Thursday, October 21, 2010

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. Six 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 and fell and fell and fell!

    After hours of falling, I really felt like quitting. I told myself that everything is hard at the beginning, but if I would keep trying, I would succeed. 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,

    Wow I must say ten out of ten for your wonderful attitude you have when it came to learning how to snowboard.
    Never give up and never ever say I can't do something for we are all good at something.Just believe in yourself and the rest will happen.

    I always loved to paint but I never thought I was good enough. However one day I decided to join a group of ladies and began painting doll faces.
    Must admit I really wasn't that good but I never gave up. Then in time the dolls face one day started to look like lovely painted faces. I painted for about fours years. Have to say I am not an expert, but I am not a bad painter.
    From your blogging friend;

  3. @ AA,

    Thanks for sharing about your learning adventure with painting!

    Learning a new skill can be difficult. We all want to be experts right away, but all learning takes dedication, practice, and perseverance! Is there a teacher in your painting group who leads lessons? What kind of paint to you use?

    Your friend,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I think that it's wonderful that even though you wanted to quit snowboarding that you didn't give up and kept going.

    I have been doing karate for two and a half years. Just like you, I wanted to quit at times because it is very difficult. However, my karate instructor and my parents have always told me not to give up. I have class twice a week and I practice several times a week to learn all the techniques.

    Currently, I am a blue belt but I hope to be a black belt one day. It is going to take a lot of hard work but I think it's worth it.


  5. Dear class,

    When I was a young I saw kids hanging on bars upside down with no hands! I wished I could do that some day. It looked so cool to swing upside down on the bars. I decided to start practicing. First, I started hanging on the bars with my hands on them. After three days of hanging, I took another hand off the bar! I fell on my head for the rest of the day. I thought it wasn't a very good idea. But, my friends encouraged me to keep hanging. They helped me by holding my shoulders. Adia and Hannah could already hang with no arms. They helped me after school. It took a lot of practicing, helping, and falling. Oochh! Now I can hang on them with no hands!
    It takes a lot of effort to hang on the bars with no hands. I would like to thank Hannah, Iman, and Adia for helping me learn to hang on the bars with no hands last year. It is one of the hardest and the most painful things I have ever done in my whole life!

    I have some questions for anyone. What was the most painful thing you have ever done? Can you hang on the bars upside down with no hands?


  6. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have worked hard to learn karate. When I started, it was hard for me to learn the kicks and blocks. It took me a while to master them. Master Z helped me learn how to do them correctly.

    Now, after almost two years, I am testing for my blue belt.


  7. @ Mrs Yollis,

    Thankyou for taking the time replying back to me.
    I used to paint prolien dolls.
    I would buff back the dolls face and body of the doll and then paint her.
    I would have to paint her lashes, eyebrows,lips and sometimes paint her eyes as it really would depend on what period of doll I was painting.
    Then I would add her hair and outfit.
    I would alway have a teacher who would help me with what I was doing right and if I did'nt do it right I would have to start all over agian, sometimes it would take weeks just to paint a set of eyebrows.

    Im not sure what type of paint we used to paint the dolls.
    Best wishes from AA.

  8. Dear Class,
    When I was in fourth grade, our music teacher was looking for volunteers to join the school orchestra. She specifically needed a bass player. I had been studying the piano for two years and loved music, so I immediately raised my hand. The next thing I knew, Mrs. Cohen packed the bass in her car and drove me home! My mother was surprised when we arrived, but she was excited for me. The bass was a challenging instrument to learn. I had to learn to bow and pluck with my right hand and to find the notes on the strings with my left. With determination, I practiced daily for about 15 to 20 minutes. That was all my fingers could endure! By the time the orchestra concert date arrived, I was able to perform. My mother was a great supporter in helping me to achieve this goal. She encouraged me in my practice, played the piano along with me, and drove my bass and me everywhere we needed to go. Thank goodness we had a station wagon!
    Mrs. Ranney

  9. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I have been playing the piano for one year. When I first started I was a bit confussed with all the different keys and notes. By playing the piano everyday I now know the keys and notes.

