Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dr. and Mrs. Strange Visit!

Last week,  we enjoyed hosting some special classroom visitors. Dr. Strange and his wife, from Mobile, Alabama, were in our neck of the woods, and the two stopped by to say hello and spend some time learning with us.

Dr. Strange and Mrs. Yollis had never met face-to-face, but know each other through blogging. 

Mrs. Yollis "met" Dr. Strange through educational blogging. He teaches at the College of Education at the University of South Alabama. His preservice class, called EDU310, helps teach new educators how to integrate technology meaningfully in the classroom. 

As an educator of educators and a lifelong learner himself, Dr. Strange was interested in seeing how young students are using blogging and ipads to enhance learning.

First, we learn a little about the Alabamans. Students asked open-ended questions and our visitors responded. An open-ended question is a question that cannot be answered with a yes or a no response. Open-ended questions require more thinking and are generally more interesting.  

After the introductions, the students broke up into groups. Some students worked on typing skills for five to ten minutes. Here we see a student giving a demonstration about how the AlphaSmart typing program works. Look how her fingers are exactly on the home row! Go girl!

Several groups of students were working on a project using PuppetPals Directors Cut. Although this version isn't free, the class enjoys the historic puppets and sets that come with the version. 

Mrs. Yollis' Labrador retriever, Buck, is a popular PuppetPal puppet. Here students show Dr. Strange how they can use the iPad to copy the photo of Buck from our 365 Blog, import the photo into PuppetPals, and then trace around Buck to make him a talk show host puppet!  Here you can see that Buck will be interviewing Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and President Lincoln. I wonder what the topic of the show will be? The PuppetPal video will be published soon!

Here are Two PuppetPal videos created last year!


Students who weren't creating a PuppetPal project were blogging. Some great conversations are happening in the comment sections. 

Here are some links to view some fabulous conversations in the comment sections!

Family Blogging Month
How to Write a Compound Sentence (Lots of Pilgrim Facts!)
Positively Perfect Plurals

On our 365 Blog, sometimes the comments disappear. :-( 
If the comments aren't visible, try a different browser or try again later. 
365 Blog: Marvelous Millie (Mrs. Talley's dog)
365 Blog: Flat (The recess balls are telling their story!)
365 Blog: Tree Transformation
365 Blog : Rainbow Cake (Mrs. Morris' birthday cake!)

Alas, it was time for Dr. Strange and Mrs. Strange to leave. We hope we meet again in person or in our blogging online community!

What did you enjoy about the visit?

What would you like Dr. Strange's teacher to know about blogging?


  1. Hi! My name is Jamie Baxter, and I am a student in EDM310.

    I am so excited that you and Dr. Strange finally got to meet. He was telling our class about your class at the beginning of the semester. He mentioned that you have never met face to face, but you have been blogging and networking for some time.

    I have learning a lot this semester about 21st century learning, and I am excited to see it actually being used in this blog post. The students seem so excited and involved when completing the PuppetPal Videos. They are so enthusiastic and use their imagination in the videos.

    I am definitely going to use blogging and other 21st century tools in my classroom because they seem very efficient.

    Thanks for sharing Dr. and Mrs. Strange's visit.

    1. Dear Jamie,

      Thank you for the wonderful comment!

      Our names are Keira and Nizma. We are in Mrs. Yollis' 3rd grade class.

      We were so excited when Dr. Strange and Mrs. Strange came to visit. One thing he mainly talked about was the Red Sox. He got on that topic when he saw a boy wearing a Red Sox jersey. When Dr. Strange and Mrs. Strange had to leave, we were so disappointed that we did not have more time with them.

      We are so happy that you love blogging! We hope that you continue to blog with us. We also hope that you reply to us.

      Do you like the Red Sox? What is your favorite sport?

      Keira and Nizma

  2. Mrs. Yollis,
    My name is Malary Booker and I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I believe your students may be even more aware of technology then I am from what Dr. Strange has told us in class. I look forward to using some of your techniques in my classroom one day!

  3. Hello, my name is Kristie Bell and I am a student in EDM310. I enjoyed reading this post and I can tell it was a great experience for you all! Dr. Strange has taught us so much about technology and how we can incorporate it into our future classrooms. It is neat to see that you do use 21st century learning skills in your class and it has a positive effect on your students. As a future educator, I cannot wait to use some of these techniques in my classroom. I really liked the picture of your student using the AlphaSmart typing program because I have never seen this before. What a great technological tool! Overall, this post was very interesting and I can tell that your students really enjoy learning in your class.

  4. Hi Mrs. Yollis,
    My name is Emma Boren, and I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I am so glad that he had the opportunity to come out and meet you in person, as well as have a chance to talk to and interact with your class.

    He told us a little bit about you and your class at the beginning of the semester. He was very impressed with your students ability to use 21st century technology.

    I plan to incorporate blogging and other 21st century computer programs into my classroom. I really like the PuppetPal program. I think that would be such a fun way for the kids to learn historical events.

    Thank you so much for sharing some of the details of Dr. and Mrs. Strange's visit with us!


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