Monday, June 11, 2018

Video: America's Landmarks

Although the school year is coming to an end in the northern hemisphere, we made time to create a wonderful global project with our blogging buddy, Mrs. Morris, and her students in Australia.

This project celebrates TEN years of global collaboration with Mrs. Morris!

Each class wanted to share their country's landmarks, so students researched famous landmarks, created a script, located Creative Commons images, and then filmed a fabulous movie. The Do Ink app was used to take each student to the location being shared.

Enjoy America's Landmarks!

Here is a link to our Australian buddies Landmark Video!

We hope you enjoy visiting these famous American landmarks! 

What questions do you have? 

We will try and answer questions before school gets out this week!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Blogging Promotes Quality Writing!

Guest post from one of my former students, Nolan. He is a fabulous fourth grader who serves as a blogging mentor for my third graders. Enjoy his informational text and narrative! 

Photo by Nolan's mom 

This is a photo of my brother, Troy, and I playing in the snow in Wisconsin in December. My family goes to Wisconsin almost every summer to see my grandma. We sometimes go in winter, too, as you see in this scenario. My grandma is famous in Mrs. Yollis' class. She has been a great virtual volunteer for all bloggers, and she even has visited the classroom!

It snowed a good amount in Sheboygan (the city where my grandma lives) when we were on this trip. But where my great-grandma lives, in Door County, there was maybe almost two times the amount of snow.

You can see all the snow in this photo. You realize that we are bundled up, so you can tell that it is freezing. But what you don't notice is that the temperature is 3 degrees! The wind chill temperature range was -8 to -25 degrees! Wind chill is how the cold feels to humans on their skin in certain conditions. Humans have almost like a warmth shield on our skin that protects us from the cold. When a cold wind blows, that protection goes away and the temperature feels even colder.

It got VERY cold at some points in time on this trip, but the moment in this photo was probably the second coldest moment that we faced in Wisconsin. It got to -9 degrees when my family stayed overnight on Christmas day at a hotel called Bridgeport. Thank goodness we were inside!
I'm surprised my brother and I didn't get hypothermia, or, even worse, frostbite!

Eventually, my brother and I were getting cold and tired, so we went back inside.

Here is a narrative description about Troy and I playing outside before we came inside:

Hike! My brother and I were playing football in my great-grandma's backyard. I'm the one in the neon snow pants. I've got a good tackle going on, right? I think my best play was when I faked left, then ran right, and my brother came for me when I was faking right. He missed me, and couldn't catch up to me at that point. TOUCHDOWN!
I jumped into a pile of snow that had just a little more snow than the rest of the yard. I got up, and tossed the rubbery ball to Troy. He looked left, then right, thinking of a play. Then he shouted: "Blue forty-two! Ready! Hike!"
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! He ran full speed to the left of me, keeping distance by running away from me.
Thump! I grabbed his torso and brought him down.
"Ugh! You got me!" he said. (He is pretty hard to bring down. I guess I got lucky? No, I think it was just my good skills).

Have you ever been in very cold weather like this?

How are mentors helpful? Have you ever mentored anyone?

Leave a comment so I can all hear about what you have to say!

This Monday is Memorial Day!

Guest post from Mallory, Mrs. Yollis' former student

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

LAST YEAR, 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 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?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

*Badger Claws* Clauses

A tip of the hat to retired teacher, Mrs. Ranney for this repost!

Mrs. Yollis' students have been reading about a Chumash boy named Badger Claws. It's been a great way to learn about the Chumash culture! We've also started learning how to improve our writing using dependent clauses

What are dependent clauses?

Dependent clauses start with special words:
After, Before, Since, While, When, If, During.

A dependent clause ends with a comma and cannot stand alone as a sentence. It must be followed by an independent clause, which is a sentence that can stand alone!

Here are some excellent examples of sentences with dependent clauses from our story about Badger Claws. 

1. If mischievous Badger Claws had not gone into the hot sweathouse, he would not have been caught by the Shaman!

2. After the Shaman left the brave Badger Claws in the high mountains, Badger Claws took a nap.

3. If Badger Claws shoots the fluffy, furry rabbit, he will have to skin it, clean it, and cook it before he eats it.

4. Since Badger Claws couldn't shoot a furry rabbit, he practiced shooting down the bumpy trail.

5. After Badger Claws shot a furry, little rabbit, he needed to skin the rabbit's soft fur.

6. When Badger Claws woke up in the freezing night,
he saw two monstrous "grizzly bears!"

7. Since brave Badger Claws found out the tracks were littleraccoon tracks, he was laughing like crazy!

8. Before Aged One got home, he devoured several acorn cakes and then lied about it. 

9. During the first two moons, Badger Claws was able to construct an ap, make acorn cakes, and adopt an orphaned raccoon. 

10. While Badger Claws slept, the little raccoon escaped and ate several acorn cakes.  

How did you like our dependent clauses?

If you have a sentence with a dependent clause that you'd like to share, we'd love to read it! (Hey, that was a dependent clause sentence!)

Maybe you can leave a sentence with a dependent clause about your biography subject! 

Again, dependent clauses start with special words: After, Before, Since, While, When, If, During.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

FlipGrid Idioms!

Recently, Mrs. Minicozzi, @CoffeeNancy,
lead a district in-service about FlipGrid.
I flipped for it immediately!

Here is our FlipGrid about Idioms.
The idioms are certainly going to
warm your heart! This is a collaborative
FlipGrid. Mrs. Fischer's class from Georgia
contributed to this. We invite you, please share
an idiom with us!

