Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back to School Night ~ 2016

Normally, Mrs. Yollis' class looks like this.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Tonight, the classroom looked like this!

Photo by Mrs. Yollis

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

It was Back to School Night!
Parents came to hear about third grade!
Lots of information was shared about classroom expectations, curriculum, and resources. 

The centerpiece of the classroom is the blog. Mrs. Yollis shared a video she made about the value of blogging. Here is that video.


She also showed a wonderful video about supervising and guiding children on the web. It is a great video that really drives the point home. Thank you, Bill Genereux, for the fabulous movie. 

Parents left thoughtful notes for their child. With Dry Erase pens, you can write right on the desk! Everyone loved it!

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What are you excited to learn about this year?

Parents, how is third grade different from when you were in school?


  1. Very informative back to school night! I'm excited for our child to learn how to safely publish on the Internet.

  2. When I was in third grade, there was no such thing as a blog. There was no internet, computers or cellphones. We got much of our information about other parts of the world through a collection of books called an encyclopedia that, when stacked, would stand about 6 feet high. Now you can find out more information than was contained in all of those books by asking Siri on a 4 inch cellphone.

    1. @ Michael, (Allie's father)

      Thanks for replying to Mrs. Yollis' question. I like how you took the time to make an interesting and funny comment.

      Did you like reading the encyclopedia? What did you read in the encyclopedia?

      When you were in third grade, what was your teacher's name? What were some things that you learned and what did you enjoy most?

      What did you like about Back to School Night? Did you sit in Tall Town? Who sat in the tent?

      Looking forward to hearing from more parents!

      Payden, Elie, Kim, Dylan, Reese, Nolan, Leor, Dylan B., and Kaya

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    Back to School night in your classroom was very informative and exciting.

    I loved sitting in Elie's special desk and seeing all of the seating options both for the classroom and for reading.

    What is your favorite reading spot?

    Like Michael, when I was in third grade, technology was not developed yet. There were no computers, cell phones, internet or blogging. Encyclopedias were the collection of books that we used to look up topics for information and research. Wow, what a different world that was.

    I really enjoyed hearing about all of the exciting on-line methods you will be exploring this year. Mrs. Yollis is an award winning blogger and has developed a brilliant way to teach you how to blog and stay connected with people from all over the world right from your classroom!

    Most importantly, she is sharing with you the ways in which to be present on-line while maintaining safety.

    Can anyone list the important rules Mrs. Yollis has taught you to follow for safe blogging?

    Liat (Elie's mom)

    1. @ Liat, (Elie's mom)

      Thanks so much for leaving a really nice comment, Mom. (from Elie)

      When you were looking things up in the encyclopedia, what did you learn? How many volumes were in your encyclopedia?

      When you were in third grade, what was your teacher's name? What was your favorite school subject? Was your homework easy or hard?

      Elie, Kaya, Rose, Ariana, and Reese

    2. @ Third Graders,

      Thank you for your comment and great questions.

      When I was in third grade, I had just emigrated to the United States of America. I had not known any English except for how to say "Hi" and count to ten. Therefore, I was mostly focusing on learning the English language.

      My teacher's name was Mrs. Friedman. I will always remember her as she really impacted my learning and helped me through the transition of moving from one country and school to another.

      My favorite subject was math as mathematical numbers and symbols are generally universal and so math was the most familiar to me from my previous school.

      Homework was difficult as I had to learn not only new information, but a whole new language. I got through it and by fourth grade was pretty fluent in English, thanks to my wonderful teacher and the support of my family and community.

      Do any of you have relatives that moved from another country? What was it like for them to move to the United States of America? Did they come when they were of school age or later on in life?

      Liat (Elie's Mom)

  4. April (Dylan's Mom)September 1, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I enjoyed sitting in the classroom last night (in Dylan's seat!) at Back to School Night and learning about so many interesting things that you will be working on this year.

