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Thoughtful Feedback

Our sixth graders are learning to write Slice of Life Stories (SOLS) this year. They have each written three or four SOLS and have begun transferring from pen and paper writing to blogging. I am impressed, amused, and smitten by the stories they have shared. I have said it before but I’ll say it again: Nothing brings a group of people together like writing.

The classroom teacher and I knew that commenting was the next step to building this community of writers. I have been down this road before, though, and I knew what typical sixth grade comments often sounded like.

Cool story.

Nice job.


I knew we had to be more explicit about how to leave thoughtful comments.

First, I combed through the comments on my own Slice of Life Story blog. I looked at the kinds of things people typically wrote, and I thought about the comments which moved me forward as a writer. I identified three types of comments:


Next, I projected a piece of my own writing on the Smartboard. We read the piece together, and we practiced each of these ways orally.

Then we projected a student’s Slice of Life blog on the Smartboard and read a piece together. As a class, we left six comments on that student’s blog, two of each type.

After all of this practice, we finally released the students to read and comment on each other’s blogs. As usual, they did not disappoint. Here is a sampling of some of their comments:







You will notice each of the comments goes way beyond “Nice job.” Slowly, we are becoming a community of writers.






4 thoughts on “Thoughtful Feedback

  1. What blog do you use with your students? We previously used KidBlog but because of cost I have moved us to Weebly education blogs. Writing meaningful comments needs support and instruction vs. GREAT!!!!! 😉


  2. I have been more lax about comments this year. I need to have this lesson with my kiddos because they have gone back to the one word comments. But last week one of my students set a goal for himself to comment on everyone’s slice, and his comments were meaningful. Don’t you love it when they do this without prompting? Thanks for the reminder that comments move us forward as writers.


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