Attracting Blog Comments

There is no denying that students get a lot more out of blogging when they receive comments. Comments provide feedback, encouragement, advice, positive reinforcement, learning, conversation and new ways of thinking among other things.

Kathleen Morris

2012 is the fifth year I have been blogging with my class and I have learnt that there are some tips for attracting comments to your blog.

For the first year or two of blogging we received very few comments. When I look back, I can hardly believe that I was motivated to keep going when so many posts were not commented on. Now every post on our class blog receives anywhere between 30 and 80 comments. I am glad I kept going!

Jakob Nielson wrote an interesting article about participation in online communities. While the article is now five years old, I think the key message holds truth today. To summarise, “In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.”

While I have found this to be true, I would suggest that the education community (students, parents and teachers) can be influenced a little more than the general online community. We have a vested interest in supporting children!

12 tips for attracting more comments on your class or student blogs

  • Be part of the blogging community: To put it simply, you can’t expect people to comment on your blog if you don’t ever comment on theirs. There is an active community in the educational blogosphere and you will reap the rewards if you get involved in it.
  • Finish your post with questions: Take some of the guesswork out of commenting and give readers some suggestions on what they could comment on. This is something that I have found works very well with my class blog. Make sure you include open-ended questions that appeal to a wide audience.
  • Don’t write all the answers: I may be a little guilty of this with this post but if you write an open-ended/incomplete post then people feel like they have something to contribute and will be more likely to comment. I find that if everything has already been said in a post and I feel like I don’t really have much to add, I would be less likely to comment.
  • Educate readers on how to comment: Don’t assume that all teachers/parents/students know how to leave a comment. I provide parent handouts and a video on how to comment. You might choose to have a “how to comment” page on your class blog like I have.
  • Reply to comments: I believe that it is basic blogging etiquette to reply to all/most comments. Acknowledge your readers’ comments, interact with them and they will be encouraged to comment again.
  • Be original and diverse: I encourage my students to post about not only what appeals to them but what they think might appeal to their audience. I think this is important in the development of their writing skills and of course is a good way to attract comments. Including a diverse range of posts allows you to offer something to suit everyone.
  • Publish in a timely manner: People won’t be very interested in commenting on an event that happened three weeks ago. We try to publish a post as soon as possible after a class event on the 4KM and 4KJ blog. Students and families are more likely to comment when their enthusiasm about an event is high.
  • Publicly read and praise comments: We start each school day with 20 minutes of whole-class blogging. This provides a chance for students to read out the comments they have left at home and school in the past 24 hours. We have found that there was a big increase in comments when we started doing this. Students respond well to praise and are eager to get their five minutes of fame.
  • Hold a commenting event: We have held a few special class events to stir up some new enthusiasm for commenting with great success. Some of these events included the Family Blogging Afternoon and Family Blogging Month competition.
  • Invite people to comment: Every fortnight I send out an e-newsletter to parents. I often ask them to comment on a particular post. When people are directly asked, they are sometimes more likely to commit to doing something.
  • Inform people of new posts: You need to make it easy for people to know when you have a new post. If they don’t know about your posts, they’re not going to comment. Set up an email subscription and RSS feed, and consider using Twitter to publicise posts.
  • Have a pattern to publishing: Readers get to know whether you have a blog that is updated a few times a week, a few times a month or less regularly. Personally, I’m more likely to comment on blogs with a regular pattern of posting – even if it is only updated semi-frequently. Blogs that are updated very rarely or sporadically are easy to forget about.

Remember, it takes work and ongoing effort to attract comments on your blog, however once you build up the momentum the effort decreases and the rewards increase!

What has been your experience with blog comments?

What other tips do you have for attracting blog comments?

The Power of Twitter

In the last few weeks Kelly Jordan and I have been speaking to teachers and school leaders at the VITTA conference, ICON conference and our own school about the power of Twitter.

In our presentation we shared how we use Twitter every day as a form of ongoing, personalised and invaluable professional development. We stressed that Twitter not only makes us better teachers but impacts on our students.

We concluded our presentation with an example of the power of Twitter; sharing how it helped to connect one of my seven year old students to the world.

Jarrod is a student in my grade two class who earnt his own blog in June of this year.

When my students write posts on their blogs, I often promote their post with a tweet using the hashtag #comments4kids. You can read more about that wonderful hashtag here.

