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

Kathleen Morris has shared some thoughts on why comments count in a blog post:

  • Comments turn your blog from a static space into an interactive space.
  • They allow for back and forth conversation which can lead to a huge amount of learning.
  • The fact that comments aren’t instantaneous (like online chat) can fuel deeper reflections, responses, and research.
  • Comments allow for feedback, constructive criticism, and the adding of ideas and opinions to the original post. The content can grow and evolve.
  • It can be encouraging for students to know they have an authentic audience who can connect with them.
  • Commenting can be an ideal way for parents to get involved in the classroom (virtual parent helpers!)
  • A single comment can be the start of a fantastic working relationship or friendship. You never know where that can take you and/or your students.

The Blogging Cycle

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 students realize they are writing for a global audience — for many it’s incredibly motivating.

Must Watch Video

We recommend you watch The Possibility of Student Blogging by Andrea Hernandez and Slivia Tolisano.

This video provides an excellent explanation of the blogging, the commenting process, the 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.

Note: Comments are disabled on pages by default and can be enabled.

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

Dealing With Comments

The great thing about comments is you have control over moderation and approval. Refer to the following support documents for more information on dealing with comments.

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Examples Of Comments On Class Blogs

These examples of comments on class blogs to demonstrate just a few of the ways comments can be used by educators and students.

  1. Two Truths and One Lie: A Culture Exchange (Miss Jordan’s grade 3/4 students in Australia had a commenting conversation with some of their blogging buddies in the USA)
  2. Learning in 21 — You Are Invited (Grade 3 students wrote a comment to their teacher)
  3. St Charles Borromeo students run a Mystery Word competition that students can comment on.
  4. Roslyn Green’s high school history class (Night of Notables) and English class (G is for Gratitude) wrote some insightful reflections in their comments.

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How To Add Comments

To leave a comment on a post, simply:

1. Click on the heading of the post you wish to comment on or the ‘comment’ link at the top or 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 in the box.

5. Enter the anti-spam word.

6.  Select ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail‘ if you want to get an email when other people comment (so you know if people reply to you etc.).

7. Click Post Comment

Comment form

Below is a video from Kathleen Morris explaining how to add a comment for students.  

Note: Email address isn’t required in her example as the email requirement has been disabled in Settings > Discussion.

Want to make your own ‘How to comment’ video? Try a free tool like Screencastify or Loom.

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Teaching Quality Commenting Skills

If commenting skills are not taught and constantly reinforced, there can be a tendency for students to limit their comments to things like,

  • “I like your blog!”
  • “Awsom 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :)”
  • “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, modeling, revising, and promoting high quality writing of comments, students can make great gains in their overall literacy development.

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

Developing strong commenting skills also provides a good foundation for when you move students on to writing posts on the class blog or their own student blogs.

The following diagram summarizes a scaffolded approach to blogging in the classroom. It begins with the teacher being responsible for the posts while the students learn quality commenting skills.

We explained this progressive model more in step three. 

Scaffolding blogging

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How To Teach Quality Commenting Skills

In her post on commenting, Kathleen Morris shares eight ideas to encourage a culture of quality commenting.

  1. Blogging guidelines: Set high standards to ensure students are using correct writing conventions and practicing things like asking questions, staying on topic, making connections, complimenting in a specific way etc. See below for examples.
  2. Be consistent: Consider spending a couple of minutes each day or a few times a week focusing on commenting as a whole class. You might read comments together, write replies together, and have students come up with constructive feedback. Embed blogging into your routine.
  3. Use mini lessons. You can embed on-the-spot commenting tutorials into whole class blogging time. You might choose a comment to reply to as a class. The teacher can model how to write a quality comment with input from students. Check out some mini lesson ideas Kathleen put together with annotated examples a number of years ago.
  4. Use explicit lessons. Come up with a few more detailed lessons on commenting. For example, Kathleen used to give her grade two students some example comments to sort. Older students could find examples themselves and analyze them on a much deeper level.
  5. Integrate. When you use literacy lessons to teach various conventions (like letter writing, editing, grammar, spelling, punctuation etc.) have students practice these concepts through commenting. If you have literacy rotations, blogging is always an excellent activity station!
  6. Involve parents. Family members have the potential to be regular commenters on your class blog. We need to bring this potential to life. Just one idea is sending parents an email asking them to comment on a specific post with their child. Well know blogger, Linda Yollis, gives parents suggestions, such as typing for their child but leaving errors for them to correct. Step six of this series offers lots of ideas on helping parents and students connect with the class blog.
  7. Connect with others. There are so many ways you can connect with other classes around the world to create authentic opportunities for both writing and receiving comments. The Student Blogging Challenge which begins in March and October each year is a good place to start. #Comments4Kids is a Twitter hashtag you can use and follow too.
  8. End with a question. A question at the end of a blog post is an invitation to comment. You can teach students about using open ended questions, and help them understand the etiquette of replying to comments too.

