Sunday, January 25, 2015

Meet Liberty! #GlobalPal


Meet Liberty!




This special bird is one of our classroom mascots. A mascot is a person or thing that represents a group or organization.  Liberty is a bald eagle which is the national bird of America.



Liberty is on a grand Twitter  adventure! Today, he started his Global Pal flight that will take him from Los Angeles, across America, and over the Atlantic Ocean on a journey to England.


We will chart his journey using the 
Twitter hashtag: 

#GlobalPal







Liberty's first Global Pal stop will be a rural community in Middleham, England. He will be learning along with Mrs. Monaghan and her English students from A Room With a View. 





Before Liberty left, he enjoyed some time with Mrs. Yollis and her students. Ella showed him how to keep her hands on the home row when learning to type. Liberty's talons, or claws, did NOT seem suited for a keyboard. 



Liberty reviewed the skill of division with Tabitha. 
Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Liberty thoroughly enjoyed watching the students play outside during recess. The air temperature measured  75˚ F (24˚C), and he pondered what the weather was like in Middleham, England. 



Photo by Mrs. Yollis 


It is winter in the northern hemisphere. However, we have very mild winters here in southern California. In addition,  Los Angeles is 35˚ N and 118˚ W. while the coordinates of Middleham, England are 54˚ N and 1.8˚ W. How will the differences in latitude affect Liberty? 





Although Liberty has enjoyed being with Mrs. Yollis and her students. There is one fellow she is glad to be liberated from! Buck, the Yollis' cheeky Labrador retriever, took a real liking to Liberty! 








After staying a few weeks in England, Liberty will head to the southern hemisphere. He will stay with Mrs. Shannon and her new baby Oskar in Darwin, Australia! Last year, we worked with Mrs. Shannon on a different Twitter project. 

Guess who is on his way to our classroom? 
Meet Snappy!
(The green alligator, not Oskar, the cute baby.) 





Follow Liberty's journey via the Twitter hashtag #GlobalPal. There will be at least one tweet a day! Follow Snappy's Adventures in Mrs. Yollis' class! In the spring, we'll welcome Jolly George from Middleham, England!





Here are some of the things that might tweet about:

Our food

Our location

Our pets

Our hobbies

Our favorite games

Our weather

Our families


Look out for the traveling trio on Twitter with 
#globalpal!


What should Snap see while here in our neck of the woods?




Friday, January 23, 2015

Show Your School Spirit :: Pajama Day!

Pajama Day With Our Buddies on PhotoPeach




 We also had fun with some silly slippers! 



How are these alike or different?





Compare and contrast these!




How are these alike or different?




What makes this collection alike?



A fun fort for special friends on Pajama Day!



Some students gathered together for a photo at the end of the fun Friday!



What was the best part about Pajama Day?



Friday, January 16, 2015

App Smashing :: Turkey Travels!

My students love writing and creatingAt the end of November, we wrote fanciful stories about a troubled turkey, and we just completed the illustrations. We are finally ready to publish our funny fantasies!





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Turkey Takes a Vacation!

Stories and Vacation Photos by Mrs. Yollis’ Third Graders




Turkey Visits Paris, France


By Sean


     Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Mrs. Dole who lived in California with the Howard family. Mrs. Dole didn’t like the idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so she disguised herself as a tourist and ran away to France.

   She decided to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall (300 meters). Gustave Eiffel built the Eiffel Tower. About 2 million people visited the Eiffel Tower in the first year it was built! It was built by 300 steel workers!

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After she took the double decker bus to the Lourve Museum to see the  Mona Lisa. It is 508 years old! It is an oil painting. The artist is Leonardo Da Vinci. Then took a flight back to California because Thanksgiving was over.


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Turkey Visits Japan

By Troy

     Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Bob who lived in California with the Joey-bob family. Bob didn’t like the idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so he disguised himself as a tourist and ran away to Japan. When he got there, he visited Mount Fuji and found out it is 12,388 feet tall! 




In fact, it is the tallest mountain in Japan. As he looked up at the colossal, snow-covered peak, he felt amazed. Since the volcano hadn’t erupted in hundreds of years, he thought it might any minute.

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He decided to rush over to Itsukushima Torii, which is a 52 foot high gate that is the entrance into a Shinto Shrine, but he discovered that he had to wait for low tide to get to it.  Finally, the tide went out, and Bob asked another tourist if he knew any facts about the gate. The tourist told him that some people drop coins in front of it and make wishes. Bob wished never to be in California in November for the rest of his life!  And, that’s exactly what happened!





