Friday, September 13, 2019

Palindrome Week!

This week is palindrome week! 

What is a palindrome?


ˈpal ənˌdrōm
  1. a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backward as forward, e.g., madam or nurses run.

Why is it palindrome week? Well, look at the dates!
They read the same forwards and backward!

September is the 9th month.
The days are 10 - 19.
The year is 19.

Red chart by Ivy and Emily F. Purple chart by Isla and Tali

A word can be a  palindrome.








A phrase or sentence can be a palindrome. 

Nurses run.

Madam, I'm Adam.

A man, a plan, a canal, Panama! 

Here are some that we talked about in class:

Please share one or two new palindromes!

Where are some number palindromes?  

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Welcome Back ~ 2019-2020

Welcome back to a new school year!


Here's a video greeting from Mrs. Yollis!

Parents and Students

This blog is the centerpiece of our classroom community. It is a wonderful space for sharing and learning together. Here is a link to an article I wrote about the benefits of classroom blogging. I hope you'll have a chance to read it before our Back to School Night.

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If you are a new or returning student, please leave a comment telling me about yourself. What did you do over your summer break? What adventures and experiences did you enjoy? Be sure to limit personal information! 

If you are one of our blogging buddies, please introduce yourself to my new class. Where are you from? What have you been up to?

Remember to proofread your comment with a parent before you publish! 


If you are not sure how to comment on this blog, watch this video tutorial! It will walk you step by step through the process!

Happy Blogging! 

I am looking forward to learning with you!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Greek and Latin Are Taking Root!

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

In Freckle Word Study, many students were introduced to Greek and Latin roots. If you know some Greek and Latin roots, it can help you "unlock" what an unknown word might mean. 

For example, uni means one. The unicorn has one horn and unison means you speak in one voice.  Bi means two, so a bicycle has two wheels, and a bifocal has two lenses. Photo means light, so photography (fo • tog • ru • fee)  uses light to make pictures and photosynthesis (fo • to • sin • thu • sis) means light is used by plants to make food. 

We worked collaboratively (collab means together) to create an informative slideshow. 

Enjoy and learn! We are adding slides daily, so check back often. 

 Leave us a spectacular (that means one that LOOKS good) comment using one of the words that have a Greek or Latin root! 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Memorial Day :: Flag Ceremonies

There are TWO guest writers on this Memorial Day post! 
My current group of Girl Scouts and a former student who was a Girl Scout. 

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We are a Girl Scout troop, and in honor of Memorial Day, we taught a lesson about our American flag. We used information from our camping and day trips. On each of the trips, we learned a little bit about the flag. We have even done a flag ceremony at City Hall!

We taught the class how to fold the flag. We were very careful of the flag. We did not want it touching the ground because if the flag touches the ground then we would have to burn the flag. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

When the flag is raised on a pole it has its signals. One signal is when the flag is half raised it means that an important American has died. On Memorial Day, we raise the flag half way for all the soldiers that sacrificed their lives. Halfway into the day, they raise the flag fully to recognize the soldiers that are still alive. They raise the flag fully at the White House when the president is there.  

Photo from Pixabay

There are 13 stripes on the flag because of the 13 colonies and 50 stars because of the 50 states. America has grown over the decades. One event that changed America was the Louisiana Purchase. It doubled the size of America (Thank you, Thomas Jefferson, for purchasing if from the French!) America was part of Britain living under their laws. But, we fought the Revolutionary War and we won. We the people govern the land!

When you fold the flag, there are many steps. First, you hold it parallel to the ground. 

After two folds, you have a long narrow flag with the blue field on top.  Next, begin making triangular folds. 

Finally, you tuck in the end and you have folded the flag respectfully!

Here is a link to a Flag Retirement ceremony that Mrs. Yollis attended in 2010. 

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Guest post from Mallory, Mrs. Yollis' former student

This Monday, May 28, is Memorial Day in the United States. 
It is a national holiday!

I celebrated Memorial Day with my mom and my Girl Scout troop in a special way.  We went to the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood to place American flags on the headstones of soldiers who have served our country in the military.   There were so many other troops to help, including Daisies, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Eagle Scouts.

Photo by Mallory's Mom

There was a very specific way to place the flags.  They had to be put 1 foot away from the headstone and 2 inches into the ground.  Then we were told to stand and have a moment of silence to recognize and honor the soldier for their dedication to our country.

Photo by Mallory's Mom

I was very interested to read each soldier's headstone.  Some fought in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.  There were many soldiers who even fought in more than one war.

This memorable experience inspired me to come home and learn more about Memorial Day.  I found out many interesting facts on Wikipedia. 

Memorial Day Facts:
* Memorial Day used to be called "Decoration Day" during the Civil War.
* It wasn't until after World War II that the name changed to Memorial Day.
* In 1967, it was declared a national holiday.
* There are 88,000 graves in the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Photo by Mallory's Mom

How do you celebrate Memorial Day where you live?

Do you have anyone in your family who has served in the military?

What facts do you know about Memorial Day that we haven't mentioned? 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Virtual Reality Field Trip!

Yesterday, we went on a field trip across America! 

April Fools! 

We used Virtual Reality, and it was so much fun! Mrs. Minicozzi brought a wagon full of virtual reality viewers and an ipad full of places to go!