One Friday night in July, Jarrod wrote a new blog post asking his readers to vote on his poll to help choose his next blog post. Jarrod had only been blogging for a few weeks and had a very small readership.

Jarrod's blog poll

I sent out a tweet to my PLN and the #comments4kids followers encouraging them to support Jarrod.

Jarrod tweet

The response was amazing! My single tweet was retweeted 17 times.

Jarrod retweet Two

27 people took the time to leave a comment on Jarrod’s blog post.

42 conversations Jarrod

Jarrod’s Clustrmap showed 113 visits in 24 hours.

Jarrod Clustrmap 113 visits

The poll Jarrod put in his blog post showed 117 votes.

Jarrod poll

The next morning, Jarrod’s mum emailed me: “You should have seen Jarrod’s face when he saw his post this morning, he was so excited!”

Without Twitter, Jarrod would not have had an authentic audience for his work. He would not have received validation and encouragement from a wide range of teachers, education professionals and students. Jarrod would not have received the positive reinforcement that showed him his voice counts.

Jarrod is seven years old and is now connected to the world. Many of the people who visited Jarrod’s blog on this one night in July have returned to offer Jarrod more encouragement, support and conversation.

All this from one tweet…

How have you experienced the power of Twitter?

15 Blogging Tips for Students and Teachers

This post was originally published last year as 10 Blogging Tips for Students and Teachers.

As I regularly help students and other teachers set up their blogs, I find myself giving lots of little tips that I have picked up on my own blogging journey.

My list of tips keeps expanding and I thought it was timely to republish an updated version of this post.

Many of these ideas have originally come from some of my blogging “mentors” such as Linda Yollis and Sue Waters.

Here are 10 15 Blogging Tips for Students and Teachers

1. Post frequency: Find a balance. Don’t post too often (ie. daily) otherwise you will not be able to generate much conversation through commenting and readers won’t be able to keep up. Post too infrequently (ie. monthly) and your readers might start to forget about you.

I advise my students to post no more than once or twice a week, while three times a week works well for my class blog. Decide what works for you.

2. Reply to comments: I am often disappointed by student and adult bloggers who do not reply to their comments on their own blog. I feel that it is basic blogging etiquette to reply. Acknowledge your readers’ comments, interact with them and they will be encouraged to comment again.

3. Have an “About” page: The first thing I do when I visit a new blog is look at the About page. I am always disappointed when there isn’t one! Don’t keep your readers in the dark about who you are and what you’re blogging about.

4. Theme changes: Students love playing around with different themes when they first start blogging. I encourage them to explore for a week or so but then advice them to find a good theme and stick with it. Readers may be able to identify less with your blog if it looks different every time they visit it.

5. Fun widgets: Young bloggers love widgets! In my opinion, it is advisable to limit “fun” or “novelty” widgets. Too many widgets take away from the actual content of the blog posts and can slow down loading time! I suggest my students have no more than three “fun widgets” such as virtual pets, Christmas countdowns, jokes, tips, music clips etc.

6. Add a search box: Early on in the year, I teach my students how to use the search box on blogs to find content. I find it frustrating when blogs don’t have the search box. This simple tool allows readers to find what they’re looking for and means when your posts are no longer on the front page, they won’t be lost.

7. Subscribe via email: While I also use Google Reader and Twitter to keep track of blogs I like, I love having the ability to subscribe via email to my favourite blogs. Adding this feature could bring more regular visitors to your blog.

8. Add links to blog posts and comments: Links help your visitors gain a deeper understanding of what they’re reading. Links in blog posts can also be used to acknowledge or compliment others’ work. Links in blog comments can add extra information to a conversation. If you don’t know how to add a link to a blog comment, check out Linda Yollis’ excellent blog post and quick video.

9. Visit other blogs: You can’t expect many people to read and comment on your blog if you don’t read and comment on others’ blogs. You have to be part of the blogging community to get the most out of blogging.

10. End with a question: On my class blog and this blog I like to end with a question to stimulate and direct conversation in the comment section. My Grade Two bloggers are learning how to ask “broader” questions that will appeal to more readers (eg. if a child writes a post about a holiday to Noosa, instead of simply asking “have you ever been to Noosa?” they could ask readers to leave a comment and describe a holiday they have been on etc).

