Darren Kuropatwa’s Mentorship Blog project reminds me of some thoughts I had in January and shared in a post titled, “Edifying Student Bloggers.” What a great idea: a formal mentorship project to encourage older adults to comment on and mentor / edify / encourage younger students writing on a class blog.

I particularly like Darren’s posts that setup some guidelines and suggestions for blog mentors. I may even use these with my own pre-service teachers in future classes. These would be great to reference when working with other teachers who are actively using or contemplating the use of blogs to help students improve their writing skills. Darren’s initial posts to the Mentorship Blog include the following topics:

Teaching writing to students of any age is a very challenging enterprise. What makes this project even more noteworthy than the posts above reflect is the fact that Darren is a high school math teacher, teaching upper level courses. How I hope my own children will have a math teacher of equal passion, who will challenge them to think about their thinking through writing (metacognition) and not settle for mathematics knowledge and skills represented purely through formulas and boxed answers on a page.

If you are using blogs with your students and having them comment on each others’ posts, check out Darren’s suggestions above and consider sharing them with your own students. If you’re not using blogs yet, get started (doing this SAFELY of course) using a free tool like David Warlick’s excellent Blogmeister. Gaggle Blogs is another website service (free) similar in functionality and price to Blogmeister.

Also, consider volunteering as a blog mentor in Darren’s project. The time commitment is minimal, you can volunteer from the comfort of your own home, and the impact is potentially great! πŸ™‚

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3 Responses to Mentoring and Edifying Student Bloggers

  1. Mark Ahlness says:

    Wesley, your efforts along the edyfting front have been heard and felt, and my third graders and I thank you so much! And my kids get it – the idea that new bloggers (even the old hands) need pats on the back – some have passed out very supportive comments to older kids who just started in our school. We had a short discussion of what makes a good blog comment the other day, and three of my kids quickly blogged their thoughts on it – 3/28 on http://roomtwelve.com Start early enough, and amazing things will happen. Thanks again – Mark

  2. Gee … thanks Wes! The project is growing. I just got another email from a former student who feels she has a lot to share with students planning to enter university. Lots of stuff she wishes someone had told her before she got there. With luck, she’ll connect with some of my other former students and The Mentorship Project will continue to grow. I’ve got my fingers crossed. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for letting other educators know about it. I hope many of them pursue the idea. πŸ˜‰

    Cheers!

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