Friday, September 21, 2018

So Long Summer :: Hello Autumn!

FACT: Seasons change as we orbit the sun.

Spring • Summer • Autumn • Winter

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 will occur in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 6:54 P.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? 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Connect the Dot Stories!

After reading Peter H. Reynold's fabulous book The Dot, we put together a fun "Connect the Dots" writing project with our blogging buddies. We hope to get some fun stories!

Here are the steps we took to set up our "Connect the Dots" stories!

Step 1: Each team made a collection of words from the story or words used in our classroom. 
The collection could be five to six words. 

Step 2: Each person on the team wrote one word on a dot and then cut it out. 

Step 3: Each person on the team decorated their dot. 

Step 4: This is where YOU come in! Please select a team and write a clever story or poem using all of their words. We can wait to read your story in the comments!

Wilbur the pig, swirly, surfboard, taco, discovered

Barnaby Bones, painted, gazing, carefully, dot

Beverly, swirly, taco, tomato, gold 

Arnold, jab, dot, blue, gold, swirly

Panda, dot,  painted, gold, squiggly

We invite you to connect our word dots into a story or poem! 
Good luck!

This post is also available over on the collaborative blog called

Have fun connecting the dots!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

International Dot Day :: Connect Professional Dots!

Mrs. Yollis' class is celebrating International Dot Day!

We are celebrating in many ways with our global Dot Day blogging buddies!

Map Credit: Kathleen Morris 

You might be asking, how did Mrs. Yollis connect her students in Los Angeles with these classrooms in other countries? The answer is by taking a risk and reaching out through social media. Building a professional learning community is so important for teachers and has never been easier.  Leaving comments on classroom blogs and/or discovering professional opportunities on Twitter provide teachers with collaboration opportunities for their students. Let's connect the professional dots! 

Mrs. Yollis met Mrs. Morris from Australia through blogging! Their classes left comments for one another on their classroom blogs and a ten-year friendship began. Their passion for education blogging was shared at the ISTE conference in 2012, in San Diego.  

Photo by John Miller 

Mrs. Morris even came to meet Beverly and see the classroom. 

Here is a link to Mrs. Morris' Blog

Mrs. Yollis met Mrs. Beal from South Africa in 2012, at the Google Teacher Academy in New York City.  They share a strong interest in global collaboration and meaningful integration of technology in the classroom. Mrs. Yollis learned about the Google Teacher Academy via Twitter.

Mrs. Yollis met Miss Versteeg from Canada through Edublog's  Better Blogging with Students program run by Mrs. Morris on The Edublogger. Miss Versteeg was featured on  TheEdublogger. Mrs. Yollis starting following her class blog and is enjoying learning with her. Here is Miss Versteeg's Grade 2 Blog

Connecting with educators through blogging, Twitter, or Instagram can have a tremendous impact on student learning. It's never been easier to flatten the classroom walls and create a true global community!

Here are a few screenshots of some "connect the dots" stories and blog comments that you can find on the 

Photo by Mrs. Morris 
"Connect the Dot" Words: dot, green, puppy, line, tree

Photo by Mrs. Morris 
"Connect the Dot" Words: line, Tokyo, campfire, diamond, quack

Photo by Mrs. Morris 
"Connect the Dot" Words: pen, splash, China, shark, potato

If you are looking to connect with other classrooms, join the Student Blogging Challenge!

The Student Blogging Challenge starts October 7, 2018. 

What do you like about working with other classrooms around the world?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Back to School Night! 2018

Normally, Mrs. Yollis' class looks like this.

Tonight, the classroom looked like this!

It was Back to School Night!
Parents came to hear about third grade!
Lots of information was shared about classroom expectations, curriculum, and resources. 

The centerpiece of the classroom is the blog.  Mrs. Yollis had her good friend and blogging buddy, Mrs. Morris from Australia, Skype in and talk with the parents about the value of blogging. Meeting and learning from our new Australian friend was a highlight of the evening!  

Educational blogging has so many benefits! Thank you, Mrs. Morris, for this blogging diagram. 

To learn about blogging from a student perspective, watch this video Mrs. Yollis made with her third graders about why they love blogging.  


Here is a wonderful video about supervising and guiding children on the web. It is a great video that really drives the point home. Thank you, Bill Genereux, for the fabulous movie. 

*      *      *      *      *

What are you excited to learn about this year?

Parents, how is third grade different from when you were in school?

Friday, August 24, 2018

First Fun Friday!

Today was the first Friday of the school year, and it was quite a doozy! Before school started, an electrical transformer blew up and knocked out the power. Here is a picture of the power company working to fix the power. What do you notice?

Photo by Dr. Dan

Dr. Dan stopped by with Principal Brazell to make sure everyone was safe and asked us how we were coping.

Since it was dark in the room, Mrs. Yollis decided to have a science lesson about light using a flashlight! Students learned that if an object is transparent, light can pass through it. Transparent objects are windows or some drinking glasses. Opaque objects do NOT let light pass through. When light hits an opaque object, a shadow is formed. 

We went outside to use the light of the sun and our opaque hands to make shadows! It was fun making shadow puppets, shadow stories, and even shadow dancing! 

After recess, we created math flashcards. There was enough light through the transparent windows to complete the task. 

Then we played a few rounds of a math game called Salute! To play Salute! you need three players and a deck of cards. One person is the general. The general hands two players a card. The players do not see their cards. When the general says "salute", each player salutes and reveals the card to the other player. The general then gives the SUM of the two cards. The first player to guess their card is the winner of that round. It is a fun way to practice the addition facts. Here is a photo from yesterday so you can see the game in action. 

We also played a math came called Stay Put
Who can explain the rules?

To cool off, the district bought popsicles for everyone! 

After lunch, the power came on, and it was time for our first Fun Friday! Look at all the creations!


Pattern people!

Blocks: Space Station and a Castle!

We had lots of new boxes of tissues and paper towels, so we used them to create a few things.

A tissue tower!

Ahoy! It's the S. S. Yollis! 

Can you find the fox in the box?

What did you like about the day?

What else did we do that is not mentioned in this post?