We’ve designed a series of nine steps, with how-to info, to help you with your class blogging.
Your third step is to teach commenting skills & etiquette.
It’s my great pleasure to introduce our guest blogger, Kathleen McGeady, who provides important advice on teaching commenting skills (regardless of the age of your students).
About our Guest Blogger
The opportunity to take Teacher Professional Leave in 2008 provided Kathleen with the time to explore the role that ICT and Web2.0 tools can play in the classroom.
Kathleen loves to find new and creative ways to use blogs, the IWB, Web2.0 tools, iPod Touches and global projects and in her classroom to enhance the learning experience of each of her students.
Blogging: Teaching Commenting Skills
I am currently in the process of introducing my Grade Two students to blogging.
Our 2KM class blog is proving to be very popular with students and families.
As I have previously blogged about, I like to follow these steps when introducing blogging to students.
This is my third year of blogging with young students and I am still learning all the time.
In previous years I believe I progressed much too quickly from having students comment on the class blog to writing posts. My students never really learned how to compose a quality comment and I believe I didn’t set my expectations of the students high enough! I was happy for them just to be commenting.
This year I am taking a different approach. Inspired by the amazing commenting skills of Mrs Yollis’ Third Grade students, I am putting a lot of effort into teaching my students how to write quality comments on posts before we move on to writing posts.
By “quality comments” I mean
- writing the comment like a letter (greeting, body, closing, signature)
- using correct spelling, punctuation and spacing,
- reading over the comment and editing before submitting,
- complimenting the writer in a specific way, asking a question, and/or adding new information to the post,
- writing a relevant comment that is related to the post,
- not revealing personal information in your comment.
I really wanted to limit the “I like your blog!!!” or “2KM is cool” type comments and I am finding this explicit teaching of what a quality comment looks like is really working.
I am teaching students commenting skills through
- modelling and composing comments together on the IWB,
- teaching students about the “letter” format during writing lessons,
- giving examples of a poor/high quality comments and having students vote whether the comment should be accepted or rejected,
- having students read and comment on a post on our blog as part of a literacy rotation on the computer each week.
We will also send a copy of this poster (as show below) home with each child.
Linda Yollis has written a fantastic article about how to teach commenting skills. It is well worth a read!
I have “borrowed” many ideas from Linda such as recording a screencast video that shows how to leave a comment on the blog. I recorded my screencast through Jing. I also used Linda’s idea of sending an email out to all parents to encourage them to leave comments.
As Linda says, “commenting is what keeps the blog alive” and “teaching and encouraging good commenting skills makes your blog more interesting for everyone.” I agree!
How to leave a comment
Here’s an example of the type of information you could include:
Please leave a comment on our posts!!
We ask parents who leave comments to please only use their first name if they do not wish to identify their child.
Leaving a comment is as simple as this…
1. Click on the heading of the post you wish to comment on or the “comment” link at the top or at the bottom of the post.
2. Scroll down until you can see the “Leave a Comment” section
3. You will be asked for your name (you can use a nickname) and email address (this is not published)
4. You will also need to write the “spam word”
5. Click “submit comment”
6. Your comment WILL NOT appear straight away. It is sent to Miss McGeady via email for checking first. If your comment is okay it will soon appear on the site!
Comment moderation settings
The default commend moderation settings on Edublogs blogs is that any visitors that have had a comment approved on the blog in the past will have their comment immediately posted and only comments from new visitors go into moderation.
How to moderate all comments
If you would like all comments to be moderated and not be published on your blog until approved by an administrator you need to change your comment moderation setting in Settings > Disccussion to “An administrator must always approve the comment”.
Settings > Disccussion is the Advance Admin interface.
If you are in the Easy Admin interface you need to click on Activate Advanced Admin button at the top of your blog dashboard.
For more information on comment moderation settings and approving comments refer to:
Thanks Kathleen for writing this guest post and for all your great work!
Please leave a comment here or on Kathleen’s post if you have any more ideas about teaching commenting skills to students!
And here’s where you find the other steps for setting up your class blog:
- Step 1 – Set up your class blog
- Step 2 – Set Up Your Blogging Rules and Guidelines
- Step 3 – Teaching Commenting Skills and Etiquette – Guest post by Kathleen McGeady
- Step 4 – Help Parents Connect With Your Class Blog
- Step 5 – Add Students To Your Class Blog So They Can Write Posts
- Step 6 – Add A Visitor Tracking Widget To Your Blog Sidebar
- Step 7 – Setting Up Student blogs
- Step 8 – Add your student blogs to your blogroll
- Step 9 – Add Your Student Blogs To A Folder In Google Reader
If you are enjoying reading this blog, please consider Subscribing For Free!