    I have a wonderful teacher that encourages me to learn and brings out the best in me when I play the piano.

    From your friend Bianca.

  10. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I play the piano and started when I was five years old. I practice for at least 1 hour every day and sometimes for 2 hours. Sometimes, I don't want to practice but I still do. My hard work payed off at the end. Six months ago, I participated in a piano competition and won my first piano trophy. I got first place. My next competition is in November. I still have a lot to learn.

    My mom and my two younger sisters also play piano. Sometimes we argue who will play first. My brother better pick a different instrument to play.

    I just finished practicing and now it's my sisters turn.

    Miriam ♥

  11. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    When I was younger, my coach taught me how to do a hand stand on the balance beam. At first, I never thought I could even get on the balance beam, but then I did and I thought it was easy.

    Then I saw all the other girls doing it and they inspired me to do it! Meriam said "that it was easier than it looked." I tried it and I fell a lot, but sure enough the next day I did a handstand on the balance beam! My coach, my friends, my family, and I were proud of me

    I learned to never give up that day.



  12. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    When I was 4 I started karate. My Sensei Tom helped me learn the basic moves. After a little while I took my first belt test. I have taken about 10 belt tests since then. One day I went to karate with my friend Dylan and there was a new Sensei named Sensei Trever. I was sad that Sensei Tom left but now I am happy that Sensei Trever came. Sensei Trever has helped me learn a lot of katas and techniques. Also my Senseis Brandon, Romel, Leandro, and Eric have helped me learn karate. The students have helped me learn karate to. My dad has helped me learn karate. I have learned Shotokan and Mixed Martial Arts. Right now I am a brown belt and will be testing for my 2nd brown belt in about 3 weeks.


  13. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I love your post. I am an expert at monkey bars. When I first started, I couldn't even hold on and Hannah had to help me by holding my legs. I have been practicing for a while and I have become very good at skipping bars and skipping bars while going backwards.

    Now, I am teaching my friends how to do the monkey bars.

    Leila (Hannah's sister)

  14. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I Loved the walk! Singing the songs were so fun! The good part was that I didn't get tired. I have a question for you, did you get tired?

  15. @ Mrs.Yollis,

    Skatebording is a hard athletic sport, especially when it is a very hard trick. My sister was trying to help me. It was hard keeping my feet on the skatebord. I kept falling. Ouch! I'm still trying to be an expert.


  16. Dear Mrs.Yollis and class,

    My mom helped me learn how to ski. I had a hard time at first because I kept on falling. To learn I had to hold my mom's hands and go behind her. My mom didn't fall but I did a lot of times and it was hard to stand up. The only part that was easy was going straight. Also it was easy getting off the ski lifts. When we were on the ski lifts I thought my skis were going to fall off because we were so high. But then I got used to it and it was all easy.

    From your student,

  17. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I am an expert at gymnastics and have been doing it for 3 years. We do competition on floor,bars,beam,and vault. My favorite event is bars.The bars are so much fun because I love doing high casts, kips, and swinging.I like performing in front of people.

    I have some questions.

    Does anybody do gymnastics?

    Can someone do a cast backhip circle?

    Your Friend,


  18. Hi Mrs. Yollis,
    When I was 3 years old my dad (some of you may know him as Nonno) taught me how to ski. When I was older I started ski racing. We skied every weekend and after school in the evenings all winter. (The mountain was close to where we lived and had lights on the ski runs to ski at night.) Sometimes it would be raining or snowing and I would be really cold and I wanted to go inside but we would still ski. At first it was really hard to learn to race, but it was a challenge. I kept skiing and racing through high school and college. I became good enough to go to the Olympics in 1992. I learned that if you put your mind to something, have a dream and work hard you can do anything.
    Mrs Blanken
    (Ben's mom)

  19. Dear Mrs. Y♥llis,

    I like that even though you fell and fell you never gave up.

    I have a sport that I do which is swimming.

    First, I learned free style. It was difficult at first but the more I practiced it got easier. Second, I learned Butterfly. In the beginning, it was hard and now it is easier because I practiced half an hour a day. I also was on the swim team for Spring and Summer.
    Now that I learned almost every skill, my dad and mom say I swim like a fish!

