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?


  1. Dear Mrs Yollis and students,

    This is another great skyping session with your wonderful blogging pals.
    I found this post very interesting.

    I would love to visit Iowa it really appears to be a very beautiful and peaceful rural area.
    I really loved all the facts you found out and shared about Iowa. Must say there was a vast difference.

    Thank you for another educational lesson everyone.

    From your pal,

  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,
    What an informative post about Iowa! Our country is so big and it's great that you are learning about some of the other states in our nation.
    I have been to Iowa. Actually I have driven through Iowa a few times on cross country driving trips. There are a lot of farms there! That's what I remember!
    It's also really hot in the summer. We had to use the air conditioning when we were there.
    Using the state book is a fabulous way to find out information about states. My 3rd and 4th grade classes are doing a similar project!
    Living in the Evergreen State,
    Mrs. Hembree

  3. @ AA,

    Thanks for a wonderful comment. We really do learn so much through the connections we make. One of the most surprising things to learn was that there are no stores in this rural town. There are homes and the elementary school, but the townspeople need to drive to other communities to shop. I've never been to Iowa, but I'd love to visit the 29th state...and Australia, too! :-)

    @ Mrs. Hembree,

    It is so much fun to learm from experts! This rural community was so different from ours, and it was a fascinating discussion. We have lots of questions, but ran out of time! :-(

    We've never Skyped with anyone from the Evergreen State...are you interested? Have you got some time this year?

    Your pal,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I think it would be wonderful to Skype with your class! We are beginners, so your students will be guiding us along this new path!
    It was my goal to try in the fall, but I think your invitation is the perfect reason to try it out this spring!
    Wishing the sun would come back,
    Mrs. Hembree

  5. Dear Mrs Yollis and class,
    I enjoyed your post on your Skype with Iowa. I was lucky to visit Ceder Falls, Iowa a few years back. It was a beautiful place. What I remember most is how nice the people were on my visit.
    Ben's mom

  6. Wow everyone, talking with people all around the world must be amazing! Mrs Yollis, we'd love to skype with your new class from New Zealand if you're interested. Certainly adding you to our reading list - you're all such inspirations to a new blogging class. Have a great break!

  7. @ Miss H.,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving such a nice comment. We'd love to Skype with you when we get back in September! We love connecting with new classes!

    Your friend,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    Today was the first time I visited your blog. I am incredibly impressed! From what I saw in the pictures and read in the posts, there is no doubt that you earned the blog award. Congratulations!

    I am a first grade teacher looking for new ways to incorporate technology. Your blog is very resourceful because it is a superb example of how I can integrate Skype and blogs in my classroom.

    I look forward to following your blog and learning more from you and your class! Keep up the amazing work!


    Miss S. :)

  9. @ Miss S.,

    Thanks so much for the visit and for all the kind words you said about the blog! :-)

    I highly recommend starting a class blog. If you look in my blog roll, there is a first grade teacher who has a blog. Her name is Mrs. it's never too early to start!

    Another great idea is to join Twitter. I find so many useful ideas are shared there.

    Your friend,
    Mrs. Y&hears;llis

  10. That would be very exciting! I hope you all have a lovely vacation (we call them holidays) and we look forward to talking with you hopefully in September. I'm sarahhollandnz on twitter, that might be the easiest way to tee it up.

    Thanks so much! From Miss Holland and LH3 in New Zealand


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