After we went over the rules, we paired up, shared the goggles, and Mrs. Yollis began the Tour of American Landmarks!

Photo by Mrs. Minicozzi 

Goggles on! Let's start the field trip! 

Tourists had to stay in their seats during every stop. 

After a view, the goggles were handed to a partner. Students then wrote down or drew pictures of what they saw.

When the tour return home, students selected one American landmark to research on Britannica. After gathering three new facts, a blog post was written. Photos came from Google Earth or Mrs. Yollis. 

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Please click on the student blogs below to learn about one of the virtual destinations. The student bloggers would love a comment!

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Where would you go using virtual reality? Why?

Have you ever used virtual reality? Tell us about it!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Connecting Through Blogging

We are a part of the Student Blogging Challenge. It is a wonderful 10 week series of blogging challenges to practice and promote reading and writing, digital citizenship, geography, and fun! 

Week four is about getting caught up on posts or free choice. As a free choice idea,  I encouraged students to explore their Flag Counter gadget that shows visitors and create a post about a visiting country. 

Students were excited to look at the flags of the visitors from the first three weeks and find countries on the map. Sheila (pen name) came up to me with her laptop and showed me her Flag Counter. There were only two visitors. Both were from the United States. 


I immediately turned to my Professional/Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter. A PLN is a group of people who enjoy helping and sharing with one another via social media. As an educator,  if I need ideas, some inspiration, or some Flag counters, my PLN is the ticket. I encourage all educators to begin building and contributing to a PLN on Twitter. Being connected benefits my students and my teaching practice!

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

How did I connect with my PLN?
I tweeted out the message below. I included three educators who are big supporters of educational blogging, @langwitches, @kathleen_morris, and @gcouros. I knew they could help us get visitors!

What happened next?
 1) Langwitches retweeted (RT) the message to her followers. Notice she included members of her PLN who support blogging.

2)   Kathleen_Morris retweeted (RT) the message to her followers. Notice she included two hashtags. Hashtags helped connect the message to groups following a hashtag or topic. 

3. gcouros retweeted (RT) the message and added a message encouraging other educators to not only visit the blog but to comment. 

Results: Visitor flags from all over the world! 

Bonus: Visitor comments from all over the world!

Not only did we get Flag Counter dots, but we received comments! Lots of comments! The enthusiasm for reading and writing, for geography, for collaboration was immediate!

As any good blogger knows, commenting back to your readers builds readership and community. However, there were so many comments, "Sheila" could not keep up. So, the class paired up and worked as a team to comment back! They called it Sheila's Commenting Marathon! 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

  Here are some comments and replies. If you want to read them all, here is a link: Sheila's Special Stories

Thank you to Mr. Couros, Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Tolisano for promoting student blogging and teachers! Thank you to the teachers and parents who support learning through blogging. 

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What do you think about the value of a PLN? 

How did you contribute to the marathon?

What do you like about connecting via blogging?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Fun With Original Photos :: Student Blogging Challenge

Images can bring a blog post to life and draw in a reader. As a blogger, it is important to use images correctly. Do NOT just search Google Images and take what you want! Learn how to use images correctly! 

For the Student Blogging Challenge, we are having Fun With PhotosHere are some image options on a poster from Mrs. Morris.

This week's focus will be creating original images that complement a blog post. Of the tasks below, our class will be creating images that tell a story. Students will use their own original photos in a post on their blog.

How Does It Feel When Your Work is Stolen? 

To help students understand the concept of "intellectual property theft" (also know as taking someone else's work) I played a trick on my students. I put up their original artwork but put someone else's name on each piece. 

When the students saw what I was doing, they told me that their artwork had the wrong name. I told them, "It doesn't matter. I need to get this bulletin board finished before recess." 

Later in the day, I confessed that I posted the incorrect names on purpose. What followed was a wonderful conversation about the importance of getting credit for work produced. Also, we talked about how awful it feels to take credit for a classmate's work. One of my student bloggers wrote a wonderful post about the experience

Here is a video of the trick from a few years ago! 

How to Create an Image That Tells a Story 

A great image on a blog post can really help "tell a story". For example, the picture we created to complement the artwork trick is below.  

I directed the students to put their arms in a gesture of confusion. Not showing the faces was a purposeful part of the digital creation. Always limit personal information!

We looked at a few great samples of photos from the Yollis 365 Blog that tell a story.

1. Here is a photo that tells the story of a mischievous dog named Buck who came to school to "help" clean up. 

2. This photo is about a dog named Buck who is not interested in a Santa costume! 

3. This photo tells the story of a student who is learning cursive. 

Some New Student Photos!

Students have been taking photos using an Acer, an ipad, or a smart phone and using the photos to write blog posts for the Student Blogging Challenge. 


Big Burt tells the story of his family's new kitchen backsplash. Notice that his dad is putting them in place. This photo helps tells the story of the backsplash. 

"Casey Cherry's" picture tells the story of the London Eye
Here is a view for you!

Photo by Casey Cherry 

"Jodie Bloom" included a photo that tells the story the Eiffel Tower. 

Here is a photo by "Dr. Hagle". It shows a close up of a painted lady butterfly. 

My student bloggers, here is a link for you to share your URL for your new post with your original photo. Be sure you have the right URL! Fun With Photos Google Form

What do you think of the original photos?

How does creating your own images make your blog post special?