Week 7: Visiting and commenting

 

I wonder how many comments you have received on your blog? How many are from your teacher or classmates? How many from a commenter in the challenge?

But most importantly, how many are from other people around the world?

When I first began blogging back in 2008, I had a personal blog and after a week of writing posts, I had only 6 comments yet my clustrmap showed lots of visitors had been there. Why weren’t they commenting?

So I wrote a post titled “Why has no one commented?”  Suddenly I had 16 comments on just that post. Here are some hints from the educators who left comments:

Write for yourself, put your heart into it, and you will start to see your map light up like a Christmas tree!  David

I still find those posts I expect to get a lot of comments don’t – whereas posts I didn’t expect any response to seem to get more.  Tim

What also helps to enhance comments is writing posts that give guidelines, how to’s or provide explicit opinions on things that are relevant. If you keep your posts open to interaction and truthful to yourself, the comments will start coming in. Inge

I’m here because YOU commented on MY blog, so you can see how that can help you make connections! In my experience if you practice what you preach and take the time to read and share on other blogs, more people will be inclined to do the same for you. Kate

Tried and true way to get comments – make comments. Susan

One person told me a couple of ways to develop readers, and this may also help with comments. And that is to treat every post as a conversation. If someone comments on your post, you comment back, and from your own blog. Cathy

Commenting activities

  1. Follow Cathy’s example – if someone has commented on your post, comment back. If they have left an URL, check it out and leave a comment there as well
  2. Follow Kate’s example – read at least 10 blogs and comment on those that really interested you

Visiting activities

  1. Follow Susan’s example – visit some blogs from the free choice or global issues posts and leave some comments – include your blog URL if you want them to visit your blog – or leave your post URL if you want them to visit a specific post to comment on. I’ve also included some great posts to visit below.

Writing post activities

  1. Follow Inge’s example – write a post that gives guidelines or how to do something or expresses an opinion. Invite visitors to comment by finishing with a question.
  2. Follow David’s example – write a post for yourself showing your voice and putting your heart into it.
  3. When you have finished commenting and visiting this week, write a post explaining:
  • which activities you did
  • which blogs you went to
  • posts you read and /or commented on
  • what you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about this week’s activities

 

Some posts I spotted when checking out comments:

Mrs Vazquez’s class created a thinglink explaining about commenting on their blog and also have a great image for their zoom story.

Give your opinion on pizza by visiting Figgy’s post here.

Arabella wrote a great story with an unexpected ending

Ben certainly researched for his expository on dinosaurs.

Rajyashoril asks what are some of the problems facing democracy and how can they be solved.

I can tell McKenna wrote with passion on Jerry Lee Lewis.

Lily notices lots of little things.

Shanta looked at one topic for her photo gallery – grass.

Check out the conversation happening between Allison and Shanta – also note how Allison has started her Blog Buddies list on the sidebar of her blog.

ADMIN UPDATE

Next week is game time, so make sure you have a blogroll on your sidebar or in a post or page. Have at least 10 links to other students or classes around the world that you have enjoyed visiting to leave comments on.

Also make sure you have a visitor widget somewhere on your blog – clustrmap, flag counter, revolver map are three of the most popular.

 

Fill in the form with the post URL for what you have written about this week

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Week 2: Make comments

Admin for week 2:

When visiting many blogs last week, I noticed your pages in Edublogs often didn’t allow for comments to be written. You might need to do the following:

  1. Go to your about me page and open it in your dashboard.
  2. In top right corner, click on screen options and make sure Discussions and/or comments are ticked. Close screen options.
  3. Now below the writing area for your page you should see a dropdown labelled Discussions.
  4. Make sure you have ticked the boxes about leaving comments.

I also noticed some of the About Me pages and posts have too much personal information such as full names, dates of birth, when and where you go to activities after school. Remember not to include this type of information in your posts and pages.

If your About Me page isn’t visible as a link on your blog, you will need to add the widget called Pages to your sidebar.

 

About week 2: Commenting skills

This is another important week in the challenge. Blogging is all about having your voice heard and connecting with others who might like to read and comment on what you have written. But, as in many things we humans do, there are some protocols bloggers in schools like to follow.

Check out these videos about leaving quality comments. The first video was created for one of the very first blogging challenges back in 2009 by Mrs Yollis’ grade 3 students and it has been seen by thousands of students who have taken part in the blogging challenges since then. This video is suitable for all ages but specifically primary/elementary school or lower. But those in middle/high school or older might like to check out the second video which is more suited to an older age group.

Teachers: You might want to visit the post about teaching quality commenting on the Teacher Challenge blog. It has an excellent video about the possibilities of blogging through commenting. It also includes the videos below and others you might want to share with your class. You also find out about commenting and blogging guidelines, paper blogging and other ways to use your blogs to connect globally.

