Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meet a Tarantula and a Gopher Snake!

Guest post by Acacia, Etai, Alexandra, and Royce

As part of our animal adaptation science unit, Beverly Critcher 
from Wildlife Experience will bring wild animals
that are native to North America
to Mrs. Yollis' class for careful
scientific observation.

They are a non-profit wildlife education organization that brings native and exotic animals to schools and teaches children about the importance of our natural world.

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 Rose Haired Tarantula

 A spider is also called an arachnid (uh•rack•nid). An arachnid has two body parts, eight legs, and usually lives on land. Some arachnids are: scorpions, spiders, ticks, and mites.

 Here is a rose haired tarantula that can be found in South America all the way to Mexico. It has several adaptations. For one, the body is covered with hair that is pointy and jagged. If a predator tries to eat the arachnid, the hairs come off in the predator's mouth. While the predator is busy trying to get rid of the hairs, the spider crawls away. It also has spinnerets at the back of its body. It used them to make spider webs!

A tarantula has eight eyes since it can't move its head to see in all directions.

 Miss C. walked around with room with Ocho, and we took a close look. Why is this tarantula named Ocho?

This is a shedding of the rose haired tarantula. As you can see, it looks exactly like a rose tarantula, but it is hollow and all skin!

Here is a picture of a picture that shows baby spiders. :-) They are called spiderlings.

 Here is a picture of a picture of a female black widow spider. The female black widow has a red pattern on her belly that looks like an hourglass. It is a warning that it is poisonous! The male black widow makes a delicious meal for the female. That's right, she eats him! 

This is a brown recluse spider which can be found in our area. It contains a lot of poisonous venom, more that the black widow! Miss C. told us a story about a teacher who had captured a brown recluse for an animal that eats spiders. It was the only time that Miss C ever saw a brown recluse in the wild.

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Gopher Snake

Miss C. also brought a beautiful snake. Students got to touch the scales of the gopher snake with two fingers. The coloration of the snake helps it blend in with its surroundings. That type of coloration is call camouflage. The gopher snake can mimic the rattlesnake's rattle by shaking its tail in dried leaves. Predators think this gopher snake is a rattler and move away rapidly.

This is a photo of the gopher snakes shed, or molt. Notice the snake even shed the skin over its eyes. Miss C. called those eye caps. Snake do not have eyelids.

This is the shed of a red tailed boa. This exotic snake is now 10 feet long, but will grow to be approximately 18 feet as an adult.  This boa is so heavy that the law requires that two handlers when showing it to students.

What arachnids or reptiles have you seen in the wild?

Do you know any other animals that molt? 

Research some additional facts and share! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Guest post by Jake, Aidan, and Brenden

Memorial Day is today, Monday May 28. It is always observed on the last Monday in May. Most schools, businesses, and postal services are closed.  It became a national holiday in 1971.

Andrew and his scout troop place flags on military grave sites.

On this solemn day, Americans honor the men and women who died in active military service. American flags are placed on grave sites to honor the military service. 

Here are some resources Mrs. Yollis found to share: 
Learn  from El Civics.

Did anyone in your family serve?

Did you fly your American flag today? 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thank you, REACHRocketeers!

Blogging is a great way to learn and make new friends. This year, Mrs. Yollis' students had some wonderful exchanges with a  magnificent group of bloggers from Mississippi called  

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1.  We first met them when we wrote State Word Problems together! 

 Here are their Mississippi Math Problems. 

2.  Next, they taught us a weather song when we were learning Spanish. It was muey bien!

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Today, we received a thoughtful parcel from our friends.

The parcel had beautiful, handmade cards and some cool school souvenirs!

 Everyone was surprised to receive a REACH Rocketeer pencil!

We value our blogging buddies and appreciate their generosity!

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What did you notice about the purple pencil?  :-)

What are some facts you can share about Mississippi?

How does blogging benefit classrooms? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Welcome Back, Nonno!


Today our friend Nonno was in town from Italy! Italy is a country in Europe. He brought his Italian friend, Francesca, with him.  Last year, Nonno was a fabulous guest blogger for our class. His series about the regions of Italy was called Where's Nonno?

