Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You an Expert?

The second story in our Celebrating Traditions Unit is called
"Anthony Reynoso, Born to Rope."

 This is a story of a family's tradition of Mexican rodeo roping and riding. Anthony and his family work hard and practice their skills for their exhibitions. Because of their hours of practice, they are now expert performers!

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Please share about a skill you have worked hard to learn. 

What steps did you take to master this skill?  

Was it difficult at first?
Did anyone help you to achieve this goal?


  1. Dear class,

    When I was growing up, I used to ski every winter. Seven years ago, I decided to learn how to snowboard. Because it was completely new to me, I signed up for a class with an expert. The teacher instructed me to always wear a helmet, to put my weight on my front foot when I wanted to go, and to bring my arms around and point in the direction I wanted to turn. Pointing in a direction helped turn my body in that direction. It took a lot of concentration to get my body in the correct position, and I fell quite a bit!

    After hours of falling, I really felt like quitting. I told myself that everything is hard at the beginning, but if I kept trying, I would be triumphant! After several days of focused practice, I was able to go down a hill and make several turns without falling. Learning to snowboard was exciting for me. I am still a novice, but I am getting better.

    Mrs. Y♥llis

  2. Dear Mrs Yollis and class,

    Firstly I must say well done Mrs Yollis on been brave and mastering snowboarding. Good on you for been persistent even at times you wanted to give up.

    It remains me of when I was a young girl I wanted to learn how to ride my skate board, not the skateboard ride me. Mind you I had so many falls and like Mrs Yollis and at times I did want to give up but day after day I would jump on my skateboard and within a few weeks like Mrs Yollis I did ride my skateboard. Still ever now and then I still did have a few falls.

    So nothing is inpossible only possible just believe and you can achieve and then became an expert.

    From your pal down under,
    AA. :)

  3. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I am an expert at skiing too. I have been skiing for five years. My favorite place to ski is Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Nevada Range. Did you know that Mammoth Mountain is a volcano? My favorite ski route is "Little Road Runner, which takes you down the backside of the mountain from the very top. Mammoth is 11,059 feet tall and was formed by volcanic eruptions 57,000 years ago. Mammoth still gives off volcanic gases that can be very dangerous. Do you know any facts about Mammoth?
    The ski season is almost here, so I have to get my ski equipment ready. See you tomorrow.


  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I am an expert at building Legos! Once I built a Lego police car without even looking at the instructions. The biggest Lego set I ever built had 783 pieces. Do you like Legos like me?



  5. Dear Ellie,

    You know a lot of really interesting facts about Mammoth Mountain! I have another thing that I like to do that I am and expert at! I am an expert singer! I love to sing and have been doing it since I was 3. In one of my recitals, everyone started crying when i was perfoming. After my performance I had a party and Jordyn was there. It was the best day ever! Jordyn got to meet my cat Bolt! Have you ever been to a recital? What's your favorite thing about skiing?

    Your Friend,

  6. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I remember reading that story in third grade it was a great story. I hope your class likes it, See you tomorrow.


  7. Dear Mrs.Yollis and class,
    I am going to be an expert in dance and playing the piano when I am older.I enjoy both of the activities very much.

    My teachers are very nice.They are all professionals and experts in what they teach.When I grow up I want to be just like them.I am a very hard worker. As you always say practice makes perfect!


  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I am an expert artist. I love to draw animals and plants. It was difficult at first, but then I got a book called How to Draw Anything. I practiced tracing over the little lines on the animals and plants. I kept practicing and got better and better.

    I like to create books out of my drawings of characters like dragons and pets.

    When I grow up I would like to be an artist. One of my favorite artists is Howard McWilliam. He illustrated the book I Need My Monster.

    Do you have a favorite artist? Do you want to be an artist when you grow up?

    From your classmate,

  9. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I'm a expert at catching bugs. My favorite bug has been the praying mantis. Does anyone know if the praying mantis is a meat eater or a plant eater? Here's an interesting fact about bugs, over three-quarters of all living creatures on Earth are bugs. Hope this doesn't bug you.


  10. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I am an expert at gymnastics. I have been doing gymnastics since I was five years old. Last year, I was a level four, but then I moved up to level five. It was very hard at first, because I had to learn new skills. When I mastered all the new skills, it became easier.

    I practice in the gym for 20 hours a week. I have two great coaches that help me with all my skills. One of the coaches works with me on floor and beam, and the second coach teaches vault and bars.

    In November, I will have the hardest competition of all, the state championship. After states, I will start working on the next level.

    This Sunday, I will have a level 5 competition. This competition will help me prepare for the state championship. I hope I do well.


  11. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I am expert at piano. I have been playing the piano since I was five years old. I try to practice every day, and I especially play a lot on the weekends. If I hear a song that I like, I can figure out how to play it on the piano. I play pieces from many different composers. Right now I am playing a piece by Chopin and Beethoven. I will play these songs in a piano competition in November.

    My piano teacher comes to us once a week and helps me polish the songs so that they sound just right. She is a really good teacher.