    @Michael R - we also did not have the internet or computers or cellphones when I was in third grade. And I remember the Encyclopedias that I had in my room too. They took up so much room on my bookshelf!

    Everything we did in third grade was on paper.

    I also remember meeting some good friends in third grade!

    Students, what did you think of the notes that we left for you on your desks? Were you surprised that we could write with dry erase marker on the tables?

    April (Dylan's Mom)

    1. @ April, (Dylan's Mom)

      We appreciate your comment, Mom. (From Dylan)

      Everyone liked the notes on the desks.

      Preston thought that we should write the notes in our Writer Notebook, so many people did. Then Mrs. Yollis cleaned the desks.

      Where did you sit? What was your favorite place in our classroom?

      You mentioned you had a set of encyclopedias. What did you learn? What did you do with your old set?

      Elie, Reese, Leor, Brianna, Caitlyn, and your son, Dylan

    2. April (Dylan B.'s Mom)September 1, 2016 at 4:11 PM

      @ Elie, Reese, Leor, Brianna, Caitlyn, and my son, Dylan,

      I sat at Tall Town during Back To School night. I also stood near Nolan's seat when Nolan's mom, Lisa, and I were talking about volunteering in the classroom.

      Students - do you like when your parents volunteer at the library, in art and in the classroom?

      I used encyclopedias when I was growing up to learn about topics that I wrote reports on when I was in school. We would do written reports on topics like a state, or an event that happened in history. I remember doing a report on Virginia, but I don't remember what grade I was in when I did that report.

      I just recalled something else that happened when I was in the third grade. We had an overnight trip to a local school or camp. I had a good time until the morning when I broke my arm!! And ironically, a friend of mine broke her arm the same morning, on the same trip. But she broke hers in a different way.

      I was lucky that I am right handed and broke my left arm. My friend was lucky because she is left handed and broke her right arm!

      April (Dylan B's mom)

  5. Shula (Elie's Grandma)September 1, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and classroom,

    I am Elie's grandma. I am visiting from Pennsylvania. I just arrived here yesterday and was so happy to hear about all of the wonderful things you will be exploring this year.

    When I was in third grade, not only did we not have computers and cell phones, we also didn't have any encyclopedias. Whatever the teacher taught us or told us was the information we learned in class. Otherwise, we needed to go to a library to find books. It was very rare for people to own books or collections as they were very expensive.

    Can you believe that we didn't even have landline phones at home at that time?

    I have seen so much growth in the world regarding phones and technology.

    What do you think will be the next step forward in technology? What do you imagine you will be writing is different when you are old enough to have kids in third grade?

    Your blogging grandma,
    Shula (Elie's grandma)

    1. @ Shula, (Elie's grandma)

      Welcome! We are so happy you have joined our learning community!

      You mentioned you had no encyclopedias, no internet, and no phones. Was it hard to learn?

      What was your teacher's name in third grade and what did you learn from her? Did you have a favorite subject? What were some popular books?

      Did you like math?

      We read you are from Pennsylvania. What famous landmarks are in your state? What is the weather like in Pennsylvania? Did you go to school in a car? Did you wear uniforms?

      We look forward to learning with you!

      Your blogging buddies,

      Allie, Kim, Brianna, Enzo, Tre, Josh, Lola, Chaolin, Hayden, and Cora

  6. Wow, such terrific questions! I enjoyed researching many topics in our encyclopedia when I was your age but I think my favorites were studying about other countries and animals. My
    third grade teacher's name was Mrs. McKinley and I liked learning about Greek mythology. I didn't sit in Tall Town (I sat at Allie's table) but Tall Town looked very cool. I saw Chaoln's mom and Kaya's parents there (and they looked very tall at that table). I don't think any of the parents sat in the tent but maybe next time. The thing I liked most about back to school night was that it got me really excited about the year in store for all of you!

    What are you looking forward to about third grade? What is the most interesting thing you have learned so far?