11. Don’t lose your comment: All my students now know how to select all (Control A) and copy (Control C) their comment before they hit “submit”. This allows them to paste (Control V) the comment if something goes wrong when they hit the “submit” button. This happens fairly frequently with young students due to the wrong spam word being entered etc. Read My grade two student Millie’s post about this tip here.

12. Left align your writing: I used to be guilty of centering all of my text until I realised this is not easy on the eye and not what professional writers do (always good to look to the professionals for guidance when in doubt). Style guides usually suggest that centered text is best for invitations, posters, headings etc.

13. Use paragraphs and sub-headings: As a writer, you need to do as much as you can to make your post easy to read. I am likely to stop reading something that doesn’t have any paragraph breaks. The more your writing is spaced out the better. Having key words or sub heading in bold/colour can also make your post easier on the eye.

14. Don’t copy and paste from MS Word: If you’ve been blogging for a while you may have experienced the dreaded consequence of copying and pasting text from Microsoft Word into a blog post. It is a big no no! Doing this can give you bad code which can ruin the layout of your blog.

If you do want to copy and paste from Word you either need to paste the text into the HTML section of your editor or paste the text into Notepad (or the Mac equivalent) and then copy and paste that text into your post editor. If you want to read more about this, check out Sue Waters’ post here.

15. Stick with it: One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is to give up too easily. Stick with it and reap the rewards!

Are any of these tips new ideas for you?

What other blogging tips can you think of? There must be lots more!

Integrating Blogging into the Curriculum

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been speaking to many teachers about educational blogging. Sometimes I feel like I live, breathe and dream blogging, so talking on this topic isn’t hard!

Kelly Jordan and I were so pleased with the feedback from our DEECD Innovations Showcase and ICTEV Conference presentations. This has led to many follow up conversations and even a presentation via Skype to staff at Edna Sackson’s school.

A question we have been asked and addressed many times is:

“How do you integrate blogging into your curriculum?”

This is the fourth year I have been blogging with my students. For the first couple of years, I just fit blogging in wherever I could find time. This might have been a few minutes squeezed in during transition times or while the kids were eating their lunches.

I soon realised this was not the best way to unleash the full benefits of blogging.

Like all new ways of working, blogging needs to be prioritised and planned for. It then becomes a habit and the true benefits are realised.

Kelly Jordan and I team teach in an open classroom with 43 students and 10 computers. We don’t have the luxury of a 1:1 program or bank of laptops. We use whole class, small group and rotation structures to make blogging work for us.

This is what blogging looks like in our classroom.

Start the day with blogging

After marking the roll, we spend the first 20 minutes of each day on blogging. Our focus changes each day but we might

  • read our latest blog post together
  • have students read out the comments they left overnight (great way to motivate students to keep commenting at home!)
  • look at one of our blogging buddies’ blogs. We never know what we’re going to learn!
  • compose a “quality comment” together as a class
  • look at our ClustrMap and discuss place value and geography.

This is the lead in to our Literacy Block so we draw in elements of literacy. If we’re focussing on paragraphs, capital letters, full stops, adjectives or whatever, we’ll talk about this while looking at blog comments.

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A student reads out the coment she wrote at home.

Blogging in the Literacy Block

Like all junior primary classes here in Victoria, we have a two hour Literacy Block each day. Read more about it here. Every week, one of the activities students complete is blogging on the computers. We call this “working on writing” as it is an authentic way for the students to be practicing their writing.

Blogging in the Computer Lab

We’re at a big school where, due to timetable restraints, our Grade Two students only have specialist ICT classes for the second half of the year. Luckily there are some hours in the computer lab free each week so Kelly and I take our students there once a week. With 43 students it is generally one computer between two but it is a great way to have a focussed blogging session and the students get a lot out of working with a friend.

We have a different focus each week but it often involves responding to a certain post on our blog or our blogging buddies’ blogs.

Whenever we get the chance…

Because blogging is so ingrained in the daily routine in our classroom, our students often ask us if they can blog when they finish their work.

One teacher recently asked us “how do you get to the point where your students are wanting to work on blogging?”. I think it is about creating that culture in your classroom where it is a regular way of working and not an add-on. Blogging for the sake of it or trying to blog on top of the regular classroom curriculum just isn’t going to work. We have a crowded curriculum! Find ways to embed it into what you are already doing. The first place to start is your Literacy Block as blogging is all about literacy. I’d love to hear how you do it!

Check out Henrietta Miller’s post here to find more advice on this topic!

