Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fire Safety With Ellie's Dad!

Today we had a special visit from Ellie's dad who is a firefighter for Los Angeles County! Firefighters are men and women who rescue people and save property. His name was Jamie.

The special helmet not only protects Ellie's dad, but provides information about what station he is from.

Firefighters need to respond quickly when they receive a 911 call. They set up their equipment so they can jump right into it. Notice the boots look like they are lace-ups, but they are not. The are zippered!

Ellie's dad said they practice many emergency responses. One thing they practice is to get dressed in less than a minute. 

Start the clock!

Firefighters need to solve lots of problems when they respond to an emergency. They have gear in all of their pockets, special breathing apparatus, flame resistant clothing, tools for shutting off gas lines, and much more. Does anyone remember what other tools he had in his pockets? 

Part of his equipment included a Personal Alert Safety System (PASS). If ever a firefighter stops moving for 20 seconds, the PASS starts an alert so a firefighter who is in trouble can get rescued.

Jamie informed the students that if they are ever trapped in a house with smoke, get down low and crawl to an escape. Because smoke rises, it is easier to see and breath if you are down low.

Talk with your family about how to respond if your house is on fire. Where is your emergency family meeting place? 

Dressed in all their gear, firefighters can be scary to see when you are already afraid. However, he said if you are in a fire, don't hide from a firefighter, they are there to help! Here is Ellie's dad rescuing a young girl.

Beverly was very interested in the fire safety information. She stayed awake the entire time!

Because she was such a good listener, she got to pretend she was a firefighter!

Who is that new volunteer firefighter?

After the presentation, several students stayed after to become junior firefighters!

Important safety tips:

1. Never play with matches.

2. If you are on fire, do not run. Cover your face and STOP, DROP, and ROLL! That will smother, or put out, the fire.

3. Talk with your family about fire safety. HAVE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN.  How do you escape and where is your family meeting area outside? Don't just talk about it, PRACTICE the plan like the school fire drills.

4. If you are in a smoky environment remember to get low, it will be easier to see and breath.

Do you have any questions for firefighter Jamie?

Have you ever been in an emergency situation and were helped by a firefighter?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Skyping With Canadians!

Today, we Skyped with Mrs. Watson's class in British Columbia! They are our blogging buddies in Canada. We first met each other when we were members of the Our World, Our Stories global project last October.

Geographers, Kelly and Sarah, locate and point to Solintula, British Columbia.

 Canada's Minister of Education was a guest in Mrs. Watson's room, and we thought he must work in the national capital of Canada which is Ottawa.

We opened the call with our American greeters. 

Our Canadian greeters were so professional!

For fun, we each sang our verse from the Our World, Our Stories culminating song. Here is the original sing along!

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Even thought we had some technical problems with Skype, the two classes persevered and were able to learn a lot about our two countries. 


Mia shared that America has 3,794,101 square miles, while Sophie informed us that Canada measures 3, 855,100 square miles. 

Very close, but how much larger is Canada's area? Is Canada the largest country in the world?


There are a lot of Americans! Trey stated that there are approximately 313,000,000 people in the U.S. According to Karin, there are 34,108,752 Canadians!

Not very close! How many more Americans are there than Canadians? 


Parsa informed our Canadian friends that America is divided up into 50 states.  

Quang shared that Canada is divided up too, but their divisions are not called states. Canada has TEN provinces and THREE territories.


Leila drew the flag and discussed what the symbols on the American flag stand for.

Ana shared that Canada's colors/colours are red and white and the national emblem is the maple leaf. 


 The bald eagle is America's national bird. The female is larger and the wingspan is enormous! Madison used two yard sticks (similar to two meter sticks) to demonstrate the wingspan!

Canada's national animals are the industrious beaver and the Canadian horse. Kennedy said that the horse was just added in 2002. 


It is interesting that the highest and lowest points in North America are in the United States. Matthew and Aidan put these facts together.

Although Death Valley doesn't sound inviting, it is quite beautiful!

Canadian fun fact:  Canadians eat more Mac and Cheese than any other country on Earth! 
We loved this fact! However, considering America's enormous population and love of Mac and Cheese, we find this fact hard to believe!

Thank you, Royce, for being our class photographer!
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What did you think of the Skype call?

Do you have any questions for the Canadians?

Please share your opinion with the Minister of Education, Mr. Abbott. Why you think blogging is important?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Video Tutorials: What Are Quadrilaterals?

In our polygon unit, we are learning about four-sided figures called


Many  people were confused about why some shapes have more than one name.  Here are some tutorials to help you learn about quadrilaterals.

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What is a parallelogram?

Here is an interactive parallelogram.

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What is a rectangle?

Here is an interactive rectangle.

