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Welcome to the fourth step in our free professional learning series on class and student blogging!


The aim of this step is to:

  1. Explain how comments are used on class blogs.
  2. Provide tips for teaching students quality commenting skills.


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Why comments are important

Comments are an important part of your class blog.  Comments allow students, and other readers, to engage in discussions, share their thoughts and connect with your class blog.

Comments transform your blog from a static space to an interactive community.

Important parts of the blogging process include encouraging students to:

1. Read other students’ posts.
2. Comment on other students’ posts.
3. Write posts in response to other students’ posts.

Blogging Cycle

It’s amazing how even just a few comments can make student realise they are writing for a global audience — for many it is incredibly motivating.

Must watch video

Make sure you watch The Possibility of Student Blogging by Andrea Hernandez and Slivia Tolisano.

This video provides an excellent explanation of the blogging and commenting process, impact of quality blogging on student literacy and the importance of writing as part of a global audience.

Remember discussions in comments are important for reflective learning .  Comments that challenge or suggest alternative options encourage you to reflect, revise, evaluate and review your thoughts.

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How comments work

By default, comments are enabled on all newly created blogs, and a comment form will appear at the bottom of posts and pages where readers can respond to what you’ve written.

Approved comments are displayed under the individual post or page. You just click on the post title or the comment link to read the comments.

Threaded comments allow readers to reply to other comments inline/nested which encourages better discussion and responses.

Here is an example of a threaded comment on a post:

Comment on a post

Refer to the following support documentation for more information:


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Examples of comments on class blogs

Here are examples of comments on class blogs to check out how educators use comments on class blogs:

  1. Miss Jordan’s Class Our Amazing Art Walk
  2. 4B’s Learning Journey Measuring with Minties 
  3. Mrs Hamman’s Moon Phases


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How to add comments

To leave a comment on a post just:

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 the page to the comment form or click on Reply (to reply to a specific comment).

3.  Enter your name and email address – your email address is hidden and only the blogger sees it  (If you are logged into your Edublogs account you won’t need to add these details).

4. Write your comment.

5. Enter the anti – spam word.

6.  Select the ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail‘ if you want to be notified by email to comments by other readers.

7. Click “submit comment”

Comment form

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Teaching quality commenting skills

This following section on teaching quality commenting skills is adapted, with permission, from Kathleen Morris’s post.  

Kathleen teaches at Leopold Primary School in Australia. Kathleen writes a blog for educators about technology integration, educational blogging and global collaboration ( @kathleen_morris ).   She was inspired to refine her teaching of commenting by the wonderful Linda Yollis and her third grade students.

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Reasons for teaching quality commenting skills

If commenting skills are not taught and constantly reinforced, students will limit their comments to things like “I like your blog!” or “4KM is cool!”. While enthusiasm is high with these sorts of comments, students are not developing their literacy skills or having meaningful interactions with other members of the blogging community. Conversations in the comment section of a blog are such rich and meaningful learning experiences for students. Conversations begin with high quality comments.

Blogging is an authentic avenue for developing student literacy skills.   When you invest the time in teaching, modelling, revising and promoting high quality writing of comments, students can make great gains in their overall literacy development.

Check out improvements in student literacy skills through commenting here.

Set your standards high from the start and reap the rewards!

Almost all educators who blog well with their students use the following scaffolding approach:

Introducing blogging to students


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How to teach quality commenting skills

Kathleen teaches commenting skills through:

  1. Modelling and composing comments together with students on the interactive whiteboard.
  2. Teaching students about the “letter” format and editing process during writing lessons.
  3. Giving examples of a poor/high quality comments and having students vote whether the comment should be accepted or rejected. Check out her Sorting blog comments activity.
  4. She spends 10 – 20 minutes of her daily literacy block on whole class blogging.
  5. Getting students to work on composing a quality comment with a partner.
  6. Emailing parents and encouraging them to write comments on the blog with their child.

Kathleen and her team teacher partner, Kelly Jordan,  invests a lot of time focusing on teaching her students how to write ‘quality comments’ and helping students to understand what quality comments means.

Teaching quality commenting, with constant reinforcement, and setting high standards increases your students literacy skills which provide a good foundation for when you move them onto writing posts on the class blog or their own student blogs.

