Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meet Bubbe, a 92 Year Old Blogger!

Guest post by Bryce, Bubbe's great-grandchild

I am Bryce, and I am a third grader in Mrs. Yollis' class. This is my second school year with her, and she has been teaching me a lot about blogging. During Family Blogging Month, she's been able to teach my family about blogging too. One special commenter has been my great-grandmother,  Bubbe. 

Bubbe is a non·a·ge·nar·i·an  (nän ə jəˈnə rē ən). A nonagenarian is a person who is between 90-99 years old. As our senior-most blogger, Mrs. Yollis asked if we could feature her! 

Here is the first comment from Bubbe on our Family Blogging Month :: Learning From Family post:

Mrs. Yollis replies to Bubbe:

Like any great blogger, Bubbe replies:

Dear Mrs. Yollis,

Thank you for your warm reception. It is nice to be a part of Bryce's school activities. Thank you also for the new word "nonagenarian." I'm never too old to learn.

When I was in third grade, I went to Pothier School on Social Street in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. My third grade teacher was Miss Cilcline. I don't remember exactly what I learned. I was told that I had very good penmanship and I loved to learn. I was glad that I could pass that feeling on to my children, Ellen and Irwin.

Everyday I walked home from school for lunch. Then I walked back for the afternoon. Then I walked home again. I was very lucky to live in a house. In my backyard was my father's horse Yankee. He was almost red in color. Everyday my father would take his horse and cart and go out and buy and sell rags. I guess he did very well, because he was able to buy his first car in 1926. It was a Buick.

Warren G. Harding was the president when I was born. I have lived through 16 presidents. I plan to be around for the seventeenth, too. I knew that Warren G. Harding was the president, but I didn't know about the 16 until we had dinner one night and Bryce played a President's game with us. He knew them all and he told me that there were 16 since I was born. 

I love living with and near my family. You are right. Family time is special.

I can't wait to blog again. I learned to type when I was in Junior High School. We didn't have typing in the third grade, like Bryce does. Next time I will tell you more about life in Woonsocket. I'll answer any other questions too.

I remembered one more thing about school. We didn't use ball point pens or computers. We had pens with tips on them and we dipped them in inkwells on our desk. We had to be very careful not to smear the ink.

If I remember more, I'll write more.


Here is some information about Bubbe:

"My father was born in 1869, and my mother in 1872.  Think about that.  If they were alive they'd be almost 150 years old!    They were both born in Russia and came to the United States in the early 1900's.  They left Russia because conditions were very bad.  The Tsar (Zar) made life very hard for Jews, forcing them to live in what was called a "pale."  The Tsar made life hard for everyone.  

They came to the United States in the early 1900's with my oldest brother, Murray.  I had two brothers and three sisters.  I was born in 1922 when my mother was 50 years old.  Can you imagine that?  My mother died when I was just 13.  My sisters were old enough to be my mother and they helped raise me.  

Bubbe's high school picture

When I graduated from high school I learned that a man named Joseph Shorr was looking for a secretary.  I called his mother and she thought I was a nice girl.  She told me not to worry.  I found a job and I found a husband.  We were married in 1944.  We went to New York on our honeymoon.  It cost $6 a night to stay at the Waldorf Astoria.   We had two children, Ellen and Irwin.  I spent most of my life taking care of my family.  I remember that my first typewriter was a manual one.  I was so excited when I got an electric typewriter and I could help Ellen and Irwin with their homework.  We did a lot of things in our community.  We were fortunate enough to be given many honors, but nothing was more important than my family."

Bubbe has two children, Irwin (Uncle Irwin) and Ellen (Gaga). They have left many blog comments for the class and we all appreciate their efforts. So far, I am in the lead for Family Blogging Month because of  Uncle Irwin and  Gaga.

What questions do you have for Bubbe?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Biographical Bonanza!

biography is a true story about a person's life.
Mrs. Yollis' class is currently reading biographies about
people who have made significant contributions to our world!

Artists, inventors, statesman, composers,
doctors, inventors,
aviators, astronauts, and pioneers in many fields 
are among the amazing historical figures about whom we are reading!

We are each reading a library book, as well as doing research using
World Book Online.



After reading about your biography subject

please leave  a comment as if you are that person!

