Friday, January 31, 2014

Meet Ms. Neumeyer!

Mrs. Yollis and her students are happy to welcome an online student teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada! 

Ms. Neumeyer is a member of Dean Shareski'University of Regina Pre-Service Teacher Course and Mrs. Yollis is her mentor.

Introduction on PhotoPeach

What questions do you have for Ms. Neumeyer? 

 Introduce yourself to our new Canadian friend!

Monday, January 27, 2014

National Geographic's Giant Map of North America

National Geographic has a wonderful educational program called the Giant Traveling Maps.

Today we explored the continent of North America!
This map measured 26' by 35' and filled the Multipurpose Room!

*    *    *    *    *

The explorers used cones to create mountain ranges like the Rocky Mountains seen below. 


Some students used the blue plastic chain to trace the path of important rivers. Below we see the flow of the Mississippi River. The "Mighty Miss" begins at Lake Itasca,  Minnesota, and the Mississippi Delta is found in Louisiana. 

What are some of the Mississippi River tributaries?
(A tributary is a river that flows into another river.)

*    *    *    *    *

We played a fun Find the 50 States game. What were some difficult states to locate? What did you notice about the western states compared to the eastern states? 

*    *    *    *    *

Below are some photos from our time on the map. Students,  research some facts about North America in World Book Online! Share a quality comment this week!

You have permission to add these photos to your camera roll on your own digital device at home and create a project of your choosing. Make a Google slide show! Skitch up a photo! Create a digital report using an iPad app! All ideas are welcome!

*    *    *    *    *

What counties are found in Central America?

Every country has a national capital. A nation capital is marked with a star and a circle around it. What are some national capitals you discovered today? 

*    *    *    *    *

Share some facts about Greenland! 

*    *    *    *    *

Look at the five Great Lakes Skitched up by Aashi! Where does this water flow? Find the watershed! (Hint: It's an ocean.)

*    *    *    *    *

Everyone loved the Four Corners region! Why does this region have that name? 

*    *    *    *    *

Notice the scale below the red dot. How do you use a scale?

How many miles is it across North America? 

*    *    *    *    *

The map key was quite useful. What are some of the symbols on this map key? 
Click to enlarge. 

*    *    *    *    *

Hawaii is an archipelago. What is an archipelago? Are there any other archipelagos in North America? 

*    *    *    *    *

One of the activities that came with the map was a lesson about North American landmarks. 

Here are a few that were located.

Research some facts about these famous landmarks!

Niagara Falls

The Everglades

Mt. Rushmore

Grand Canyon

Panama Canal

CN Tower in Toronto, Canada

Here is a video Mrs. Yollis made a few years ago on this map. Enjoy!

Students, please share your knowledge and experiences! Leave us a quality comment or two this week!


Happy exploring!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Word Problems :: Explain Yourself!

Word problems can be complicated. Sometimes they involve many steps. If you make a mistake and don't realize it, your entire math problem will be incorrect.

We have been learning how to label or explain the steps in our word problems. Labeling helps students understand what each number means.

Here is problem #17 that was annotated in Skitch. (It is also available at the Google Play.)
Each color is a step.

Here is problem #12: 
Lauren has 43 stickers. She finds 5 more. She puts them in a book that holds 8 stickers on each page. How many pages will she need to put all the stickers in the book? 

Choose a problem to annotate and email it to Mrs. Yollis. If it is correct, it will be added to this post. Hint:  Use arrows wisely. Too many unnecessary arrows leads to confusion for the viewer!


Here is a new annotated photo from Miss Jordan in Victoria, Australia. Teachers are always learning too! 

What did you learn from her annotations? Do you have any questions for Miss Jordan about her work?

What are some other ways to clarify word problems?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Our New French Student!

Today we got a new student! 
Garland by Chloe

Theo is a hard-working boy and quite friendly. What is surprising about our new student is that he does not speak much English. He is from France, so he is fluent in French! 

We've been using Google Translate quite a bit! 

The students welcomed Theo with smiles and posters!

Some students worked with Theo in the library teaching him phonics. Today the focus was long a.

*     *     *     *     *

How did you help Theo today?

Use World Book Online to compare France and America.

If you use Google Translate to write to Theo, be sure to copy and paste both languages in your comment.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

This Is Why I Teach

Over the holiday break, I received a beautifully written thank you letter from a former third grade student. Emily was one of my original bloggers, and she is now an eighth grader. As a teacher, I do my best to motivate and engage each student, to introduce young learners to a variety of learning experiences, but you don't always know the impact you have had on a person.

Sharing our blog at the LACOE 21st Century Learning Symposium

I am grateful to Emily for this beautiful gift. Not only does this personal letter bring me great joy, but it also underscores the importance of integrating technology in the classroom at an early age. 

✍      ✍      ✍ 

Dear Mrs. Yollis,

I was completing a school documentary the other day for National History Day, and while looking at my complex software, I started thinking. I wondered about how I started loving computers and when I wanted to understand more in depth about these fascinating systems. Then I realized, my knowledge started in your third-grade classroom. Your classroom and blog started it all. Before your class, I couldn’t type well. I knew close to nothing about the internet and computers, but today, I can proudly say I am a computer film editor who started as a blogger and kept going. So this email to you is mainly to thank you. During the summer, I intern at the city's TV station and edit. If I didn’t know what the internet and computers were, how could I edit? Well it’s a good thing you taught me about computers! So, Thank you for being that start to my knowledge of the computer. Words cannot describe how appreciative I am of you. Thank you for everything you taught me in third grade that put me where I am now. I really appreciate everything you ever taught me in school and online.

