Beyond Classroom Tech Tips…

May 9, 2008

Blogging and Reading Comprehension Strategies

Filed under: blogging — Donna DesRoches @ 9:10 pm
Tags: , ,

In a WizIQ seminar a conversation about blog comments recently took place with several teachers in my school division and Kelly Christopherson. Teachers said comments that indicated an understanding of their key ideas, provided a quality critique, or shared a similar learning or action extended their own understanding and learning.

Many students within our school division are now blogging as part of their daily classroom activities. As teachers have become more comfortable with the online writing format they want to extend the audience and the conversations for their students first by encouraging them to comment on classmates’ writing and then by finding other classrooms that their students can connect, write and share their learning.

While they recognize the value that commenting brings to the blogging process many teachers struggle to explain and teach students how to make meaningful comments on others’ writing.

An ahah moment occurred one day when I was working in a teacher’s classroom and saw a number of posters on Reading Comprehension Strategies on her wall. I then had a conversation with the Language and Literacy Consultant who also became quite excited at how reading and commenting on the blog posts of their peers could enhance student utilization of the reading comprehension strategies. She suggested that teachers could help primary and early bloggers use the reading comprehension strategies by choosing one strategy and having the whole class use that strategy to comment on their classmates’ posts.

Having students use the reading comprehension strategies to comment helps them to avoid words like nice, good and interesting in their comments.

Students, especially primary and students new to blogging can use sentence frames to…

Make Connections – e.g. after reading a blog about a puppy students use a sentence starter “this reminds me of when my puppy did….”

Question – asking questions that use starters such as, “I didn’t understand this…” “I wonder what…”

Other reading comprehension strategies can be used to respond to student blog posts:

Visualization – if an entry supports visualization – have the student draw a picture and then describe it.

Infer – (for older students) – look for inferences that the writer makes – e.g. if the blogger writes with passion – comment on the evidence that allows them to make the inference or “I see that you have lots of knowledge about this topic” and again provide the evidence.

Synthesize – paraphrase – transfer the statement from the blog into their world – “what you said makes me think about this idea in my world – how this applies to me”.

Blogging is a great communication tool but it is the use of effective commenting skills that will extend and engage global conversations for our students.



  1. Donna,
    This is exactly what we are doing right now. Hopefully we will have time next week to put our first 2 strategies on our blog. We did making connections and visualization. I think it is important that we give students the opportunity to practice these strategies and give purpose to their writing.

    Comment by Lesley Ferguson — May 10, 2008 @ 3:09 am | Reply

  2. […] 14, 2008 I subscribed to a feed from a blog about Classroom Technology Tips. I read a post titled Blogging and Reading Comprehension Strategies. This blog discusses the fact that many classrooms, teachers and students are blogging. But one […]

    Pingback by Making Meaningful Comments « Ashley’s Weblog — May 14, 2008 @ 1:56 am | Reply

  3. […] about ways to help students improve their commenting skills. Via Donna DesRoches’s “Blogging and Reading Comprehension Strategies,” I found a great free resource to provide some scaffolding for young bloggers: Comprehension […]

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  6. What a good idea. I teach Mosaic of Thought and Strategies that Work and you have provided a great addition for me. I love the idea of having children practice and apply what they have learned in a meaningful way. Thanks!!

    Comment by Cindy O — June 17, 2008 @ 12:35 am | Reply

  7. I am new to blogging and found your posts very helpful and encouraging! I am looking forward to discovering ways to incorporate blogs into my 6th grade com arts curriculum!

    Comment by wendi — July 21, 2008 @ 5:32 am | Reply

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