Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blogging Buddies Meet!

 Mrs. Morris and her husband traveled nearly 8,000 miles from their home in Australia and have been staying at the Yollis house. Mrs. Yollis and Mrs. Morris have been blogging buddies for years, but met face-to-face for the first time last week. These educators spent a wonderful week together!

The two teachers were together because they were presenters at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).  The topic of their session was Educational Blogging: Flattening the Classroom Walls.

Photo by John Miller
 After ISTE, Mrs. Morris visited Mrs. Yollis' classroom. Although school was already over, Beverly and Panda were still in the room and were glad to have some friends stop by! 

Enjoy these photos from the fun-filled, educational week! 

Spending Time With Blogging Buddies on PhotoPeach

 While in Mrs. Yollis' classroom, the two teacher filmed a special message for their readers! 

Educational Bloggers Meet from yourwonderfulteacher on Vimeo.

Do you have any questions for the bloggers?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Audio Book: The Tale Trail!

 Our recent collaborative writing project with five other classes from around the world, The Tale Trail, is now an audio-book! That means you can listen to the story being read! 

The classes -  Open the Door to B4, New Zealand; Mr. Salsich's Grade 3s, USAMrs. Watson's Grade 2/3s, Canada; Mr. Avery's Grade 6s, USA; 
and 4KM and 4KJ, Australia; were all responsible for writing one installment each, publishing it on their blog and adding links to each part of the story.

In the last few weeks students from each class have recorded
their part of the story, using SlideRocket, giving us all the parts of the tale in one place!
We hope you will enjoy listening to the story.
(Press the play button on the slideshow below, and use the arrows to view each slide.)

Thank you to Mr. Avery for the wonderful idea.

We look forward to joining our buddies for projects next year.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

School's Out for Summer!

Today was the last day of school. 

We signed yearbooks, cleaned out our desks, and even cleaned the AlphaSmarts! Thank Alexandra!

Students finished writing on our Memory Board, while others had some final fun with clay and tessellations!

Our Memory Board

Student tessellations

Does this tessellation bug you? (Video destruction coming this summer!)

A delicious sundae for Mrs. Yollis!

Are those new glasses?

One poor student was clayed to his desk!

Mustache Man returns!

As the seconds slipped away on Mrs. Yollis' giant hour glass, some interesting shapes appeared.

 At 12:15, the last grain of sand fell through the hour glass and school was officially over! Although students and teachers enjoy vacations, we will all miss being together as a class!

One final group hug and the third graders became fourth graders!

Photo by Logan's mom

Here is Mrs. Yollis' annual good-bye video!

What are some of your favorite memories from the year?

What are your plans for the summer (or winter)?

Monday, June 11, 2012

End-of-the-Year Party & Mrs. Yollis' Birthday!

Today was a fun day at school! 

In the morning, the fifth grade students competed against the teachers in a game of kickball! Everyone showed terrific athletic ability and good sportsmanship! Does anyone remember the score?

Photo by Mia

Mrs. Yollis' students provided a lot of support when she stepped up to the plate!

Photo by Mia

After the teachers were victorious, the class brought their chairs back to the classroom. It looked funny to see everyone sitting in lines!

Later we had an end-of-the year pizza party! The food was delicious and then parents and students played a hearty round of Silent Speed Ball, a perennial favorite.

Today was also Mrs. Yollis' birthday! Her blogging buddy, Bianca, created a thoughtful birthday post and sent a birthday parcel from Australia! During the party, everyone sang along to a cute Happy Birthday video Bianca embedded in the post! How thoughtful!

Ellie's mom baked these beautiful cupcakes for everyone!

What did you think of the day?

Do you think the kickball game should become a tradition?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Los Angeles County ~ Best Elementary Blog!

Our World, Our Stories blog takes top honor! 

The Digital Voice Awards are given out annually by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The awards showcase quality digital projects in the hopes that other teachers will consider incorporating digital projects that enhance student learning in their own classrooms. 

At the end of the awards ceremony, they announce the best overall projects for elementary school, middle school, and high school. 

Out of all the wonderful Digital Voice Winners, 
The Our World, Our Stories blog won for 

We had a red carpet Digital Voice Awards ceremony!

Mrs. Yollis and class accepted the Digital Voice Award on behalf of all the wonderful teachers and classes who were members of the Our World, Our Stories blog.

Classes involved in Our World, Our Stories:

The students are all from junior primary classes and are from three different continents and six
2KM and 2KJ from Victoria, Australia
B4 from New Zealand
Mr Salsich’s third grade class from Connecticut, USA
Melody Watson’s 2/3 class from Canada
Andy Sefa Boachie and his students from Ghana
Miss Usher’s standard 3 class from Punta Gorda, Belize

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  We were brought in live during the ceremony! It was thrilling!

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Mrs. Ranney and her class received a Digital Voice award too. Their post Colossal, Creative Collections  won in the area of Language Arts.  

One of Mrs. Yollis' former bloggers, Miriam, was also honored! Her blog, Miriam's Magical Moments, was recognized for quality writing and meaningful integration of web 2.0 tools.  Click here to read Miriam's excellent post about the event!