    Your student,

  20. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    When I was four, I started soccer. My dad signed me up for my first team. At first it was challenging to shoot, pass, and to dribble. My coaches always instructed me to keep your eye on the ball, and always stay wide awake.

    Now that I have been playing for four years, I am an expert. Whenever there is a game I always do my best, maybe score a goal!

    Best regards,

  21. Dear Mrs.Yollis and class,

    When I was six years old, I started to learn how to ski. At the beginning I kept falling and falling. Since no body was helping me, it was hard to stand up with skis. I practiced by going down the smallest hill. A few weeks later I got better but I was still a toddler(Above beginner but below expert). To become an expert, I had to go down the mountain. I ended up with two scars. Ouch!

    Every winter I go to Big Bear or Mountian High to ski. This year we might go to Mamoth. I'll practice sking.

    From :-) Aaron

  22. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    The skill I worked hard on is a game called Bamboo. I was not good at this game at first. I couldn't even get my first leg over the bar. I always got tagged out. And all the kids laughed at me. I was embarrassed and I felt like quitting.
    I went home that weekend and told my parents about what happened and that I wanted to get better at Bamboo. The next day, I practiced for an hour and a half with my brothers and my dad. By the end of the practice, I was doing much better. When I went back to school on Monday, I beat everyone. I am very glad that I didn't quit.

    Here are some questions for you:
    Do you know how to play the game Bamboo?
    Would you ever want to try Bamboo? I could teach you.


  23. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Wow! It is awesome that you kept on trying to snowboard and never gave up.

    I have become an expert cheerleader. I learned how to cheer by using my arms and legs in different positions. At the beginning, it was hard for me but just like you, I never gave up.

    When I first started cheer,it was so hard because I didn't know any of the cheers and I did not know how to stunt. Stunting is when four people lift up a flyer (usually a lighter and younger person) and hold them up in the air. The flyer hits a high "V." That is a hand position I learned.

    When I first started cheer I wanted to quit, but didn't tell anybody. Now, it is so easy for me to cheer because I practice a lot and get it right.

    I practice cheer by myself and do fine. My parents do not help me practice. My sisters do not think my parents know any of my cheers. I don't think they know them either, but they sure do enjoy watching me cheer at football games and throughout my house every day!

    I think I became an expert at cheerleading because I practiced a lot.

    On Sunday it is Halloween and I am going to cheer at the Staple Center during a Clipper game. I think that it will be so much fun! I can not wait. I may even be on T.V.:-)) I hope you will look for me if you are watching the Clipper game.

    I have some questions. Have you ever cheered at a Clipper game? Have you ever cheered at all? Do you think there will be a lot of people at the Staple Center on Sunday?

    I hope you have a spooktacular Halloween!

    Alexa (Mrs. Yollis' student)

  24. Dear class,

    I am an expert Lego builder. By spednding endless amounts of time building I became better and better. At first it was difficult to read the instructons and snap together the pieces. I am self taught. By practicing, I learned to be a master at Lego building. I like to blog at Lego Blogs. Where do you like to blog?
    From, Finn

  25. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    Hockey is a very difficult to play if you don't know how to skate on the ice. My dad and brother tried to help me when I was three years old. Here are some steps: don't look at the ground, keep your hands on the stick, don't throw the puck away, and always keep your head up.
    I worked very hard to learn how to skate and use the hockey stick properly. It is fun to play hockey. I hope one day my class mates and my teacher can come to watch me play hockey. It's my favorite sport.


  26. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am a student from Dr. Strange's EDM310 class in Mobile, AL. I really enjoyed reading all of the posts from your students and friends. It looks like a very talented group! Teaching your class that it takes practice to be good at something is a very valuable lesson. I can't claim to be an expert at anything myself but I am working on my sewing skills. I admire your determination at snowboarding. I was not so successful at my attempt! It was a very painful experience! Thank you for sharing your class with us.

  27. Dear Mrs. Yollis' class,
    I have to admit, learning the skills and discipline to master the computer has been a work in progress. I was excited, to be successful, sending my first email. Now I am blogging with you. I am gaining confidence in myself.
    I am computer friendly 2 years now.
    I am loving the fun topics and exploring my new potentials.
    Thank you for including me in your growth and development.

