Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An Excellent Example of Educational Bloggers Learning From Each Other!

Mrs. Yollis' class, in California, has been learning about nonfiction books. 
Mr. Salsich's class, our good friends in Connecticut, are doing the same. 

Here is a fantastic VoiceThread by Mr. Salsich's third grade students.

After viewing this VoiceThread, Mrs. Yollis' students looked for an example of a text feature in one of their nonfiction books.    
(animal report book or biography book)

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Here are examples of text features and how they were used!

Ayush said, "I used the table of contents to find information about the blue whale's diet. The chapter was What Do Blue Whales Eat? I learned that one creature the blue whale feeds on is krill."

Ava stated, "The table of contents helped me find out information about the sea turtle's body." 

Kayla declared, "The timeline helped me a lot. For example, I learned that in 1872, Susan B. Anthony voted for the presidential election when she was NOT allowed to."

Kendall explained, "I used the table of contents to help me find out why Elizabeth Blackwell decided to be a doctor. In a chapter called A Dream Begins, I found out that a friend told Elizabeth that she should be the first woman doctor."

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Paul stated, "I looked in the glossary for the definition for vertebrate which means a creature has a backbone."

Ben explained, "One caption in the book The Picture Life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt told me that in 1943 he met in Teheran, Iran, for a conference with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill."

Trent said, "I used the timeline to find that Charles Lindbergh bought his first airplane in 1923."

Kate stated, "The timeline helped me find important dates in Abraham Lincoln's life. For example, in 1960 he was elected president."

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Nick declared, " The timeline helped me by remembering JFK's election for president on November 8, 1960."


Richie stated, "The diagram (sketch) helped me understand how the telephone worked."

"The map helped me a whole lot because I had no idea where the boa constrictor lived," said Corey.

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Sydney remarked, "I used the glossary and diagram to help me find the fact about the mane of a zebra."

Anais said, "I used the table of contents to help me find information about Sacagawea. For example, to find out when she started working for Lewis and Clark, I used the chapter called Hired by Lewis and Clark."
"The table of contents helps me look for information that I need for my cheetah report. One chapter of the table contents I used for was How They Look. I used How They Look for the color of the cheetah," Jollene declared.

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Gal declared,  "I used a timeline to find that Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932."

Scarlet  said, "I used the glossary to help me find the word trunk. The trunk is used by the elephant to breathe, eat smell, and drink."

Jared declared, "My text feature in my Milton Hershey: Chocolate King book is the index. The cool part about the index is it helps me find the subjects I need and the correct pages. For example, pages 58-61 have information about chocolate."

"In the book Coyote, I found a map that helped me figure out where coyotes live," Caleb explained.

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Sam declared, " I used the glossary to find out what the word rosette means. Rosette means a spot or a group of spots that look like a  flower."

Moraiya said, "The content help me find that the roadrunner runs through the bushy desert. I found this in Chapter 1."

Aaliyah declared, "The timeline helped me find details about Pocohontas. For example, in 1614, Pocohontas married John Rolfe."

Charlie remarked, "I used a picture to see what a Gila monster looks like."

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During our computer lab time we wrote comments for Mr. Salsich's students on their class blog. Here is a link to those comments. 

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What do you think of the cross country lesson?

How was the VoiceThread helpful for Mr. Salsich's students?

How was the VoiceThread helpful for Mrs. Yollis' students?


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    That was a very intresting post! We love non fiction books! The two of us saw that our sister was reading the book about Amelia Earhart. In our opinion she was a great person, and we think she died because she crashed into a ocean.

    Ron and Tal
    (Gal's older brothers)

  2. Dear Mrs Yollis and your students,
    I really enjoyed this post. I am so amazed with how Mr Salsich and Mrs Yollis can make a school lesson even thou you have some distance between you all. Also I really loved the voice thread and how every child got to have a say about what elements and contents which make up nonfiction books. As you can really learn alot by the just looking at the title. You have all really opened up my eyes for I love nonfiction books but never thought about the whole lay out of the book. I would just look at the index find what I was looking for and more on. Thankyou I will make it a point to study a nonfiction book with more depth. Keep up the super work until them bye from your friend down under AA.

