Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monstrous Fun!

Having a classroom blog provides a plethora of opportunities to collaborate and create with classes all over the world. Recently, we were invited by Miss Jordan in Victoria, Australia, to participate in a monstrously creative writing project. 

The directions for the Monster Project: 

Step 1:  Students draw a monster of their choosing.

Step 2:  Students write a paragraph detailing the monster. 
Important descriptive details to include are color, shape, and size

Step 3: Students trade the descriptive paragraphs with a blogging buddy. This was done via Google docs.

Step 4: Students draw their buddy's monster using only the descriptive paragraphs. 

Step 5: Students Share and compare the original drawings. We used a Google slide show. As you compare the two drawings, what do you notice? (Sometimes a detail or two gets left out of a paragraph. Sometimes students miss important words when reading. )

Step 6: Publish the results on the class blog and have fun reading and comparing!   

A student reading her buddy's description and 
giving it a rough draft draw. 

Sometimes students worked together to read and clarify a description.

Rulers were employed as specific measures were given in the description. Since our buddies are from Australia, we used the metric system, centimeters and millimeters!

Finally, the final drawings were colored. 

Next stop, the Photo Booth. Student took photos of their monster and their buddy's monster. Each student emailed the photos to Mrs. Yollis. Student learned about the importance of the subject area of an email. 

The Photo Booth in action! Once the photos and text were assembled in a Google Slide Show, we were ready publish!

Click here to visit our blogging buddies' site with their monstrous slide show!

What did you notice about your monster?

How did your buddy do with your directions? Did you miss any details? How can you tell? 

What did you learn from this project?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Who Will Visit on Character Dress Up Day?

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

This Friday is Character Dress Up Day at our school! 

In class, we have been talking about who will be in our room. 


Some people are characters from our reading textbook like Anthony Reynoso, Ms. Gernsblatt,  or Mulan. Others are from chapter or picture books. I've heard that Cam Jansen, Katie Kazoo, and even Harry Potter will be in attendance this Friday! 

Leave a comment as if you are the character!

What name tag will you be wearing?

What props will you use in the classroom?

Tell us a little about yourself!

Who are you excited to meet? 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A GREAT Assembly!

This week we enjoyed an entertaining, yet purposeful assembly!

Mark and Obediah from Razzle Bam Boom are talented musicians with an outstanding message!

They introduced their five strategies to being a “G.R.E.A.T.”TM student.

Photo by Mrs. Grubb

G.R.E.A.T is an acronym. 

(ak rə nim)
  1. an abbreviation formed from the beginning letters of other words and pronounced as a word

Here is what G.R.E.A.T stands for:

Goals – Know what you want to do.
Retry – Don’t give up. Try, Try Again
Excel – Always do your very best.
Attention – Focus on the most important things.
Train- Practice until you are GREAT.

What GOALS have you set for yourself?

What will get your ATTENTION?

How will you TRAIN?

Thank you, to the PFC for making this awesome assembly possible!

Seasonal Haiku Decks

Today, Mrs. Minicozzi came into our room and taught us all about Haiku Deck! 

 In class, we have been talking about topics and details, so this visual app was a fun way to practice these concepts. First, Mrs. Minicozzi gave each student a month of the year and a planning sheet. On the planning sheet, the students wrote their topic and then came up with 4-6 details about that month. Some of the details were national holidays or typical seasonal events. Sometimes students added birthdays. Once the plan was approved, students logged into the class' Haiku Deck account and started creating their slide show. Each detail became a word or phrase and the students looked for a Creative Commons photo to complement the detail.  

Mrs. Yollis published the Haiku Decks on this class blog. The HTML code used was modified to fit. The height was "304" and the width was "480".

Hint: If you can't see the decks in Chrome, switch to Firefox. 


February - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Copy of February - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Nicholas Arena - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

May - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

June - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

July - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

August - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

September - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

October - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

November - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

December - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

What are some tips for using Haiku Deck? 

Tell us how you changed your slides to make them better! 

How will you use Haiku Deck in the future?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Celebrating Traditions!

