For several weeks the grade 2 students have been writing their “Friday letters” and adding some Portfolio reflections as blog posts. The students now have the hang of uploading text and adding images or video. They love that their writing is shared with the world and that they are receiving comments from their parents on their posts. The EasyblogJr app makes blogging so easy for young learners!
I felt like it was time for them to learn to comment appropriately on one another’s blog posts.
I didn’t want to practice this online because I wanted to focus on the process of commenting but I still wanted it to be meaningful. I considered writing comments on paper but I was afraid that this would lead to a lot of waiting for others to finish and cause classroom management issues. So I came up with the following solution that seemed to work very well.
First we talked about the need to be positive in our blog comments since the reader cannot see our body language or read our facial expressions. Together we viewed one student’s blog, wrote sample comments and talked about how:
- Compliments should be specific – what was great?
- Connections can be made to themselves, other texts or the world – what does the post remind them of?
- Questions are fine but not on their own – on their own they might be viewed in a negative light
We then moved to another classroom where everyone could write on the whiteboard walls at once. It is interesting how writing on whiteboards makes everything feel less permanent and easy to change. Each student wrote their name as high as they could to claim a space.
They then viewed the blog posts of other students who sat in their table group and wrote compliments, connections or questions under the appropriate names.
By writing around the room it was easy to judge who needed some comments, allow everyone to work at the same time and naturally help each other if they were unsure about spelling. There was a great vibe in the room as they reviewed blog posts and wrote comments for one another.
Pride in their Work
The boys beamed when they read what their peers had written about their work!
Of course they took a picture of the whiteboard comments and added that to their blog.