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What is a rhombus?

Here is an interactive rhombus.

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What is a square?

Here is an interactive square.

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Maybe you'd like to watch the Polygon Movie again and meet these quadrilaterals in person!  

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Have you used our quadrilateral tutorials? 

Which tutorial helped the most?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Skyping With Australia!

Today we Skyped with our blogging buddies in Australia, 4KM and 4KJ. It was Tuesday at 2:00 P.M. for us, but for the Australians, it was Wednesday at 9:00 A.M. 

It was about 77˚ F (25˚C) in both of our suburbs!

Skyping With 4KM and 4KJ on PhotoPeach

Here are some interesting comparisons: 


Australia     7, 682, 300 sq. km   (≈ 8 million sq. km)
U.S.A.          9, 826, 675 sq. km (≈ 10 million sq. km)

Australia     2, 967, 892 sq. miles (≈ 3 million sq. miles)
U.S.A.      3,794,101 sq. mi (≈ 4 million sq. mi.)

Australians    22, 837, 351 
Americans  312,000,000 million  (2011 estimate)

National Flags

National Seal or Coat of Arms


National Facts

Australia became a federation on January 1, 1901, and Canberra became the capital in 1927. 

The United States became a country on July 4, 1776, and Washington, D.C. became the capital city on July 16, 1790.


National Birds

Emu photo by Kathleen Morris

Photo by Todd Yollis

What are some Australian or American facts that are not mentioned in this post?

What questions would you like to discover when we Skype again?

What was your favorite part about the Skype call? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today we recorded a special Valentine's Day song! We hope you enjoy our singing!

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
 E is even more than anyone that you adore

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don't break it
Love was made for me and you!

Thank you Mrs. Boyd for being our accompanist!

♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥

We celebrated throughout the day. First, Royce's mom put a fruit medley together using red fruit donated by class members. 

Students passed out their valentines. Many students wrote the valentine names in cursive! Ooh la la!

At the end of the day, Mrs. Yollis said that students could open their valentines or have free-time. 

Many students opted to build tessellations. A tessellation is flat design that tessellates. That means that the shapes fit together with NO GAPS and NO OVERLAPS!

This beauty has been growing for two days! 

Some students added dots to this growing equilateral triangle pattern. 

 As we started to get Valentine's Day comments about our L-O-V-E song, students started commenting back!

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What did you give for Valentine's Day?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mardi Gras: Learning From Experts!

Mrs. Yollis' class had the opportunity to learn from experts today! They Skyped with Ms. Naugle's 4th grade class in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Louisianans taught the class all about Mardi Gras! Over a million people descend upon New Orleans to be part of this celebration.

Alexandra and Ellie located the Pelican State in Big Blue, our class atlas. Notice that Leila brought in a Mardi Gras mask and Aidan brought in some cajun spices for the class to smell. Many students have had cajun spices on chicken and pasta.

Royce, Mia, Trey, and Sasha took notes in Word. 

Many students took notes on paper, and below is a photo of Kelly's!

We used the notes to write the following paragraph!

Mardi Gras came to America in 1699, and it is also called Fat Tuesday. There are three main colors for Mardi Gras, purple, green, and gold. Purple symbolizes justice, green symbolizes faith, and gold represents power. There are many parades during Mardi Gras. The parade workers are called krewe, and they help build the floats. There are many parades. In fact, there is one ever day during the week, and on weekends there can be two or three scheduled! Many of Ms. Naugle's student attend the Rascal's Parade which is only for children.  Mardi Gras starts Tuesday, February 21 this year.

Here are some of the the Mardi Gras souvenirs!

This student caught a  football and a leather sword at one of the parades.

At the Zulu parade, they give out coconuts! They do not throw the coconuts because that would cause a lot of injuries! Ms. Naugle is hoping to get a coconut this year!

 Many parade goers wear fantastic masks! Here are two great examples!

At the end of the presentation, they performed a dance for us! Music is a big part of Louisiana's heritage! We loved the music and the dancing!

 We also used library books to learn more about Louisiana.

Louisiana is the 18th state, and its capital is Baton Rouge. The Pelican State is home to many alligators. Some of Ms. Naugle's students have hunted alligators when it is alligator hunting season. 

We talked about  Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans in 2005. It was a deadly hurricane. The name Katrina can no longer be used in naming a hurricane. We were sadden to learn that many of Ms. Naugle's students had to evacuate. Some were out of their homes for over two years!

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Maya did a wonderful job with the photographs!

Thank you, Ms. Naugle and class,  for sharing this celebration with us. 

We loved learning about Mardi Gras from our new expert friends!

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Do you remember any other facts about Louisiana?

Have you ever been to a celebration like this?