Miriam delivers a terrific acceptance speech.

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 In 2009, Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog was named Best Elementary Project in Los Angeles County! 

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Did you enjoy the ceremony?

What elements made the Our World, Our Stories blog a winner?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bad News Bev!

Mrs. Yollis' class loves reading and writing. This year, the class read Dogzilla, by Dav Pilkey. They enjoyed the story so much, it inspired them to try and write a monster story of their own! The main characters are our two class mascots, Panda and Beverly!

After much writing, revision, and recording, Mrs. Yollis' students are proud to premiere their diabolical drama about a boisterous bear who terrorizes their classroom.


Bad News Bev!

Thank you @cybraryman1 for your wonderful tips about planning and writing a story! 

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What do you think of our story?

What elements did you enjoy the most?

What was the hardest part about writing and creating this story?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Enterprising Economy!

This week we are studying about economy, the way a country runs its industry, trade, and finance!

We have learned that in the United States producers may make or do almost anything they can think of, as long as the law allows it.
Consumers may buy what they want and can afford.

This system is called free enterprise.

To practice these and other important words about economy, visit this link to play the Eword game!

Another wonderful way to study is to take the quiz below!

Everyday Economy! on PhotoPeach


What have you learned about economy?

What new information can you share?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meet a Harris Hawk and an Opossum

Today, Beverly from Wildlife Experience was in our class.

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

To book a program for your southern California school or order a t-shirt, click here.

Harris Hawk

A Harris hawk has a wingspan of about 3- 4 feet. The female is larger than the male.  In captivity, the Harris hawk lives up to 14 years. In the wild, they don't live much beyond 10 years due to predation and diseases.The Harris hawk has keen eyesight. Can someone share the fact Ms. C. shared about a hawk's eyesight?  

Most hawks hunt alone. For example, a red tailed hawk might spy a rabbit, grab the animal in its talons, and crush the vertebrate. It will then eat the rabbit. 

Harris hawks live in the desert. Food is scarce, and they can't afford to miss a meal. Sometimes they will hunt alone like in this photo. This Harris hawk has captured a snake.
Sometimes they hunt together and share a meal. This is a behavioral adaptation.  A group of Harris hawks will see a rabbit. One will fly low to flush the rabbit out, which means it will make the rabbit run. All the other hawks will circle the rabbit, capture it, and share the rabbit.

Harris hawks also stack on the backs of each other. Ms. C. thinks they do it to bond with one another. No one really knows why they do this.

Harris hawks practice communal nesting. That means that  some males will feed other hawks in the nest that are not their own. 

Many birds build nests. Here is a Harris hawk nest. If the nest gets destroyed or blows away, the bird must rebuild it. Birds will pick up anything soft and comfy for their babies.  In this nest Ms. C. found: paper bags, newspaper pieces, a piece of a dryer sheet, cotton, animal hair of all colors, along with twigs and grasses.

Here is a nest that was started, but not finished. Perhaps a finch started it.  This nest  is made almost entirely of horse hair!

The smallest bird in the world is a hummingbird. Here are the remains of a ruby-throated hummingbird that was found in the wild. Notice the iridescent coloration. The feathers change color as the light illuminates the bird.

Two years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Yollis raised an abandoned hummingbird. See the photos and videos of the rescue!

The largest bird in the world in the ostrich. Here is an ostrich egg! There is an ostrich farm near Santa Maria, California, where students can see live ostrich.

Ms. C. drilled a hole in the egg to drain the yolk.


Here is Awesome the Opossum! Opossums are the only marsupials that live in North America. A marsupial is an animal that lives on land and carries its young in a pouch.

The opossum can have up to 13 joeys, or babies. They are around the size of a dime. They will live in the pouch for about two months. Here are some newborns! When they get too big, they ride around on top of the opossum.  When they finally measure 7 inches from tip to tail, they can be on their own.  
The opossum is nocturnal, so Ms. C. had to wake her up. 
She has a prehensile tail that she can use as a hand. 

Opossums grow approximately 50 razor sharp teeth!
Interesting Physical adaptation:  When an opossum is afraid, it tries to run. Next it will show his/her teeth. If that doesn't work, a chemical is released that puts the marsupial in a catatonic state. That means it looks dead. Two scent glands open up and a rotten smell comes out. The opossum looks and smells dead and a predator might leave the opossum alone. After a few moments, she wakes up and takes off!

What other marsupials can you name? Please share some facts!
Which animal has been your favorite so far?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Mathletics Mania!

Our school is using Mathletics on a free trial basis until June 12th, 
the last day of school.

It is a great site for practicing the 3rd grade standards and for competing against
 students all over the world!

We were so excited that friends, Mrs. Ranney and Mrs. Chalfin were recently 
 placed in the Top 50 Classes
 in the U. S. A.
We have been working diligently on our math, and we made it to the Top 50 as well!
Way to go!

What countries have you played?

What parts of Mathletics do you like the best?
Have you earned any certificates?