The strong emphasis on developing quality commenting skills is an important reason why teachers like Kathleen MorrisKelly Jordan and Linda Yollis achieve great results blogging with their students.


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Activities for developing commenting skills

Here’s a list of activities you can use to develop your student commenting skills:

1. Watch this video by Linda Yollis’ students about leaving quality comments.

Watch Blogging frogs video on their 10 Top Commenting Tips.  You’ll find other great resources they used for learning how to comment on their Tips for Commenting page.

Check out Nicolas Weiss’s Leaving High Quality Blog comments video for quality commenting explained for high school students.

2.  Create a commenting guideline poster

Create your own commenting guideline poster or facilitate a collaborative discussion with students to create a poster together.  Display your poster in the classroom and send it home to share with parents and caregivers.

Check out 4KM & 4KJ @ Leopard Primary School commenting guideline poster here.

Remember don’t use others’ work without permission and acknowledgment.

3.  Create a commenting guideline for your blog

Facilitate a collaborative discussion with your students to create your own commenting guidelines.

Here are some examples of Commenting Guidelines to look at:

  1. Mrs Hammon’s Class Blog Commenting Guidelines (Grade 3)
  2. Present with Ms B’s Bloggers – How to Comment (Grade 4)
  3. Huzzah’s Commenting Guidelines (Grade 5/6)

Remember don’t use others’ work without permission and acknowledgment.

Refer to Step 2: Set up pages for more information on pages.  

Alternatively, you could get your students to create their own videos on writing quality comments.

Watch this excellent Comments video shared by Andrea Hernandez made by a 5th Grade student.

4.  Develop a quality comment evaluation guide or rubric

Linda Yollis’s class uses a point system for evaluating comments.  A one point comment is a general comment that doesn’t add much to the conversation and a two point comment is a good comment that adds something to the conversation.

Check out Linda Yollis’s evaluation guide and how she teaches commenting to see if you want to set up a quality comment evaluation guide for your class.

An alternative option used by some teachers is a commenting rubric. You can check out Langwitches’s Commenting Rubric here and read Langwitches’s advice on teaching commenting skills here.  Check out English 10 Commenting Guidelines.

5.  Get your students to practice commenting

Publish a blog post about commenting and what you define as a quality comment and then have your students practice leaving a “quality” comment on the post.

Check out Jan Smith’s I’m new here post.  It is an excellent example of introducing students to reading student blog posts and learning how to write comments.

Refer to Kathleen Morris’s Mini Lesson Ideas for some modeling points and comment lesson ideas.

6.  Get your students to practice commenting using the paper blogging method

Paper blogging is a hand’s on interactive way of introducing students to writing posts and comments using paper and post-it notes.

You’ll find a detailed explanation of how to paper blog with your students here.  You’ll find an example of using paper blogging activity with students here.

 

An example of paper blogging. Photo used with permission from http://tvstechtips.edublogs.org/2013/09/09/when-paper-blogging-trumps-the-computer/
An example of paper blogging. Photo used with permission from Tech tips blog

7.  Other advice and tips

The following is Fiona Stafford’s reflection on commenting and strategies she uses with her Grade 6 students:

After some time, I noticed a stand-still in commenting. It appeared that students were posting a lot but not commenting, which limited the amount of student learning from their peers via feedback. So, over time, I incorporated a number of strategies to encourage the students to comment on other people’s blog posts. The different tactics I employed to enhance feedback via commenting were: allowing some time in class to do it; setting expectations to comment as a part of their weekly home learning; making it compulsory for parents to comment somewhere on their child’s blog site as confirmation that their home learning had been completed; making the majority of their home learning via their blogs; getting them to set a blogging goal in order to move forward with the process; and introducing a ‘what’s trending?’ page to our class blog. The rationale behind this page was to encourage students to suggest other students’ blog posts that were worthy of their attention and encourage people to give feedback. So far, this has been working. But, this is still an ongoing journey. This journey into the Blogosphere has and continues to provide just as much learning for me as it does my students.

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Common Asked Comment Questions

Here’s answers to commonly asked questions we receive into Edublogs Support:

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1.  How do you disable comments on pages?