    Grandma Grace

  28. @ Grandma Grace,

    Thanks so much for being a part of our online community! You are really gaining some fabulous computer skills! The students and I ♥ having parents and grandparents join in!

    We appreciate you! We welcome you and hope you will continue to comment!

    Learning throughout our lives is important and you are certainly a shining example of what everyone should be doing...learning and growing!

    Your friend,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  29. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class
    I have worked hard to learn the computer.Electronics do not come easy to me,just ask Tucker.I depended on him to even work the TV remote controls.I worked to learn them as well.
    I took courses at my Public Library.I decided to conquer my fears.
    My Uncle Bob encouraged me. I finally have the confidence to blog with you.
    I lost my first draft to you.The old me would have given up.I think you all are good teachers.
    Thank You,
    Grandma Grace(2 years and counting)

  30. Dear Tucker,
    I have never heard of Bamboo.
    I would like to learn more about it.
    I believe practice is the key to accomplishing your goals.
    Will you please teach me the skills needed in the game?

    I have to admit, I tried snow skiing and did not take the time to learn the necessary skills.
    I water skied and thought, how different could it be.
    Six stitches later and lesson learned.
    I learned, I like warm weather sports, take the safety coarse and learn from a pro.
    I would like to learn Bamboo from you. Am I too old?

    Grandma G.

  31. Mrs. Yollis and fellow bloggers,
    My name is Jim and I’m Tuckers Grandfather. I guess one of my areas of expertise is in the area of drawing and painting. I would not describe myself as an expert, just as someone who loves to draw.
    I’ve loved drawing ever since I could remember. When I was very young, may five years old, a relative gave me a set of colored pencils. I used to sit with a blank piece of paper and try to draw the covers of the comic books I had. Then I started to make my own covers up. As I grew up my interests were drawn to other areas and I only drew pictures infrequently, but I never lost the pleasure I received from art.
    As the years passed, I saw a television program on painting. In a half, an hour program the artist would paint a fantastic painting. It piqued my interest enough to get me to try it myself. At first, my paintings were not very good, but I persisted and soon they were coming out pretty good. I did not know much about the techniques of color mixing and shading so I went to the bookstore and bought some books on the subject. (Reading sure can take you too many different places.) I learned how to mix colors and some of the technical things one needs to paint decent pictures. I kept on practicing and my paintings have turned out pretty fine. I have even sold a few.
    It just goes to show you that with practice and a little reading you can turn a desire to do something into something you can do well.
    What are some of the things you all like to do? Are any of you interested in art?
    Jim Grace

  32. Mrs Yollis,
    I love your determination. It brought me back to my childhood. When I was a young girl, my friend's mother taught me how to knit. It took me some time to do it. As I got better at it, I loved knitting. I would knit scarfs all the time. Then I gave it up as I grew older and other interests took my time. Many years later I began to knit again, my lost love hobby. I knitted scarves for all my family, and most recently I knitted slippers for my little boys (grandsons). I loved it. Now I am crocheting which I love also. I am making little purses for gifts. They are so cute and I can't wait to give them, as gifts, to family and friends. I really enjoyed making them. Your never to old to learn new things.

  33. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    I am Tucker's aunt and I actually write my own blog. I guess that this is an area of expertise for me.
    When I started my blog I had very little knowledge of the process. However, after a great deal of research and bit of tenacity, I now have a blog that is gaining readers and presence on the internet.

    I would have to say that learning something new, even as an adult, is a very rewarding process. I am excited to learn this new process and even though my knowledge is in the infancy stage, it is edifying!

    Taking on new challenges helps us to grow! I am looking forward to continuing my blogging journey.

    Alexis Grace

  34. Dear Alexis,
    I would like to learn about your Blog.
    What prompted you to start a Blog and how does one find Blogs?
    I happen to know you are an expert in speaking German.Did you know
    Tucker and his brothers are learning to count in German.
    Would you be able to encourage them?
    Blog On,


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