I have experimented with giving the students time in Homeroom each morning to comment on someone else’s post. They are beginning to do this and hopefully they begin to do it in time without having to be prompted. I am finding that what they are commenting is of good quality and is resonating a clear purpose to the author of the post.
I have also begun to get students to blog about some of the activities we are doing in class. After a maths task last week I instructed students to write a post about it and then comment on someone else’s post. The task that the students undertook was a challenging group activity. The task was then modified and they had to compare the differences along with discussing the different maths concepts involved in the activity. It was interesting to see their insights into the mathematical concepts explored in their posts.
I have noticed that some students are remembering to categorise their posts, but most are not. I have decided to leave this feature of the blogging out of focus at this stage as after posting lots categorising will have a clearer sense of purpose to them.
Me leaving posts with expectations for them to comment during the week has not been working. This could be for a number of reasons; they are not actually looking at the Homeroom site, so perhaps they need more of a reason to visit it, there is too much focus on them commenting on other students’ posts or perhaps they are not engaged in the content that I am posting on the Homeroom site.
I am thinking that I am going to try posting a few riddles or open challenges on the class page so that they become more engaged in the site and begin to comment more.
What are your thoughts on this?