Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to School Night!

Normally Mrs. Yollis' class looks like this.

Tonight, Mrs. Yollis' class looked like this!

It was Back to School Night!

Parents came to hear about third grade!
Mrs. Yollis shared her website, where 
homeworkspelling words, parent information, and learning games 
can be found.
Blogging Buddies from Miss Jordan's class in Australia Skyped in to the meeting. The Australians gave a fabulous overview of the benefits of blogging. 

The parents were so impressed with your presentation! 

Parents left thoughtful notes for their child. With Dry Erase pens you can write right on the desk! Everyone loved it!

*     *     *     *     *

What are you excited to learn about this year?

What did your parents think of your organized desk?

Parents, how is third grade different from when you were in school?


  1. What an exciting school year lies ahead!! You asked the parents how third grade was different when we were in school - NO COMPUTERS!

    1. Dear Jill,

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. Wow! It seems like when you were in third grade, typing was a lot different!

      Was there a way to print when you were in third grade? How was your Back to School Night in third grade? Who was your third grade teacher?

      Clare & Shayna

    2. Hi Clare and Shayna,

      I don't know what kind of machine they used to make copies and print everything but I remember the smell of the ink!

      My third grade teacher was named Miss Malcolm. She was the first teacher I had when we moved to London, England. I don't remember if we had a back to school night!

      I really enjoy blogging with you!

  2. Dear Mrs Yollis, parents and students,

    Thank you for inviting me and my students to be part of your Back to School Night! I'm sure it was a great success!

    Liv and Jess were thrilled to be chosen to speak to you and all of the other students enjoyed watching and listening to the skype call.

    My students commented to me today that they think it's so funny/strange that you are just beginning your school year and we are nearly three quarters through our year!

    I know all of Mrs Yollis's new students will have a fabulous year in the third grade.

    Everyone in 4KJ looks forward to collaborating and connecting with you through the wonderful world of blogging!

    Best wishes,
    Miss Jordan and 4KJ

    P.S I love the idea of the parents leaving thoughtful messages on their child's desk!

    1. @Miss Jordan and 4KJ,

      Thank you much for joining us via Skype this evening! It was such a lovely and exciting surprise to have you show up in our classroom all the way from Australia! You greatly enriched our Back to School Night experience!

      Liv and Jess did a fabulous job! I really enjoyed their presentation and thoughtful comments! Thank you, Liv and Jess! Keep up the great work!

      Incidentally, how is Family Blogging Month going? I agree that it is a fabulous idea of Mrs. Yollis' and really look forward to getting more family members and friends involved during our family blogging month (and beyond.)

      Do you have any suggestions? What are some helpful tips that you have found in encouraging participation, especially from those who are new to the wonderful world of blogging?

      Thank you again and, looking forward to an ever-growing blogging connection with you,

      Liat (Chloe's mom)

    2. Peter, Evan, and AllisonAugust 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      @ Miss Jordon and class,

      My name is Peter and my two partners are Evan and Allison. Thank you for leaving us a extraordinary comment on an extraordinary blog. Evan thinks your comment is interesting. Allison thinks your comment is amazing!

      We started school on August 21 and it ends on June 11. When is your last day of school?


      Peter, Evan, and Allison

    3. @ Liat,

      Thanks for replying, I can see you already know all about quality comments! :-)

      It was my pleasure to "drop in" to your Back to School night, I love talking about blogging so I enjoyed sharing an overview of the benefits blogging has in education.

      Family Blogging Month is going very fact, August is now over so look out for a post on the 4KJ blog tomorrow to find out the winner!

      To get families involved in blogging, I always find it's good to provide information and educate my students' parents about blogging. I provide information and handouts on the first day of school and encourage the students to show their families the blog whenever possible.

      I also encourage parents to register on the "subscribe by email" widget on the blog so that they get an email whenever I publish a new post. Having a Family Blogging Afternoon where parents/family members are invivted into the classroom for a blogging session is also a good idea.

      I'm sure Mrs Yollis has lots of ideas for getting everyone involved in the blog, she always has great ideas!

      Best wishes,
      Miss Jordan

    4. @ Peter, Evan and Allison,

      Thank you for your reply, it's great to hear from you!

