Here is Silvia's meme challenge:
- Select a blog post or blog comment to audit (Professional or Student)
- Take a screenshot or copy and paste the post or comment into your blog post (be sensitive whether you want to reveal any names or references)
- Include or link to the rubric you use to assess the quality of post or comment
- Audit the post or comment by describing your train of thought regarding the level of quality you would assess your chosen post or comment
- Suggest how you would coach the author of audited post or comment to improve
- Tag (at least) three educators and challenge them to audit a post or comment
- Leave a comment with the link to your audit post on Langwitches
Quality blog posts
I created a few variations of checklists as guides for quality posts. The checklists are based on the work of Silvia Tolisano, Andrew Churches, Ryan Bretag, and Sue Waters.
|Click here to download this as PDF.|
I strongly believe in finding Wows and Wonders to provide feedback. A Wow would be something specific that is strong and working well. Based on the above checklist, I'd follow with a specific Wow for something that is checked off (and might add a few areas that should be checked off with a specific reason).
A Wonder is a statement such as, "I wonder how the post would look if (address one of the areas that was not checked off)..." I would try to focus on the one wonder that would make the most impact on the overall quality.
Crafting quality comments
Coaching conversations should also focus on crafting a quality comment. My favorite post regarding quality comments comes from Linda Yollis and her students. Her tips are what I share with students and teachers in my district.
|Created on Glogster Edu. Tips learned from Linda Yollis & Class.|
Sometimes students don't have enough experience with writing or blogging to jump in and compose a quality comment, and the teacher/coach should address this.
That's just what Gina Fraher did when she realized her 3rd grade students didn't have the prior knowledge to successfully start creating quality comments.
Fraher created an assignment to help them analyze quality commenting:
She modeled her expectations with a real blog post and several comments.
After the students worked on their own for a little bit, they collaborated to share their thoughts and worked through their ideas together.
Their dialogue was amazing, filled with critical thinking. Students asked each other if the topic sentence could also be a compliment? They realized that the conclusion could also be a question. They recognized "Your blog is cool," was not a quality comment, then explained why, and how they'd improve it.
Breaking the task down and working through it together raised their awareness of quality comments, which is what this meme and post are about.
Improving quality in comments
We could use Gina's color coding from above to analyze comments, or the rubrics created by Silvia Tolisano or Andrew Churches.
It's sometimes easier to assess someone else's comment than my own because I'm not as attached to it. However, I'd like to assess the comment I left on Gina Fraher's post:
|Click here to see original comment; Click here to see Churches' comment rubric|
Blogging is such a valuable part of learning, and I hope it becomes common place in all classrooms. I believe if we focus on connecting with an authentic purpose, we could still meet all of our curricular standards and demands while practicing the joy of respecting others and embracing the love of learning!
In order for blogging to be part of classroom culture, we need to continue the discussions about coaching quality posts and comments. We also need to recognize that everyone has room to improve, and we all start somewhere.
- How can educational blogging help students and educators regardless of age or experience?
- How do you assess quality posts and comments?
- How do you coach others to help them improve?
- What else connects with you in this post?
Everyone is invited to write their own quality blog post and commenting audit meme. I would like to invite these three people, who do a fabulous job at teaching students about blogging:
- Gina Fraher @gfraher and/or class
- Shauna Hamman @shammanaj and/or class
- Kathryn Trask @KathrynTrask and/or class (Click here to see her second post on it)