Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween! :: Green Screen Fun!

Photo by Mrs. Frank

Today was Halloween and our school held "Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character" Day! It was fun way to meet some new characters!

In the morning, students took turns taking a photo of their book and then posing like the character. Using our iPads and the Do Ink app we were able to quickly make some outstanding images!

Paid app (I am not being paid to endorse this product.) 

Behold! Meet our favorite book characters!

In the afternoon, the room moms and volunteers put on a spook-tacular party! 

What do you think of our green screen images? 

Leave a comment as if you are that character still! Strike up a conversation with a book character! (Do not use real names.)

What new book will you be reading?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Student Blogging Challenge :: Playing Outdoors!

We are participating in the Edublog Student Blogging Challenge. For WEEK 4, we were asked to be one of several international groups who will share a topic of choice on their blogs. We can't wait to connect and learn about a variety of topics from a plethora of bloggers! 

Our topic of choice? 


Playing outside is a wonderful way to stay healthy and have fun! 

It is FALL here in the northern hemisphere, but the mild southern California climate makes for enjoyable outdoor fun! We play a lot of pleasurable games during recess and here are three we'd like to share.

Sour Apple

Down By the Banks

Although this silly "Down By the Banks" chant was filmed indoors, it is often played in the shade of a tree out on the grass. 


If you value play, consider joining the Global School Play Day in February. No electronics at school, just unstructured play.  We participated in 2016 and 2015 and will join the global group again on February 1, 2017. Sign up your class and learn more about it by following the Twitter hashtag #gspd.

What are some games that you play during your recess?

Is is fall or spring where you live? How does weather affect what you play? 

Please share a comment about a game or two you like to play. 

Better yet, share a blog post about ways you play at your school and leave us a link. We promise to leave a quality comment! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Spaghetti Challenge :: Projects By Jen

Today we participated in the Great Spaghetti Challenge, one of the many wonderful Projects By Jen

Task: Use the materials listed below and build a free-standing tower! The project runs from October 10 - November 18. Join the fun!

★     ★     ★     ★     ★

To prepare for the project, we thought about the Engineering Design Process. 

 (click to enlarge)
From Tracy Watanabe 

In preparation, we watched some building videos on BrainPop. 

Mrs. Yollis put everyone into small groups, ideas were discussed, and  a plan was made. 

Finally, the materials were passed out, and the creativity began! 

Students were given 18 minutes to build a free-standing tower with a marshmallow on the top. The enemy to all...GRAVITY! 

Time was ticking away...

Several started with a solid foundation

Everyone chipped in! 

After 18 minutes, only one tower was free-standing! Behold, the winning structure and team!

Way to go! The tower measured 44 cm! 

One of the members on the winning team used observational learning to modify and create a winning structure. Preston noticed that everyone was making their towers quite tall, but none of them were staying upright, and that was without the marshmallow! So, he persuaded his team to make a shorter, more stable tower. It worked!  

After processing the learning, Mrs. Yollis gave every team an additional five minutes to modify and improve their tower...just for fun.  Almost everyone was able build a free-standing structure. Meter sticks were brought out and the height was measured

This one measures 38 cm! 

 Here's a second try that measured 46 cm. 

 Will it stand? Will gravity win? 

This one measures 38 cm. 

Sadly, this one collapsed

This one measures approximately 15 cm. 

Plus, our little 3 cm tower

Preston also used weight to counter balance the tower. 

In the afternoon, we held a Google HangOut with Mrs. Watanabe and some teachers from Ventura County Office of Schools. The students talked about the process of designing a tower. Many of the teachers had the same results as the students. The teachers asked the students how they resolved problems. How did you resolve some of the problems in your group? 

Photo collage by Mrs. Watanabe

What was your favorite part of the design process?

How would you do this task differently?