Monday, December 31, 2012

Join Our Class 365 Project!

I just added the final photo to our Yollis' 366 Project. This elementary school photo-of-the-day blog has proven to be a wonderful place to share photographs and practice all types of writing. 

 During the 2012 year, the Yollis' 366 Project received photos and comments from teachers, classes, and individual students all over the world! 

I personally thank each photographer and blogger for his/her contribution!

YOU have made the project special!

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For the 2013 year, I have changed the look of the blog. The new theme is a collage of photos. Hover over a photo and it will flip. Information about the photo is on the back of the flipped photo. Click on a photo and a new window will open.  Hopefully you will click and leave a comment! 

I invite you to join our photo-of-the-day project this year. Simply email Mrs. Yollis an original photo (around 200 kb is good).  Include some text to complement the image. Be sure to end with a question or two so you can get a conversation going!  You can submit more than one photo throughout the year, and it does not have to be taken on a specific day. Photos and text subject to approval by Mrs. Yollis. :-) 

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Click here to explore the last two years of the Daily Digital Documentation!

Do you think you or your class might contribute?

Did you participate during the last two years? If so, which photo was yours?

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wonderful Winter Solstice ~ 2012

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is the 
coldest season of the year. 
It begins about December 21 and lasts until about March 21. Around December 21 or 22, 
the sun's rays fall directly over the farthest point south of the equator - marking the first day of winter. 

Winter days have fewer hours of daylight because of the path the earth takes as it revolves around the sun. The earth completely revolves around the sun during 365 days. The earth's axis always tips about 23 1/2 degrees from a line perpendicular to its path. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins in June.
Different regions have longer winters than others. For example, in the polar regions, winter takes up half the year. In the Temperate Zones winter takes up about one quarter of the year. 

In regions where there is cold weather, it causes many changes in the environment. Water may freeze and become ice, snow, sleet or icicles. Most plants and animals become dormant and rest. 
Some animals hibernate. 
The only plants that grow and remain green are evergreens. 
People protect themselves from the cold climate with winter clothing when they go outdoors. They enjoy a variety of indoor activities or outdoor winter sports such as skiing, skating, or sledding. 

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Here are some fun winter links!

Want to make an online snowflake? Click here! 

BrainPop has some great winter and snow movies! Click here! 

Snowflake Workshop? Click here! 
What do you enjoy most about winter?

How will you be celebrating the holidays?

What activities will you be participating in this winter break?

Holiday Party Fun!

A terrific time was had by all!

Holiday Party ~ 2012 on PhotoPeach

See you next year!

Where did you put your snow globe?

A Variety of Van Allsburgs!

Recently in our reading text books, we read The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, Chris Van Allsburg's first children's book. It is a clever and mysterious story about a dog named Fritz who runs into Mr. Gasazi's garden. Fritz is possibly turned into a duck by Mr. Gasazi, but the reader never really knows for sure. Mr. Van Allsburg leaves that up to the reader to decide.

Because Mr. Van Allsburg is such a talented writer and has written so many wonderful books, Mrs. Yollis read three more to us.

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The first one we listened to was called Two Bad Ants. Through their experiences in the jar of crystals, which turn out to be sugar, these ants learn that they are better off staying with their colony rather than venturing out on their own.

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The second book we enjoyed was Bad Day at River Bend. The story seems to take place in an old western town. Everything and everyone in town is being covered by a colorful greasy slime. However, at the end it is revealed that all the characters are in a young boy's coloring book!

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Finally, Mrs. Yollis read The Widow's Broom to us. It was an eerie tale in which a witch's broom comes to be owned by a widow. The neighbors are very upset about this enchanted broom who does all the widow's chores and want to do away with it. However, the widow comes up with an extremely clever plan to trick the neighbors and keep her broom!

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We are learning about surveys and polls in class. We decided to  survey our readers: Out of the books read this week, which story is your favorite? Why?

Please leave a comment with your choice!

What other books by Chris Van Allsburg have you enjoyed?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Science Stop: A Colorful Science Lesson

Last week,  Mrs. Yollis' and Mrs. Ranney's second and third graders teamed up with Mr. JR's high school chemistry students via a Google Hangout.   The high school students gave a fabulous science demonstration about color and light.
Mrs. Yollis met Mr. JR at the Google Teacher Academy in NYC,
  and they planned these science segments when there.
Mr. JR. welcomed the class! Everyone loved his new colorful hairdo!

 First Mr. JR. and his students taught the elementary students a great song about the rainbow. The seven colors of the rainbow are also know as the spectrum.

Have you ever heard of ROY G BIV?
What does ROY G BIV mean?