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Turkey Visits Paris, France
By Ruby



Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Mrs. Midas who lived in Sacramento, California, with the Midas family. Mrs. Midas didn’t like the horrifying idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so she disguised herself as a tourist and ran away to France. While Mrs. Midas was looking around, she wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris. She thought about how many feet tall it would be. She found out it was 984 feet ( 300 meters).


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Mrs. Midas wanted to waddle to Versailles to learn some facts.  She discovered that Versailles has about 1,300 rooms. There is a famous room called the Hall of Mirrors. 

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 9.41.24 AM.png


Next Mrs. Midas traveled to Louvre, so she could learn a fact or two about the Mona Lisa. Mrs. Midas found out that the Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The Mona Lisa was completed in 1506, so it is 508 years years old! Mrs. Midas loved France, but she knew that the Midas family would miss her so she went home. She knew she would be back next Thanksgiving!







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Read all the stories and see the fabulous vacation photos! Click Here!

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Would you like to know how 
we made this project? 




Steps Taken to Complete the Writing Portion 


First, we read Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano.  The funny fantasy follows our feathered friend as he finds out what Americans feast upon for Thanksgiving.  



Second, we selected an exotic vacation location for Turkey. (If he left America over Thanksgiving break, he would not get eaten.)

Third, we researched a vacation destination using reference books and World Book Online. Two landmarks were chosen from a foreign country and facts were collected. 












Fourth, we wrote the first draft of our turkey narratives. Once written, Mrs. Yollis opened her Google Drive on five classroom laptops and students took turns typing their revised stories on one document. (It was fun to watch the text getting added from five different people! Soon students will have their own Google Drive and will be able to type using their own GAFE Drive.) 







Steps Taken to Complete the Vacation Photos 

We used Greg Kulowiec's idea of App Smashing (use multiple apps to create a project) and were able to provide "vacation photos" from Turkey's Trip! 

Here are the apps we smashed to finalize our project: Google Earth, Google Drive, Blogger, the iPad camera roll, and PuppetPals Director's ($4.99) *Or use PicCollage for free (Thanks for the tip, Tina Schmitt!)  


First, each student created a paper turkey and decorated it. 





Second, each student shot a photo of  his/her paper turkey.  It was automatically saved  to the camera roll on one of our seven iPads.



Third, each student went on Google Earth and found one of the landmarks from Turkey's trip. (Example: the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, German) A screenshot was taken which automatically saved to the iPad camera roll. Students repeated this step for their second landmark screenshot. (Example: the London Eye or Big Ben)



Some students had difficulty getting the perfect screenshot. Sometimes they were too close in Google Earth and the photo was blurry or no one could tell what it was; sometimes they were too far away and no one could tell what the landmark was. The strategy of trial and error was applied. Students who were successful helped others who were having difficulty. 


Fourth, each student went into PuppetPals Director's Cut app and uploaded his/her turkey photo from the camera roll. In PuppetPal Director's Pass, the students were able to outline the turkey and make it a puppet.







Fifth, each student stayed in PuppetPals Director's Cut and uploaded their two landmark screenshots taken in Google Earth from the camera roll. Each photo was imported as a PuppetPal Director's Pass scene







Sixth, each student made TWO PuppetPal Director's Pass scenes. Each student placed his/her turkey puppet in the first landmark scene and took a screenshot. The screenshot was automatically saved in the camera roll. The student repeated this step using the second landmark scene. The second landmark screenshot was saved to the camera roll. 




Here is Nicholas' turkey in Berlin, Germany. He found a Google Earth image with a double-decker tour bus, so he placed his turkey on the bus! So clever!




Again, some students had difficulty getting the perfect screenshot. Sometimes they made the turkey puppet so big it blocked the landmark; sometimes they made the turkey puppet was so small no one could see it. The strategy of trial and error was applied. Students who were successful helped others who were having difficulty. 
Some student used vacation photos from friends. Here is turkey with Mrs. Minicozzi, our tech teacher! 



Seventh, each student emailed his/her two "vacation photos" from the camera roll to Mrs. Yollis' email

Finally, each student (or Mrs. Yollis) inserted the "vacation photo" photos into the group Google Doc.



