articles and ideas that you have. Make sure, for organizations sake, that they pop up under the proper category or posting. I’d also like to see you piggy back on other’s comments. If we do all these things then maybe we can learn something and have a little fun in the process.There does need to be guidelines and grading procedures however. This isn’t “My Space”, it’s my space. So, some rules…

I manage every posting. As a teacher, I have a responsibility to check what can and cannot get on the screen. However, I’d like this to be about free speech. So, while I can regulate your comments – I’m going to go from the idea that these are your thoughts not mine. If you following guidelines (spelling, be nice, slang) in order to reach the post, you won’t see me doing much editing. I may ask you to consider something different in the future. But for the most part posts will go as is. One thing of special note -according to Intermediate School District guidelines when you post use your first name and last initial only.

#2 – SPELLING – Three Strikes You’re Out
This is an institution of learning. You have access to spell check. The bottom line is you have the responsibility and the tools to take care of the grammar and the spelling in your posts. I’ve asked for and received several student suggestions regarding spelling, grammar, and grading. The following comes from those suggestions. Each spelling / grammar mistake is a 5 point reduction in the posting (20 possible) score. The third error in a post results in a zero on the assignment. You must check this stuff. You might find the Firefox web browser helpful in that it carries inside of the blog a spell check. Otherwise cut and paste into and out of a writing program.

Below are specific guidelines regarding misspelled words.

  1. Spelling that should be picked up by a spell check and is not – is a mistake.
  2. Words that are spelled correctly, but not the right word (out vs our / dog vs dig) and are not changed – are mistakes.
  3. Grammar mistakes – not commonly used slang words, but just lazy overlooked writing – are mistakes.
  4. Apostrophes, capital letters, proper nouns – if you check ’em you can catch ’em.

You have up to ten minutes to repost your original post. So, if you write it up, post it to this blog, and take a look, and after surveying the situation – you find a spelling error, or something just doesn’t feel right – you can still change it. You have ten minutes. All you have to do is label the next post with – REPOST – and then go ahead and make your changes. Make sure that you type “REPOST” as your first word in the body of your blog posting. If you do not note REPOST – I will not accept the new posting. If you do, I will delete the previous post and grade the new one. Posts are time stamped, so don’t procrastinate for more than ten minutes.

#4 – BE NICE
Even if you disagree with a viewpoint, mine or another student’s, keep it to the subject and don’t make things personal. We want to start dialogue not shout somebody down or make them feel bad. We want people to check the site, get involved. So, with that in mind, while I do not want you to shy away from the exploration of issues, and I certainly would like to hear what you have to say, remember there is somebody on the other keyboard…who feels equally as justified in their beliefs.

This is not a hip hop site. Unless a specific assignment calls for slang or text message or some other kind of new modern funky language – then we are doing blog assignments in standard English. In order to grade them, I have to be able to read them. Thanks.

What’s great about this thing is that it is fluid. Any ideas that you have for readership, or for people to get involved, or new categories or posting pages, would be greatly appreciated. This is after all an interactive web site. That means interactive with YOU. So, if you don’t like things as they are, provide suggestions to make it better. You’re the “My Space” generation. My generation discovered the electric light bulb. Who do you think knows more about this stuff?

Blog assignments will be announced in class and posted online. Each will count 20 points total. The score will count under homework on your marking period grade. In order to receive any points you must post under the correct category. As for spelling, errors will be bolded in your posting and any points subtracted will be noted at the end of your posting. Your score will follow and will be noted in parenthesis and totaled out of twenty.
As for the point scoring breakdown. I’m laying out a rough idea below – the scoring is subjective and will be fluid – any suggestions please let me know. All scoring for blog assignments will be posted in bold after the assignment.

20 pts – Critical thinking post…You’re digging deep – not only through critical thought, but by posing critical questions as well. Quality, not length is the key for a critical thinking post. Maybe you are piggy backing others posts, maybe you are digging into outside sources, maybe you’re just talking out of your rear end, but you’ve nailed it. Who knows? There will be few twenty given out, but since you can pick up so many extra credit points here, you’ll be able to make those points up through random postings on spot blog days. To get a twenty you’re really going to need to do some deep thinking.

18 pts – Pretty darn good

16 pts – Not bad

14 pts – OK

12 pts – Better than a ten

10 pts – You made it to the blog…and not much more. You’ve looked at the question. You’ve covered your bases by offering an answer – but you’re not digging in. We need to hear your voice! If you’re getting a lot of 10’s of 20’s, we aren’t hearing enough of it.

8 pts – Come on

6 pts – Geeze

4 pts – Ughh

2 pts – Your name is spelled correctly…and that’s about the extent of it all. If you’re getting two’s on a twenty point blog assignment, you’re not doing much really.

You’ll be able to pick up Extra Credit on blog spot check days. I’ll go through on random days and provide students one to four points for posts. I’ll announce the day following the random check that I did so, and will keep track of those points. You can get an extra credit point (s) for any posting – of your choice – on any category or page. These blog spot checks could be once a month or seven days a week. They still must be spelled correctly in order to be posted. You may choose to actually do an assignment given to a different class. If you choose to do so, you do not have to post on a blog spot check day in order to earn the extra four points. What you do need to do however, is follow these directions. Go to your chosen assignment – enter it along with assignments by students of the appropriate class. However, you must type (EXTRA CREDIT) at the beginning of your post. If you don’t, you will not earn this extra opportunity. If you do, and the quality and spelling of the assignment is good, you can earn up to four points extra. The hope here is that you continue to check in and use the blog as a conduit for learning and communication. The extra credit points will be added to blog point totals at the end of the MP.

#9 – 7:00 / 11:00 RULE
If you’ve been given a one day assignment – due tomorrow – the last post goes in before 11:00 PM that night. If you’ve been given a two + day assignment – the last post goes in at 7:00 PM the night before the assignment is due. Postings after the deadline will not be accepted on a 20 point assignment. Let me know if you have a computer problem, prior to the due date. My room is open to you at lunch, and before and after school. There is no time limit imposed for all other postings.

It is your responsibility to take care of back work. When you return from an absence, in regards to blogs, check the calendar on-line for any missed work and check your subject matter specifically. Assuming that your absence is excused (if it isn’t you cannot make up the assignments) you need to stick to the following guidelines.

  1. Your assignment is the same as the original class assignment
  2. It must be posted at the same sight
  3. At the beginning of the posting you must type ABSENT (date) MAKE UP ASSIGNMENT first thing in the body of your blog post – if you do not I will assume the posting is late and you will earn a zero on the assignment.

In the end – have fun with the Buddha blog! Listen to one another, think of cool ideas that we can incorporate daily or on an individual assignment basis. Question everything. Read the news articles that I post. Post your own. Listen to pod casts and talk to your friends about issues that affect your life.

Blog like Thomas Jefferson would have blogged if he had a “My Space.

You can make this blog exactly what you want to make it. And who knows you may just find yourself, on line, coming down from the mountain…and running into a wise man, who will ask you if you’re a god…or if you’re a man.

And maybe you can say to him…I AM AWAKE!