Next, the high school students demonstrated how to mix color pigment to make new colors! Watch and learn!

The students used a prism to split white light into the 7 colors of the visible spectrum. They used the word refract

What does refract mean? 

We ended the call with a chant about light!

Do you know any additional facts about light that you can add? 

What was your favorite part about the science lesson? 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Collaboration: A-Z Technology Tips!

Mrs. Yollis' class to collaborate and learn with others. 
 Recently, the class worked with 4KM and 4KJ from Victoria, Australia. 

Together they  completed a Google Presentation slide show called the A-Z Technology Tips! 
Enjoy and hopefully learn some new technology tips!

Did you learn anything new?

Can you share a technology tip of your own?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family Blogging Month Winner, Heather!

Second grade Heather was one of the top winners during our Family Blogging Month! 

Here is her free-choice post! She took all the photos and wrote the text.

This is naughty Rocky. As you can see, his is pretty cute, but is naughty. He is a golden retriever mixed with a chow. Rocky’s legs and tongue make him part chow. Rocky’s legs are shorter than a regular golden retriever. On his tongue, he has bluish-purplish dots.

When we got Rocky, he was only one year old. We adopted him from the animal shelter. His birthday (adopted date) is March 17, 2011.

Here is Rocky holding the tennis ball in his mouth. Do you know why the tennis ball is whiter than usual? All the white things are saliva. When we throw the ball we don’t wear gloves. Instead, we use our hands and after we are done throwing the ball, we NEED to wash our hands. If any of us don’t wash our hands, germs from Rocky will spread.

Now, Rocky has dropped the ball. When he doesn’t want us to thrown the ball, but we throw it, the next time he lays down, he will keep the ball in his mouth.

Most dogs stick out their tongues because they are happy. They also stick out their tongues when they are hot. In this picture, it looks like he is hot and happy.

Do you have a dog?
If yes, what type of dog is it?
If you don’t, what is your dream pet?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The 12/12/12 Edublog Awards!

December 12, 2012, also known as 12/12/12, was a wonderful day in room 12! 

After the second graders read The Big Bushy Mustache
by Gary Soto, we all made mustache disguises just like the boy in the story. Do you recognize any of these bloggers hiding behind their mighty mustaches? Beverly, is that you? 

Photo by Mrs. Testa

At exactly 12/12/12 at 12:12:12 we stopped and looked at the magnificent number 
and at that magnificent handlebar mustache!

Photo by Mrs. Testa

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Just when we thought the day couldn't get any better, we attended the online Edublog Awards!

According to their website:  The Edublog Awards was set up in response to community concerns relating to how schools, districts and educational institutions were blocking access of learner and teacher sites for educational purposes.  The purpose of the Edublog awards is to promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.

I'd like to give a special thank you to Sue Waters, Ronnie Burt, and Steve Hargadon who were the perfect hosts of the event! Their dedication and commitment to meaningful integration of technology is appreciated!

 Here is a list of the nominations and the winners.  It's a fabulous list of global resources for educators. 

We were thrilled to win for Best Class Blog
In addition, our good friends, 4KM and 4KJ, were finalists out of the 34 shortlisted class blogs!

I am exceedingly proud of the Most Influential Posts. One of my former students, Jaden won with a terrific post about the 10 Things He's Learned From Blogging. My November is Family Blogging Month became a finalist as well. Bringing family into the classroom through blogging has proven to be a successful way to strengthen the home-school connection and make learning meaningful. The post generated nearly 150 comments from grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, family, and friends. Having Family Blogging Month is a great way to a build a learning community.

Other Highlights of the Edublog Awards:

  • Mrs Hembree and her students were a finalist in the  Best Librarian/Library category.

  • Mr Avery and his class were finalists in the category Best Use of Media/Video.

  • Ross Mannell, a retired teacher from Australia was a finalist in the Best Individual Tweeter category. We learn so much from his incredible comments!
  • Former students Miriam and Sarah were shortlisted for Best Student Blog.

Abbey made this beautiful congratulations sign for us!

Thank you for supporting our blog!

Did you attend the ceremony? If so, what did you enjoy about the virtual room?

What do you like about blogging? 

Live Link to the Edublog Awards!

Mrs. Yollis and her students have been nominated for Best Class Blog and Most Influential Post: November is Family Blogging Month! In addition, several former student have been nominated for Best Student Blog: Jaden, Miriam, and Sarah. 

We wish all the classes and student bloggers the best of luck! We look forward to hearing the results online with our blogging buddies from around the world!

When:  4:00 P.M. (PST/ Los Angeles)

Where: Click on this link here and it will take you to the online room. The link will take you through a series of screens. Join us if you can! Try entering the virtual room a little early in case you have technical difficulties. The room will open around 3:30.   :-)

Categories: (The awards might be given in this order.)

