Friday, September 8, 2017

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 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. ☆ ☀ ♥ ♣ ★ ♠ ♔ ♦☆☆ ☀ ♥ ♣ ★ ♠ ♔ ♦☆ ★ ♠ ♔ ★


    I like this post because it taught me how to use HTML coding ☆ ☀ ♥ ♣ ★ ♠ ♔ ♦☆! I don't think other students know how to comment on this post because the other one has 45 comments! and this is the first comment on the HTML. The HTML coding is so fun! ☆ ☀ ♥ ♣ ★ ♠ ♔ ♦☆


    ☆ ☀ ♥ ♣ ★ ♠ ♔ ♦☆☆ ☀ ♥ ♣ ★ ♠ ♔ ♦☆ ★ ♠ ♔ ★

  2. Hello Mrs Yollis,

    Great new blogging post! When I was looking at the archive, I saw the post from 2010. I picked it and I saw a video about "Blogging is Learning!" and more. It was fun to see blogging videos from 2010!


  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    My name is Nolan, and I am one of Mrs. Yollis' former students (from last year). I think this post should teach many others to do HTML code. I learned HTML last year, and I loved it! I used either the star or the spade for my "o" in my name almost every time I blogged! Mrs. Yollis is a great teacher to learn a lot from. At the end of the year, you guys will see what I mean.

    Every morning, we used Alpha Smarts to learn how to type, and look how that helped! Commenting is fun, and I will communicate with you guys through commenting. Every post is a phenomenal one, my favorite posts are the "Make Your Own Ending" ones. My classmates and I made some that were big hits! One of the best ones was one I made with my classmate, Elie. I believe it was called, "The Gingerbread Mission." It is actually a post!

    I was the winner of Family Blogging Month last year (not to brag), and most of my comments were from me, or my grandma who lives in Wisconsin. Everyone in the class called her Grandma Barb, because Barb is her first name. She is a good friend of Mrs. Yollis.

    It was great talking to you! Keep blogging!


    1. @ N♠lan,

      Thank you so much for your quality comment! My former students always provide such great modeling for my new pupils!

      When can you come in and teach a lesson about quality commenting? We need some pro tips! Ask your teacher for permission and we will make it happen!

      Your proud former teacher,
      Mrs. Y♥llis

  4. Dear Mrs Yollis and class,

    My name is Daisy and I am from Miss Jordan's class (3/4c) in Australia. I have just skyped Mrs Yollis and I heard that we are going to do some work with you and we are hopefully going to Skype your class in the future. I hope we can do this.

    I am really happy that we got to Skype your teacher Mrs Yollis. It was great. We asked her a lot of questions and hade a great time. I hope we can Skype your whole class and meet all of the lovely students.

    I have got some questions for you: are you all the same age? Do you all have a pet? Is Mrs Yollis the best teacher ever? How many of you have a brother? How many of you have a sister? Do you like your school? Did you like the Vegemite? What is your favourite part of the school? Do all the girls where the Jojo bows? Please answer my questions, it would be AWESOME!!


  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I really enjoy the fact that you have a classroom blog! I never really thought about having my students blog before. I am taking a technology class and I really find it fascinating that there are a lot of useful online tools for a better learning environment.Mrs. Yollis you have inspired me to blog in my classroom and have students be part of that experience! What kind of approval did you need in order for your students to be filmed? I know you needed consent from guardians of the students, but did you need approval from the district or just the principal? I am beyond excited to have found you!

    Thank you,
    Miss Melissa

    1. @ Miss Melissa,

      I am glad you are enjoying the blog and seeing value. In my thirty years as a classroom teacher I have never seen a project that added more value than blogging. It is a great way to practice and promote quality writing. In addition, it is a way for my students to reach a larger audience than just their teacher and classmates. Finally, blogging is a fabulous way to connect with parents and other family members.

      You asked how how I get approval from families. Our acceptable use policy allows for group photos. However, I also send out an informational sheet about the blog and specifically ask if a child can be included in the blog. (photos, videos, and writing)

      Important: I never pair a child's face with his/her name.

      Happy blogging!

      ~Mrs. Y♥llis

  6. Dear Ms. Yollis,
    I am learning how to blog. Can you believe I have been teaching since the mid nineties and now are seeing the need to incorporate blogging in my classroom. I am recently taking a technology class as part of my Masters program. I am so excited to learn how you began your journey as a blogger. By the way I love the video your students made about how to blog. Thank you so much.
    Maestra Mirna

    1. @ Maestra Mirna,

      The educational world is always growing! Where is your Masters program? Is it online or is it in a specific city here in the United States? I'm always curious!

      You asked how I became a blogger? Well, this is my tenth year blogging! Like you, I was looking for ways to meaningfully integrate technology in my classroom. I noticed some teachers were blogging, so I jumped in.

      When I first started, we publish little Halloween stories and I thought we'd only get comments from parents. However, I added a ClustrMap gadget to the side bar and once the students noticed we had visitors from other places viewing our blog, the excitement and enthusiasm to produce quality work became a priority for my students. Having an audience motivates people.

      Good luck with your blogging! It is work, especially as you learn how to blog, but it gets easier. It is well worth the effort!

      Mrs. Y♥llis

  7. Hi Mrs. Yollis and class!
    I am a library media specialist in an elementary school in Dover, Pennsylvania. I am also taking a course to learn how to use blogs in my classes. I found your blog while searching for examples on what I could do. I was very excited to find your class! This post in particular has some very helpful tips that I will use as I venture into the blogosphere. I have a brand new blog for myself as well and I wrote about your post on Teaching Commenting Skills. Check it out! I’d love any feedback or advice you and your class could send my way!
    Mrs. Hulihan

    1. @ Mrs. Hulihan,

      Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog. If you can believe it, this year marks the tenth year I have been blogging with elementary students. Although it is a lot of work, especially at the beginning, your efforts will pay off for your students and for you!

      You said, “I need to realize that it is okay to ask for help when I don’t quite understand how to accomplish something.” I couldn’t agree more! A lot of times, educators feel that we have to know everything. But technology and learning platforms change so much, we need to have the courage to ask for help. Asking for help as a learner is a great behavior for our students to witness. Everyone is learning throughout our lives!

      Here is a link to a great library blog by Julie Hembree:

      She is a great one to follow on Twitter, too:

      Best of luck with your new blog and feel free to embed the commenting video here if you’d like. Just be sure to link back to the blog.

      Linda Y♥llis
      @LindaYollis on Twitter

      P.S. I tried to leave this comment on your WordPress blog, but it required a sign-in.


* * *
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