Skip to main content

What is your favorite blog to follow?

Mrs. Yollis and class Skype
I have many favorites, but the one that has my fancy is Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog. Learning is their focus, and having a real audience engages them beyond the four walls of the classroom.

I absolutely am inspired by classrooms like this! Not only has the learning extended the four classroom walls, it has also permeated to the families. Parents are the administrators of their child's blog, which means that the parents are learning about blogging right beside the students. Three of her students earned achievements in their bi-annual contest.

My question is, how do you get to where her class is? How do you set something up so dynamic?  I am new to blogging, but am supported by a community of bloggers who are teaching me how and walking me through the steps. Thank you Edublogs Teacher Challenge!

Do you have a blog? Does your class have a blog? If so, how did you get started and what advice can you offer us? If you are new to blogging, have you thought about giving it a try? If you follow blogs, what's your favorite?

Click here to learn more about blogs.


  1. The blog that I found was the most interesting was I really liked the way there were posts for the students to respond to. You could tell that they took time to make sure that what they were writing was good before they published it. I think that this is something that I want to do with my students. I am going to check out the Edublog Teacher Challenge.

  2. Elizabeth, I have absolutely loved being part of the Edublog Teacher Challenge. I haven't finished it yet, but will continue on my own time, even if the challenge is over (or nearly over). I learned so much and "met" so many wonderful people who are passionate about learning and teaching.

    There is a Student Challenge that starts this Monday, and it appeals to me because you can choose a class blog for students to post on. Having a real audience creates such an amazing dynamic for writing. I know you understand that because you know how to create the student centered classroom.

  3. I went browsing on edublog for some inspiration as it seems that blogging will soon become a new task that I'll have to implement in my classroom. I found:

    I'm a little overwhelmed with the amount of stuff on here and wonder how in the world does this teacher keep up to date with everything?!? I can't even stay current on my personal blog - which I have a goal to post something every 10 days and that is a challenge to maintain...sigh.

    But I digress - I like how the teacher has organized the content and that students really do seem to utilize the blog so it's not a waste of the teacher's time.

  4. Bethany, that is a wonderful site. I also noticed that the teacher only placed 2 posts a month (or 3 at most). It seems like the teacher used the blog to place extensions to what they were learning in class. Is that what it looked like to you?

  5. I have begun incorporating the use of blogs into my projects as a terrific checkpoint along the way. The response has been phenomenal among my students. I have begun to see them spend much more time on reflective thought, seeking peer input and in general discussing ideas to gain greater understanding. They tend to clamor for more opportunity to blog, interact, respond and discuss as the projects move forward. If I had requested the same checkpoint in paper form, I know I would have received minimal thought and certainly no opportunity for discussion and reflection. The increase in student engagement, involvement and discussion has encouraged me to try even more. Today we used Titanpad to jigsaw a chapter review. It was incredible! Yay for technology! What can we try next?

  6. I don't have a blog other than my one on the Gradebook, but I would love to find a way to make it work for me. I think the best classroom blogs are student-centered. My favorite one is on this site:

    He has his fifth graders serve as Roving Reporters and they write the daily blog posts. I'm not sure how he manages to do it, but I'd love to try that. He also has students do regular podcasts about what they are learning, which I see as an extension of blogging. I'm just venturing into the world of podcasting now; I'm sure it will get easier once I know what I'm doing!

  7. @Sandy- I love that your class(es) have become a 21st century learning environment. I appreciate your willingness to allow them this fabulous learning environment!

    @Shauna- Mr. Coley's blog/site is amazing. I love how he uses the students as the authors. He provides them with a real purpose for writing and a real audience to read. If I can help with the podcasting at all, please let me know. It will be a new medium for me, but I'd love to venture into it with you. I would also love to help with creating a student-centered blog like Mr. Coley's. We can talk about this more if you'd like. My job is to serve you, and it makes me happy when I can be of help... especially when I see the students benefit. That's what motivates me.

  8. First, I must declare that my greatest wish in life is to be a teacher who can do it all...I have tried but not quite there. I look at the teachers who maintain the class blogs, like Mrs. Yollis, and think, "Huh, when I grow up I want to be just like her." I loved looking through her blog. I am very visual so all of the pictures were great. I liked her picture each day. I am going to have to do that. My favorites were the ones that dealt with third grade-there seemed to be a lot of them. I plan on trying the blog on our class sites (TeacherSites) to start. I was all gung ho to do student blogs until the wise one, Tracy, suggested doing a class one to start. That is why she makes the big bucks. So, I am beginning a blog on my class site next week. I would love any suggestions on successful blogging.

  9. @Gina,
    Girl, you crack me up! "Big bucks?" -- My salary is the same as it would be if I were in the classroom right next door... except more responsibilities. But, I love it because of all the friendships, and I see so many students benefiting from the fabulous things going on in our district. It's been amazing to see the progress...

