It is that time of year again where my kids in 3rd and 5th grade are starting to make comments on their classmates’ blogs. Inevitably what happens, when kids are left to their own to comment on blogs, is that you get the “Your post rocks!!!!!!!” kind of comment. While we all appreciate the enthusiasm, the whole point of the blog is to share writing with a larger audience, and more importantly to have people comment on the writing pieces so that the author can make the pieces stronger. Ideally what emerges under a students’s post is a conversation about their writing piece where they are receiving not only encouragement from classmates but also getting advice on how to make their writing stronger. After all this is what the Writers Workshop model is all about. With quality comments, the reflection piece of writers workshop becomes much easier for the writer and it gives them some very concrete ways to improve their writing that they may have missed themselves.
When it comes to commenting on each others writing kids need some structure. What I have been using for the last few years is the PQP Method. This is how it works:
P = PRAISE
Q = QUESTION
P = POLISH
So all blog comments that address a selection of writing must be at least three sentences in length. The PRAISE is something the reader liked about the writing. The QUESTION is something the reader found curious or confusing or unclear in the writing. Finally, the POLISH is a piece of advice that the reader offers to the author in order to make their writing that much better.
To see this in action, have a look at Albert’s blog post. The first two comments from Robert and Brian are perfect examples of a PQP comment. Ideally, all our students’ comments would be this well written and helpful for their blogging partners.