How do you integrate blogging into your curriculum?

Connecting with Other Classes Through Blogging

One of the things I love most about blogging with my class is the global connections we have developed. When I first started blogging in 2008, I didn’t even think about the possibility of connecting with other classes. It was a good six months before we started to cross paths with other blogging classes around the world.

One of the first connections we made was with Mrs Yollis’ third grade class in California. Read one of the first posts about our friendship on Mrs Yollis’ class blog here. Our friendship has now developed over three years of blogging with different cohorts of students.

There have been so many highlights from our connection with Mrs Yollis’ class. Apart from regular conversations through comments on each others blogs, we have skyped a number of times, worked on many collaborative projects together and one of my students has even visited Mrs Yollis’ class. Excitingly, that number will increase to two this week!

Photo courtesy Linda Yollis

Riley meets Mrs Yollis! Photo courtesy Linda Yollis

On a personal level, I have learnt so much from Linda Yollis and she has shown me the power of setting high standards for students, involving families and taking risks (among other things).

Mrs Yollis’ class is not the only class we call our blogging buddies. There are classes from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and Australia featured on our blogroll who we have had meaningful connections with.

I have found many teachers are inspired to embark on blogging with their class when they realise what a powerful avenue for global collaboration blogs are.

Here are some tips for forming friendships with other blogging classes:

DO

  • Visit Sue Waters’s compilation of class blogs from around the world and add your blog to the list.
  • Work on building your own PLN. Twitter is a great meeting place for teachers who want their classes to connect.
  • Show a genuine interest in blogs you start commenting on and work on being an active member of the blogging community.
  • Find blogs that are at a similar stage to you. If you have just started blogging, you might get more out of a connection with someone at a similar stage as you rather than someone who has been blogging for many years with an extensive blogroll.
  • Hunt for like minded educators. The teachers I have bonded most with are those who have classes around the same age group, who post at a similar frequency, who have a regular online presence and who share similar teaching philosophies and goals for blogging.
  • Keep blogging relationships student centred. While I enjoy collaborating with other teachers, our core business is the students. Help students to get to know their blogging buddies, develop their relationships and extend their learning.
  • Smart small by getting into the routine of commenting on your new buddies’ blogs before delving in to more structured collaboration.
  • Encourage parents to be part of your blogging community and comment on your buddies’ blogs or attend Skype sessions. Blogging is something your whole school community can be a part of!

DON’T

  • Rush in to finding blogging buddies before you establish your class blog. I have found it is most beneficial to ensure your students know the basics of blogging such as safety, etiquette and quality commenting before embarking on collaborative ventures.
  • Start writing comments on random blogs simply saying “please visit my blog”. I see this all too often! Like all friendships, blogging relationships require give and take and develop from genuine interest.
  • Introduce your students to too many different blogs at once. In 2009, I tried to have my students comment on and keep up with dozens of different blogs which only resulted in confusion for both me and my class. We launched this year with our Quad Blogging project and have three core blogs we visit regularly. Additionally, we have a variety of other blogs that we drop in on on a semi-frequent basis which were introduced after we got to know our Quad Blogging buddies. We get a LOT of people visiting our blog and asking us to connect with their class but there is only so much we can do. I no longer feel compelled to start ongoing relationships with ALL of our visitors.
  • Give up – if you have trouble finding a suitable class to connect with or finding time to develop relationships, keep trying! It is worth it.

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What are your tips for forming friendships with other blogging classes?

Family Blogging Afternoon

One of the many benefits of having a class blog is the strengthening of home-school relationships.

After having a class blog for a number of years, I have come to realise that you can’t leave parent participation to chance. Parents needs to be educated and regularly encouraged and invited to be part of your class blog.

Recently, I wrote a guest post on the Edublogs Teacher Challenge blog about encouraging parent participation. Click here to read it.

Last year I also wrote a post on this blog about some methods I have used to encourage parent participation. Click here to read that.

Today my class held a Family Blogging Afternoon. It was a great success!

Last week, all of my students made an invitation to give to a special person in their family. The family member was asked to come to our school at 2:30pm Wednesday to learn about blogging.

Invitation

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We had parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members come along. Almost all students brought someone along and proudly showed off our class blog.

We launched our Family Blogging Afternoon by skyping our blogging buddy in California, Mrs Yollis.

(Thanks Mrs Yollis for the photo below from her end of the Skype call!)