    Yes, Mrs. Yollis inspires doesn't she? I found out that she is presenting on Feb. 22nd at 5pm (4pm Pacific). Registration in the Educators' Guide to Innovation in Ning (a fabulous social network for teachers). I registered at Then asked to "Join" their network. It usually takes a day or so to join. If you are interested, we can watch together...

  10. Thanks so much for your kind words and support! You made my day! Wow!

    I also appreciate the promotion of the Tech Talk Tuesday presentation! I will be speaking with Anne Mirtschin (@murcha on Twitter) about Teaching Commenting Skills and Encouraging Parent Participation.

    Even though it is called Tech Talk Tuesday, it will be Monday for me in Los Angeles! It will be 9:00 P.M. on Monday, Feb. 21. She will be recording it, but it would be great to have participants! :-)

    What I love about the Edublog community is that there is so much support! People are so supportive and share so freely.

    Thanks, again, for the warmth! :-) I really appreciate it!

    ~Linda Yollis

  11. Thanks Linda for clarifying when it was. I am thrilled to learn from you! I placed it on my calendar for 10pm Mountain (9pm Pacific). Thank you so much for all you do!

    Kind regards,

  12. @Gina-I, too, feel the need to create amazing blogs like the ones posted her by Tracy. I have found so much information about new projects or free resources. On Huzzah, I found blogs are a great way to promote student projects. What I like in particular was the statement that these projects are not mistake free, but they need to be looked at for their good qualities. I, also, liked the how they connected Shelfari to the blog showcasing their current reading genres. Amazing! I would love to have a class blog, but I feel a little lost as to really how to begin.
    On another note, on Tracy's blog I found a great section about rigor that really peaked my interest. She talked about how big projects and hard projects do not equate to rigor. I actually had a teacher, years ago, tell my friend that she knew she was rigorous because most of her class failed her course. Really? I don't think that's rigor but poor teaching! Rigor and relevance relate to Blooms Taxonomy and applying understanding to real world, unpredictable situations. Our goal is to move out of quadrant I and II, to quadrant IV.

  13. Check out Mrs. Yollis' webinar at to learn how she does it! Amazing!


Post a Comment

Directions for posting:

1) Choose "Comment As" first. If you don't have a Google/Blogger account, you can choose Name/URL and type in your name, then place the web site that best describes you in the URL (i.e. Or, you can choose "Anonymous".

2) You may need to press "Post Comment" more than one time.

It is always wise to copy your comment before pressing "Post Comment" just in case something happens.

3) Type in the word verification.

4) If you did everything correctly, it will state, "Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval." If you do not get that message, please try again.

Click here for a tutorial on how to comment.

Thank you!

Popular posts from this blog

Close Read Complex Text, and Annotate with Tech--Part 1

Students need to be taught how to read complex texts. One of the strategies for learning how is close reading. It slows the reader down to notice and ponder more. It also connects meaning and builds systems of thought.

Text complexity with close reading

Complex text requires a close reading. So what makes a text complex? There are three "ingredients" to text complexity:

It's important to understand text complexity to build students' literacy skills. As they become more skilled, they will read more complex text on their own.

Introduction to close reading

Here's an overview of close reading:

What does close reading look like in the classroom?

Here are some examples of close reading at different grade levels and content areas (or components of it such as annotation):
9th-10th grade -- Thinking Notes: A Strategy to Encourage Close Reading by the Teaching Channel 10th grade, Close Reading with nonfiction6th grade, Teaching Annotation4th grade, Close Reading3rd grade l…

Close Read Complex Text, and Annotate with Diigo--Part 3

Close reading is a strategy for reading complex text. In Part 1, the focus is how to do a close reading. The focus in Part 2 is how to annotate with iPads. The focal points of this post are the teacher steps in close reading; how to create text dependent questions for informational text in 6th-12th grades; annotating in Diigo; and creating writing activities to go with close reading.
Below are the teacher's steps for creating a close reading lesson. However, the student steps are in the poster shown on the right:

Teacher Step 1: Choose the text

Choose a short and difficult text to do a close reading on. It should be at the frustration reading level.

Some examples to choose from for informational text are short speeches (or excerpts from a speech); research; paragraphs or chapters from biographies, memoirs, or historical accounts to name a few.

Teacher Step 2: Planning

Plan and do what you expect your students to do.
Decide if they will annotate on a paper copy, with sticky notes, o…

Striving for Higher-Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge

A little over a year ago, I read Higher-order thinking is the exception rather than the norm for most classrooms on Scott McLeod's blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, and have been mulling it over, wondering if our school district is any different.

Over the past year, our teachers periodically collect data with their teams on the types of questions/tasks they ask students. One teacher records teacher questions and the other records student responses on a shared Google Doc; then teams sort through their own data, plotting teacher questions by Bloom's Revised Taxonomy, and student responses to those questions/tasks with Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK). The 2012-2013 data showed we were not very different from other districts; therefore, our teamsset their own goals for higher-order thinking and depth of knowledge.

The data so far for the 2013-2014 school year shows questions asked of students are up and down the Bloom's ladder, equally distributed (with a little less in the c…