During our class session, Ms. Tammy's class had a chance to explore student blogs. First their charge was to visit many sites to see what they all had in common, what made it a blog? They identified many of the key features such as a calendar, text and pictures, but I think the date was so obvious, they didn't even see it.
Next they had a chance to respond to some of the J.H.H. Bloggers. They seemed to really enjoy that the blogs were written by other fifth graders, and they loved adding comments. The comments they wrote were a mix from the inane "+++++++hi dude++++++u r awsum" to well -thought out comments on the writing or even thanking the blog authors for their helpful writing tips.
I can now see that as a group we need to discuss what type of feedback they want, and then help them give that type of feedback to others when they comment on their blogs. I foresee the problem that some of them would be thrilled to get any message, regardless of its quality.
Next steps are to craft the permission forms, take a stab a the rubric, and keep picking Ms. Tammy's and Mr. Jabiz's brains for how to build in the quality while still letting the students write on topics of their choice.