His grandson, Ben, was in Mrs. Yollis' third grade class last year. Check out the blog he earned, Ben's Next Stop.  His current post is about his trip to Hawaii!

Nonno has many fabulous posts in our archive. However, here is a direct link to his post about Barletta, Italy. It features the giant in the fantasy story we read called The Mysterious Giant of Barletta by Tomie dePaola.
Look for Francesca standing next to the Giant of Barletta!

We learned about Italy, Mont Blanc, Italian food and regions, and how Italians greet one another! (A kiss to each cheek!)

Here are some links to a few of his past posts to peruse! 
Peruse is a fancy word for read.  

They're full of facts and photos!


What did you learn from Nonno and Francesca?

Do you have any question about Italy?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Battle of Words!

Post written by guest bloggers:  Jake, Alexandra, Leila, and Sarah

Mrs. Yollis' students are always working to improve their writing skills. Recently, we've been having fun battling with words.

Mrs. Yollis has some vocabulary worksheets which teach prefixes and suffixes

Some example words we've learned are:

-ly  wisely, fondly, quietly, cuddly, ghostly, and wearily
un-  unknown, unspoken, unable, uneaten, unusual, and uncover
re-  reviewed, reappeared, rearranged, recharged, and replay

Here is how we battle:

Students choose words from the word bank and write high-level sentences with each. Then pupils come up to the front of the room and read their sentence one at a time. Many students write sentences that are hard to beat because they include:   compound sentences, dependent clauses, high-level vocabulary, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, personification, similes, and even word play.

Mrs. Yollis and the class discuss the elements of each sentence and pick the best sentences. 

Here is a photo of a recent battle over the best sentence using the adverb quietly. Who thinks they are going to be triumphant?

Look at those confident writers!

  Winners earn a sticker from the brown, metal treasure box.
The contest has become quite competitive!

Everyone enjoys the spirited competition! 

Please contribute a stupendous sentence or two to the comment section. 

Be sure to bold your high-level vocabulary words!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Field Trip Photos for Student Blogger Use

Dear students,

Here are the photos I took at the Gillette Ranch field trip. Students have permission to use any of my photos in a blog post. Use the following citation one time in your post:  Photos used with permission from Mrs. Yollis. I have labeled a few of the photos so you will have correct spelling and capitalization. Remember, trees, plants, and animals are not proper nouns and should NOT be capitalized unless they have a proper noun in them. (For example, the Douglas fir would have a capital D because Douglas is a man's name.  California redwood would have a capital C because California is a state.)

 I encourage you to use World Book Online to research additional information about the Chumash tribe, trees and plants (native and non-native species) you saw, as well as any wildlife you spotted. Organize your post in a logical way. Put any Chumash information together. If you want to zoom in on birds, put all that information together. If you'd like to research information about State Senator Fran Pavley, here is her website. Be sure to use high-level vocabulary words!

When you are finished writing and proofreading your post with your parents, please add a link to the comment section, and I will tweet it out for you!

Mrs. Yollis

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Wow! Mia already published something on her student blog!
 Check out her fabulous post! She'd love a comment!

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Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority (MRCA) sponsored our field trip


Chumash fishing net

Chumash tomol (model)

Chumash basket

Nick's handmade Chumash tool (replica)

hunting tool

musical instrument: rattle

musical instrument: clapper sticks kept the rhythm (elderberry wood)

musical instrument: rain stick

bull roar

Mrs. Yollis tries to work the bull roar

eucalyptus leaf (imported from Australia)

flowering eucalyptus

acorns from coastal live oak

valley oak

valley oak hollow

sycamore tree

pine tree

great blue heron
great blue heron


snowy egret

Canadian goose and her goslings

talking about snowy owls and great horned owls

Owl eyes  are one third of the owl's face. Here we are with our owl eyes on! How do large eyes help the owl?

owl pellet


thistle leaves

State Senator Fran Pavley visits. She represents the 23rd Senate District in the California State Senate.