Be sure to include at least three facts you learned from your library book or the online encyclopedia. Try to use the HTML code to bold your facts!   DO NOT PLAGIARIZE! (Use your own words!)

Watch the comments to see if you can converse with another biography subject you may know!

Family members and friends: 
You are invited to choose your own biography subject and join in the conversation!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Learning From Family :: Family Blogging Month Comments

April is Family Blogging Month in Mrs. Yollis' classroom. 

This event helps to promote blogging and brings all family members into our online learning community. Since this month includes family holidays and a one week Spring Break, it is the perfect time to share and learn together.

Each year, the comments get better and better. This month, we've gotten so many comments we could not read them all in class! In this post, I am highlighting some of the fabulous ways that parents, grandparents, and extended family have shared! I appreciate all the "Virtual Volunteers" who help comment and reply to my student bloggers.  The original post has nearly 100 comments!  I encourage everyone to explore the manifold of comments. 

Family Blogging Month starts with an invitation to join our blogging community! 

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I am exceedingly proud of our online community and appreciate all the contributions!

☼  Mrs. Yollis

Enjoy these excerpts!

Bryce's mom talks about digital citizenship: 
"It is so important to learn the etiquette of the internet and how to be safe in the cyber-world. You are learning life-long, valuable lessons from Mrs. Yollis. I am a pediatrician and I always talk to my older patients about internet safety. I tell them that the internet is much like the real world in that you should never talk to strangers. I remind my patients not to post what they look like, where they live or where they go to school. I am so glad that you and your friends are learning to be safe."

 Peter replies:

Shayna adds some commenting tips:

"Today, in class, Mrs. Yollis told us that we would be nominating other students that have been leaving quality comments. At that time, I thought I know a lot of tips on leaving quality comments. I should share my tips. So, that's what I am going to do right now. 

1. Compliment the writer. Some people think that complimenting can just be saying that something they wrote or wrote about was really fun to read. Yes, it is complimenting, but it's not specific. You can name the specific thing that made your eyes stick to the computer.
2. Add new information. Pretend you're replying to your friend who likes writing about his two dogs. Let's say he took the time to write a whole step-up-to-writing paragraph. He probably put a lot of effort into that comment. You can add some new information to guarantee a reply." 

Ms. Neumeyer shares her commenting experience:

"I have been commenting on my classmate's blogs and find that starting off by complimenting them on their idea and thanking them for sharing is a great way to start!

I think you are all great commenters but one type I have learned about commenting that I would share is something I learned this year:spacing and length of comments are important. Try not to make comments too long- and be sure to space them out."

Shayna replies to Ms. Neumeyer:

"@Ms. Neumeyer,

I concur! Spacing out a comment is very important. If you leave it too long, readers might get tired and start loosing interest. If you leave it too short, readers will have less to compliment or to ask about. Unless you're writing a story, you should try to keep it in the middle. "

Alec's dad shares his research about blogging:

"There was an interesting slide outlining 10 reasons why kids should blog. I have summarized the reasons below. Can anyone else think of other reasons in addition to the 10 below?

1) Increase communication skills
2) Develop and improve writing skills
3) Interact with different people and cultures
4) Improve technology skills
5) Engage in social media
6) Understand social responsibility online
7) Explore hobbies and special interest areas
8) Develop stepping stones to a future career
9) Learn how to deal with comments
10) Develop social skills for life

@alec's dad"

His son replies and adds more information:

"Dear D@d,

Blogging is a very good resource that helps you develop your writing skills. Blogging feels like you are writing a book, but it's really just one long page.
Blogging helps you leave quality comments and your writing gets better. Blogging charges your brain. Blogging expands your knowledge in all the things in the world, and most importantly, it helps you connect with other people and share." 

Bryce's grandmother joins the conversation:

"We can solve problems when we journal, because we see our problems clearly after we’ve written about them. In blogging, we can also get help with our problems from our friends, family and teachers."

"Know yourself better. By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about important … information for your emotional well-being."