Most Edublogs themes support comments on pages and by default comments are enabled on pages.

You can disable comments on pages using Quick Edit as follows:

1. Go to to Pages > All Pages

All pages

2. Locate the post or page you want to disable comments on.

3. Hover over it’s title to bring up it’s action menu.

Click on Quick Edit

4. Click on Quick Edit, deselect ‘Allow Comments’ and then click on Update.

Deselect Comments

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2.  Why won’t comments display on pages?

Most Edublogs themes support comments on pages however there are a few themes that don’t.

If the theme you are using doesn’t support comments on pages, and you would like this feature, then you will need to use an alternative theme.

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3.  How do I make comments display on my homepage?

Traditionally comments are designed to be displayed under a post and you view the comments by clicking on the post title or the comments link. It is done this way because posts can have 100’s of comments and displaying them directly under a post on the post page can make it hard to read the content.

Most teachers display the comments on their homepage by adding the Recent Comments widget to the sidebar.

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4.  How do I remove the option to add email address to comments?

By default, any one leaving a comment must leave a valid name and email address.

If the ‘Comment author must fill out name and e-mail’ is unchecked in Settings > Discussion, any visitor can leave a comment and isn’t required to enter an email address.  Please note readers will still see the name and email address option on the comment form;  but the email address is no longer required to submit a comment.

This option is often used when teachers don’t want students to use their email address.

Learn more about Discussion settings here.

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5.  How do you stop the “Posting comments too quickly” message?

Comments allow your readers to add feedback to your posts and pages.

Unfortunately if all your students are submitting comments at the same time to a class blog on your school computers they may see ”  ‘You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.’ message and they might lose their comments.

Posting too quickly

This happens because the computers on your school network use the same IP address and Edublogs, which is powered by WordPress, has comment throttling.

Find out how to prevent the posting too quickly message here.


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6.  How do I moderate all comments?

The default comment setting on all newly created blogs is ‘Comment author must have a previously approved comment before a comment appears’.

This means 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 are placed in the moderation queue.

To moderate all comments you need to change it to “Comment must be manually approved” in Settings > Discussion.

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Your Task

Blogging is about sharing, collaborating, and learning from each-other. So here’s your chance to ask a question, comment, and get involved!

Complete the following tasks:

  1. Choose one of the Activities for developing commenting skills, complete the activity and then leave a comment to share what you created or to let us know how you went.
  2. Read through the most recent comments in reply to this step and leave a response to another person’s comment.

265 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Like some others, I don’t have understudies yet. I adored the video by the eighth grade educator (I show high schoolers) and plan to build up a remarking rubric with my understudies. I’m trusting it will wind up fundamentally the same as Mrs. Yoris’, which I discovered extremely supportive. I’ll remark again after I’ve really shown this – at some point one week from now.
    Hiaim

  2. Great piece of helpful content as usual. I appreciate the post. 🙂

    • Core Mini Bins
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  3. Hi everyone,
    I thought I knew how important commenting was when blogging before I read this particular step, but now I know I really had no clue! I really appreciated all of the videos that were posted, and all of the links to successful blogs. I also like the idea about commenting buddies at the beginning, as mentioned by Forestdweller below!

  4. I did the paper commenting and loved it! It was a great way to reinforce the commenting and posting skills. My next goal is to get all the students signed in and find another class or classes to become commenting buddies for my students. Thanks for all the tips.

  5. I’ve already linked my guidelines page, but I will give the paper commenting idea some thought and try it out shortly. I’d like to assign commenting buddies at the beginning of our endeavour to get things started.

    • Forestdweller
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    • Hi there,
      I love your idea about commenting buddies and will use it in my own classroom. Thanks so much! Hope it all goes well!

  6. Paper blogging practice became a great way to prepare for the class blog since not all the students in my class have access to computers users at the start of the year. I had students write or draw either a “star” or “wish” about their first week of school. Students would circulate the room leaving sticky notes with questions and comments. This led into a collaborative discussion about how to comment and keep the conversation going.

