Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Siblings, Please Share!

The second graders are reading a story called Brothers & Sisters. The word siblings is a fancy word that means your brothers and sisters.

The reading skill for the story is "Making Generalizations". A generalization (jen - er - all - i - za - shun) is a statement that is true most of the time. 

All of the second graders  in Mrs. Yollis' class have siblings. Even Mrs. Yollis has siblings! Below is an old photo of Mrs. Yollis with her younger brother and older sister. Can you use the context clues to figure out which person is Mrs. Yollis?

Here are some generalizations about siblings from the story:

1.  A new baby can change life for everyone in the family.

2.  Older siblings help younger brothers and sisters.

Although sisters and brothers sometimes fight, 
a sibling can be a special friend.  

Parents, family members, teachers, students: Please share a special memory about one or more of your siblings. 

How has a sister or brother helped you in your life? 

Have you ever done something for one of your siblings? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PuppetPals: The Coin Club!

Mrs. Yollis' third graders have been creating a movie about American coins to share with their blogging buddies over at the Our World, Our Numbers global project that started this week.

Here is our production called The Coin Club!
(It will be posted over on the Our World, Our Stories blog as well.)

The third graders used PuppetPals on an iPad. Photos were used as well as the American History characters that came with the $2.99 version. Mrs. Yollis us the Reflector app ($12.99) to mirror the PuppetPal movie on her laptop. Then she used Camtasia to film the final project and upload to YouTube. 

It was a lot of steps and many failures occurred along the way. For example, the class learned that they needed to SAVE each scene before moving on when working in PuppetPals. Perseverance paid off! We hope you enjoy our hard work! 

Have you ever struggled to create something?

What do you think of our coin creation?

Monday, February 25, 2013

U.S. History and Government ~ Quiz!

Mrs. Yollis' class has been learning about 
 United States history and government!

We have focused much of our learning
on our country's most important documents...

The Declaration of Independence

The United States Constitution

The Bill of Rights

 and on the 
three branches of our government.

Watch the slide show below and study for our test at the same time!

The Good Old U. S. A! on PhotoPeach

What interesting facts have you learned about our government?
What facts can you add about our government,
  our nation's symbols,  or our nation's monuments?

What facts can you share about the famous Americans: 
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams, and Benjamin Franklin? 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our World, Our Numbers :: Global Project

Mrs. Yollis' class loves to connect and learn with our friends around the world. Today we are launching a new global project called  
We have a blog where we'll meet up with our blogging buddies to learn together for the next five weeks.

In late 2011, many of us worked on the award winning global project called Our World, Our Stories. This latest project is based on a similar format with a mathematical focus.

Classes involved The students are all from primary (elementary) classes and are from three different continents and five countries.

View Our World, Our Numbers in a larger map

How will it work?  

Students from all classes will connect and collaborate by sharing their mathematical lives. This will happen through the blog and involve a variety of media. A different class will “lead” a mathematical topic every four days or so, publishing posts and replying to comments. The other classes will read the posts, possibly publish their own posts, and leave blog comments. We will share topics such as currency, seasons, time zones, population data etc.  

The learning 

Through blog posts, the students will teach each other about different aspects of mathematics based on aspects of their own culture. The learning will continue in the commenting section where students, teachers and parents will engage in conversations to explore mathematical and cultural topics further. Students will gain an understanding of mathematics through the eyes of children in different countries and cultures. They will make comparisons and contrasts between their lives and other students’ lives. If you want to keep up to date with how the fun and learning unfolds, there is a "subscribe via email" box on the right hand side of the Our World, Our Numbers blog.

 Get Involved  

We encourage all students and families to get involved! Mrs. Yollis' students are leading the second topic about a few American landmarks.  

Head over to the Our World, Our Numbers blog now to check out our post and leave a comment.

What do you think about our new global project?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter in Southern California

Mrs. Yollis saw a tweet from Mrs. Moore about Michigan weather. The post looked very interesting. 

We will be looking at the Techie Kids' post tomorrow and leaving comments, but we thought we'd share a few current photos from California. Here in southern California the winter temperatures are mild. February is the rainiest month, but as you can see from the clothing students are wearing, it is not very cold today!