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Six Activities For Developing Commenting Skills

Here are some suggestions for activities you can use to develop your students’ commenting skills.

1. Commenting videos

Videos can be a great way to introduce students to the art of commenting.

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

Linda’s students have also created this excellent video with tips for quality writing on blogs.

Watch Ten Tips For Great Blog Comments by Bloggin’ Frogs students.

Silvia Tolisano’s students put together this impressive report into quality commenting. 

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

2.  Create commenting guidelines 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 from different age groups:

Tell them something you like about their work

Ask them a question

Give a suggestion

Remember, use others’ guidelines for ideas but don’t copy others’ work without permission and acknowledgment.

A page is a good place to document guidelines. Refer to Step 2: Set Up Pages for more information on pages.  

As an alternative to displaying guidelines through text, you could get your students to create their own videos on writing quality comments.

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

3.  Create a commenting guideline poster

How to write a quality blog comment Kathleen MorrisA poster is a great way to make a visual representation of your commenting guidelines.

A poster could be made by the teacher or the students.

Display your poster in the classroom, on a blog page, and send it home to share with parents and caregivers.

You could make a digital poster in Canva, PowerPoint, or any number of online tools

Short on time? Kathleen Morris has shared her commenting guidelines poster on her blog which you’re welcome to download and use.

4.  Develop a quality comment evaluation guide or rubric

Point system

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

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


Another idea for setting standards for commenting, writing, or blogging in general is using a rubric.

Teachers could make this to meet the needs of their class, or students could create their own.

Here are three examples:

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’s an excellent example of introducing students to reading student blog posts and learning how to write comments.

6.  Try paper blogging

Paper blogging is a hands-on, concrete 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

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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Commonly Asked Comment Questions

There are some commonly asked questions that we receive at Edublogs Support. Let’s break them down.

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1.  How do you enable comments on pages?

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

You can enable 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 enable comments on.

3. Hover over its title to bring up its action menu.

Click on Quick Edit

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

Allow 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 hundreds 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. You’ll learn more about widgets in step five of this series. 

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

By default, anyone 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 the ‘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 to protect blogs against spam bots.

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. If you created something for your blog like some commenting guidelines, feel free to put the link to your blog in the comment so we can take a look!
  2. Read through the most recent comments in reply to this step and leave a response to another person’s comment.

415 thoughts on “Step 4: Teach Quality Commenting Skills

  1. Hi Bloggers,
    I was happy to see Kathleen Morris was willing to share her Quality Comments poster.
    I have put it on a page as a reference on my blog. I also like the videos that were done by children to talk about quality comments. Once I am in the classroom, I would like to create a video like this with my students.

  2. I added a short guide on how to properly respond/comment. I mentioned that they should remain respectful and thoughtful. After reading through the activities I found the interacting with parents section intriguing! I’ll definitely keep mind of that for my blog.
    -Jasmine Mahusain

  3. I allowed for my students to comment on blog posts, I am encouraging 3-5 sentence responses that consist of more than just “wow what a great post”.

    1. Wow what a great comment! Just kidding, it’s great that you are encouraging students to give some thought to their replies, this makes their interaction so much more meaningful.

    2. Hi Alaina,
      It sounds like 3-5 sentences is a good guideline for comments. I’m just started with blogging. Do you find it difficult to keep up with reading all the comments?


    3. I thought this was a great idea. I used it in my guidelines, I feel like it is a good rule to have especially to encourage students to use and get used to using professional language!

  4. I created a Commenting Guidelines page, and opened comments so that students could post that they “have read and agree to following these guidelines”.

  5. I teach in an area where student commenting on social media posts such as blogs (including edublogs) are not permitted. So for this reason, i have not actioned the blog commenting activity.

