Saturday, December 20, 2014

❄ Winter Solstice ❄ 3:03 P.M. December 21, 2014!

The winter solstice will occur on December 21, 2014,  at 3:03 (PST). 

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is the coldest season of the year. It begins about December 21 and lasts until about March 21. 

Around December 21 or 22, 
the sun's rays fall directly over the farthest point south of the equator. 

 This marks the first day of winter. 

Winter days have fewer hours of daylight because of the path the earth takes as it revolves around the sun. The earth completely revolves around the sun during 365 days. The earth's axis always tips about 23 1/2 degrees from a line perpendicular to its path. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins in June.
Different regions have longer winters than others. For example, in the polar regions, winter takes up half the year. In the Temperate Zones winter takes up about one quarter of the year. 

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In regions where there is cold weather, it causes many changes in the environment. Water may freeze and become ice, snow, sleet or icicles. 

Sometimes it gets so cold, boiling water will vaporize! 
(Thanks Mrs. Rose from Ontario, Canada, who created this Vine last December!)

Most plants and animals become dormant and rest. Some animals hibernateThe only plants that grow and remain green are evergreensPeople protect themselves from the cold climate with winter clothing when they go outdoors. They enjoy a variety of indoor activities or outdoor wintersports such as skiing, skating, or sledding. 

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Here are some fun winter links!

Want to make an online snowflake? Click here! 

BrainPop has some great winter and snow movies! 

Click here! 

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What do you enjoy most about winter?

How will you be celebrating the holidays?

What activities will you be participating in this winter break?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Maori Hand Game :: Thanks

Our blogging buddies in New Zealand, Room One @ Auroa School  introduced us to a fun Maori Hand Game. We loved learning it and have made video for them. We're sorry this video was delayed in publishing!

Did we do the correct moves?

What are some typical games that you play in your country? 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sensational Snow Scenes!

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Every month, parents come in and lead a seasonal craft lesson with the class. Nicholas' mom came in and taught us how to make  
a wacky winter wonderland!

So clever!

 Look at those poor students who woke up in a snow globe!

Is this fantasy or reality


This student didn't mind. 

He made the best of it and started juggling snowballs!

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Are you interested in making snow globes with your students? We have been working on the skill of following directions, so here are the directions for making a snow globe!

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Gather materials: photograph of each student trapped in the snow globe, snow globe template made on card stock, white paper (to glue on for background snow), lined paper to write a few sentences about "If I lived in a snow globe...", scissors, crayons or markers, glue stick, hot glue gun, clear paper plates, and a bag of fake snow. 

1. Cut out the student
2. Make the paper background snow and glue it to the snow globe template. 
3. Glue the student to the snow.
4. Add background (trees, snowmen...) 
5. Place some snow in the plate
6. Hot glue the rim of the plate. (See example photo) 

6. Place the paper template face down on top of the rim. Beware, the hot glue! :-)
7. Wait for the glue to cool.
8. Flip the snow globe over to see the student trapped in the snow globe!
9. Write a message: "If I lived in a snow globe..."
10. Glue the message to the base of the snow globe.

Have fun with your winter wonderland! 

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What did you like about making a snow globe? Tell Nicholas' mom!

Have you ever followed directions?

What advice to you have about reading and following directions? 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tutorial: A Multiplication Strategy

REMINDER: Edublog Award voting is open until December 15. We are nominated in THREE categories. Please consider voting!  Click here to give us your thumbs up/like. 

We have been learning about multiplication. 

Sometimes we encounter a large multiplication sentence and we don't know the product. We learned a strategy called:  Break the Large Array into Two Smaller Arrays and Add the Products

Here is a fabulous tutorial explaining the process 

for 5 x 7 = ?


Here is another tutorial. Again, it is modeling how to split a large array into two smaller arrays to get the final product. 

What did you think of the multiplication strategy?

What did you think of the tutorial?

Give us a large multiplication sentence that we can practice splitting into two smaller arrays to solve.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hour of Code Started Today!

REMINDER: Edublog Award voting is open until December 15. We are nominated in THREE categories. Please consider voting!  Click here to give us your thumbs up/like. 

Computer Science Education Week
December 8 - 14, 2014

To celebrate, Mrs. Yollis and her students will participate in the Hour of Code!

Here are some screenshots from the Hour of Code website

Computer Science week coincides with the birthdays of two computer science pioneers. A pioneer is a person who is one of the first to enter a field of study or explore a new area of thought.  Ada Lovelace, born in England on December 10, 1815, is considered the world's first computer programmerGrace Hopper, whose birthday is December 9, 1906, was an American computer programmer and Navy rear admiral. She contributed to the development of the COBOL language and is credited with popularizing the term "computer bug" in the programming community. Grace Hopper said:  

To me programming is more than an important practical art. It is also a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge.

For students: 
We will be accessing these Hour of Code Tutorials. However, you are free to go to these tutorials at home with your parents. Share what you've learned with the class in the comment section!

On Monday, we will start our Hour of Code using the Angry Birds tutorial. This tutorial will help us learn the "drag and drop" method of programming as we solve fun puzzles. After solving the puzzles, we can create our own puzzle!

 Here is a screenshot of puzzle 1. 

