Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where's Nonno? He's here!

Yesterday Mrs. Yollis and her class were delighted to have their guest blogger, Nonno, back in class. This time he brought his friend, Cecca! 

Everyone enjoyed learning some Italian, tasting chestnuts, dining on some imported fontina cheese, and having a chance to see some Italian souvenirs!

Here is one of the cow bells worn by the cows of Courmayeur, Italy!

The "Rhemy de Noel" book!

Cubic fontina! Yum!

Special chestnuts that Italians enjoy eating!

Nonno has written many magnificent posts about Italy!

Which "Where's Nonno?" post is your favorite?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Where's Nonno? Dove e' Nonno-The Cows in Courmayeur

Nonno is Ben's grandfather who lives in Italy, and he is a guest blogger. 
Check out his "Where's Nonno?"  in our archive!

Nonno visited Mrs. Yollis' class while back in the United States.

Nonno is a great photographer and travel guide!
Here is his new post about the cows in Courmayeur, Italy!

Here in our village of Courmayeur, and in other parts of our region, Valle d’Aosta, cows are important for the milk and because the farmers produce a very special cheese called “Fontina”.

Making Fontina
The Fontina Cheese is stored in caves until it is ready to eat.

In the summer, the farmers take the cows high up in the mountain pastures where the grass is fresh and tender. The Fontina from the summer grass is best.

The end of the summer season is marked with a traditional celebration dear to the locals called "la d├ęsarpa". After a long summer spent in the high mountain pastures, at the foot of the highest peaks in Europe, the cows come to graze at the bottom of the valley during the fall until the snow arrives.

The cows walk through the villages, decorated with flowers and with all their lare bells ringing loudly. The children leave school to watch the parade through the village.

In the winter, the cows are inside the barns because of all the snow. While inside the cows eat hay.  The cheese from the winter is good, but not as good as the summer cheese.

The battle of Queens, or as we call it the Battle of the Cows, is a folk event taking place in our Aosta Valley every year. Nearby countries of France and Switzerland have similar events.

The cows are paired off based on weight. Scraping the ground with their hoofs, pushing against or leaning onto the competitor's head, they mark their own territory; the encounter begins when one of the two challenges the other's space. The cows do not actually hurt each other.

The prizes for the winners are large bells hanging from a collar in richly worked leather, but the owner is happiest when the queen is in their barn.

The farmers that take care of the cows and make the Fontina also harvest chestnuts which they dry, store and eat with cream and honey.

Cows and high pastures in the Alps
A Presto - Nonno

Do you think you might like some Fontina or Chestnuts?

What do you think about the places our cows live?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Skyping with Iowa!

Today Mrs. Yollis' class connected with some wonderful students in Iowa! 
The class has been thinking a lot about Iowa because that is where the Decorah Eagles live!

Iowa is the 29th state! The western border is the Missouri River and the eastern border is the Mississippi River.

Meet our Iowan friends!

We gathered facts about our state using this nonfiction book. It had excellent photos!

Students were excited to hear about farms and climate of Iowa!

In Iowa, the farmers grow corn and soy beans. Some students live on farms where they raise cattle and hogs.

 We discussed some similarities and differences.


We both went to the school library today! Our elevation is low, too. We are at approximately 800 feet above sea level and Iowa is about 1,000 feet. We both have blogs! We are both third graders who live in America and are nearing the end of third grade. The Iowans are done in two days, and Mrs. Yollis' class finishes up in about a month.


Our community is suburban town with  a population of 24, 000. Our Iowan friend's population is about 300 people. Clearly, they are a rural community. We learned that their town has homes and an elementary school, but no other buildings like markets or stores. The high school is nine miles away! They are a 15 hour drive to the Pacific Ocean, while we are a 25 minute drive. We are in the Pacific Standard Time (PST) and they are in Central Standard Time. (CST) In California, it was 11:00 and in Iowa it was 1:00 P. M. Our average winter temperatures are 40 - 60˚ F, while their winters were freezing!  They mention that with a wind chill factor, the temperatures can be -30˚ to -40˚!  If it is zero degrees or higher, they get to go out to recess. If you have snow gear, you can play in the snow.

Mrs. Yollis and her class really enjoyed learning about Iowa!