      Our last day of school is Friday December 20. We then have a long summer break and our new school year begins at the very end of January in 2014.

      I know you'll have a great year with Mrs Yollis!

      Looking forward to connecting with you more through blogging.

      Best wishes,
      Miss Jordan

  3. Looks like 3rd grade is going to be lots of fun!
    -Nicholas' parents

  4. Looking forward to a fantastic year in the 3rd grade with many learning opportunities!

    Alec's Mom and Dad

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Wow! What an amazing Back to School Night!

    Thank you for a very informative and fun-filled evening!

    I was so tickled to sit in Chloe's seat, the very desk where she spends her days as a third grader in your fabulous classroom! I can't wait for her to read my note on her desk! What a great idea!

    When I was in third grade things were much different. We used traditional type writers and much of the technology that your classroom enjoys was absent from our classrooms back then.

    I was especially and pleasantly surprised to have Miss Jordan's class in Australia Skype into our meeting this evening! Skype was not around when I was in third grade. What an amazing way to connect with others globally! Thank you Miss Jordan and 4KJ for enriching our Back to School Night!

    Chloe is so blessed to have you as her teacher again this year. Sitting in her seat and experiencing your outpouring of passion and love for teaching and learning, I knew, yet again, that this is a phenomenal place to be!

    Wishing all in this 'phenomenal place to be' a spectacular year filled with lots of new learning experiences, growth, friendships and, of course, blogging,

    Liat (Chloe's mom)

    1. Ali, Chloe, and MiaAugust 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      @ Liat, (Chloe's mom)

      Thank you so much for leaving us a fabulous comment! It warmed Mrs. Yollis' heart.

      Did you have Back to School Night when you were in 3rd grade?

      We notice that you appreciated everything Mrs. Yollis talked about out.

      Chloe, Ali, Mia

    2. @ Chloe, Ali, Mia,

      Thank you much for your lovely reply! It's always nice to receive a reply comment with a question as it motivates one to continue the blogging conversation!

      Your question takes me back to third grade, which brings many memories to my mind and emotions to my heart.

      Third grade was an especially big transitional year in my life. You see, my family emigrated to the United States of America from Israel a month and a half prior to my entering the third grade. None of us understood or spoke English at that time.

      Being new to this country as well as to a school and language presented challenges for us. We were able to turn these challenges into positive experiences with the aid of a new-found support system, which we are eternally grateful for.

      While my parents did not make it to the first Back to School Night due to not understanding the language and invitation, we were grateful to subsequently find a support system of educators, neighbors and new friends that were eager to help us out and ensure that we would be part of future meetings and events.

      Having emigrated to a new country and having been a new student half way into elementary school resulted in my heightened sensitivity towards newcomers and finding ways to help them adjust and feel welcomed.

      Do you have any new students in your class this year?

      What steps can you think of to introduce them to their new school, to friends and to the community at large?

      Liat (Chloe's mom)

  6. I am so excited for this class! Way back when I was in 3rd grade (1968) there were no computers only #2 pencils, pee-chee folders and blue 3 ring binder notebooks! My how things have changed.

  7. Hi My name is Chynna I live in Australia.
    I loved the idea of your parents writing a mesaage on your fesk it was a very clever idea and I am going to suggest that idea to my teacher. I hope you enjoy your teacher because she sounds amazing. Please visit my blog.
    This is our class blog

    1. @ Chynna,

      We really like your blog. We also visited your class blog. The post Alice in Wonderland was our favorite. We like how you and your classmates dressed up really fancy.

      If you want to draw your desk or table, you have to use dry erase markers. We suggest the brand Expo. With the dry erase markers, you can erase easily, even with your hand!

      If you want to visit Heather's blog, copy this:

      Heather and Jemma

    2. Hi Chynna!

      Wow! You are so inspiring!

      We love your blog and are super impressed with the Anti-Bullying Project website that you and Bella created!

      Bullying is a global issue that we must all address and we love how your website includes physical, verbal and cyber bullying!

      We also love the Note to Self Printouts section and that you offer the Kids Helpline number.

      How did the competition go?

      We are so happy to have met you and look forward to blogging together.