  12. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have seen Sammy build Legos and he is really good, just like you said.

    I am an expert at basketball, but I'm especially good at defense. I practice twice a week and love to play with my friends too. I am also pretty good at throwing a football. I like to go out with my Dad and play catch in the street.

    Have you ever seen Sammy build Legos?


  13. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have worked hard to learn how to mountain bike. I learned to ride a two wheel bike when I was 4 years old. My dad helped me to learn by running behind me and telling me to keep pedaling. I like riding my bike around the neighborhood and at the beach, but I wanted to learn more. I wanted to learn how to mountain bike with my dad.

    My first ride was at Malibu Creek State Park and I had a lot of fun. I practiced on other trails near my house. My family went on a vacation to Mammoth Mountain over the summer and I practiced on a few trails there. After practicing. I went to the very top of Mammoth Mountain and it was a super fun ride down! Have you tried mountain biking?

    Your Friend,

  14. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am an expert at gymnastics. I can do back handsprings which is sort of like a backflip. I am in the same gymnastics class as another girl in our class. I usually go three times per week and I practice all the time. Practice makes perfect.



  15. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    The two skills I have been working hard to master are piano and soccer.

    I have been playing the piano for two and a half years since I was five years old. I try to practice five days a week and my teacher comes once a week. Once I have mastered a song, we start a new one.

    Sometimes I have a hard time practicing since it can get boring but I know that by practicing I can master a song and that always makes me feel really good.

    As for soccer, I have been playing since I was 4 years old. I play in the fall and in the spring. I play all different positions, but my favorite is halfback. I practice with my team once a week and play in games on Saturdays. Sometimes practice can be very hard but I know that if I practice I can become a good player and help my team win!


  16. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,
    I am an expert at singing. I've been singing since I knew how to talk. I've never taken singing classes, but I'm very good at it. My mom has been helping me with my singing.

    Another thing I'm very good at is dancing. I've been dancing since I was three.I do Hip Hop and Ballet. I have dance classes two times a week. I have a lot of fun!

    Do you now how to sing and dance?
    If you do, please tell me.


  17. Dear Mrs. Yollis, I have worked very hard to be an expert in reading. I got a tutor and we read every time I see her. I practice everyday also. Sometimes I share read with my mom. That means that we take turns reading. I read one page and my mom reads one page. I like to read. Do you? Love, Jordyn

  18. @ Sammy,

    I am an expert at building legos also! I can only build little legos with out looking at the instructions, but the biggest lego set I have ever built had about 1,400 pieces. It was a motorized lego dump truck. You could make it dump but keep the dumpster or you could make it take it off the whole dumpster and drive away. It was the coolest lego set I have ever seen!

    I have built another lego set that had 1,290 pieces. It was Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter. What was the lego set that you built that had 783 pieces?


  19. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I am almost an expert at playing the violin. I started playing last year and play with my teacher every Wednesday. Since I play the piano, it was easier to learn the violin because I already knew all the notes. The hardest part for me to learn was the proper way to hold the violin and the bow. I spent a whole month just learning how to hold the violin. Once I learned that, the I was able to play many different pieces.

    In Augusts, I auditioned for the Junior Orchestra at a university in Northridge. I was very surprised when I made it. During the audition, I had to play two songs, three scales and sight read one song that I never saw before. I was very surprised when I made it and I am the youngest member of the orchestra. It is an all string orchestra. There are basses, cellos, violas, and violins in the orchestra.
    The violins and cellos are split up in two groups, first and second. The best violins and cellos are in the first group and they play mostly the melody. The second violins and cellos play the harmony. I am a second violin.

    There is one conductor that teaches us how to play together. We practice two in a half hours every Saturday morning. We are learning five songs that we are going to perform at a concert in November.


  20. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I want to be an expert at playing tennis. My sister and I play tennis together with the coach every Sunday morning. I used to play with my mom before we got our coach. My mom was also a really good player. Usually at the end of our practice, the coach lets us play a match. It is usually either my sister and I against the coach or my sister and the coach against me. When I can, I try to hit the ball really hard to the the side so the coach has to run to get the ball. When he can't get it, I get a point and win. Sometimes when I lose the match, I have to do ten push ups. I still need to improve my serve and then I can play a real match against other kids


  21. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    I'm now an expert at a game called Pokemon {pok-ee-mon}. First, when I was 3, I was playing the game. Meanwhile, Marcus saw me playing the game. Then, he came over to me. I asked him how to get the health bar to green. Then, Marcus told me how to do it. It was difficult at first ,but with lots of practice and playing with my brothers, I am now really good!


  22. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,
    I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Mrs. Yollis, learning to ski sounds interesting, I would like to try that in the future. When I was in elementary school I taught myself to make bracelets with colorful, rubber material. I took my time, tried to be patient, and learned simple designs first. Yes, it was very difficult but I did not want to give up. I asked my grandmother to help me and it was enjoyable working together. I hope everyone has a great school year.


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