    However, in the “real world” comments are extremely important. It encourages collaboration and conversation, promotes your own blog and provides further learning opportunities.

    1. I couldn’t imagine these kinds of restrictions. I hope this doesn’t cause much of a problem for you. Thanks for sharing.

  6. A poster can be made with the aid of the teacher or the students.Teachers may want to make this to satisfy the wishes in their class, or college students may want to create their personal.A one factor remark is a trendy comment that doesn’t add a good deal to the conversation.Publish a weblog post about commenting and what you outline as a first-rate comment and then have your students exercise leaving a “exceptional” comment on the publish.

    1. Are you asking students to think and speak as an adult? Or do you leave room for them to comment as they would if speaking to one another?

    1. Mrs. Dewar, I looked at your comment page and I thought it was designed very well. Not only did you have information on how to comment, but you had a poster of rules that helps everyone on what is expected in a comment. You did a great job!
      Katlyn Kennedy

    2. Great blog, very useful for students and parents who may not be familiar with the blogging world. Love that you’re trying to make it as stress free as possible.

  7. This is a great step in the process! I am not completely ready to have a class blog, but I am going to revisit this page for the lessons on commenting. We use platforms like seesaw and google classroom, and it is true, a lot of the comments are happyface happyface happyface. I know we can do better! Thanks!

  8. I appreciate so many of you commenting about how crucial scaffolding comments is. I always get very excited and want to do everything all at once. For once I am really going to try to go slow and be methodical and really truly build that foundation of skills. I read in once comment that using post-its was a great way to comment on an article, I think I might do that and then put their comments on the projector and go over then as a class.

  9. I think that the rubric is a great idea for blog comments so that students know what they can improve on for next time. It makes grading of comments systematic and fair. Parents can also see what their student’s comments should look like so that when they are blogging with them at home, they will be able to guide them.

  10. Thanks for this article.
    Commenting ability is a must to comment on anyone’s blog, articles. Firstly you can understand the topic you can comment on.

  11. It is good to know about commenting skills as i have created some commenting guidelines so that students will learn something new. Parents can also learn these guidelines, as these guidelines helps in parenting skills education.

  12. I am new to blogging and I am thinking of introducing blogs as a part of the learning process only next school year, however, information provided here is very useful and essential for me. I realized that I have to prepare them for it before I start. I created some guidlines but they must be improved later. Right now me and my class are practicing commenting on post-it notes, each lesson I give them a short article to read on our topic and before leaving, everyone must leave their comment, next lesson we discuss our ideas. It’s similar to paper commenting. I will definitely take these ideas into account.

    1. I think this is a great idea! This sounds like an excellent way to segway students into blogging. Sometimes it is necessary to take baby steps and break things into small steps. I think this is a wonderful way to introduce students to the blogging process.

    1. I am trying something very similar right now. I hope it will help my students to understand what are my expectations.

  13. I created a General Blogging Guideline in which I included on for Comments. I did not invent them, I researched for good ideas and added them to my list not without giving each contributor a mention. I still worked on paper blogging and students had a great time creating a post and commenting on it.

    1. Marlisspr, I hadn’t thought about some of the 10 things you post as “Comments Approval Protocol” if you allow me I will put some of those great ideas into use.

  14. I’ve a classroom of 15 very shy students and I think commenting is going to be a huge challenge for them. Up till now comments consist of “hi” or “I like books” neither of which are very helpful to their peer writers. This is the first year we’ve had a Creative Writing class at my current school in many years and I’ve included (intentionally) digital-citizenship elements since 21st Century writers must be savvy users of new technologies and that means making meaningful comments. I’ll be using the post-it lesson to start and hope to create confident commenters before the semester ends.

    1. Good luck! I’d love you to report back with insights once you give it a go. There are probably others in the same boat. It can be hard to put yourself out there in posts or comments. Hopefully you’ll be able to gradually change the culture! Maybe giving them a framework like TAG to begin would help?

      Tell them something you like about their work

      Ask them a question

      Give a suggestion

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager

  15. I created some very basic blog guidelines. http://jlchafin.edublogs.org/blog-guidelines/ I want students to interact, but we’re not going to be able to use the blog in quite the way some classes or some schools do. My students don’t always have access to technology during a school day, and I haven’t set them up to expect to need to do assignments on the blog. I plan to do more of that next school year.

