Friday, September 28, 2012

The Google Teacher Academy in NYC!

Mrs. Yollis will be attending the Google Teacher Academy in New York City next week!
Update: After attending, I wrote this post! 


Hundreds of educators from around the world submitted applications, and Mrs. Yollis is proud to say that she was one of the 50 selected. Most of the teachers are from the United States, but there are also educators coming from Mexico, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, and South Africa. 

Part of the application process included making a one minute video. Here is Mrs. Yollis' video about Motivation and Learning. It was very difficult to tell a story in one minute!

Mrs. Yollis is quite excited to meet all the new Google Teacher Academy educators! Even while playing word games, she can't seem to think about anything else!

*     *     *     *     *

 Today Mrs. Yollis' students examined the roster of teacher attendees. (An attendee is a fancy word meaning one who attends.) Next, the second and third graders used Google Earth to measure the distances some people will be traveling. The students have been learning how to estimate. The distances have been rounded.

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Some educators are traveling approximately 500 miles.

One educator lives near Lake Michigan. Wow, the Great Lakes are enormous!

Some attendees are  coming from Europe or Asia. Most are traveling within the United States.

 *     *     *     *     *

 Ms. Allen is flying in from Bogota, Colombia. Abbey noticed that the distance Ms. Allen is flying is similar to the distance Mrs. Yollis is flying. Ms. Allen is coming from South America!

Mrs. Yollis is flying in from Los Angeles.

*     *     *     *     *

If was fun to compare the differences!

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Ms. Beal is coming from South Africa. She is traveling the farthest. The class noticed she will cross the equator and the Prime Meridian! Go Ms. Beal!


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The Google Teacher Academy will be held in New York City. It will be a wonderful place to spend a few days. 
Here are some New York City fun facts!

New York City (NYC) is an urban area.  It is the most populated city in the United States. 
Do you know which city ranks second?

Population of NYC:  8 million people
Size:  303 square miles
 Elevation 33 feet

 *     *     *     *     *

What kinds of things do you think will be taught at the academy?

What points of interest should Mrs. Yollis see while in 
New York City?

What did you learn from your Google Earth exploration? 

Skype: Urban Florida and Suburban California

Today we had another fabulous Communities: Share & Compare session.

Last week we learned all about a rural community in New Zealand. This week we learned about an urban area in Florida. Meet our new third grade friends!

Political Map of the United States

The two classes were on separate coasts and in different time zones. The Floridians were just coming back from lunch, while the Californians were about to have a morning snack recess.

The mappers set up two photographs. One is a political map and one is a physical map. How is color used on these two maps? Which do you prefer? 

Physical Map of the United States

Students had facts prepared about our community and our school. In addition, each student practiced his/her presentational skills. Presentational skills included: giving an appropriate greeting, speaking slowly and clearly,  holding a white board level, and responding to questions. We also talked about troubleshooting problems that occur during a Skype call.

 Two students worked at the Google Doc data center. Their job was to keep the Share &  Compare moving in a logical order, and they typed relevant information as it came in. 
 (Much of the class data was added during our class research time as we learned about our own community.)

The greeters welcomed our new friends with a white board welcome and a smile!

 Mrs. Yollis' students enjoyed meeting the Florida Skype escorts and their class photographer. Below is a photo of the Floridian photographer taken by the California photographer!

Mrs. Yollis' students were really surprised to learn about the size of Jacksonville, Florida.
Our community is 13 square miles.  Jacksonville is a whopping 885 square miles!

After the call, we compare 13 squares to 885 squares. What a difference! The square area of our suburban community is quite small in comparison.

Here are some other facts from our Share & Compare Fact Sheet:

                      CALIFORNIA      FLORIDA

Students enjoyed meeting Skypey, a little blue class mascot from Florida!

Of course Panda was punctual and ready with a useful message. Panda says, "Actions speak louder than words." So true, Panda!

 Beverly was asleep, but jumped up to join the conversation when she heard the word alligator. Did you know that alligators are common in Florida? Beverly wonders how often the students see alligators.

Soon it was time to say goodbye. The timers stopped the clock and calculated the elapsed time of the call.

A big thank you to our class photographer! The photos really help tell the story. 
(Photographer photo will be added tomorrow!) 

Mrs. Yollis' class has now learned about urban, suburban, and rural communities in a fun and authentic way!

Do you have any questions for our Florida buddies?

Can we answer any questions for you? 

How is our suburban community different from their urban community? 

How are the communities alike?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fabulous Fall ~ 2012

Did you know that this year, September 22, is the first day of autumn?
In Southern California, we do not experience autumn, or fall,
the same way some places do.
However, we do feel a change in our weather, and even
the leaves of our trees sometimes change color!

