Anne Davis over at Edublog Insights posted recently about how to be a good commenter. This is an issue that some of my year eights were struggling with today. They are very new at blogging and some have taken some comments personally as criticisms of their writing, when the commentors were simply asking questions and clarifications. It took at lot of fancy footwork on my part to not have some of the students going off at their commentors with pointed criticisms of their own, and I'm not sure that I wholly succeeded. I have decided that I will post this list over at the Year Eight Class Blog to help them with their commenting and also with how to interpret comments by others. But the good news is that Susan, a teacher at another Melbourne school, has set up blogs with her year 8 class and there may be some interaction betwween the two lots of students. Anyway here are Anne's comment suggestions:
- This made me think about.......
Anne goes on to say :
Asking good questions is so important in our classrooms. We use them to guide our discussions and push our students to a higher level of thinking. So the questioning and the discussion part is crucial when blogging. Then, the comment feature on blogs has the potential to really push those learning connections. I discussed these comment starters with my students and encouraged them to use them in the beginning of their comments. It was not required. I just encouraged them to try it out and perhaps add to the list themselves. It seemed to help the students get to deeper type thinking. I think the important thing for us to remember is that we're fostering cooperative work and guiding the process. We teachers have to be knee-deep in this process. We can't just say, "Get in groups and critique each others posts or comments." We can't just expect our students to know just what to do. We have to model it, teach it, guide it, discuss it and most of all have fun with it. Show them the joy of language.
I know this is what I have to do with my students, and it's great to have such good models ourselves.