Using Edublogs? Check out these posts about comments: Comment overview,  managing comments,

Mrs Yollis and her third grade class

Nicolas Weiss – Leaving high quality blog comments

 

Activity 1: Create a ‘How to comment’ page on your blog

Many themes and blogging platforms have different ways to leave a comment. You might need to click on the title of the post, or click on a number in a circle or click on the words ‘Leave a comment’. Write a page for your blog explaining how to leave a comment. You could write it as a set of steps or perhaps create a video showing what to do. Be creative. Here is an example on  my family history blog. Mrs Yollis created a video showing how to comment on her blogspot blog. You might prefer to add the instructions in a text widget on your sidebar instead of a page.

Remember, though, if you change themes you might also need to change these instructions. Also if you want a comment left on the page make sure you have followed the instructions in the admin area for this week about ticking boxes for Edublogs blogs.

Activity 2: Make a set of commenting guidelines – you might be able to combine this with activity 1

Explain what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog.

  • What type of comment is acceptable?
  • Which type of comment will you put in the trash?

Here are some examples:

Huzzah commenting guidelines,  a Glogster poster about commenting, WarriorKat used a variety of tools for her guidelines, notice how Sophie included a link back to Mrs  Yollis’ blog where she got her information from, Hunter created a PowToon,  Alane has some commenting guidelines,  Sophia included extra info about commenting, Alicia has written in a great format for easy reading, Kate has used two web tools to create her commenting post, Pinky created a commenting recipe, Summer was very creative, Fiona explained her tips in detail.

Activity 3: Leave a comment on this post – you might be able to combine this with activity 4

Each week the best posts published in the Student Blogging Challenge are featured in our Flipboard magazine.

So your activity is to practice leaving a comment below with a link to your post for an activity you’ve completed this week or last week.

But first you need to know the difference between your BLOG link and your POST link

  • Blog link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org
  • Post link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2018/01/19/looking-back/

If your teacher is moderating and approving your posts, you will need to wait until this has been done before leaving me a link in a comment.

Activity 4: Use some HTML in a comment

Did you check out Mrs Yollis’ blog? She includes a page with some HTML (code) you can use when commenting especially on blogspot blogs. If leaving a comment on an Edublogs blog, here is a post explaining the HTML to use.  If you want to leave a link to your blog that looks neat and tidy, check out this post.

Activity 5: Visit other student or class blogs

Visit 4 other blogs on the lists above the header area. Leave a quality comment on one post on each blog. Might be the About Me page or another post you found interesting.  Write a post on your blog mentioning who you visited, which post you left a comment on and why, then include the comment you left. Hint: make sure you copy the comment before you hit the submit button. Here are some examples from other students: Allegra , Izzy, Callie , Sally but try to include a link to the actual post you left a comment on

Will visitors to your blog find it easy to search for a post they might be interested in commenting on? Maybe you need to start using Categories and Tags or Labels (blogspot) or Categories (weebly) or Categories (Kidblog) or make sure you have an archive section.

Got more time to fill this week?

I have started adding posts to our Flipboard magazine for #stubc – check in the sidebar.

Check out other student and class blogs located in the participant tabs in the header area.

Check out the page above my header called Post Ideas. Lots of topics and special days to write about in your blog.

If you want a commenter to visit your blog, remember to fill in the form below for only one or two activities  you complete this week. Make sure it is a post link as I will be deleting any that are just blog links.

 

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Week 8: Let’s play a game or two

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Creative Commons License Hurca! via Compfight

 

Did you enjoy visiting the students and teachers blogs from a couple of weeks ago?

Did you leave a comment on one or more of them?

Have you checked back if the poster answered your comment?

I know that many comments were left by students and I also know many have been answered. Check these out:

Hello Ms. W,

This week by being one of the students on the list, I noticed quite a lot. Many people like to comment about their own stories and then ask questions to learn more, which is really nice. Their questions typically regarded my travels, so they were fun to answer and talk about, but mostly, I loved to hear people’s stories. It’s so great to hear from people with similar experiences! Thanks for choosing me to be on the list!

Regards,

Caleb

Dear Miss W,

I am very exited to have had participated in this week’s challenge. I received a lot of positive comments and although there were a lot of comments to answer, it was very fun meeting new people and getting to know their ideas. Thank you so much for organizing this week’s challenge.

Greetings,
Alicia

Hello Ms. W,
I have taken the time to answer to most of my comments, I couldn’t answer all of them because 236 comments is a lot.
Thank you,
Agathe

There are five activities this week and two are in the form of a game. They involve visiting other blogs, leaving quality comments and writing a post about the comments you left.

Before playing the games, make sure your blog is ready for visitors.

  1. You have lots of interesting posts for visitors to read and comment on.
  2. Visitors can find posts by using tags or categories on your sidebar.
  3. You have a visitor widget to see where your visitors are coming from.
  4. You have at least five student and/or class blogs from other places around the world on your sidebar.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

Remember one of  the main aims of blogging includes commenting and carrying on conversations with the author of posts and their other readers.