      Please visit my (Chloe's) blog, Chloe's Creative Corner at:

      Chloe (Mrs. Yollis' student) and Liat (Chloe's mom)

  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    We are so proud to be a part of such a wonderful school and so blessed to have an amazing teacher like you. When we were in 3rd grade we didn't have digital cameras or computers in our classroom, your class is so lucky to have these fun ways of sharing events and preserving memories. Looking forward to a great year with all of our new friends.
    Emilyn's Parents

    1. Emilyn and SamanthaAugust 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      @ Emilyn's parents,

      Thank you so much for your first comment on our blog! You are already great bloggers. The parents looked great in the photo. However, they looked a little silly in the chairs!

      We think that Mrs. Yollis is best teacher!

      Who was your third grade teacher?


      Emilyn and Samantha

  9. Sloane (Bryce's mom)August 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    It was wonderful to be in your class again last night for Back to School night. I was thrilled to sit in Bryce's seat and see his desk. I hope he enjoyed the notes that Evan and I left him. I was impressed by how organized his desk appeared. I love that you are teaching the kids organizational skills!

    Bryce is very fortunate to be in your class two years in a row. We were all ecstatic when we realized that you were going to teach third grade this year and that Bryce could loop with you. Evan and I are excited to see what you have in store for the kids in the coming year.

    When I was in third grade, I don't think I even knew what a computer was! We certainly didn't have iPads or alphasmarts in our classroom. We definitely didn't Skype with classrooms all the way across the world! (We didn't even have a phone in our classroom, no less wi-fi internet!)

    I wish you all a wonderful year and I'm looking forward to lots of blogging with you!


    Sloane (Bryce's mom)

    1. Dear Mom/Sloane,

      This most certainly is going to be a great school year! It is also going to be fun having new students and old students in the classroom. Now there are several thousand computers that are going around the globe. I hope you had a great time talking to nice, fun Australians.

      We now have many things that you definitely did not know about, We could guess that you did not have the electronic devices that we have now. We have so much fun with these incredible units for talking and typing.

      Did you have anything electronic when you were our age?


      Bryce and Ben

      P.S. Ben contributed a lot also.

    2. Hi Bryce and Ben!!!
      Great comment and fabulous questions. You are right. We didn't have technology like this when we were growing up. Apple computers were just being introduced in schools and all you could do was type messages. The screen was black with green writing. There were a few basic games, but nothing much to be too excited about. You boys are so lucky that your classroom is very "technologically driven". Ask Mrs. Yollis what that means! It will be an enormous benefit to you in the future!
      Have fun today and make sure you pay attention when Mrs. Yollis is teaching!!!


  10. What a terrific idea it was to Skype Australia during Back to School Night! I really appreciate your forward-looking attitude towards teaching and I look forward to a great year ahead.

    3rd grade was such a long time ago that it's hard to even remember what it was like. I went to a Catholic school, so we wore uniforms and most of the teachers were nuns. It was a good education, but there was definitely no blogging.

    I wonder if your students are aware that the word "blog" is a combination of the words "web" and "log". The word "log" in this case doesn't refer to a piece of wood but to a type of journal. If you say the words "web log" fast a few times you'll notice that it sounds a little like "weh Blog" so it got shortened to "blog".

    Bill (Adam's dad)

  11. Takashi (Samantha's Dad)August 30, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Mrs. Yollis,

    We are very excited to be part of your 3rd grade class! Your engagement in technology and desire to bring it into the classroom is extremely valuable for the development of our children.

    I went to a private Lutheran School and still remember my 3rd teacher (Ms Flannigan). The 2 biggest difference is the creation the Internet and the extinction of the Ditto Machine (and the smell of the blue ink).

    We have been extremely blessed by having great teachers at our school and look forward to another amazing year.

    Takashi (Samantha's Dad)

  12. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    Thank you for the wonderful presentation at back to school night. We are so impressed with the innovative approach to learning you are utilizing in your classroom. When I was in third grade back in 1980 we had no computers in my classroom. It was not until I was in the 5th grade that we started using a program called Lotus 123 on Apple IIe computers. Back then my science teacher told us that one day everyone would have a computer at home, and I remember thinking that would never happen! In fact, one of my fantasies as a kid was that I would be able to talk to my friends on the phone and see their faces at the same time on a screen. That was science fiction in the early 1980's. As we saw with the amazing Skype conversation with our Australian friends, times have really changed! We are very pleased to be a part of your classroom and we are looking forward to a wonderful year.

