Monday, February 27, 2006

How to be a good commenter

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.......
  • I wonder why.......
  • Your writing made me form an opinion about.......
  • This post is relevant because.......
  • Your writing made me think that we should.......
  • I wish I understood why.......
  • This is important because.......
  • Another thing to consider is.......
  • I can relate to this.......
  • This makes me think of.......
  • I discovered.......
  • I don't understand.......
  • I was reminded that.......
  • I found myself wondering.......


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.

6 comments:

  1. Hello Jo

    Up at the extremely ungodly hour of 3 am typing comments to the girls.

    One of them put the name of their educational institution. Weren't they (and I) specifically instructed NOT to do that?

    I have a new computer now - as of Friday. It's great. Spent Thursday and Friday incapcitated. Wish I could have been at the Market with the girls.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi there!
    I've taken an interest to your blog recently, moreso because I am in the process of deciding how to go about using blogs in my year seven class for our class reader (just one aspect of our literacy).
    I would love to hear any ideas or suggestions you have about starting it up (guidelines for kids' use of blogs etc etc).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there!
    I've been taking a keen interest in your recent posts, particularly because I am currently toying with the idea of using blogs soon with my year seven classfor our class reader (just one part of our literacy!).

    Iwould love to hear any ideas or suggestions you might have, particularly about guidelines for the kids' use of blogs and other suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice list -- I will 'borrow' (steal) it for my freshmen -- It's nicely concrete, but the 'open ends' are wide enough to accomodate all kinds of insight.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for this Jo! I will post these comment starters on my year 11s' blogs as well, as they are currently having "blogversations" about their class text and some of them have no idea what to write.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you! Great article. Very helpful.

    ReplyDelete