  7. I taught my 9th grade science students how to comment on blogs using several of the given sources. I first challenged them to tell me what they should keep in mind while responding to a blog post. They are a very silly group, so I did have to remind them that the whole world could, conceivably, read what they have written and that they represent our school. We do have pretty big school pride, so I think the message got through. I love one of the graphics that was linked to this page, but I can’t find it now. I copied it as a jpg, so I know what to do, but have lost the stream that got me there. 🙁 It was a diagram on a white board, and I more-or-less recreated it with the kids’ input.

    Here’s what we did and will do on Monday.
    1) Watched the video above: “Leaving High Quality Blog Comments” because it is more geared toward older students.
    2) Looked at Huzzah’s Commenting Guidelines
    3) Showed them the English10 commenting guidelines, which are right in line with ours. I’ve collaborated with our English teacher to choose some writing goals for them; these are also part of the English10 blog guidelines, so the kids could see that it isn’t just THEIR teachers that say capitalization, punctuation, and grammar are important.
    4) Gave them Monday’s challenge of: find an edublogs post that interests them within 5 minutes; read it; compose a response or comment and check it with me before posting.
    5) Later this week they will have to read through my posts, as I will be away on a research ship, and respond to at least one of the posts with questions and comments.

    • I really like the idea of the students finding a post that interests them and comment. Was it effective?

  8. Is a paper blog too juvenile for high school students? No, we used a similar exercise at a recent teachers’ in-service. Next week, My Advanced Placement students read Emerson’s essay on self-reliance. I plan to share an article about parents encouraging practical majors, engineering, business, premed. Utilizing a paper blog means every student must respond to the article. Since my students are college-bound seniors, I anticipate a lively discussion. PJ Liebson (mrsliebson.edublogs.org)

    • Hi P.J. Liebson

      Thank you for your feedback regarding paper blog with high school students.

      I see you have a ‘Homework’ Post Category. I suggest you add this category to a Custom Menu so it is easily accessible. We have added this to show you how it is done – http://help.edublogs.org/custom-menu/

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  9. Darn, I misspelled Mrs. Yollis’ name. Sorry!

  10. Like some others, I don’t have students yet. I loved the video by the 8th grade teacher (I teach high schoolers) and plan to develop a commenting rubric with my students. I’m hoping it will end up very similar to Mrs. Yoris’, which I found very helpful. I’ll comment again after I’ve actually taught this – sometime next week.

  11. I have previewed and bookmarked all of the blogs that look most like what I’m envisioning for our students. I haven’t set up my students’ individual blogs yet (I’m hoping to do that and get them linked to our class blog soon), because I’m still grappling with the tool myself plus I’d like to formulate my expectations before diving right into it. I’m planning to take inspiration from many of these to create my own set of guidelines that will better fit with our classroom blogging, community, and regular expectations.

    • Ms. Courter and Ms. Z
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    • I plan to set my page up and have students comment on it first and then later go to Student Blogging.

  12. Hello edubloggers! I actually thought I was going to do step 4 really quick, but I found myself really engaged. I felt I needed to see carefully all the examples to help student comment better and then, I had to change so many things in my blog …! At the end, I liked everything about commenting so much I made an infochart about it.
    I really would like to practice with my students a bit of paper blogging and have found really inspiring all the videos some teachers have done with their students so thanks for that.
    Here is a link to my page about writing blogs and commenting blogs: http://tiradelalengua.edublogs.org/expresate/
    There I have inserted a link to see my infochart. Here is the link: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/15671010-comentar-en-internet

    • Hi “sacalalengua”

      It is refreshing to see someone put so much effort and enjoyment into their blog. Your personal touch will make your blog more entertaining for your blog visitors.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  13. I don’t have students yet, but I plan to do the paper blogging activity with them, show them the video on leaving good blog comments, and generating a set of rules for commenting.

    • I’m in the same boat as you, Jennifer. I don’t have students yet, but I plan to teach commenting next week when I have them. They are high schoolers, so we will probably skip the paper blogging step, but I love some of the videos I’ve seen through this page.

    • Are the students themselves generating the rules for commenting? What a great idea! That’ll give them ownership of the rules and help them to remember the rules more readily that if the teacher handed them out. PJ Liebson (mrsliebson.edublogs.org)

    • I liked this idea as well. I have 7th and 8th grade, so I hope they take the practice seriously. I have already made a Guidelines page and edited commenting in my settings.