  3. Dear Mrs Yollis' class,

    Thank you for putting Mr Salsich's Voicethread on your blog. We would not have wanted to miss it! It was an excellent lesson for the students of 2KM on the different features of non-fiction texts.

    Your follow up work was excellent!

    When I read for enjoyment, I love reading both fiction and non-fiction books. I wonder what sort of books the students in Mrs Yollis' class prefer to read for enjoyment?

    Your friend,
    Miss McGeady

  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I think that it was a great idea to tell our visitors what we learned from all the tex features like:table of contents, timeline, glossary, caption, diagram, and a map. I also think it was a great idea that every four people started or ended their sentence a different way!

    The biography that I'm reading about is about Susan B. Anthony. Also known as Susan Brownwell Anthony. I think she is a great person to do a biography on because she was the woman that wanted woman to have the same rights as men did. Sadly, she died 14 year before woman got to vote. Isn't that a sad thing?

    Kayla ;D

  5. @ Ron and Tal (Gal's brothers)

    I love reading nonfiction as well. It is interesting to learn about what famous people were like growing up and what lead to their achievements. Have either of you read a biography lately?

    @ AA,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, text features add so much to nonfiction books. In biographies, I really enjoy seeing pictures and captions. It is interesting to see what people looked like growing up. I also like seeing inventions that people create.

    @ Miss McGeady,

    I loved the VoiceThread that Mr. Salsich created with his students. I have been teaching text features since September, but having their peers reinforce the concept made a big different!

    My students have just finished researching for an animal report and are now completing biographies. They are really enjoying learning about historic people of the past.

    @ Kayla,

    I agree with your assessment of our post. Not only did we get to review the text features, but we got to practice writing a sentence using quotation marks!

    I am so grateful to people like Susan B. Anthony. Without her and other like her, women would not be where they are today in the United States. My grandmother was born in 1901, and women weren't able to vote then. That is hard to believe.

    Kayla, when did women get the vote? Do you remember which amendment it was?


    Mrs. Yollis

  6. I am Kendall's great-uncle. I live with Kendall's grandmother and grandfather who showed me the posts on non-fiction writing. Since that is my favorite kind of information they thought I would be interested in what you are learning. You are all doing very well. You are learning much more than I did when I was your age.
    Larry Miltenberger

  7. WOW! way to go Kendall! It sounds like you guys are learning some great stuff!

    keep reading!,
    Savannah, Melissa, and Andrew (Kendall's Cousins in Virginia)

  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    Great post! It was so funny we knew what our cousin would pick to read. Well we knew it would be an intresting pilot or an intresting president! For us nonfiction are great to read.

    Learon, Coral, and Dean
    (Gal's cousins in Isreal)

  9. @ Mr. Miltenberger, (Kendall's great-uncle),

    Welcome to our blog! Yes, the Internet and the technologies that are available to children today are quite remarkable. We have friends all over the world!

    You mentioned that you like to read nonfiction, maybe you could share a little about a nonfiction book you enjoyed. We love learning new facts from our readers. :-)

    @ Savannah, Melissa, and Andrew, (Kendall's cousins in Virginia!)

    Welcome to all of you too! Kendall is a real leader in our Family and Friends blogging month! Do you enjoy reading nonfiction? Have you read any good biographies lately?

    @ Learon, Coral, and Dean, (Gal's cousins from Israel)

    Welcome back! We love that you visit our blog regularly and especially because you always leave a nice comment.

    Yes, Gal picked the adventurous and talented pilot, Amelia Earhart! Already Gal knows many facts about her. Maybe Gal will leave us a few fun facts here in the comment section! I hope so!

    Have any of you read any good nonfiction books lately? If so, please share a fact or two! :-)

    Mrs. Yollis

  10. @ Mrs. Yollis,

    Thanks for commenting back to me!

    Honestly, I don't remember the answers to any of the questions you asked. So, on Monday, I'll check my timeline.

    Best wishes,

  11. @ Kayla,

    That's okay if you don't remember the facts. One way to get information if you don't have a book is to use the Internet.

    One of the best sites is the Online World Book. That is definitely a trustworthy site.

    Another way to get information is to do a Google search with your parents. Look at the URL address to make sure it is a reliable site. That is where your parents can help. I'm sure there are many sites about Susan B. Anthony.

    Let us know what you discover!

    Your pal,
    Mrs. Yollis


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