Skype

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Mrs Yollis told everyone about some of the benefits of educational blogging in regards to literacy, community building, geography and internet safety. It was fantastic for the parents to see how we connect with others via Skype while hearing about the benefits of blogging from another experienced teacher.

Following the Skype session, all the students showed their special person a copy of our poster about writing quality comments.

The students then taught their special person how to navigate our class blog and how to leave a quality comment.

I prepared a special post for the parents to comment on that asked them to reflect how school had changed since they were students. Last year I discovered that these sorts of posts appeal to parents. Everyone has a story to tell about their youth. Some fantastic comments were produced with the students’ guidance.

I team teach with Kelly Jordan and we have 42 grade two students between us. We used our 10 classroom computers, 2 interactive whiteboards, 9 mini laptops (borrowed from another class) and school computer lab (26 computers) to provide enough computers for all students and family members.

What a fantastic afternoon full of fun, learning and community building!

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Have you thought about having a Family Blogging Afternoon?

What do you do to encourage parent participation in your class blog?

Student and Teacher Blogging Challenges

Whatever stage you’re at with blogging, there is always something new to learn. Fortunately, there is a great community of educational bloggers online and many different ways to engage in professional learning available. Even if you’re the only blogger at your school, you are not alone!

The Student Blogging Challenge and Teacher Blogging Challenge are two excellent forms of free professional development for bloggers.

Student challenge

Teacher challenge

These challenges were created by Sue Wyatt with support from Sue Waters and Ronnie Burt at Edublogs, and Anne Mirtschin.

This Venn Diagram summarises the two challenges:

(Tip: click on the image below to enlarge it)

Teacher Student Blogging Challenges Venn diagram

New Teacher and Student Blogging challenges are beginning soon, so head over to the respective websites to sign yourself or your students up.

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My Teacher Challenge Guest Posts

Last week, I was invited to write two guest posts for the Teacher Blogging Challenge.

Even if you’re not taking part in the challenge, if you’re currently blogging with your students you may find the information useful.

POST ONE Teaching Quality Commenting

POST TWOHelping Parents Connect with Your Class Blog

student challenge guest post

Have you been involved in any of the Student or Teacher Blogging Challenges? What did you get out of them?

How do you learn about blogging?

QuadBlogging

Update: David Mitchell launched the official QuadBlogging site in June 2011. Click here to find it. This is the place to go to sign up for quad blogging and find out all about it.

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If you’re on Twitter you may have heard the term QuadBlogging being thrown around lately. I first heard about it from Pam Thompson who started QuadBlogging with her year 6/7 class in January.

QuadBlogging is an idea that  David Mitchell came up with.

The concept: four blogging classes come together and learn about one another one week at a time. Each week a different blog in the quad is the focus and the other three classes take the time to visit and comment on their blog.

The benefits: The alliance will help each class increase their readership while flattening their classroom walls and learning about the wonderful world we live in.

How to get involved: If you visit Mr Mitchell’s blog you can enter some details about your class to be put together in a quad.

As I’ve been blogging with my class now for a number of years, I didn’t need to be matched with other classes. Linda Yollis, Jonah Salsich, Judy McKenzie, Kelly Jordan and I all decided we’d make our own quad.

*Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog, California, U.S.A.*
*Open the Door to B-4  in New Zealand*
*Mr. Salsich Class Blog, Connecticut, U.S.A*
*2KM and 2KJ  in Australia *

Mosaic Final quad blogging yollis

Starting this week, we are taking turns to put one of our blogs in the spotlight.

Each class has published a post directing their readers to the focus blog. This week, our focus is Mrs Yollis’s class blog.

Click here to check out our first post about QuadBlogging on our class blog.

Below is a visual adapted from Mr Mitchell’s work to demonstrate how QuadBlogging works.

What do you think about QuadBlogging?

What other methods do you use to increase readership and get to know other global classes?

A Reflection on the Benefits of Classroom Blogging

I updated this post in March 2013. Click here to find the new post!

Most of you will know how passionate I am about blogging in the classroom. Since I started blogging with my students in 2008, I have come to realise how enormous the benefits are.