Although the deciduous (də • sid • u • us ) trees are still bare, some are starting to sprout and shows signs of spring. Because the air temperatures are so mild, many people play outside and go for hikes on the weekends.

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), the current temperature for Thursday, February 21, is: 

 Here is the forecast for the week. (Click to enlarge.) 

Head over to the Techie Kids blog and leave them a comment about your weather! 

Michigan's winter climate is very different than ours!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Quadrilaterals: Special Names

In our polygon unit, we are learning about four-sided figures called


Many  people were confused about why some shapes have more than one name.  Here are some tutorials to help you learn about quadrilaterals.

*     *     *     *     *

What is a parallelogram?

Here is an interactive parallelogram.

*     *     *     *     *

What is a rectangle?

Here is an interactive rectangle.

*     *     *     *     *

What is a rhombus?

Here is an interactive rhombus.

*     *     *     *     *

What is a square?

Here is an interactive square.

*     *     *     *     *

Maybe you'd like to watch the Polygon Movie again and meet these quadrilaterals in person!  

*     *     *     *     *

Have you used our quadrilateral tutorials? 

Which tutorial helped the most?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

♥ Valentine Sing-along ♥

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Mrs. Yollis and her class collaborated with a teacher friend Mr. de Haan in Seattle, Washington, to record a song just for you. Together, yet miles apart, they created a heart-felt Valentine song! 

The lyrics are below, so sing-along with us! 

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don't break it
Love was made for me and you! 

Thank you Mr. de Haan for being our accompanist!

Los Angeles to Seattle is approximately 960 miles.

♥          ♥          ♥          ♥      ♥

              What did you think of our collaborative song?

                           Did you sing along with us?

♥          ♥          ♥          ♥      ♥

Monday, February 11, 2013

Video: Using the Creative Commons License

Mrs. Yollis tried a little experiment with her students. She posted her students' artwork, but put another person's name on each picture!

Photo by Parsa

How does it feel when someone takes your work and doesn't credit you?

Here is a video made by former students. Their feelings are true today!

Creative Commons Video from yourwonderfulteacher on Vimeo.


Copyright means all rights reserved. That means you MUST get permission to use.

Creative Commons license allows certain uses of someone's work. That means some rights are reserved. Permission has already been granted for certain uses, but attribution must be given! 
(Attribution is a fancy word for giving credit.)

*     *     *     *     *

For those looking for interesting photos to enhance a blog post or digital project, check out:

Type in a key word and select the photo you'd like to use. Remember to credit the photographer in your caption. 
(See the sample below.)

*     *     *     *     *

Other Creative Commons resources:

1.  Student Blogging and Internet Images 
by the fabulous Kathleen Morris of 4KM/4KJ

2.  Get Creative video

*     *     *     *     *

What did you think of the experiment? 

Have you used a CC license before? 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chinatown Field Trip!

The second graders are just finishing up a unit called Around Town: Neighborhood and Communities. One of the stories takes place in Chinatown. 

To complement the unit, the second graders took a bus to Los Angeles' Chinatown!   Here are some photos that Bryce's mom and Nate's mom took during the excursion. (ik •skər • shun) 

The captions for the photos were written by the second graders! Nice vocabulary and sentence structure, pupils!

Trip to Chinatown on PhotoPeach

After the field trip, Heather brought in traditional Chinese envelopes for everyone with an ornament inside. Each ornament had a different meaning. For example, Mrs. Yollis got one that means wealth

 In addition, Heather brought her Chinese yo yo to share. She is taking yo yo lessons and will soon master this skill!

What was your favorite part about the visit to Chinatown?

Do you have a skill that you are trying to master?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Groundhog Day!

Today, February 2, is Groundhog Day in America! Many people believe that Punxsutawney Phil can predict the weather on this day. This morning, the famous Punxsutawney Phil came out of his burrow at Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania.

Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow?

In class, we took a survey:
3 students thought Punxsutawney Phil would see his shadow.
19 students thought he wouldn't see his shadow.

He did NOT see his shadow!

Tradition says that:

If Punxsutawney Phil 

sees his shadow... then winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

*     *     *     *     *

If Punxsutawney Phil 

 does NOT sees his shadow... then spring weather will come soon

*     *     *     *     *  
What do you think of  Punxsutawney Phil?

Do you know of any other traditions?