  14. I was really encouraged to see all of the different ways student blogs can be used. I never realized how essential commenting is to the blogging experience. I had not planned on putting my students writing on my blog but I have been convinced. I really appreciated the global awareness that the students from the first video gained from their experience. I have done pen pals in my class before and now I think it would be even more exciting to blog with those students across the globe.

    Here is the students page that I added to my blog.
    http://kbocklage.edublogs.org/students/

    • Hi Ms. Bocklage

      You might consider setting up ‘My Class’ on your blog. This will allow your students to run Student Blogs which you can moderate. You can also allow your Students to add content to your blog which you can moderate.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  15. I created a comment guideline poster for my blog. When my students will be back from holidays I’ll invite those who wish to subscribe as authors so that they may learn to comment and engage with foreign students. I didn’t write the post for this comment guide line yet, I just created the poster with a photo software called “photo philtre”. http://cadescrita.edublogs.org Inpi

  16. I created a Commenting guidelines page for my blog and created a poster to hang in the classroom as well. I teach science and plan to take time in the first few weeks of school do the other activities that involve practicing writing good comments and the idea of the paper blog. I am also hoping to combine with other teachers on my team so that students could do this in other classes! I think the students would benefit from the consistency!

    • I love your idea of including a youtube video along with the commenting guidelines! That is our students world and a good way to connect with learners of different strengths. I want to go back and add that into mine. Students can never see/hear/practice enough!

    • Hi, Mrs Hubbard! I’ve reading Mrs Mc Nallys’ Students Comments Guidelines through your blog and it inspired to create my comment guidelines poster. I read your about page and wonder at the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. As you say you would like to chat with people from all over the world, I’ll visit your blog and I’ll show it to my students when they will come back from summer holidays.

    • This is a great idea to include on of the YouTube video “Leaving High Quality Comments. The expectations are clearly set for your class. I will include this video in my Digital Literacy lesson plan.

  17. When school begins I plan to have my students be embedded in the process of developing commenting skills. I plan to create an anchor chart as a whole class with commenting guidelines and suggestions. I also plan to have them practice commenting on sticky notes prior to moving onto the blog.

    • Mrs. Dominguez
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  18. I read and researched many of the blogs that were listed in Stage 4. I used the information to make two more posts on my Blog. One about Blogging guidelines and one about Good Commenting. I printed out the Blog Comment Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down to help teach the students about good commenting. Thanks Leopold Teachers.
    I also disabled comments until I read them. Need to learn more about this!
    http://stdom12.global2.vic.edu.au/

  19. I will not be in school for a few more weeks, but my plan is to begin the year with some of the lessons above. In particular, I want to use the videos and paper commenting. I am so excited to begin!!! I do like the idea of a point system for their comments.

    • I like the idea of a point system as well.

      • Mrs. Dominguez
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  20. I completed a commenting guidelines page based off of Mrs. Hammon’s guidelines. I feel that in practice, this would likely evolve based on the needs of the students, and parents etc.

  21. I was really sucked in to the activities for developing commenting skills. I think it would be really beneficial to do some of these activities with my students so they can develop good skills for commenting. At the beginning of the year we did a talk moves activity to learn how to agree and disagree with fellow classmates. This would simply be a continuation of that activity and help prevent negative side effects of online learning. I can’t wait to get back to school (we’re on spring break right now) so we can do some of these activities as a class.

    • Hi “mrsunthank”

      We look forward to your feedback on how the commenting activities helped your students and any suggestions you might have to build on the activities.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • Hi mrsunthank,

      What was your talk moves activity? I’ve never heard of it before, and what was the outcome?
      Thanks!

    • Dear Mrsunthank,
      I agree. We do need to teach commenting skills. I intend to use the sorting activity and discuss the reasons they are good or bad comments. A great activity. I think some further information about comlimenting would be advisable too.
      From Julie

  22. We spent time in class with the paper blog comment idea by composing short pieces in our writer notebooks and then passing them around for handwritten commentary. It was useful and nice to get back to paper!

    • This sounds like a really cool idea to get started before trying it online. I’m sure that could lead to a great discussion about what expectations should be for blogging!

    • I like the idea of doing the paper commenting in their writing notebooks. That gives them a permanent reference to look at later in the year.

