After each child posted to his/her blog, we invited them to comment on each others’ blogs. They had some idea of this already from the comments most had received on their amazon reviews (thanks, Chris!), they had written them in their journals, and so I felt confident that they would write them thoughtfully and sensitively.
But a different problem arose almost immediately — the social dynamics of the classroom being replicated in the commenting. That is, some children were getting multiple comments while others were getting none. As soon as I noticed this, I wrote each child a comment and arranged for each to comment on three other blogs; thus, each child will eventually have at least four comments on their first post.
This made me think about this interesting tension between our desire to give the children more freedom to write when and as they wish while also needing to be aware that by doing so we also give them the freedom to exclude by simply commenting on some blogs and not others. The children are aware of how to write the comments, they are kind and supportive. But this lifelong issue of inclusion and exclusion is much trickier, one I’m sure I’ll be grappling many times as I explore blogs in my classroom.