## Tuesday, August 28, 2012

### Nonstop Number Sense!

Mrs. Yollis' new class has been exploring number sense!
They have learned about digits, even numbers, odd numbers, and the three forms of writing a number.

The symbols 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are digits.

The even digits are 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8.
The odd digits are 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.

1.  Standard form: A way of writing numbers using digits

2.  Expanded form: A way to write numbers by showing   the VALUE  of each digit

3.  Word form:  A way to write numbers using words

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We used our ClustrMap gadget to help us explore the number of visitors we've had in all since 2009.

144,951 visitors!

Here is the number 144,951 in standard form, expanded form, and word form!

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We have reviewed skills with the hundred chart and odd and even digits by playing some games!

To practice with the hundred chart, several students played

Here are two mathematicians competing to see who can get the most digital dog bones!
On your mark, get set, GO!

Congratulations!

Some students played manual Dog Bone on the carpet! Very clever! Manual is a fancy adjective that means done with your hands.

Other students practiced their odds and evens by playing Ghost Blasters!
Find Ghost Blaster Even and Ghost Blaster Odd on the class website.

Here is a link to the math games section.

Which form do you like best? Standard? Expanded? Word?

Find a number at your house and write it in the three forms.

## Tuesday, August 21, 2012

### Welcome Back, 2012!

Welcome back to a new school year!

Here's a video greeting from Mrs. Yollis!

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I'm looking forward to a terrific year with my
new students in our second and third grade classroom!

I hope that all my former third graders have a wonderful fourth grade experience and come visit me soon!

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Parents, here is a blog post I wrote about the rewards of teaching young students to blog.

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If you are a new student, please leave a comment telling me about yourself. What did you do over your summer break? What adventures and experiences did you enjoyed?

If you are one of our blogging buddies, please introduce yourself to my new class. Where are you from? What have you been up to?

Remember to proofread your comment with a parent before you publish!

:-)

## Sunday, August 19, 2012

### Rewards of Teaching Young Students to Blog

This was originally published on SmartBlogs.  I'm hoping that  parents will read this article and have a good understanding about the benefits of blogging as we begin a new school year on Wednesday.

I have been an elementary-school teacher for more than 25 years and I am always on the lookout for meaningful ways to engage and motivate my young students. I started Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog in 2008 with the idea of sharing class activities with parents. Over time, the blog has grown to be the centerpiece of our third-grade classroom. It has become a true global learning community that offers myriad rewards for students, parents and teachers.

Develop quality literacy skills

When I first started blogging, I thought the posts would be the primary focus of the blog. I quickly realized that the comment section was where the blog came to life. As a class, we set high standards and expectations for writing, agreed to always have an adult proofread before publishing, and created a video to help teach commenting skills.

My students are highly motivated by their authentic global audience and take great pride in producing top-notch writing for their readers. It has been a pleasure to watch my third-graders develop into writers who are eager to compose quality comments on one of our five classroom laptops.

What has been even more exciting for me is the student participation from home. Although I rarely require a comment, students frequently choose to comment on either our class blog or our class photo-of-the-day project during their free time. Clearly, my students enjoy contributing to our online learning community.

Include parents in the learning

Parental involvement has strengthened and expanded the learning opportunities for my class. Twice a year, I run what I call Family Blogging Month. It is a great way to formally invite parents to join in the classroom learning via the blog. The family comments are always valued, and during FBM, I highlight several family exchanges on the blog in the hopes of encouraging more parents and family members to comment. Here are two posts that feature rewarding family contributions: More Quality Comments: Family Blogging Month! and Family Blogging: When I Was Young…
Many parents work but would love to volunteer in some way. Last year, I asked parents to become “virtual volunteers” for our blogs. A virtual volunteer is a person who supports the blog by commenting back to students. This type of interaction helps strengthen the home-school connection and makes the comment sections more engaging.

Integrate curriculum in creative ways

With classroom time at a premium, I look for meaningful ways to integrate curriculum; the blog has been the perfect venue. When my class read “The Great Kapok Tree” by Lynne Cherry for language arts, the students followed up their reading by researching a rain forest animal that was mentioned in the story. Each student composed a comment for the blog from the point of view of that animal. It was a wonderful mix of reading, researching, science and creative writing! During our biography unit, I had each student select a famous person to study. Students submitted a creative comment pretending they were that person. George Washington got a comment from Queen Elizabeth I, Mozart and Tchaikovsky were chatting; the blog comments truly brought these historic people to life! See more examples of integrated curriculum.

Build a digital footprint

I believe it is important to teach young children how to be contributing members of an online community. Building a positive digital footprint and practicing Internet safety are not simply one-week units of study, but are regularly taught and practiced via the class blog.

Connect with other learners

Of all the riches that blogging has brought to my class, the relationships we’ve built with other classrooms around the world have been the most rewarding. The collaborative projects we have joined not only support the educational standards required at my grade level but have also given my students a real understanding of other topics such as geography, time zones, cultures and friendships. I recently presented four global projects at ISTE with my blogging colleague, Kathleen Morris from Australia. Although we have collaborated for many years, we met for the first time when we shared Flattening Classroom Walls with Blogging and Global Collaboration in San Diego.

Blogging offers many rewards!

What excites you about blogging?