  23. I found Nicolas Weiss’s Leaving High Quality Blog comments video to be the most helpful in my class. We have discussed on several occasions how to leave appropriate feedback with the purpose of generating conversation. His video kept the information pertinent and easy to comprehend for my high school students.

    • Ms. Coultas,
      I love your concise comment guidelines page. Do you mind if I refer to it with my high school students?
      Thanks,
      Ms. Almasi

  24. I found paper blogging a worthwhile activity. My students are at the pre writing stage so we talked about quality comments and wrote them down on a chart. They are going to look at the blog with their parents and try to post quality comments. On a side note it did make me examine my homework book comments- hmmm not so sure they are specific enough:)

    • Hi “prepspace”

      The link between blog comments and homework book comments is certainly one we forget about. Our students learn by example.
      It’s good to hear you have involved your parents before the blog writing phase to prepare the parents for what is coming.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  25. http://tamiwilson.edublogs.org/commenting/

    Here is a page I created using the wonderful resources in this information. I so appreciate all the ideas and examples. For once I feel like I don’t need to reinvent the wheel!

    • Your commenting guidelines page looks nice!

    • I like how you divided up the guidelines.

    • Pretty clear and straight forward. Do you have to start with NEVER and DO NOT, though? All the other points seem more inviting. Could the first two points be formulated differently or not placed right at the beginning?

      • Forestdweller
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  26. I’ve created a comment page with two subpages – one for how to comment and one for how to write quality comments. This has been great as I haven’t created pages about commenting before. I’ve gone through these pages with my Year 6 students and we are now focusing on creating posters tp display in the classroom as a constant reminder! When completed the students will add to their own blogs.

    However, I added photos of the post heading and the comment link to illustrate the instructions and would like to know how to add text, arrows and numbers (as done above in this post). Could anyone please help?

    http://www.pquealy.edublogs.org

    Thanks

  27. I feel the ‘How to write a quality comment’ video is a great resource. Anyone know of any resources that can appeal to adult learners and blogging, since I teach adults? I have started to create pages for: ‘Blogging guidelines’ and another page for ‘How to comment’. I have started creating a blog on Edublogs, and have previously started creating on Blogger. I think I may leave commenting off the whole class blog (to reuse for the following terms) and encourage comments on students individual blogs.

    • I’m also setting up commenting guidelines for my college course. When I set mine up, you can check out mine and I’ll pass along any guidelines I find. 🙂 I’m planning on posting general guidelines and then specific questions to answer for each assignment

      • stephanie wardrop
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    • Hi Dwilling

      Did you want the second video by Nicholas Weiss – https://youtu.be/XgriSvP9HGo The tips and examples he provides are suitable for adult learners and are done in a way they would be able to relate to.

      The alternative option would be to create your own video adapting Nicholas Weiss’s video for your students.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  28. Over the past two days I had my students learning about writing Quality Comments. On our blog I created a page with Mrs. Yollis’s video and The big 5 and Pick 2 and do I found from another teacher on Edublogs. I sure hope I thanked her on my page … yikes.

    So yesterday, I had the students start posting comments on my posts. It was so fun. I loved reading their comments, and responding. Some of the students didn’t write quality comments, so I’m enjoying going over it again and reviewing.

    • Hi moodyteam. That sounds like you had a great session. I think I’ll do the same, what an excellent way for the students to start learning about commenting once you’ve gone through the “How to comment” and “How to write quality comments” sections first. Thanks for the idea.
      Reagrds
      Mrs Q

  29. I got caught up in term time and then was away for all the Christmas break so am a little behind with the Teacher Challenge comments. I have, however, completed most of the steps!

    My class really enjoyed Mrs Yollis’s class’s video on writing quality comments. We did the paper blogging exercise which the children related to very well and then made Google slides on our new Chromebooks with our own top tips.

    On a slightly different subject, I’m getting a lot of Spam comments which of course I send straight to Spam, but haven’t figured out how to block them…

    • Hi Gill

      Apologies for the delayed reply. I noticed that your blog is hosted on Primary blogger. The spam option in WordPress which powers both Edublogs and Primary blogger is designed to work with Akismet. When you mark a comment as spam the Akismet server learns and automatically marks any follow up comments by the spammer as spam. Without Akismet being activated it doesn’t learn from what you mark as spam and doesn’t automatically deal with spam commenters.

