Monday, March 5, 2012

Will Write for Comments


I remember my first post in last year's Slice of Life Writing challenge well.  Terrified, I clicked "post" and waited.  Would anyone comment?  Would anyone even read it?

I waited.

And comments came. They meant so much to me. Validation, if you will, of what I was doing. Each day, each comment gave me courage to write and share the next day.

And I learned the power of positive words.

Sometimes, I forget that when I'm reading student pieces.  I try to get them back quickly. I get so busy trying to "assign" a responsible, accurate grade for what the student has written, that I forget each of us have included a piece of our soul in our writing. And that needs validation.

So I am trying to slow down. Trying to give thoughtful, connecting responses to each and every piece as I read it. I am trying to remember to highlight those little thoughts and phrases that I really like.

And a smiley face just won't do the job.



24 comments:

  1. I love your title! That's me too. I learned how important feedback is first hand through comments, so that is something I stress to teachers.
    Your words "each of us have included a piece of our soul in our writing" are really speaking to me.
    Thanks for the link back to your first post, I loved it and it made me sad that I was not a commenter. I missed you then, but never again!

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    1. Thanks ELsie--you might not have commented on the first, but you have been there throughout this journey. I love that several of us have our own little long distance writing community

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  2. You know I just wrote a post for tomorrow about comments. Great minds think alike. You make an excellent point. Sometimes we get so caught up in grading that we forget to put a little of ourselves into it.

    Katie
    http://coffeefueledmusings.wordpress.com/

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  3. Deb, I had a long conversation with a teacher last Thursday about this very thing-that his students would improve when he showed them through comments what he liked, in addition to the lessons he was giving them. I think it's critical, & once you get into the swing of it, it becomes a habit. Thanks for bringing this up-such an important post! I too read your first post, & somehow I remember it, maybe when you re-posted another time, but didn't comment. But even in that first one, your voice shines through. Happy Monday!

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  4. You are spot on! That's how I felt, but Michelle assured me that I would get comments and they came and they encouraged. Everyone needs those pats on the back and the written words mean more than a smiley face (especially if they're written in INK!!!)

    Thanks for your comments to me and thanks for your hard work in teaching your students.

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  5. It's so true. I was telling my husband yesterday as I was publishing some comments between church services (that isn't work, right?) that it is so awesome that you can write, publish and have people actually, not only read, but comment on your writing. It's so much more helpful and rewarding than writing in a paper and pen journal - though it has its own rewards.
    I'll keep visiting and commenting!

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  6. This challenge makes comments so important. It pushes you forward. It keeps you writing. And love how you applied to the comments to you give to the ones who need the encouragement most.

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  7. I agree! Comments validate your writing. They help you recognize the good parts and sometimes give you ideas for improvements! Thanks for your post...I'm reminded of how important it is to read (and comment) on other slicers this month!

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  8. You are so right! We love comments on our blogs -- they want the same thing in their writing. So important to remember!

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  9. Great point. I know that my students really look forward to this part of slicing....and so do I! This process makes it a true writing community - you feel that others are encouraging you to keep at it, and noting your writing tries. Thanks for this thoughtful post, Deb.

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  10. Your post speaks to me. Commenting is a form of writing I learned from this challenge. Over the year I have enjoyed reading not only slices but the comments too. It is amazing how people can come up with different ways to respond to one piece of writing. I have used several ideas when commenting on student writing.

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  11. Comments fuel the writing fire for our students and for us. I have found that the more encouragement I receive through the comments here, the more I want to do a good job when I write, and the more I'm willing to experiment with my words. Thanks for your slice and for the comments you make to keep us writing!

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  12. ooh, I love the connection you made between blog comments and comments you leave for your students. Blogging has inspired me to leave more specific comments for my students as well, although I didn't really realize until I read your post that that's where my epiphany had come from! P.S. I always look forward to comments from you -- they are so thoughtful and positive!

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  13. Great reflection regarding how this impacts our teaching. Love the title! When we started this challenge, I secretly hoped for no comments (and no readers). Now I can't wait to get a comment - it's like fuel that keeps me energized.

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  14. I was just talking to a friend over the weekend, who is also participating in the SOLC, about the value of the comment. We were discussing a way to not only have our students share their writing with an audience but to have the audience provide positive feedback/comments in some sort of written form so that our kindergarten students could have a similar experience. Will write for comments? Me too!

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  15. I think our teacher roots are somehow related. My mind works the same way when grading. I try to always take time to mark something specific that I celebrate in my students' writing, but I find it is not easy to be in the frame of mind to give that kind of authentic feedback and the frame of mind to assign a number based on standards at the same time.

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  16. I think this pretty much sums it up - we ALL need feeback - to keep going and to keep trying

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  17. They really do seem to love personalized comments. Even if it is just "good job" or "I can tell you worked hard to connect the paragraphs to your thesis."

    But, it takes time - something we're all low on - haha.

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  18. I remember your first slice too! (And giggling out loud, you poor thing!) I've been thinking a lot lately about the comments because they do mean so much. I'm more motivated, I'm more encourage to write, and I'm willing to put in the effort. But how can I translate this to the classroom? I have a group of 4th and 5th graders joining me in the challenge, but they are writing for themselves in a notebook. I need to provide more immediate feedback . . . still pondering this idea. Thanks for getting me thinking Deb! How are those puppy dog kisses? :) Love Chloe!

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    1. Michelle, I still get plenty of soft wet puppy kisses every day! We went for a walk today and I thought of that post--today was different though. No ICE!

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  19. Its hard to translate that kind of feed back to the classroom. The closest I can come is the sharing after writing when people say what they liked and what they thought. When someone reads their writing aloud.

    PS I love the comments you post. They do keep me writing.

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  20. First off, thank you for always taking the time to read and comment on my posts (especially on days like today where you had a full load). It really means a lot and helps me keep going. I'm sure the students feel the same way, I know I always enjoyed when the phrases I worked so hard to get just right were underlined with positive remarks. So take it easy, and give those kids what they need to keep going. But don't forget to take some time for yourself.

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  21. Speaking of comments ... I nominated you at http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/new-slicers-only/

    THANK YOU!!!

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