Thanks and Happy Holidays,
Emily, Eighth-Grade Editor

✍      ✍      ✍ 

What is something you have learned from a teacher? How has that knowledge impacted your life?

Are you introducing your students to technology?

Write a personal letter to someone who has helped you learn! 

✍      ✍      ✍ 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

EdCampHome 2.0 ~ WOW!

I spent my morning learning with over 200 educators, and I didn't even leave my house! I participated in EdCampHome 2.0! 

After gaining so much from the first EdCampHome back in October, I knew I had to be a part of the next one. I enjoyed the EdCamp experience so much, I've run several sessions with my third graders

The four creators and/or organizers are simply amazing people.


These talented educators assembled 266 EdCampers together in a Google+ community, facilitated the development of session ideas, coordinated moderators for each YouTube session, and then populated each session via email invitation to a Google HangOut. 


  These Ed Tech leaders accomplished it all with cool confidence, positive attitudes, and a sense of humor! 

It was a remarkable experience!

Weeks before the EdCampHome event, members joined a Google + Community and introduced themselves. I shared some information about myself, and of course included some holiday cheer from Buck!

This morning, I set up my laptop and a backup one and an ipad :-), grabbed a cup of coffee, and plugged in my headphones. Headphones are helpful when joining a Google HangOut. Without them, your voice might echo during the session.

(Sorry, Buck. I'll be with you in three hours.)

A live Google HangOut was going on throughout the EdCampHome. You could hear the organizers typing feverishly to build the sessions and trouble shooting with one another. 
What a team! 

 Once I filled out a form selecting a session, I received an email confirming it. The email included useful links to the Helpdesk and the EdCampHome.


Once in the session, people clicked on the Toolbox and added a name tag. In Google HangOuts, the name tag is called the lower third. On the right, people could chat with one another or add relevant links to the discussion. 

I attended a session about using Evernote in the classroom. This was a session I had recommended. It was moderated by Kevin Ashworth, a CUE friend of mine. Moderators volunteer to open up a Google HangOut Online and keep the conversation moving along. Kevin did a fabulous job!

A few teachers in the session were using Evernote effectively in their classrooms and shared.  Sharon Plante showed the group a jot pen penultimate that she likes using in conjunction with Evernote. 

The group committed to sharing some tutorials and resources in the Google+ community. I hope we will be able to continue to support one another with developing an effective Evernote classroom system.

Here is the Evernote EdCampHome recording:

The second sessions I attended was about Virtual Field Trips, and it was lead by another fantastic moderator, Christine Hartooni. A great resource that came up was Google's Connected Classrooms. I look forward to tapping into the resources and connections provided in the Google community.

Here is the EdCampHome Virtual Field Trips recording:

All of the recorded sessions can be viewed here. 

What do you think of the idea of an EdCamp?

What sessions would interest you?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

ღ Join Our 365 Project ღ

The world is a magical place! 

If you are observant, you can capture some great images on your digital camera or phone. Here at Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog, we invite you to be a part of our class photo-of-the-day blog called

Yollis' 365 Project 

~ Daily Digital Documentation ~

To contribute to this online digital community, 
just email a photo to Mrs. Yollis at:

Be sure to include the following FOUR items:

1.  An interesting photo.
It does NOT need to be taken on a specific day. However, the photo must belong to you. Only submit photos that you, your family, or your teacher has taken. (A smaller file is better, around 200 kb is a good size.) Try not to include too much personal information in your photo.

Not sure how to take a good photo? Here are some tips from my third graders:  How to Take a Good Photo or Video

2. Attribution.
Who took the photo? Who wrote the text? It is important to credit the photographer and writer of the photo-of-the-day. Feel free to include a hyperlink back to your blog! This helps build community!

3.  Text to complement the photo.
Write a few sentences explaining the photo. Here are some possible questions to include when composing your description:  Where was the photo taken? When was it taken? What is special about the subject of the photo? Are there any facts you could share so we can learn something new via your photo and text? 

4. End with a question. 
Think of a question or two you could ask that would start a conversation in the comment section. Ask OPEN questions that cannot be answered using yes or no. This is a great opportunity to get some feedback on your photo or gather new knowledge about the subject of the photo. Invite readers to make up a story about your photo. 

Be sure to check back and see if your photo received a comment. It is good blogging netiquette to respond to a comment.

Here is a wonderful annotated example from Allison, one of my third graders. Be sure to include these four elements when you submit a photo. 

Photos and text must be approved by Mrs. Yollis.  :-) 
*     *     *     *     *

For bloggers who are interested, the above email will set up a post in the Blogger platform. This is an easy way to collect and publish photos. 

To set this feature up in your Blogger account, go to: settings>mobile and email>email>posting using email. Add a "secret word" and you will have an email to share with others. As you can see, I set my setting for "Save email as a draft post". I approve everything before publishing. 

*     *     *     *     *

Here is a link to the Yollis' 365 Blog which has been building for three years!

Check out some of the photos and text for examples and ideas.
 Feel free to leave a comment on a photo that you liked! 

We hope you will join our international, collaborative project in 2014!