    1. These are great guidelines and I love the idea of creating videos for your students too. Good luck!

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager

  16. We tried the paper commenting, attempting to create a discussion. We talked through each comment and decided if it was a quality comment or not. We are hoping this will support them when they actually begin to comment on blogs in the next few weeks. Does anyone have any top tips?

    1. I am in the same situation as you! I am going to try to model with an on paper practice with all students so they can see what a positive and complete comment looks like. We have created a safe and healthy environment and my students have a lot of practice posting to discussions on our LMS but it is very different when it goes to the rest of the world. I am excited for this teaching moment. Good luck!

  17. I have a small number of pupils with low literacy abilities. So comments by pupils are few However I hope to use our ICT time in the computer suite to support pupils to read one another’s postings and make comments. The pupils are quite competitive about the number of comments they receive.
    At the moment, parents and carers are supplying most of the comments. This is great, because it is a way of getting parents involved in their children’s schoolwork. Links between school and home are important, and the more ways we can foster them the better.
    It would be so good to have links with other schools so we could both comment on one anothers blog posts.

    1. This sounds like a great plan and it’s good to hear you have some interest from parents. Long time blogger Linda Yollis encourages her parents to write comments at home with their child. She suggests that the parents can type but leave a couple of errors that the child has to spot. I wonder if this is something that would work for your families.

      Good luck!
      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager

  18. Hi! Since I teach grown up students (from 20 to 30 years old) some of the activities seam kind of simple for them. So what I did, and I want to add it was really interesting for me, was to create a Rubric about the quality of the comments. I will sahre it with my students so that they learn how to develope skills for better commenting.
    I found very usefull the rubric from Silvia Tolisano.
    I also add some information about commenting in this page

  19. As I’m working on setting up the blog for my students, we established guidelines today for commenting and posting. I showed my juniors a couple examples of pages, and in small groups they designed their own. I’m working on compiling them into a list that works for our own page now!

      1. I agree, it will help the students to really think about what rules they need to follow regarding commenting and posting. I am going to also do a similar task with mine, then all agreeing on the rules, then displaying them on the blog. Did you get round to doing it with your students? Did they enjoy it?

  20. I have introduced paper blogging and it such a success! We have taken our class paper blogs to another class and have began to teach them about how to comment! I will be uploading their teaching on our blog soon! Please check it out:

  21. Today, my students are looking at examples of class blogs with student blogs attached. They are also gathering information on blogging topics, organization, and blog inspiration. Part of their assignment (January 22) is to add a comment to my post. My goal is to use their real comments to create Comment Guidelines later this week in the computer lab. You can check out my ‘assignment’ at: http://msshenderson.edublogs.org/

    1. Hello,
      I like the idea of introducing blogging in steps. That’s how I plan on doing it also. I have had my students starting out by writing journal entries on Google docs. They share these with me. We are now ready for the commenting phase. I’m really excited and I think my students will be too.

  22. The “you are posting comments too quickly” phrase became the joke in my classes as we added our inaugural comments to a student’s guest post on the class blog. I developed a digital series of lessons incorporating many of edublog’s resources to teach my students about appropriate commenting. I even developed a Google form for them to vote on the guidelines they wanted to use to whittle them into a manageable number.

    Recently, students were tasked with teaching family how to comment appropriately on our blog and guided their parents through the posts. The parents were enthusiastic and specific in the comments which thrilled all of the students.

    My technology department is monitoring our progress with great interest. The students love the extra attention to their writing efforts and particularly enjoy comments from afar. Here’s to many more to come!
    Trish https://mrsdsroadrunners.edublogs.org/2019/01/04/your-future/

    1. Hi Trish,
      That’s terrific that you involved the parents with such success and your tech department is supportive too! Let’s hope the enthusiasm continues throughout the year. I love your idea of voting on the guidelines too. You have lots of great tips to share with others!

    2. I am blogging with a group of high school seniors and their commenting skills are severely lacking compared to yours. Great job! I will try having mine post more constructively once their portfolios are on line.

    3. This is so amazing! I will be using this to instruct my own teaching. Our parents have left such meaningful comments so far… THANKFULLY!

  23. For now, I just created a version of Commenting Guidelines. I am working with 11th grade students in a writing course, so I kept it simple and to the point. However, I like the idea of the paper blog to practice commenting. I will have to try it out when the new semester begins.
    Here is a link to my Guidelines: http://tselby.edublogs.org/commenting-guidelines/

    1. Great guidelines! I’m wonder what the acronym G.U.M. stands for? Grammar…?

      I like the way your guidelines are clear and straight to the point.