  • Best individual blog
  • Best group blog
  • Best new blog
  • Best class blog
  • Best student blog
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
  • Best teacher blog
  • Best library / librarian blog
  • Best administrator blog
  • Most influential blog post
  • Best individual tweeter
  • Best twitter hashtag
  • Best free web tool
  • Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast
  • Best educational wiki
  • Best open PD / unconference / webinar series
  • Best educational use of a social network
  • Best mobile app
  • Lifetime achievement

We hope to see you there!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Family Blogging Month Winners!

Family Blogging Month was a terrific success! 

  The top three students won a free meal at the Marmalade Cafe and an opportunity to publish a free-choice post on our classroom blog! Watch for their posts coming soon!

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 Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends for your participation! We hope everyone will continue to participate in our learning community!

♕       ♕     

What do you like about Family Blogging Month?

Which family members left comments and where do they live? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Edublog Awards: Vote Daily Until December 9

Mrs. Yollis' classroom is abuzz because we have been shortlisted as finalists for several  Edublog Awards.


All the finalists are on this Google Doc.
Click the tabs at the bottom of the Google doc to view finalists in all the categories.

Voting is now open for the international 2012 awards.
Voting closes at 11:59 PM U. S. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, December the 9th!
Here are the steps for voting:

1. Go here:

2.  Click on the drop down menu and look for your category like Best Class Blog.

3.  Click on the circle that matches your vote. The circle will turn blue when selected.  Although there are many fabulous class blogs to choose from, we recommend Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog! :-)

4.  Click on the word VOTE!

4.  Repeat steps to vote for another category like Best Student Blog and Most Influential Blog Post  

You may vote every day!
You may vote using different devices! Smart phone, iPad, laptop...
Please note only one vote per category per day will be counted per IP address.   

Former students who are nominated:

Jaden's Awesome Blog (5th grader)
Miriam's Magical Moments (5th grader) 

Mrs. Yollis is also nominated for Most Influential Blog Post:


Feel free to forward this post to friends and family!

Every vote counts!     


See the Mysterious Giant of Barletta!

This week Mrs. Yollis' class continues with their unit on fantasy. The story of the week is called The Mysterious Giant of Barletta by Tomie dePaola.

As luck would have it Nonno has been to see the giant!
(Nonno is our guest blogger.  He is Ben's grandfather and currently lives in Italy.   
He shares his Italian travels with all of us! Enjoy his guest post!)

We visited Barletta during our trip to Puglia after Mrs. Yollis told us you would be hearing a story about the Mysterious Giant of Barletta. We wanted to see the giant and take some pictures to share with you.

Barletta is also in Puglia, on the heel of Italy.

The giant statue is located right in the city on a busy street.

People park their cars in front of the statue, ride their bicycles past and also wait for the bus right by the statue.
The statue is more than five meters tall. Five meters is more than 16 feet. Here is a picture of Cecca right next to the base, or pedestal, of the statue so you can judge how tall the statue is.

And also took one of her standing on the pedistal near his leg. Cecca is one meter 54 centimeters tall.

Barletta has many farms and fields around the city where they grow grapes and olives. (Can you imagine the giant meeting Captain Minekion out here in one of these fields?)

Very close to Barletta is a place where they make salt from sea water.

Barletta is now a modern city, but years ago it was a city of the Roman Empire. Years ago the coast was often invaded so the people built a huge fort for protection. Now it has a modern harbor that is overlooked by the huge fort where people can visit.

Is That Luigi?
Movie stars can be seen near the statue.

Now the statue is called The Colossus of Barletta. Here is what the people of Barletta tell us about it.

The Colossus of Barletta is a bronze statue of the Early Middle Ages, hollow on the inside and over 5 meters high. It most probably represents an emperor or famous warrior as shown by his military uniform, his rich, imperial robe and the bejeweled crown on his head, trimmed with two strings of pearls. Maybe Hercules, maybe not.

We are not sure how the statue arrived in Barletta. According to one story the Venetians stole the statue from Constantinople. On the journey back to Venice, the ship was wrecked in a storm and the statue was found on the beach near Barletta. According to another story, the Colossus was discovered in Ravenna, north of Barletta. Transported by ship, it was brought to Barletta’s harbor, probably to be used in some celebration.  When the statue came to Barletta it did not have a base, that was built later so it would seem even taller.

What did you think of Nonno's guest blog post?

Write a comment as if you are the Giant of Barletta or Zia Concetta!

Do you know any Italian facts or any Italian words? 
Try using Google Translate!