The diagram below summarises the most powerful benefits I’ve found from blogging:

  • Improved Literacy Skills: I wrote about the improvement in my students’ literacy skills in this post. Not only were skills improved, but engagement levels increased. Reluctant writers wanted to write for a purpose and students were using blogs to purposefully communicate and converse with others.
  • Authentic Audience: In the traditional classroom, the only audience of student work was the teacher and sometimes classmates and parents. Blogs provide a much larger audience for student work and an avenue for feedback and self-improvement through commenting.
  • Sense of Classroom Community: Creating a class blog requires teamwork and collaboration. Students and teachers learn and share their learning together. A real sense of classroom community can be developed through blogging and establishing a class identity.
  • Global Connections: I have found this to be one of the most exciting benefits of blogging. Blogging can help flatten the classroom walls and we have got to know many classes across five continents who we call our “blogging buddies”. The benefits of these connections are priceless. A sense of understanding and tolerance develops and students can learn a lot about the world in which they live. We’ve used blogs to undertake global collaborative projects such as Collaboration Corner and the Uganadan Global Project.
  • ICT Skills: Blogging assists students to become more ICT literate which is an important 21st century skill. Through blogging, we’re able to incidentally discuss many ICT skills such as keyboard shortcuts, researching online and troubleshooting.
  • Home- School Partnerships: I have received many comments from parents and families who love using the class blog as a “window into our classroom”. Through commenting, families can be a part of what is happening in our classroom and have real time access to their child’s education.
  • Appropriate Online Behaviours: Everyone will agree that teaching students to be safe online is an important issue. You can’t just do one off lessons on cyber safety. Cyber safety is not a separate subject. Through being heavily involved in blogging, my Grade Two class has opportunities almost every day to discuss cyber safety issues and appropriate online behaviours in an authentic setting.
  • Confidence: I have found that students really take pride in their work that goes on the blog and want to do their best for their impending audience. Students can gain self-confidence from being part of a class blog and demonstrating their achievements.

Overall, blogging is a platform for everything. It is a fantastic place to start for teachers and students who want to learn about technology. Additionally, there are so many wonderful Web 2.0 tools out there which have so much more value when you can embed them in a blog.

Have you witnessed any of these benefits in your classroom?

What other benefits can students and teachers get out of blogging?

Literacy Skills: How Far They’ve Come!

I am always telling people how much my students’ literacy skills have improved through blogging.

In my seven year teaching career, I have not come close to finding another medium that helps students to refine their reading and writing so well.

Through advice from the amazing, Linda Yollis, I have been able to set very high standards for my students this year and, with support and practice, so many of them have excelled.

I have provided clear guidelines on writing quality comments which my seven and eight year old students didn’t take long to get a clear grasp of. The students in Mrs Yollis’ class were also role models for my students with their writing (12,000 kilometres away!).

Blogging is authentic. Students are reading and writing for a purpose and genuine audience. It is ongoing. Unlike other approaches to teaching literacy, where you may study a genre or style for a few weeks, blogging is a daily occurrence in our classroom.

Throughout the year, we have been able to discuss the the following (and more) in an authentic context.

  • spelling structures
  • paragraphs and organising writing
  • a wide range of punctuation (commas, capital letters, full stops, brackets, exclamation marks etc)
  • planning, proofreading and revising
  • writing voice
  • similies, synonyms and antonyms
  • verbs, nouns and adjectives
  • vocabulary
  • using bold and italics appropriately
  • tenses
  • how to ask quality questions and engage in conversations.

It has been so much more authentic to teach these conventions in the context of writing on the blog rather than as stand-alone, one off lessons. That’s not to say we don’t do regular lessons and units of work on various conventions and genres, it’s just that blogging is always there and the progress the students make with writing on the blog are transferred to other areas.

In her book Radical Reflections, well known children’s author, Mem Fox, states that

“we’re currently wasting a lot of time by giving unreal writing tasks in our classrooms….You and I don’t engage in meaningless writing exercises in real life—we’re far too busy doing the real thing”

If we want our students to be motivated to use their emerging writing skills, we have to make writing purposeful, challenging, and real-to-life. Blogging offers this.

Many of my students have transformed from emergent writers to very independent, competent writers who produce higher quality comments than some adults!

Rather than just talking about the improvements my students have made, I decided to look back at some comments from throughout the year to find evidence of this.

The presentation below shows how three students have progressed with their blog comments throughout the year.

(Tip: Press play then click on the square on the bottom ride hand side of the presentation to view in full screen. Press escape to get out of the presentation)

How do you think blogging improves students literacy skills?