  24. I found this lesson very helpful. I saw things I have been doing and some things I will add as my class moves forward. Thank you for all the tips.

  25. Wow, like Vicki I have already created a page on how to comment but after reading this I see that I am only halfway there. I love Miss Yollis’ student video on commenting. Very cute. And the info is great. I am looking at how I can fire up teenagers in a way that speaks to them. I will have to think a little about that one!

    1. I also like the idea of a video that appeals to and engages students. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    1. I’m going to try paper blogging as well… with juniors and 7th graders. I think it will be valuable for both age groups.

    2. I am going to try paper blogging with my students this week. I like your ideas of then transitioning them to technology and video lessons. My students learn best from other students. I teach 8th grade and think they will enjoy the transition from paper to tech.

  26. We are currently on break and I don’t have a chance to work with my students. However, I have started a class and set the defaults for posting and commenting.

  27. Before participating in the Student Blogging Challenge, I taught my students how to write effective comments using the posted videos and graphics, and I created a page with our guidelines to remind them of what is included in a effective comment. This semester, I would love to involve parents and get them more active in commenting on student blogs. I would also love to have my students comment on our class blog more frequently to practice effective commenting.

    Here’s our page on commenting – http://lchs7write.edublogs.org/commenting/

  28. I teach political science to college students, and so while I am going to start out with no moderation of comments, I’m ambivalent. I want my students to participate and have a free, open discussion. But I also know that students sometimes need more maturity, empathy, and thoughtfulness to make well-crafted, critical, and yet cordial comment on each others’ posts. I added a comment to my sample post, http://rackaway.edublogs.org/2018/12/17/expanding-details-on-russian-elections-meddling-in-2016/#comment-2, and I hope that by using that example students will understand the tone I expect in their commentary on each others’ posts. Any other users here who deal with political issues and possible vitriol that goes with them?

  29. We started with a blogging on paper lesson to introduce commenting. I printed 4 articles that I knew students would have emotional reactions to from NewsELA. I taped the articles to butcher paper and hung them up around the room. Students were given sticky notes and asked to leave a comment based on their reaction to the article.

    This lead to lots of great discussions! We talked about writing in a way that demands people take our opinion seriously, especially when it’s the unpopular opinion. We also talked about how to agree beyond a one or two-word response.

    This also makes for a great lesson for using text evidence to support opinions or claims.

    1. Hi Heidi,
      These are fantastic! You could even do a one-line summary for each guideline in bold or a different colour but leave the great description you’ve written for people who want to read more??

    2. I don’t feel it is too wordy. If you wanted, you could create a shorter version at the top and if they need more information they could refer to the bottom.

    3. Your Blog looks great! I really like your comment guidelines. I don’t think they are too wordy. It you still do, maybe make a shorter version for students and keep that one for parents. But again I don’t think it is necessary especially if you go over everything with the students in class.

  30. This has been my favorite step so far. There is so much awesome information in this step! I like many of the activities to teach quality commenting. My plan is to show some videos about commenting to my students first, then share examples of both quality and poor commenting and discuss them as a class, practice with paper blogging, have students comment on one of my posts, and eventually use rubrics to evaluate my students’ posts and comments. Thank you so much for all of these ideas!!!

    1. Fantastic plan, Becky! Spending that time on teaching commenting will really pay off. I think showing examples can be really powerful and as you teach older students you might even want to have them browse some blogs and share some examples they come across of high/low quality comments! Good luck!

      1. Kathleen, do you have any suggestions on blogs to direct students to for the purpose of evaluating comments?

        1. Hi Heidi,
          Our list of class blogs might help? We update it around every May and November so we’ll be going through it again next month. https://www.theedublogger.com/check-out-these-class-blogs/

          Another resource might be the list of classes and students that have signed up to take part in the Student Blogging Challenge. There might not be many comments currently but the challenge begins next week (Oct 7) so the comments should start coming in then!

          Hope that helps a bit!

    2. I think that is a very good idea. I was taking for granted that my students could start commenting just like that. But it may be a good idea to spend some time during the class watching some videos and trying some comments on a paper…
      And I agree with you, This was a very interesting step, with a lot of information about things that I haven´t though before.

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