Connecting with other classes in New Zealand through QuadBloggingAotearoa has been extremely beneficial for students this term and it was another great opportunity to teach my students on how to leave good comments.
This is a lengthy process with my pre-readers and writers and we always commented together as a group as I saw this process a necessity for my students.
We brainstorm some 'rules' to follow when leaving comments. They are:
1. Greet the other person/class
2. Say something nice about the post (what did we like?)
3. Make a connection (think of something it reminds us of). This is a skill we are just beginning to learn.
4. Ask a question (what else were we wondering about that the writer has not put in their post)
5. Re-read our comment (check for spelling mistakes or if we need to change something)
This pattern will be followed for months to come and students will learn the necessary skills to comment on their own. I will then officially ask all of the students to try to make a comment on a blog of their choice closer to the end of the school year. I will however stay close by to assist students whose spelling skills are still developing and make a note in brackets to show that this was done with teacher help.
It will be a long journey to get them to follow the pattern that we have practiced together. Just as learning to read and write takes some time, learning to comment when you are an emerging writer does take some time as well.
Why would I go through this lengthy process with my 5 year old students?
The satisfaction of seeing a student who is beginning to understand how to interact and having a conversation with others in a social media situation, is worth this long journey.
As part of our reflection on our experience with QuadBloggingAotearoa, we discussed some benefits of blogging and although there are many more, here is what we thought to be important at this stage.