Here is a screenshot of the opening puzzle. Together we will drag and drop blocks. The blocks will snap together, and then we will run the program. Through trial and error we will persevere and become computer programmers

For those who are ready, there is a tutorial using Anna and Elsa! Here are some screenshot I took as I explored the tutorial. 

Notice verbs like move and turn
What does the term 90 degrees mean? Can Elsa turn more than 90˚? Less than 90˚
What are pixels

For parents and teachers: 
Learn about the Hour of Code organization
Hour of Code Q & A Hangout with Hadi Partovi, the creator of Hour of Code
Hour of Code Tutorials

Here are some shots from our first day of coding:

We used a paper bird to help us figure out right from left! 
Follow the beak!

After we did a few tutorials together, students worked in groups.

Follow the beak! 

What did you enjoy about being a computer programmer?

Share any tips or definitions that will help us all become better programmers.

Let the coding begin!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Edublog Awards :: Voting Now Open!

We have exciting news! 

The Edublog Awards voting is open and our class made the shortlist of finalists in THREE categories! 

We'd love your vote!

Below are the voting boxes. Click on the "thumb".

TIP:  Be sure THE NUMBER next to the "thumb" 
goes UP! If the number goes down, you "unvoted" and will need to click the "thumb" again.


See full list on Listly


See full list on Listly


See full list on Listly

Two of Mrs. Yollis' former students are still blogging years later! Miriam and Sarah would love a thumbs up from you!


See full list on Listly


See full list on Listly

We appreciate your support and are honored to have made it to the shortlist of finalists!

Best of luck to everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving Tradition :: Pumpkin Bread!

A Thanksgiving tradition in Mrs. Yollis' room is to bake delicious pumpkin bread.

Parents volunteered to help each group of bakers. It was so lovely outside, two groups got to bake al fresco!

Check out these busy bakers! 
Thanks, parents, for helping out!

 Mrs. Ranney came out of retirement to assist one group!

 Mrs. Yollis was on hand to assist with ingredients. Be sure you add the right item and measure the correct amount.

The next day, we decorated the breads like turkeys and created special invitations to Thomas T. Turkey!

First, students made a list of items to be cut out to make their turkey decoration.

Next, students worked in pairs to assemble the turkeys.

Finally, it was time for a photo!

*     *     *     *     * 

Mrs. Yollis is thankful for her lasting friendship with Mrs. Ranney. Everyone appreciates her bimonthly visits to our classroom!

Thank you, Troy's mom, for taking these wonderful photos! 

What are you thankful for?

What was some funny word play you used in your Thomas T. Turkey invitation? 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Edublog Nominations :: 2014

The Edublog Awards provide a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all the fabulous blog posts and web contributions that people have shared over the past year. It is always difficult to make decisions and narrow it down to just one choice per category. I want to personally thank the many dedicated, talented, and passionate educators who contribute to the educational community each and every day. I learn so much from my Personal Learning Network (PLN), so many thanks!  

Here are my nominations: 

Best Student Blog - Miriam's Magical Moments

(Miriam is a former student or mine who has blogged consistently since 2011.)

Best Class Blog- Miss Jordan's Class

Best New Blog - Room One @ Auroa School

Best Library Blog - Bulldog Readers Blog

Best Individual Tweeter - JoAnn Jacobs

Best Individual Blog – wwwwatanabe (Tracy Watanabe)

Best Hashtag -#comments4kids (Thanks @wmchamberlain for your contribution!)

Best Ed Tech- Langwitches (Silvia Tolisano)

Best Teacher Blog - Cool Cat Teacher

Best Educational Use of a Social Network - Student Blogging Challenge

Best Free Web Tool Twitter

Best Open PD – Global Education Conference

Best Educational Wiki - ICT Magic

Best Mobile App – Educreations

Lifetime Achievement – Jennifer Wagner 
(Projects by Jen)

*Nominations will close TODAY (November 24) at 11.59 PM EST USA. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Thanksgiving Journey!

Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Students learn about the history of Thanksgiving in school and sometimes there is a Thanksgiving presentation. Our reading buddies are in the Journey's program at our school. They are pre-kindergarten students; many are only four years old! Our pals invited us to help and watch their Thanksgiving Performance.

Before the show, we helped the young performers with their costumes. Four third graders worked as ushers who handed out programs to the parents in the audience. Ella assisted with the entrance. The Pilgrims, turkeys, and Wampanoags were excited to start their show.  

Here they are lined up ready to begin! 

Mrs. Cuevas introduced the presentation. 
What a great pumpkin backdrop! 

This little Pilgrim welcomed the crowd.

The audience enjoyed Thanksgiving fun facts, sensational seasonal  songs, and it ended with a poem of gratitude!

The young performers enhanced the singing with clever gestures. A gesture is a movement that expresses an idea. 

Leave a message for your Journey's buddy. 

Remember, they are just learning to read. 
It is okay to leave very short sentences. 
It is okay to start your sentences the same way.

What was your favorite part about the presentation? 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Wonderful World of Weaving!

Nic's mom and grandmother came in to class to teach our monthly art lesson. This dynamic duo taught the class how to weave!

First, we made a paper loom and then the weaving began. 
Over. Under. Over. Under.

Over. Under...

What have you woven? 

What was the most difficult part?