We hope you enjoyed our stories!

Which turkey narrative did you enjoy?

What are some other apps we could smash? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

On the third MONDAY in January, America celebrates the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a national holiday, SO schools and government offices are closed in his honor.


Mrs. Yollis was in Washington, D.C. last September and took a Moonlight Monument tour. You can see her photo from the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial above. Here is a link to the government site with information about the new national monument.

Here is a link to a song we learned about MLK in music!




Here are some facts about Martin Luther King, Jr.:




  • born in Atlanta, Georga
  • born on January 15, 1929
  • important civil rights leader
  • believed in peaceful protest
  • 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • assassinated on April 4, 1968
  • honored with a national monument in Washington, D.C. (posthumously ~ that means, after he died the honor was bestowed.)



Take these facts and write some quality sentences about this great American! We will share them in class tomorrow!

(Hint: use high-level vocabulary, your sentence length should match your age)



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

We're Going to Europe!





Well, we're not really going to Europe. However, we will be taking our shoes off and walking through Europe next week. How will we be exploring Europe in our socks? We have National Geographic's Giant Traveling Map of Europe for the week! 

We've had several Giant Maps over the past seven years. Here is some information about how we've used maps in the past. There are even some videos we made!


This 26' x 26' map will be available for touring in our Multi-Purpose room.





To make the most of our European visit, we are investigating Europe in many ways. First, we tried to name as many countries as we could. We did not do very well with that! 


Next, we looked at our Visitor Count ClustrMap on our blog. 

What do you notice about our visitors and the CONTINENTS they visit from?

CONTINENTS: North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia/Oceania. (We know that Antarctica exists and is the seventh continent. However, no visitors exist from Antarctica, so we left it off.) 




Next, Mrs. Yollis clicked on our ClustrMap of Europe. 

What do you notice about our European visitors? Where are they mostly from? Do you know any of these bloggers?






We noticed that we have numerous visitors from the United Kingdom. 

What countries make up the United Kingdom (U.K.)?Which United Kingdom country visits us the most? 






Below are some screenshots of the visiting countries from the world
Which European countries visit us the most? 
Pick one of our European visitors and research the country using World Book Online. 

What are some important bodies of water or land features?

What are some important landmarks? What makes the landmark special? 








We want  to "visit" some of our blogging buddies next week.  


What are some important places to visit in England?
What are some important water or land features?




We've also connected with some Irish students.


What are some important places to visit in Ireland?
What are some important water or land features?




Are you from Europe? Please drop us a comment.

 Where do you live in Europe? You do not need to give too much personal information. You can just tell us the closest urban center to your school.  We look forward to "visiting" you next week in Europe!

What do you want to see in Europe? 

Add some informational text about a European country! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 ღ A Wonderful Year in Review!


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The 2014 school year has been one filled with many memorable moments and fabulous student achievement. As I look through the archive of our class blog and our international, collaborative Yollis' 365 Project, I am filled with pride. 



Here are a few of my favorite posts from the 2014 year:









My Students Present at the Texas Google Summit! 
Thank you, Amy Mayer, for inviting us to present! 








Thank you Julie Hembree for the nomination!
Congratulations to Todd Nesloney who took home the BAMMY! Well deserved!
The BAMMY Awards honor the good things that are happening in education, and it was a highlight of my profession career to be named a finalist. What a lovely night for education! 

My principal accompanied me to the red carpet event in Washington, D.C. 



While there, I got to spend some time talking with educators I deeply admire, like Angela Maiers and Vicki Davis



I also got to spend some time with my friend, Daniel Beaupre, from National Geographic. Daniel Beaupre is the creator of the National Geographic Giant Traveling Maps series. 




My students helped me plan my time in Washington, D. C.! 










(A collaborative writing project with 




(We won second place!)






Our Yollis' 365 Project landed in fourth place for Edublog's Best Group Blog!










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I have had a wonderful year! I'd like to send out a hearty thank you to the friends and family who support my students on our blogging journey throughout the year.  And to my positively perfect PLN, (Professional Learning Network), thank you for being so warm and helpful to me. I value your ideas and appreciate your continued support. I feel fortunate to be part of such a fantastic global learning community!

Friends, in 2015, think about joining our collaborative photo-of-the-day blog,  Yollis' 365 Project! We welcome photos from everyone!



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Happy New Year!