    Lara (Darius' mom)

  13. Hello Mrs. Yollis and class,

    Well, another school year has begun. From the Back to School Night photos, I can tell this is going to be an interesting year with many posts to share. :)

    Ross Mannell
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

    1. @ Mr. Mannell,

      I see that you changed your avatar. Where are you over there in the picture?

      I checked your blogs and I did not see your blog that is named Extended Comments for Students. Are you still posting on that blog?

      Your old friend,

  14. Dear Mrs Y&heats;llis,

    Thanks so much for putting up a post about this. I enjoyed skyping with you and it was so fun to see so many parents getting involved in things.

    I liked it so much because everyone was listening perfectly and that is what we want to see or hear. I hope to do it again soon maybe.

    I must say having a parent night was such a great idea and I so wish that we had come up with an idea like that.

    Having tables like that must be awesome because you can draw on them but then whatever you did comes off every easily.

    Keep up the great posts Mrs Y♥llis and do keep saying really nice things to everyone and the students of 4KJ!

    Got 2 Gallop,
    Liv :lol: ;) :cool:

  15. Dear Ben,
    I really loved coming to Back to School Night. Your classroom is so warm and cozy and will be a great place for learning. This is going to be a very fun year for you!!! Have a lovely day.


  16. Deear Mrs. Yollis and students,

    How wonderful it is to read so many wonderful comments and thoughts about your very inspiring Back to School night! it was so much fun to sit in your classroom at Jemma's desk and listen to all the incredible things in store for the students this year. They are extremely fortunate to have a teacher who utilizes so much technology and is so creative and to live in a time where all these tools are at their disposal!

    Jemma's dad was especially excited to hear familiar accents and speak to fellow Australians on Skype! He was so impressed with their presentation and with how articulate and knowledgable the students in 4J were.

    I attended elementary school in South Africa and back in 1980 when I was in 3rd grade there certainly wasn't any of the technology there is now. There were no computers or internet/email or Skype! I remember in the upper grades students were taught typing on typewriters! It was a completely different world!

    Jemma's dad and I attended colleges in different countries and used aerograms as a means of communication as there was no Skype or email in the late eighties or early nineties! Now people haven't even heard of aerograms and I'm not sure that they even still exist!

    Thank you again for a wonderful Back to School night! I can see 3rd grade is going be unlike any other year so far and open up a whole new world of learning and opportunities for your students. How lucky are they!

    Dionne (Jemma's mom)

  17. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    Aashi is fortunate to be in your class for two consecutive years. Back to school night was fabulous and glad to be part of it. It was exciting to get an opportunity to sit on Aashi's desk for the whole session and get some feel of how the daily
    class routine might looks like. Your use of technology and making it so integral to the overall teaching of the students is highly appreciable as this creates a big platform of learning.

    When I was in 3rd grade there was no internet and no skype. The only way to know something about the outside world was by reading books and or learning from the teacher.
    There were no Alphasmarts and I did my first typing on a very mechanical type-writer only in 7th grade . There were no computers and projectors in my class and our teachers had to write everything on the black-board with a piece of chalk/pen.

    I am sure all of you are going to have a super exciting 3rd grade with lots of learning from a great teacher.

    Amreesh (Aashi's dad)

  18. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    I would like to share with you the experiences of Rosh Hashanah.

    Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. I went to temple .It was lots of fun.

    There were lots of games there like freeze tag , hand ball, and free play.

    We heard shofar It was so exiting to hear. The shofar is only heard twice a year. When I got home I got dressed for dinner . I was going to my friends house for Rosh Hashanah. The table was very pretty. We had wine on the table and many holiday decorations that made the table look special. I can't wait until next year.

    Your Pupil,




* * *
Getting feedback is important to our writers. Let us know what you liked or what you learned.

Steps to Comment:

1. Write your comment in the box below. Be sure that you have proofread it for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Students should have a parent check it!

2. Choose an identity. (If you have a gmail account, use it. If not, choose name/url. You can leave the url blank if you do not have a blog.)

3. Click "Publish your Comment". You may preview your comment before publishing if you'd like.

Important: All comments MUST be approved by me.
:-) Mrs. Yollis