      I’m not sure if they have plugins but if they have plugins, and you have the option to activate Akismet, then I would set up Akismet. Akismet is the best defense against spam commenters.

      If Akismet isn’t an option then you can use Comment Blacklist in Settings > Discussion to block their spam comments.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    • My class really enjoyed Mrs. Yollis’s video too. We jumped right into commenting online.

      Over the past two days I had my students learning about writing Quality Comments. On our blog I created a page with Mrs. Yollis’s video and The big 5 and Pick 2 and do I found from another teacher on Edublogs. I sure hope I thanked her on my page … yikes.

      So yesterday, I had the students start posting comments on my posts. It was so fun. I loved reading their comments, and responding. Some of the students didn’t write quality comments, so I’m enjoying going over it again and reviewing.

    • Hi Gill,
      Glad you found your way back. I will be using a blog for the first time in class this term. I am not sure how it will go since the class are beginners with computers. I hope to use blogging as a word processing and flexible delivery tool. Good luck.

  30. I shared the “How to Write a Quality Comment!” video by Linda Yollis’ students. I thought it was the best put together movie listed. I also used the “sorting blog comments” activity. It was quick and easy to use, in order to provide good and bad comment examples. My students are excited about the blog I am still working on. These activities helped to build their anticipation for my posts.

    • I will have to include examples of quality comments as well. I think it is very important that students know and can reference good and bad comments.

      • mrpthescienceg
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  31. I appreciated re-visiting the resources and rationale for teaching commenting skills explicitly ( I have done the Teacher Challenge before). My students really respond to the paper blogging. We do this as an introduction, before we give the students their blog. Students write their posts which we put on large sheets of paper. Other students visit the posts and use stick notes to add their comments. We are then able to do some sorting, classifying and discussion about quality commenting. It reduces the abstraction of blogging having a tangible model and rehearsal of posting and commenting at the start.

    • I like how you set the paper blogging up, making it very real and close to the actual experience, allowing students to “visit” the paper posts. I also like your idea of sorting, classifying, and discussing the comments. I am definitely going to try this rehearsal for actual commenting out with my students. The way you described your practice made me realize what a great activity this actually is.

  32. Hello,

    I created a comment guideline page here: msboychuk.me/how-to-comment/
    It is still a work in progress. I will continue changing it as we refine our ideas about commenting.

    I put together a commenting guideline poster as well: drive.google.com/file/d/0BwMPa79AcpH1bzZJTjlfb0VWdjg/view?usp=sharing

    Ms B.

    • Hi Ms B, your comments guidlines page is really good. It is well laid out and easy to read. The graphic you supplied is also very useful.
      Perhaps make the graphic available via a link from your cemment guidlines page?
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      • Hi Gill,

        You are welcome. Thank you very much.

        Ms B.

  33. This has been very helpful! My students watched and we took notes from the video posted by Mrs. Yollis. Then we practiced paper commenting. It was a great way to get the kids practicing and reflecting.

  34. I am a specialist teacher so don’t always get the time to devote to teaching my classes about blogging. I have started to spend a few minutes at the end of lessons to look through the Science blog with them and encourage some valuable comments for the other classes work. We are also beginning to use post-it notes and paper commenting to comment on displayed work.

    I find it difficult to engage the parent community more by commenting on the blog. I am thinking of having some competitions to get them commenting and interacting with the blog. I am thinking I will send home a note with all the students giving the blog link and explaining how to comment. Hopefully the idea of some competition will get more families looking at the blog and commenting.

    • I like that you are thinking about ways to engage parents by encouraging them to comment.

    • Hi Lisa. I’m using my blog (Cloudy with a chance of warming) more as a digital classroom (although I’m not sure whether that constitutes blogging – does it?) Although they haven’t yet, I intend to have the students comment on the tasks that they have just completed, to share what they have learnt. I have also asked my students to visit the blog at home and have their parents post questions or comments about what their children are doing in class. I wonder if this may encourage links between the class and home? Some such as this may encourage your parents to blog? I will let you know how it goes!

