Saturday, March 30, 2019

Connecting Through Blogging

We are a part of the Student Blogging Challenge. It is a wonderful 10 week series of blogging challenges to practice and promote reading and writing, digital citizenship, geography, and fun! 

Week four is about getting caught up on posts or free choice. As a free choice idea,  I encouraged students to explore their Flag Counter gadget that shows visitors and create a post about a visiting country. 

Students were excited to look at the flags of the visitors from the first three weeks and find countries on the map. Sheila (pen name) came up to me with her laptop and showed me her Flag Counter. There were only two visitors. Both were from the United States. 


I immediately turned to my Professional/Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter. A PLN is a group of people who enjoy helping and sharing with one another via social media. As an educator,  if I need ideas, some inspiration, or some Flag counters, my PLN is the ticket. I encourage all educators to begin building and contributing to a PLN on Twitter. Being connected benefits my students and my teaching practice!

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

How did I connect with my PLN?
I tweeted out the message below. I included three educators who are big supporters of educational blogging, @langwitches, @kathleen_morris, and @gcouros. I knew they could help us get visitors!

What happened next?
 1) Langwitches retweeted (RT) the message to her followers. Notice she included members of her PLN who support blogging.

2)   Kathleen_Morris retweeted (RT) the message to her followers. Notice she included two hashtags. Hashtags helped connect the message to groups following a hashtag or topic. 

3. gcouros retweeted (RT) the message and added a message encouraging other educators to not only visit the blog but to comment. 

Results: Visitor flags from all over the world! 

Bonus: Visitor comments from all over the world!

Not only did we get Flag Counter dots, but we received comments! Lots of comments! The enthusiasm for reading and writing, for geography, for collaboration was immediate!

As any good blogger knows, commenting back to your readers builds readership and community. However, there were so many comments, "Sheila" could not keep up. So, the class paired up and worked as a team to comment back! They called it Sheila's Commenting Marathon! 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

  Here are some comments and replies. If you want to read them all, here is a link: Sheila's Special Stories

Thank you to Mr. Couros, Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Tolisano for promoting student blogging and teachers! Thank you to the teachers and parents who support learning through blogging. 

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What do you think about the value of a PLN? 

How did you contribute to the marathon?

What do you like about connecting via blogging?


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I was smiling from ear to ear as I read this post.

    For many years, Mrs. Yollis and I have been telling other teachers about the power of a PLN. This is an excellent example of what can happen when you have your own network!

    I believe it's only becoming more important for teachers to build a network of educators from around the world. As students get older, they can start to build their own networks as well!

    I'm so happy that Sheila got to enjoy reading so many comments. What a wonderful class to pitch in and help with the 'commenting marathon' too.

    Keep up your excellent work with blogging. You are all role models for other STUBC participants!

    Best wishes,
    Mrs Morris

  2. Hello Mrs.Yollis and Class

    This is Lila and I was in Mrs. Yollis's class last year and had a blast! I most enjoyed having our own blog and picking our own pen names! I also enjoyed the alpha Smarts and having the responsibility to have an Acer. I hope you all have fun in Mrs.Yollis's class!


    1. @ Lila,

      What a treat to get a comment from you! Your writing continues to be excellent! I like how you gave specific examples about what you liked. Details really bring writing to a higher level.

      How was your first day in fourth grade?

      Your proud former teacher,
      Mrs. Y♥llis


* * *
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