This week Mrs. Yollis' class started
a new unit in Language Arts called Celebrating Traditions!

 A tradition is something that family, friends,
or another group of people has done for many years and continues to do on a regular basis.

 *     *     *     *     * 

The story for this week is "The Keeping Quilt".

 In the first story, "The Keeping Quilt," by Patricia Polacco, the author retells the story of her family's handmade quilt. In the story, a Russian immigrant mother and family arrive in the United States. She plans to make a quilt from a basket of old clothes, telling her daughter, "It will be like having the family in back home Russia dance around us at night."  The quilt is passed along from mother to daughter for four generations. It becomes a Sabbath tablecloth and a wedding canopy. It even becomes a blanket for new generations of children. "The Keeping Quilt" is a heart-warming story about one family's tradition.
*     *     *     *     *

In the comment section, please 
share a tradition your family celebrates. 

It can be an annual party, a holiday, or any traditional event.

Please include details about: special foods,  decorations, songs, and/or activities.

 Your comment should be 4 to 6 sentences long. 
 Students: Your comment is due on Friday, October 10th!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A New Word Problem

Today we learned about a new kind of math problem. It was different than other word problems we've done.   Usually word problems ask questions like:  

How many in all?         How many more?       How many fewer?

This was a new kind of word problem.
Panda and Hoppy left 25 comments. Hoppy left 5 more comments than Panda. 
How many comments did Panda leave? 
How many comments did Hoppy leave? 

Here is a tutorial a student made illustrating one way to solve this type of problem.  

What do you think of this process?

Here is another math problem to solve. 

Photo by Mrs. Ranney

Frogger and Curious George left 45 comments on the blog.
Frogger left 5 more comments than Curious George. 

How many comments did Frogger leave? 
How many comments did Curious George leave?

The answer is:
Frogger: 25 comments
Curious George: 20 comments

Write one of these new word problem for the class to use for practice?  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Live Link to the BAMMY Awards!

The BAMMY Awards are tonight!

Here is a direct link to the live show.

Here is a list of the five Elementary School Teacher finalists. I am deeply honored to be included in such an esteemed group! 
(Esteemed means highly regarded.)

Click on the name below each picture to 
learn about each finalist! 

To learn more about the BAMMY AWARDS, click here. 

I have been in Washington, D.C. for a few days. Here are some of the highlights my students help scheduled for me. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Washington, D.C. ~ Day 2

Day two in Washington, D.C. was equally exciting and fun!

Although it was a cloudy day, I was excited to get to go to the top of the Washington Monument. Notice the circle of flags around the base of the obelisk. How many flags do you think surround the monument? What is an obelisk?

Park Rangers monitor the government monuments. They help tourists and answer questions.

As you enter the base of the monument, there is a statue of our Founding Father.

Tourists wait in line for their turn in the elevator to the top.

Up at 500 feet, visitors exit the elevator and observe Washington, D.C. Here are the four views!





The World War II Memorial was spectacular from 500 feet!

The beautiful Potomac River was interesting to observe. 
What do you notice in this photo? 

The windows at the top face north, south, east, and west. The compass rose was the perfect decoration inside the elevator!

Next stop, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. 
No photography was allowed inside, but photos were permitted in the lobby. 

Giant posters of bills were placed along the walls for viewing!

Color was introduced in 2004. 
Click on the photos to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Sheets of two dollar bills on display in the lobby. What is the value of this sheet?

What is the value of this sheet of fives? 

How tall am I in stacks of hundreds? 
What is that value?

Around noon, I stopped by National Geographic. 
What is this strange animal behind me?

In the afternoon, I visited the National Archives. There I saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights! No pictures were allowed, but I did capture this great sculpture outside the building.

After the National Archives, I dashed over to the Museum of Natural History. There is an elephant in the lobby! 

Upstair, a real gem of exhibit...the Hope Diamond!

In the evening, I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the White House. My former student, Ella, lined up this special tour!
Thank you Ella!

What are some questions you have for me about my day?

Which photos did you like the best?