Blog with us!

Next week, the NSW DET’s “Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge” Book Rap goes live! Ian McLean and Jenny Scheffers, teacher librarians, will be coordinating this book rap.

The “Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge” Book Rap, discussing the picture book by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas, is aimed at students in Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) and has programming and planning information by Mandy Kirk and Jenny Scheffers, addressing outcomes from the NSW English K-6 syllabus. (Interstate and overseas rappers are also welcome.)

The Rap is live for viewing and subscribing (at no cost) the week of 18 February 2008. The Rap itself starts 25 February 2008. We hope that primary school teacher librarians and teachers will enjoy taking part in this exciting learning experience. This year, instead of an email listserv, we are using blogging tools and wikis to share the responses between participants in the rap. The blog format will have many advantages over a listserv, so please think of this as a learning adventure.

When teachers and teacher librarians first log in to the “Edublogs” site, they should be aware that the user name they choose for themselves will appear each time they post a blog message. For example, my “Edublogs” user name is “ianmclean”, but I could have chosen “mrmclean” or “class2z” or “penrithbloggers” instead. “Edublogs” suggests using a school-related email address if you’ll be posting blog entries from school, because you’ll need to acknowledge receipt of your welcome email message before your first post. If that message goes to a “hotmail” address, for example, that mail service may well be blocked by a firewall, or “Edublogs” might assume you’re not really connected to a school. “Edublogs” is a free blogging service from “WordPress” for legitimate educational purposes.

Further details are at:

The rap blog also has a Teachers’ area, to support the learning of the adult learners as we all gain more confidence with Web 2.0 facilities. The updated rap FAQs and “beginner’s guide” is at and should prove useful.

During the first weeks of the Rap, participating classes post a short group introduction to the Rap Blog (under the tab called “Introductions”). In their post, they can describe the class group participating in the Rap and give brief, interesting details about the school. For example, you may wish to tell us about the size and location of your school, the uniform and emblem, or any special facilities. Please make sure that students’ individual surnames never appear on blog entries; it’s best to keep to a class identity.

As groups of students are reading other schools’ Introductions during the next few days, your class may wish to plot the locations of other book rappers on a Rap Map, templates of which are available on the book rap site. Schools might also use websites such as “Google maps” or “”.

Teachers are encouraged to visit the Teachers’ section regularly. We look forward to rapping with you all.

Ian McLean (Penrith PS) and Jenny Scheffers (Caddies Creek PS),
“Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge” Book Rap Coordinators.