Teachers, you are invited to have your students leave
us aFlipGrid Idiom! (Moderation is turned on.)

What is your favorite part about FlipGrid?

Try to use an idiom in your comment.

What are some ideas you have for a new topic?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Global Project: Same Day in March

As is so often the case, I found a wonderful global project via Twitter! 

The global project is called Same Day in March

This collaborative project is a fabulous way to learn about weather, geography, technology, and culture. Thanks to Mrs. Ladd and Ms. Stefopoulou for creating and facilitating this project! Follow the project on Twitter using the hashtag #sdim18.

Today was day 1, but you can join at any time during the month of March. To kick off the project, we went outside with some weather tools. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis

We used thermometers for measuring the air temperature and set up a rain gauge to measure the forecasted rain on Friday. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis  

Learning how to read the thermometer was one of the first lessons we learned. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

 From the NOAA National Weather Service, we learned that it will definitely be raining tomorrow! Good thing we have our rain gauge out to see how many inches of rain we receive. 

Don't forget your umbrella tomorrow! 
Photo by Mr. Seliskar 


Although rain was predicted throughout the day, we only received .3 of an inch from 8:00 until 2:00. 

We used Google Earth to "visit" the communities that are in the project. As we zoomed out, we tried to classify each community. Is it an urban community, a suburban community, or a rural community? Some students took a screenshot and uploaded the information to Seesaw and added it to our "Same Day in March" folder. 

We also placed sticky notes on the locations. What do you notice about the classes that joined from the United States?

Are there any classes in the project that live in a place that is new to you? Because of their location, will their weather be similar to ours?

What are the names of some clouds we might see? What do they look like?  

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Meet An Olympian!

The Winter Olympic Games are starting on February  9 - February 25. The host country is South Korea. 

The Winter Olympics are held every four years and the best athletes in the world come together to represent their country. It is an exciting international event!

Here is the Winter Olympic Schedule. When are your favorite events scheduled?

In anticipation of the Olympics, we invited Tanner mom to come and share her experience with the Olympics. She's an Olympian! 

Tanner's mom was a member of the U.S. Speed Skiing Team. That's the fastest ski race there is! The skis are very long and measure approximately 240 cm long. (About 94 inches) No one could believe how fast speed skiers go. The fastest speed Tanner's mom recorded was 196 km (That's 120 m.p.h. WOW!)

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

She used a special suit when she raced down the hill. 

A highlight of her time as an Olympian was the opportunity to meet other athletes from around the world. She said trading national Olympic pins was popular and fun. 

Here is a photo of the Olympic pins she collected. What an array!

In this fabulous photo, you can see the length of the skis and the special suit she wore during races.

What a pleasure it was to hear from an Olympian and learn about the grit and persistence required to compete!

Tanner's mom recommends that young kids try out lots of sports and see which ones they love. Then they need to practice and practice if they'd like to be an Olympian. 

Do you have any questions for our Olympian?

What sports do you enjoy playing?

What events will you be watching during the Winter Olympics? 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Blogging: How to Teach and Promote Quality Writing

In my 31 years as an elementary educator, I have never seen a project more powerful for sharing classroom learning, making global connections,  and building a positive digital footprint for young students than having a classroom blog. I recommend every classroom teacher consider flattening the walls via blogging. There are so many benefits!

Educational blogging is also a fantastic way to teach and promote high standards for writing. Students want their writing to get published and educational blogging is a great way to leverage that interest.  

I have two educational blogs that I use in our learning. Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog is a public blog where classroom events and projects are published. The comment section is where the blog comes to life. Students and parents interact in this online community. 

My second blog is called Yollis' 365 Blog, and it is a public photo-of-the-day blog. Students, family members, and other classes throughout the world contribute photos and text. The digital images are used to inspire creative stories, spark  poetry entries, and share information about hobbies and interests. 

Below are TWO videos I've made to help teachers begin blogging with their students.  

1. This is a video made by Mrs. Yollis' students called How to Compose a Quality Comment!  It offers FIVE tips to help take comments to the next level! I use this video to teach students about content

2. This is a video made by Mrs. Yollis' students called Tips to Ensure Quality Blogging. It outlines the rules for participation in our classroom blogs and the agreements the students make when publishing on our blogs.

Do you have any questions about blogging for my students?

How has your writing improved through participation on the blog? 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What Are Text Features?

Mrs. Yollis' class is learning about informational text

Informational text, or nonfiction writing, is based on facts, real events, and real people. There are many helpful text features found in nonfiction writing. Some common text features are:  headings, subheadings, captions, diagrams, timelines, maps, charts, table of contents, index, and the glossary.

Below is a humdinger of a video made by Sheriff Yollis and Sheriff Salsich. They hope their video helps you greenhorns learn about these important reading features!


Here it is on Vimeo if YouTube is blocked.

The Nonfiction Trail from Jonah Salsich on Vimeo.

In class, we used published informational texts as mentor texts.

Here are some headings, photos, and captions.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis

Look closely. Here is a heading, a subheading, a map, a photo, and a caption

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Here is a map with a key. I wonder what the red means? Check the key and it will unlock the meaning. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Wow! Text features are everywhere and you can sure learn a lot if you pay attention to them.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

What are your favorite text features and why?

(Headings, subheadings, captions, diagrams, timelines, maps, charts, table of contents, index, and the glossary.)

What are TWO facts that you learned from a mentor text explored in class? Be sure to tell us the text feature you used to learn the factual information!