  35. We have a gallery wall in our hallway, so I had my students practice paper commenting on the Explorer Wanted posters we made last week. My students have also practiced leaving comments on my blog post. This week during our Blogging Friday session, students will leave comments on the blogs of other students. The ideas from this post will help me guide my students to be great commenters.

    • I like that you are getting the students to practise by commenting on work in they have done. This would be a good idea to involve families more during open nights. They could use post-it notes to post comments on others work. WOnderful idea. I think I will try this out in my Science Lab 🙂

    • Hi Mrs Sheffels

      Thanks for sharing a link to your commenting guidelines and to the paper blogging you did last year. Are you okay if I add a link to your paper blogging post ( http://mrssheffels.edublogs.org/2014/09/10/how-to-comment/ ) into our section on paper blogging?

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    • I also taught commenting using paper comments first, this really gave my students perspective. They knew that their comments would be seen not only by the person they left their comment for, but other students as well. This really seemed to help them to think through their comments before “posting” them.

    • Hi Mrs. Sheffels,

      I really like your commenting guideline page – especially the sentence starters and the thought provoking questions under point number one. Our grade 4 class will refer to them when we work on commenting next week. I also plan to do a paper blogging activity. Thanks for the inspiration!

      Ms B.

  36. I’ve started a series of lessons with the students on commenting and setting them tasks on our blog. I will definitely use these videos and some of the activities mentioned. I feel the real key is to get them to engage with other comments. I am trying to model this for the children in class using post it notes. When a child makes a comment, I respond directly to it, and then state my own opinion. Hopefully I will see an improvement after a series of commenting tasks, corrections and examples.

    • maistirscoile
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    • Hi maistirscoile

      Love your series of lessons with students on commenting! I’m adding links to a couple of posts here so other can check out your approach.

      First post introducing commenting – http://boogiebloggers.edublogs.org/2015/09/23/student-comment-introduction/ with an example of a comment by the teacher so the students can see it modeled in a comment.

      Another commenting post activity – http://boogiebloggers.edublogs.org/2015/09/24/friday-challenge-a-famous-person-i-admire-with-a-growth-mindset/ Once again the teacher is modelling how to comment.

      Great work!

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

      • I think it is a good idea to use an engaging blog post to teach comments, since the students will have a greater incentive to participate and then you can, with them electrified, get down to teaching ‘on the fly’ with what they produce.

      • Thank you for these extra resources, especially those dealing with Growth Mindset- that’s a big theme in our classroom!

        • Ms. Courter and Ms. Z
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  37. This past week was our second week at school and our first week commenting on the class blog. I created a posting guidelines page ahead of time and referred the students to it but did not do any prior teaching as I wanted to see what would come of the comments. As expected, the comments did not follow the guidelines but I published them anyway because I wanted a starting point for our discussion in the upcoming week.

    This coming week I plan to read through the posting guidelines page that I created with students and find out what they think about it. I plan on asking them why we comment on blogs. I plan on sharing the pen with them to create a solid comment for our post that reflects on our second week of school.

    The Thumbs Up/Thumbs down activity looks pretty neat but I think it is better to see a post as well as the comments that go along with it to help the students realize the relevancy. With that in mind I hope to use my own comments to do the thumbs up thumbs down activity and discuss why.

    • Sounds like a great plan. I like how you jumped in with blogging and published their comments anyway, as it will give them a baseline for making improvements.

  38. My students will start blogging this Friday. On my blog, I have a section about commenting and posting. They have to read those two posts and leave a comment on each with any additions, concerns or ideas they have on those sections.
    I am also going to add the video for high school students to my section on commenting.

    • harrisclassroom
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    • Hi Mr Harris. You commenting strategy with your students is very proactive and should produce positive results.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • I like the idea of having students comment on the Guidelines page that you have created. I think that I might actually have my students do the same and from the discussion created, co-create the guidelines page with them.

      This week will only be their second week commenting and I hope to see an improvement with more specific modelling and examples.

      Good luck with your commenting and blogging this year.

      • Thank you very much. The examples I have gotten from them have actually been the best writing they’ve done so far. I’m impressed with how quickly they picked up on what is expected of them with clear guidelines.

        • harrisclassroom
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