Thank you Adia, Hannah, and Miriam for taking notes! Here is the transcript.


Thank you, Ryan, for being our class photographer!

Our call ended too soon!
Questions for our Iowans friends:

Are sleds allowed at recess? 
Does anyone cross country ski to school?
What are the favorite cafeteria foods?
If you live on a farm, do you to ride horse?
What do people do during their free time in Iowa?
What's fun about living on a farm? What is a negative about living on a farm?
Has anyone been to the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic Ocean?

Have you ever been to Iowa?

What did you enjoy about the Skype connection? 

Do you know any facts about soy beans?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Open House: Everyone's Welcome!

Tonight is Open House! Everyone is proud to invite their parents and friends into our room to see what we've been learning!

First we set up the room with lots of signs and captions. Our room is like a giant diagram!
Students make captions for the parts of our kelp forest.
The online World Book was used to research facts.

"Please Do Not Touch" signs were made for our desert habitats. However, the spines say don't touch...if you know what that means!

A summary caption for our Ugandan Global Project was needed.

A 3-D sign was created for our cursive paragraphs written about our two favorite three-dimensional shapes.

Many students stayed in and helped get the room ready. We had a fun picnic lunch!

 Finally, Mrs. Yollis' students are ready to shine!

What do you want to see?

Check out our amazing money $tories! Albert Einstein, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, and even the Wright Brothers visited some of these stores! Nick's Nike Store and Misha's Macbook Store have some great specials! Check out if each person got the correct change!

Help yourself to some scrumptious looking fractional sundaes!
Jaden's is a sundae of sixths!
3/6 (simplified 1/2) of Ryan's sundae is Terrific Tropical flavored! Yum!
Illeana some of my delicious eighths! 2/8 (simplified 1/4) of her sundae is Goopy Gum Balls! 

They look better than they taste!

Enjoy a trip down Memory Lane as you peruse each student anthology. Grace's Graceful Gallery, Alexa's Awesome AlmanacAdia's Abundant Album are just a few to check out!

Walk by a giant saguaro cactus in the hot, arid desert! Beware of the cactus spines! Check out Grant's golden mole as it pushes sand away with its paws! Be careful of the caracal! It can jump up to ten feet as it grabs its prey!  The fat-tailed scorpion paralyzes its prey with it stinger, so keep your distance. If you're thristy, just give the water-holding frog a light squeeze! Refreshing! 

Then enjoy a dip in the ocean. Swim through the kelp forest or dive to the trench zone! At the bottom, you'll discover Tucker's camouflaged barracuda. He's hard to see...he could be anywhere. Warning! Aaron's red eel is using color to warn people to keep away! Go and view Ben's triggerfish in the twilight zone. His disruptive coloration makes him hard to see. 

Visit the 3-Dimension Favorites! They really pop! Read all about Kirsten's favorite shapes, the colorful cube and silly sphere! 

Walk our Human Timeline that runs from the 1400's to the present!

Our Blog Wall has many projects to explore. Our biggest project is the Ugandan Global Project. It was a lot of fun, but most importantly, it helped our Ugandan friends who were in need.

We've got mail...from all over the world! Enjoy our post cards from: Australia, Russia, Hawaii, New Zealand, Shetland Island in Scotland, England, Wisconin, Washington, Michigan,  and Canada.

Be sure to say hello to Panda, our blog mascot!

We even have an incredible helium balloon on display. It's almost four months old!

Parents, please leave us a comment from our classroom!

What was your favorite part of the evening?

Friends, do you have an Open House are your school? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two New Student Blogs!

Mrs. Yollis is pleased to launch two new student blogs!
A big thank you goes out to the parents of Nicolas and Ben. They are the administrators of their child's blog and are partners in this 21st century project!

Please support these two new bloggers with a comment!
Click here to visit Nick's Picks!

 Click here to stop by Ben's Next Stop!

Please check out these two new blogs and perhaps support them with a comment! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Video at the Reading Round-Up!

Okay all you cowboys and cowgirls, it's time to talk a little truth! 

Sheriff Yollis and Sheriff Salsich have a new video published
all about nonfiction!

Yee Haw!

Git along now! 

Click here to mosey on over to the Reading Round-Up and have a look for yourself!