The training schedule for next semester will be added to the intranet this week. One of the new classes that we’ll be offering will be on blogs and having your own classroom blog. I’m going to be doing several posts about blogs and why/how I think they are such an easy way to not only integrate technology into your classroom, but also provide you with an opportunity to extend your classroom beyond your four walls and your 8 to 3 time slot.
Since I know I have some readers (lurkers!) that already are blogging, I wanted to start with commenting and how to lead your students in the right directions when teaching them to comment. Just like with any other tool, modeling what you expect from your students is VERY important. Show them other blogs that have great comments and the comments you find lacking. Discuss with your students why each example is good or what is missing from those you’d rather not see.
One of the most important pieces to show students is that you want each comment to be meaningful and actually contribute to the post. Simply saying ” I agree” or “This class rocks” does not count. I wanted my students to either give a strong opinion on what I was writing about or to agree or disagree with another students comments. I taught them to use the “@” for their reply discussions. For example, @Icantu…I agree with what you said but what about…@Jaliefen, remember in class when Mrs. Teamann said….
This helped everyone keep up. Many posts I required my students to comment and then address someone’s comment as well. Conversations would begin, and I would simply try to keep up, 🙂
Keeping in mind that I taught math and science, one point of controversy is whether or not I counted off for spelling or if I released comments that had misspelled words. Yes, I did. I wasn’t using my blog to teach writing, grammar or spelling. I wanted discussions about the content of our classes to be the focus. An added bonus was that the students policed themselves. MY fourth graders were MUCH harsher than I could have been when their peers misspelled words like “friend” than I could have been. Getting called out on the playground for such a thing only happened a couple of times before I noticed students taking their writing SO much more seriously.
From Twitter (8Amber8,) I was directed to a great blog, The Langwitches Blog where this teacher recommended these reminders to her students in regards to how to comment on their class blog.
- Acknowledge the author of the blog post.
- Let the author know if you agree with him/her and why.
- It is also ok to disagree with something, just let the author know why you feel that way.
- One word comments are not very useful. Writing just “cool” or “nice” are not very
- helpful and don’t let the author of the blog post really know what you are thinking.
- Always make sure you follow “netiquette”. Think if it is appropriate BEFORE you hit
- the submit button.
- Always be polite . It does not matter if you agree or disagree with what you are reading in a blog. Don’t write anything you would be ashamed of saying to someone’s face.
- Don’t hurt somebody’s feelings.
I thought this was a great place to start!