Have you ever wondered why leaves change color in the fall?
If you'd like to find out the answer
or learn some other fabulous fall facts,
click on this link called Awesome Autumn!


Leave a comment to tell us what you learned about autumn.

You can also include the answers to these questions:

What are your favorite fall sports and activities?

What do you like most about fall?

Why do some trees change color? Do you have any deciduous trees in your yard?
 (Deciduous trees drop all their leaves in the fall.)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Skype: Rural New Zealand & Suburban California!

Mappers located New Zealand in our big, blue atlas!

On Thursday, September 20, 2012,  Mrs. Yollis' class

Skyped with 

Mrs. McKenzie's class where it was Friday, September 21, 2012

9:00 A.M. on Sept. 21 in New Zealand
2:00 P.M. on Sept. 20 in California

How could this be? The answer, time zones. 

Everyone was excited to meet the blogging buddies and each person had a job to do.

A second grader and a third grader helped sequence the sharing. They also typed relevant information in the New Zealand / U.S. Skype Share & Compare Google doc. (It was thrilling to watch the New Zealanders type on the document at the same time we were!)

Here are some screenshots of the Google doc. Students filled in the information on the table!
(Click to enlarge.)

What do you notice about our two school?

 What do you notice about our two communities?

Students shared all kinds of community information. We used white boards to write the important words or numbers. 

 We learned that we live in a suburb and our New Zealand friends live in a rural area

 What is a suburb? 

What does rural mean?

 How many feet (or meters) are we above sea level?

 What does our community look like?

 Everyone enjoyed meeting the class mascots, Panda and Beverly! Panda was ready with a useful message! Panda was still wearing his super hero cape! 

Beverly came out of her long hibernation and met the new blogging buddies. She was especially interested in a couch she saw in B4's classroom. Oh, Beverly!

 B4 has some fabulous mascots as well! We met the cheeky Quicksilver who is a bird. We wonder what kind of bird he is?

Wise and kind Mr. Beesley. We think Panda and Mr. Beesley would be fast friends!

Our timer said that the call started at 1:58 P.M. and ended at 2:26 P.M.

Elapsed time:  26 minutes

(Elapsed time is a fancy way of stating how much time passed.)

Thank you to our class photographer for the wonderful photo documentation!

Have you ever Skyped with someone?

Do you have any follow up questions for the New Zealanders or us?

Friday, September 14, 2012

• International Dot Day • 2012 •

September 15th is International Dot Day!

We celebrated today by reading 

The Dot

International Dot Day is a day to celebrate being creative!

After listening to Mrs. Yollis read The Dot, we were inspired to be creative 
and create some dot creations of our own!

Enjoy the slide show of our Dot Day celebration of creativity!

What did you enjoy most about International Dot Day?
How will you celebrate at home?
Can you think of anything else to create with a dot?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Super Subjects and Perfect Predicates!

Mrs. Yollis' class has been working on learning about 

what it takes to create a 

We have learned that it takes two parts: 

The subject tells the person or thing the sentence is about.
The predicate tells what the subject is or does.
The predicate always includes a verb!
Here are some sample subjects the class came up with today.
In the comment section, see if you can make a complete sentence. Of course, you may use your own subject if you prefer.
My dog Rocky
The library book
Panda and Beverly
The school bell
The upper yard
The _____ flower
The lake under the Lost and Found 
The children in Mrs. Yollis' class
Here are some student-made predicates. See if you can add a subject to make a sentence. Notice the verbs are bolded!
went to the dog park. 
rode a red bike to the library.
drove to Los Angeles, California. 
played basketball against Kobe.
is under a rock in the tank.
used the Internet to look up pig facts.
watched the Super Bowl with the Giants against the Patriots.
cleaned my messy room. 
walked to the Petting Zoo to pet a mule. 
screamed when she saw the ___________.
swatted the annoying fly.
put on his stinky shoes.
Challenge: Write some quality sentences to be read in class tomorrow!

After creating your sentence and typing it into your comment, tell us what the subject is and what the predicate is, or
if you want to give us a challenge...

Ask us to tell you what the subject and predicate are!  

Good luck!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lucky Hat Day! 2012

Last week, Mrs. Yollis' third graders read  The Lost and Found, a story
in our anthology by Mark Teague.
The story is about three friends who get lost in the Lost and Found bin! Their lucky hats brings them good luck at the end of the story.
*       *       *      *       *
For fun, we wore our lucky hats today! Second grade's reading unit is called Silly Stories, so they wore a silly hat!

In class, we had a fun time looking at our silhouettes! A silhouette is a shadow. Can you find your hat? (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

Here are some fun photos from Lucky Hat day!

Lucky Hat Day ~ 2012 on PhotoPeach

What was your favorite part about today?

Tell us about your hat!