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.

*     *     *     *     *

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?


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumnal Equinox :: So Long, Summer!

FACT: Seasons change as we orbit the sun.


Twice a year, around March 20 or 21 and Sept. 22 or 23, our sun shines directly over the equator. That event marks the beginning of spring or fall. What is the equator?

Public Domain photo

  1. an imaginary line drawn around the earth equally distant from both poles, dividing the earth into northern and southern hemispheres and constituting the parallel of latitude 0°.

In March when the sun shines directly over the equator, the event is called the spring or vernal equinox. In September when the sun shines directly over the equator, the event is called the fall or autumnal equinox

The Autumnal Equinox occurred in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. at 1:22 A.M.

Things to look for in fall:

1. Deciduous (di•si•jo͞o•əs) trees will change color and drop all their leaves. Evergreen trees will not. Evergreen trees will stay forever green. :-) Why do the leaves of deciduous trees change color? Use World Book Online to research. Remember, do NOT copy sentences. That is plagiarism, and it is against the law! Take notes, and then turn your notes into your own sentences. 

Photo by Grandma Barb

2. On the equinox, there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. The day and night hours are equal. However, as we continue into fall, the days will get shorter and the night hours will get longer. This pattern will continue until we reach the winter solstice. That is the longest night of the year and marks a new season, winter.

3.  Because the northern hemisphere is now tilted away from the sun, the days will start to become cooler. People will change their behavior. What sorts of behavioral changes will your family make as the days get shorter and cooler?  (In southern California, we have mild climate. We don't get too cold in our community.)

There are many fall festivals or holidays. Watch the BrainPop video about fall to learn about the many harvest festivals celebrated. Do you celebrate any of these autumn holidays? If so, please share so we can learn from you! 

Check out the FREE BrainPop video about Fall. 

4. Some animals in the northern hemisphere will change their behavior. As fall leads to winter, some animals migrate, or move, to a warmer area. Others try to fatten up for the winter they know is coming. 

Again, BrainPop Jr. has a FREE video about fall. 


Share some fun facts about fall!
Did you use BrainPop or World Book Online as a reference? 

If you are in the southern hemisphere, tell us what season you are enjoying! How are you changing your behavior? 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lucky Hat Day :: 2015

Recently, Mrs. Yollis' class read The Lost and Found, a story
in our anthology by Mark Teague.

Photo by Mrs. Tulbure

The story is about three friends who get lost in the Lost and Found bin! Their lucky hats brings them good luck at the end of the story.

*       *       *      *       *

We celebrated by wearing our own lucky hats!

Of course, Mrs. Yollis wore her lucky hat! 

There was a plethora (ple •THə• rə) of hats!

Who/Hoo knows which one brought the most luck! 

Pink seashore baseball cap.

Cat in the Hat meets a garden hat with narrow brim.

Black hat with supplies! 


Green baseball cap with Greek Minecraft elements.

Polka-dots and foil caps.

Flowers and eyes appear on this purple cap. 

A canoe on a khaki cap!

Sun hat with a beautiful butterfly band.

Who is on top of this knit cap? 

A Panama hat with yellow feathers and a blue band.

A happy head band.

Blue baseball cap and bow.

Buttons, feathers, and pipe cleaners.

An interactive lucky hat.

Hello striped Kitty! 

 Luckily, our reading buddies from Journeys were able to join us on our special day!

Tell us about your hat! Use adjectives to describe all the elements!

Compare and Contrast your hat with a classmate's. How are they alike and different?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Rounding Numbers :: Video Tutorial

In class, we have been working on rounding numbers!  
Here are the rules for rounding:

Radical Rounding Rules!

1. Underline the place value position to which you are rounding.

2. Write which two tens or two hundreds the number is between.

3. Draw an arrow to the neighbor on the right.

4. Think:  ♬ ♫  "If the neighbor next door is 5 or more, round up, round up!" ♫ ♬ 
     (If the neighbor is a 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 round up. If the neighbor is a 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0 round down.)

5. If it's not 5 or more, round down!

6. Circle the correct estimate/answer.

Here is a video tutorial we made last year to demonstrate the rules for rounding!

Watch the slide show and try the quiz to practice 
your rounding skills!

Rounding Numbers! on PhotoPeach

Rounding Numbers! on PhotoPeach 

How did you do on the rounding quiz?

How about asking a rounding question
 in your comment?

Once others write comments, look for question you can answer!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Place Value Places!

In class, we have been reading about the Three Little Pigs. So far, we have read two books about them. First, we read The Three Little Pigs by Mark Teague.  

Today, we read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! It was a very funny book told for the point-of-view, or perspective, of the wolf. In both stories, the pigs build homes or dwellings. For math, we built our own structures using ones, tens, and hundreds. It was a fun way to practice place value!

All Photos by Mrs. Yollis

Here is Mrs. Yollis' sample. 

On the left side of the card is each part of the house and the number of units used. (Example: 20 units were used on the roof, one hundred on the front.) On the right side of the card are three sentences. The first sentence describes the house. The second sentence tells how many hundreds, tens, and ones were used. The third sentence tells wheather the total number of units was odd or even. 

Which dwelling do you like the most and why? 

What is the value? Is it odd or even? 

 William's  boat house (308 units)

  Hailey's one-story house (154 units)

Sawyer's mansion (505 units)

  Ari's ordinary house (274 units)

  Abigail's modern house (287 units)

  Angelique's house (449 units)

  Bailey's two-story house (394 units)

  Aaron's enormous skyscraper (400 units)

Kostaki's original modern (293 units) 

Kate's ordinary house (188 units) 

Stella's ordinary house (164 units) 

                       Rayhan's  ordinary house (234 units)

Michael's pool house (484 units)

Jock's house   (324 units) 

Andrew's skyscraper (387 units) 

Maddie's rustic modern with chandelier  (317 units) 

Keya's pretty house (147 units) 

Ana's barn (158 units) 

Lily's desert dwelling (241 units) 

Heloise's barn  (271 units) 

Karissa's unusual house (200 units) 

Abby's  barn (246 units) 

One house was quite complicated, and it took three people to calculate the grand total. Way to persevere! 

Some structures are still under construction and will be published soon!

What was the value of your house? Was it odd or even?

Whose dwellings did you like? 
What were the values? Were they odd or even