Over the last week or so, a meme has been circulating about quality blogging and commenting. Silvia from the Langwitches blog asked Kathleen Morris to continue the meme and hence it came to me from Kathleen.
I, like Kathleen, began blogging with my own personal blog back in 2008. At that stage I didn’t really know about quality commenting. I then started a class blog for my grade 6/7 students whom I had for most of each school day. I would often use a comment as a teachable moment in writing but I still hadn’t cottoned on to teaching explicitly ‘how to write a quality comment’.
Reading a lot of blogs to get more ideas, I came across Linda Yollis and her idea of one and two point comments.
By this time in 2010 I no longer had just my class. Instead I had 6 different classes for computers but only one block per week and no follow up from their homegroup teachers. Each student in those six classes had their own personal blog where I was the only teacher leaving comments. I was also running an international student blogging challenge.
Teaching quality comments meant in one block showing the video and blog post by Linda to each class, discuss it and have students leave quality comments on each other’s blogs.
In some lessons, I would project a post written by a student onto the whiteboard and we would discuss the pros and cons, but more often than not, I would leave a personal comment on the blog explaining how the post/comment could be improved.
As a literacy teacher, I would remind the student to use a spellchecker or proofread more carefully. I would also mention that names of TV programs should be in quotation marks or in italics.
As a maths teacher, I would ask, “What about those people who don’t watch either of those?” How are they mentioned in your survey? I would also mention labelling of a header in a graph.
As a computer teacher, I would mention other ways of collecting data such as using a poll or survey widget on the blog.
As a literacy teacher, I would remind the student about use of capital letters, using ‘And’ to start a sentence and using a spellchecker. Praise given for paragraphing and use of capital ‘I’.
As the maths teacher who set the task, I would ask for more details regarding the task – remind author that the readers don’t know what was required and you need to explain that in the post.
As the computer teacher, I might ask for an image to be included of the draft and final product to help your readers understand the task through a visual.
I am now going to pass this meme along to some other teachers – but first a reminder from Silvia about the meme:
Quality Blogging and Commenting Audit Meme
In order to gather more audit samples from a large variety of age groups and authors, I challenge you to publish a blog post with a post or comment audit.
- Select a blog post or blog comment to audit (Professional or Student)
- Take a screenshot or copy and past the post or comment into your blog post (be sensitive whether you want to reveal any names or references)
- Include or link to the rubric you use to assess the quality of post or comment
- Audit the post or comment by describing your train of thought regarding the level of quality you would assess your chosen post or comment
- Suggest how you would coach the author of audited post or comment to improve
- Tag (at least) three educators and challenge them to audit a post or comment
- Leave a comment with the link to your audit post on Langwitches
Could the following teachers continue this meme: