Monday, April 7, 2014

Adventures in student blogs and comments

I worked with a 2nd grade class today to get started on their blogs. We had been using a class login to make simple blog posts about what was happening each day. Students took turns writing the daily blog post. This gave them experience with the blogging format. Today we unleashed them to write their own individual blogs.

Before we started with individual blogs, I wanted students to have a good understanding of how to comment on each other's posts. Using an idea I read about from Pernille Ripp, Paper Blogs: A Lesson In Commenting On Student Blogs, Ms. Schrimpf, the classroom teacher, had the students write out an initial blog post on paper. I then talked with the students about what makes good comments: asking questions, sharing experiences, using details. I then gave each student a pad of Post-It notes and had them rotate around the class, writing their comments on the Post-It and then placing it on the paper "blog".

During this time the student engagement was 100%! There was total silence while the students were totally focused on reading their blog posts and writing their comments. 

After about 15 minutes the students came back to their own paper blog and answered any questions that someone may have asked. I put a few blogs and their comments on the document camera as we talked more about what makes a good comment and how students could have a "conversation" on their blog.

In the afternoon we went to the computer lab where students received their Kidblog login and made their first blog post. They were also allowed to comment on their classmates blogs. We only had 50 minutes for this part, but, again, there was 100% engagement!

Hopefully we can continue with this activity as students create more blog posts, either as a center rotation or as a homework assignment. Their initial enthusiasm and engagement is certainly exciting to watch!

ISTE NET-S Standards

  • 2.a Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media
  • 2.b Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats



  1. I could relate to this blog a lot because it offers some good suggestions about something I thought was an idea I'd like to try in my own classroom. That is the idea of paper blogging.We recently had an inservice where the presenter was talking about tabletop blogging and I'm thinking this would be very similar.

    I liken the idea of getting a "good job" post as to receiving the same kind of "atta boy" comment on a term paper. Something you've spent a lot of time on and this is all the feedback you get? Come on, people!! Tell me you hate it, tell me it stinks, but tell me why!

    I wondered if, when you went to the computer lab that afternoon if any of them carried over to going online at home and furthering the discussion. '

    Yes, this will be on my "to do" list in the next week or two. Thank you for your thoughts and sharing.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I've used this activity a couple of times and have found it to be very powerful. Students really like the idea of of quality comments and understand how it contributes to the conversation on a blog. They just need to understand the why and how and they'll do it!