  7. Shula (Elie's Grandma)September 1, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    @ Third Graders,

    I was so happy to receive your reply.

    Thank you for your thoughtful questions. They keep this conversation going. And, they remind me to share my story with my grandson, family and all of you.

    First, I'd like to give you some more information and clarification about myself. While I am currently visiting from Pennsylvania, I grew up and emigrated from another country when I was in my forties.

    When I was in third grade, my country was behind more so than the United States because my country only became a country in 1948, when I was seven years old. Hence, it was not yet as developed as the United States or at all at that time. Now it has not only caught up, though is pioneering many technological advances.

    When I was in third grade, I walked to school. Even though cars existed in the world then, in our country only the very rich owned them at the time. There were very few cars in my country back then. Now it is very congested with lots of cars and traffic, as is Los Angeles.

    I did not wear a uniform, though dress was pretty simple. My mother made most of my clothes herself. Once in awhile, our family from America would send us a package of clothes and food and I remember feeling very happy when I received them.

    As for Pennsylvania, some of the famous landmarks are Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, Gettysburg Battlefield, Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Independence Hall.

    Some tourist attractions are Hershey Park, Andy Warhol Museum, an Independence National Park.

    What are some famous landmarks and tourist attractions in Los Angeles that you recommend I see while I am here on my visit?

    Your Blogging Grandma,
    Shula (Elie's Grandma)

  8. Hello Mrs. Yolliss' class!
    This is Jason, Cora's dad.
    I am enjoying reading the blog, and all of your interesting questions!
    I too enjoyed third grade, and found it to be full of fun and interesting things to learn about.
    Just like some of the other parents...I also went to the library for information, because we did not have cell phones or computers in the classrooms. If we wanted to find a book about a specific subject in the library, we used the Dewey Decimal System to find where the book was.
    I hope you all enjoy third grade this year, and all of the amazing technology (like this blog), to help you find new ways to learn!

  9. Gayle (Hayden's mom)September 2, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Hi Mrs. Yollis and class,

    At Back to School Night, we all got to hear about what you will learn this year and how you will learn. I was so excited to hear about how you will learn about our world and others living in it by having the opportunity to actually talk via the blog and Skype (and Twitter) to other students across the United States as well as other continents.

    When I was growing up and in third grade, I only knew of the world from books. I grew up here in Southern California and went to school with students who were mostly from here as well. Of course, like other parents have said, we did not have computers and the internet so I had no contact with anyone from anyplace else. Plus, my family did not travel much, especially not outside of this country. Most of my friends' families did not travel much either.

    Accordingly, having no contact with anyone from anyplace else, it was very difficult to understand how big the world was and how many different cultures there were. It is difficult to understand the breadth of the world through books alone, without any direct contact.

    You are all so very lucky to have the opportunity to travel (I bet most of you do), by having friends right here in this school (and class) who immigrated (and/or whose parents did) or who are visiting from other countries and getting the chance through Mrs. Yollis to have conversations with others outside our own neighborhood.

    I find it very interesting that when I was growing up, much of our research came from World Book Encyclopedia. I still have that encyclopedia series in my home to fill up our book shelves. It fills about 6 shelves! However, we can no longer use them for any research. They are, however, still interesting to look at from time to time.

    Does anyone have any idea why we cannot rely on these encyclopedias for accurate information anymore?

    Have you traveled to another state? Have you traveled to another country?


  10. Hi Mrs. Yollis & Class,
    We are a group of Grade 3&4 students from Ontario, Canada. It looks like your Back to School night was a success! Do the students also come? We had a pizza night outside with our families and thankfully the weather cooperated.
    We would love to Skype with your class this least once! Perhaps we could coordinate something like this, Mrs. Yollis? My students have never Skyped with another class before and I would love to share this opportunity with them.
    Say hi to Panda for us!
    Mrs. Sullivan and Class


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