A good commenter will have:

  • read the post carefully,
  • checked out the links in the post
  • read the previous comments before they leave one of their own
  • added to the conversation with a quality comment – remember that video from Mrs Yollis’ class.
  • included a link to their own blog or a similar post on their own blog

Activity 1: Game 1 

This is a game we have run for many challenges and allows you to connect globally.  Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of  ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:

  1. click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  2. now click on a blog from the new student’s blogroll – count two
  3. finally click on a blog from that new blogroll – count three
  4. leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.

Teachers: If you are moderating student comments, please make sure you are up-to-date with that this week as students can be very disappointed when they think they have no comments, yet many are in the moderation queue ready to be published.

Students: Make sure you are also replying to any comments that have been left for you.

Do this activity at least three times and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and which posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post? Remember to include a link back to the post you left a comment on.

Activity 2: Game 2

This is a new one I have thought of to add to the challenge. Many great student posts are being flipped to the #17stubc Flipboard magazine, but I am not sure how many of you have actually checked them out. So here are the instructions for this game.

  1. Click on the flipboard magazine link here
  2. Click on the title of the post of what looks like an interesting image or a catchy title
  3. You should now be taken to the actual blog post, read it and leave a comment
  4. Come back to the magazine again and repeat two more times

Write a blog post mentioning the blog posts you read and the comment you left.

 

Activity 3:  Write a post about the commenting you have done this week or throughout the challenge so far.

  • What have you enjoyed about commenting?
  • What is annoying about commenting?
  • How have you found interesting posts to comment on?
  • Are your posts getting lots of quality comments? Why or why not?

Activity 4:  Create a list of great comment starters to help new students to blogging. There are some lists on the web but try to create your own. Here are a couple of examples from Anne Davis:

  •  Another thing to consider is…….
  • I can relate to this…….
  • This makes me think of…….

Activity 5: Write a quick post then include 5 great examples of comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment.

Get to it – start visiting and leaving quality comments that show you have read the post. 

How many quality comments could you leave this week? Can you leave 10, 20 or maybe 50?

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Week 6: Visiting others

Blue Heron in Butchart Cove

Jim Hoffman via Compfight

Some students and classes as well as some of the Edublogs managers have given me permission to use some of their posts for you to visit. Leave your comments on their posts rather than mine here. Remember what makes a great comment.

Activity 1

Visit at least three of the posts linked below. Read the post, do an activity if mentioned and leave a comment for the author. If possible carry on a conversation within the comments that might be left by other students as well.

Activity 2

Visit one of the posts below. Read the post carefully. Write a post on your own blog answering the question or the topic of the post. Once your post is approved, go back to the original post and leave a comment mentioning the URL of your post.

Teachers: If one or more of your students is/are listed, please make sure comments are approved daily to help with the conversations.

Blogs to visit – you can do the activities as often as you like

Still more time left this week

  • Read some of the posts in the flipboard magazine – your teacher might want to create a class flipboard magazine to add to your class blog
  • Visit other classes and students in the lists above the header of the challenge blog – add some to your blogroll or links
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog
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Enjoying the challenge?

I know you have two weeks to complete the images and sounds activities but thought I might mention a couple of things I have been noticing while visiting blogs.

Images

When you use an image from the web you need to include a link back to where you found the image. I should be able to click on that link and it opens the page where the image is found. It is not enough to just say you got it from openclipart or morguefile.

Commenting

Some students have been leaving great comments on blogs. Remember if you want to know if the blog owner responds to your comment, you need to click the little box – see image. Remember then to check your email.

Have you been visiting student and class blogs and leaving great comments? Have you been leaving the URL of your blog so a person reading your comment can visit?

Have you been leaving the URL to a post when you visit the challenge blog to leave a comment? Miss W only visits, comments and/or flips when the URL is for a post rather than just the blog.

Themes

There are hundreds of themes to choose for your blog. Some blogs I can’t read the post or comments because of the background image. You might need to customize your image by making it more transparent.

Some themes have little boxes in the header area. You need to change the wording in these to personalize the blog.

Categories and tags for posts

If you are starting to write free choice posts on your blog then you need to start using categories and tags. This makes it easier for your visitors to find a post that might interest them.

You wrote a book review on “W is for World” a hardcover book written in association with Oxfam. Your category will be book reviews, your tags could be hard cover, Oxfam, world, alphabet, children, Kathryn Cave

So looking at the tags, your visitor could see this was an alphabet book for children in a hard cover format. It relates to things around the world and Oxfam had something to do with it. The author is Kathryn Cave.

Links to other blogs

Have you found some interesting student or class blogs and you visit them often? Instead of coming to the challenge blog to find them in the list each time, why not add them as a link on the sidebar of your blog? You are going to need some links for the game we play later in the challenge so start getting organized now. Add 3 class links perhaps using the link category of Global Classes and add 3 student links using the link category Global Students.

Student and class list

You might have noticed I have had to delete a large group of students from England as we couldn’t get comments set up on their blogs. Instead their teacher will be adding some of the student posts to their class blog here, so make sure you visit in November as they are on break at the moment.

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