Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Teaching Commenting Skills

WHY have a classroom blog?

Here is a video I made with my second and third graders about the value of blogging. I hope it convinces you to start a class blog!

Blogging has many parts: the post, the comments, and the sidebar.

If you do a good job with all of the parts, your blog will be more interesting.

Today we will focus on quality comments!

Content is key!

In our class, we evaluate our blog comments. A one-point comment is a general comment that doesn't add very much to the post.   Example: I like your blog. Please visit mine! 

A two-point comment adds something to the comment conversation. A commenter might compliment the writer in a specific way or add new information. Another idea is to make a connection. Maybe the post reminds you of an experience that you've had. Share that connection!  Try to end your comment with a relevant question. That way, an interesting conversation can develop.

What should I say in my comment?

Here is a video made by Mrs. Yollis' students called How to Compose a Quality Comment!  It offers FIVE tips to help you take your comments to the next level!

We like to open our comments with a greeting and end with a closing. We choose to do this as it makes it easier for us to follow the conversation within a comment section.

-For Advanced Bloggers-

Some bloggers like to use HTML code to make their comments better.  Learning to write HTML code, or HTML tags, is a somewhat simple way to take your comment to the next level.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a language.

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To write HTML code, use the following symbols:

Important: Do not add a space between the HTML tag and the word or sentence.


1.  To put text in italics, place this HTML code around the text:



The sentence will look like this when published:

Bloggers should always proofread a comment before publishing.


2.  To make text bold, place this HTML code around the text:


The sentence will look like this when published: 

Bloggers should always proofread a comment before publishing.



3.  To make a hyperlink, it gets a little tricky.

Use the following HTML code around the URL and add your own link word/words:

  [The URL is the address of the web page. It starts with http://www…]

The HTML code below:


Will become this hyperlink when published:

                                                                 Mrs. Yollis’ Website

Sometimes it is hard to remember the HTML codes. I keep an HTML word document on my desktop with all the common codes, especially the one to create a hyperlink. Here is a video demonstrating how easy it is to a create a hyperlink if you have the code set up in a Word doc.

If you like to add fun shapes...here are those codes!

What did you learn about quality commenting? 
 Why is it important to proofread a comment before pressing publish? 

Have you ever had a conversation in a comment section?



  1. Dear Mrs Yollis,
    We love your video about writing quality comments, because it was so informative. It was really useful for us because we are starting to write our own blogs in A Room with a View, and comment on our friend's blogs too. We think this is really going to help us with our skills at commenting. Could we ask how often you look at your blog with your class, and how often do the children in your class go on the blog and make their own comments?
    Your blogging buddies,
    A Room with a View

    1. @ Mrs. Monaghan,

      Thank you for your kind words about our Quality Commenting Video! Although it was made a few years ago, I use it every year with my class to introduce and review the concept!

      You asked how often we look at our blog and how often students create comments. The answer to that is...it varies. :-)

      Sometimes we look at the blog daily. Other times a week can go by and we do not have a chance to look at the blog.

      Here are a few ways I approach commenting:

      1. Sometimes I require a blog comment for homework. Students have a week to contribute the comment and the comment can be written on a piece of paper if technology is unavailable.

      2. Students have nightly grammar homework. I do not feel that a grammar worksheet is as relevant and lasting as actual writing. Therefore, I will regularly tell my students that they can do the grammar worksheet OR they can leave a quality blog comment.

      3. My students are learning how to type. That really helps with commenting! Once they've learn how to type, I open up blogging as a writing component of the Daily 5. I prefer to have students pair up in class as they can help each other proofread. The students leave the comment unpublished until I can proofread it. (Sometimes that means opening up a new tab for new bloggers.) Once I've okayed the comment, the students return to the computer to officially publish the comment.

      We will be going 1:1 with Acers starting in November. I think that will have a big impact on our blogging. I'm excited to see how that new chapter unfolds!

      Your blogging buddy,
      Mrs. Y♥llis

  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am going to be a witch for Halloween. I pick this costume because I like how they fly on their brooms. I was wondering what you are going to be for Halloween? Why did you pick this costume?

    your student,

  3. Dear Mrs. Y♥llis,

    When I read this post, I learned that blogging is like a conversation. If you don't have anything interesting to say, then people may not comment back to you. It's important to ask questions on this blog so people will want to talk with you.

    Also, if you don't proofread, your blog post might not make any sense. For example, if you wrote "I one the trophy," people wouldn't understand that you actually won the trophy. Punctuation also helps people understand that you are making a statement not asking a question.

    I am excited to get our new Acer computers next month. My brother and I won't have to fight about who gets to use my mom's computer anymore. "What a relief!" Mom says ★ I can't wait to write my first blog post with the new computers!

    Have a great night.

    Your friend,


  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Your dog, Buck is hero dog to me because he can jump off a dock into the water. The first time he did it he was bad at jumping off the dock into the water. I love Buck very much. And when he jumped off the more times he got better and better.


  5. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    I am excited for the Acers like Ari. Sometimes after school instead of going straight home, I go to another place like piano lesson. I try doing my homework on my Ipad or computer but the frustrating thing is that when you are not home or at school, sometimes the internet doesn't work. :( By the time we go home, I have to stay up late to finish my online assignment.
    How do you deal with the computer when the internet is down?
    Do you get mad when you can't go on the computer or do you stay calm?

    ♥ your student Karissa ♔

  6. Lisa (Troy, Nolan and Faith's mom)October 27, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I came to your blog to find information about YAPPY to share with some of my friends, and I was delighted and relieved to find this information so readily available in this recent blog post. I remember first watching this very video about quality comments when my son Troy was in your class last year. I learned so much during that year about safe blogging and making meaningful connections in an online learning community. I also learned to use HTML, which I had never done before. Can you tell that I retained that information and still use it today? Do your students know what retained means?

    I think that it would be wonderful if our school featured this post/video on our Facebook page and on our school's Twitter so that many students and parents in lower grades who are new to blogging could learn about how to comment on their teacher's blogs and not use last names of students. Maybe I will suggest that to those who maintain those accounts.

    I hope that your new class is enjoying your wonderful learning environment, both in your class and online. I am anxiously awaiting photos of your class dressing up like book characters. I wonder if any of your students are wearing the same costume to school and then on Halloween day?

    Your blogging friend,


* * *
Getting feedback is important to our writers. Let us know what you liked or what you learned.

Steps to Comment:

1. Write your comment in the box below. Be sure that you have proofread it for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Students should have a parent check it!

2. Choose an identity. (If you have a gmail account, use it. If not, choose name/url. You can leave the url blank if you do not have a blog.)

3. Click "Publish your Comment". You may preview your comment before publishing if you'd like.

Important: All comments MUST be approved by me.
:-) Mrs. Yollis