Bryce's Uncle Irwin shares about his trip to Zimbabwe:

"Ok, so here's what happened when I went to Zimbabwe. I wanted to fly to Zimbabwe on Thursday, February 20th where the flight would arrive on Friday night February 21st. Then, I was supposed to have a meeting at 10 AM on Saturday, February 22nd, which is really 3 AM for me since my body was still on Maryland time. But, the good news is that I would have the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday to rest and make final preparations for my work, which would begin on Monday, February 24rh. Well, a funny (actually not so funny) thing happened to me at the airport in Atlanta. First, to let you know the flights, I had to fly from Baltimore, Maryland to Atlanta, Georgia in the morning, which is a pretty short flight -- about 2 hours. From Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa, the flight is 17 hours -- non-stop. Let me run this by you again, so you'll appreciate this -- I'm talking about sitting in one airplane chair for SEVENTEEN HOURS straight from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa (now you can see why I said that the flight from Baltimore to Atlanta was "SHORT", since it was only 2 hours. Then, after a 4 hour layover in Johannesburg, South Africa, I took another final flight to Harare, Zimbabwe (Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe -- pronounced, "Huh-rah'-rey"). So we're talking about over 30 hours total of flying and waiting for connecting flights before I actually get to Zimbabwe when the flight arrived at 9:15 PM. Maybe you should look at a globe with your classmates and teacher to see where Johannesburg, South Africa is and where Harare, Zimbabwe is -- it is REALLY FAR AWAY FROM THE UNITED STATES!"

Uncle Irwin shares about geography and cultures:
"You already know that I travel all around the world for my work. Sometimes I have traveled to countries during Passover. In 1977, I worked in a tiny country called Lesotho, which is located in southern Africa where I attended a Passover Seder at an Israeli family's home, who were working in Lesotho the same time I was there. Can you find Lesotho on a map of the world?"

Former student shares how blogging helped her:
"It's so nice that you are doing family blogging month this year as well. It looks like Family Blogging Month is getting very competitive. You have a lot of participation and great comments. I will never forget all of the great memories from being in your class in 2011. 

Maybe you should have a separate category for your former students. It would be very nice to see how many students would comment.

I recently won an award for the highest score in the class in writing. A lot of that credit should go to you for teaching me how to write and to blog. "

Theo's father shares about pushing yourself to write:

Heather responds to Theo's father:

"In my opinion, you are exceptional in English! How many years did you learn English?

I know that Theo has a little sister in first grade, but I never knew that Theo had a older sister. What grade is she in?

In my family, we have two children. There is my brother and me. All of my grandparents are in China, presently, and one of my cousins is in China. My other cousin is in California, and she lives about an hour away from here. I am the youngest child in my whole generation so far, and I don't really like being the youngest."

Theo's father responds and introduces the word serendipity:

"Dear Heather,

Thanks for your message and your kind words about my English.

Indeed, my wife Aurelie and I love to travel. In 2001, before we had kids, we traveled the world with our backpacks for 6 months. We visited South America, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Cambodia, that was awesome! This experience has encouraged us to keep discovering new countries as much as we could. A great thing about traveling is summarized in a word I love:serendipity. Have you ever heard this word? It means when you are putting efforts into discovering something, you will sometimes discover something you did not expect, often much greater than what you were looking for... That is what traveling is all about."

Jemma's Grandpa Mervyn shares some family history:

"Dear Jemma,

Your great- grandfather (and my father) Dave Barry was born in the Latvian shtetl (village) of Dankere in 1888. His original name was Dov Bear ben (son of) Kasriel.

When the family emigrated from Latvia in the first decade of the 20th Century (there had been pogroms (riots) against the Jews) he anglicized his name to Dave Barry and for a last name he chose the name of the village where he had been born.

The family emigrated to England. Dave's father Kasriel was a cabinet maker and worked for a while in Cardiff in Wales. Although most of the family lived in Manchester, a sister, Sadie travelled to the United States and met and married Nathan . She set up a home on the west side of Chicago."

Jemma's uncle shares about a swimming adventure:

"Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

I am David, Jemma's uncle. About five years ago I decided to embark on a open water swim in the ocean. This particular swim is from Alcatraz prison to the shore of the San Francisco bay. It is a 1.5 mile swim. People from all over the world travel to San Francisco so that they can compete in this swim. This endeavor is particularly difficult in that one has to cope with very cold water temperatures usually ranging between 57 and 62 degrees. The other challenging part is that there are very strong currents and if one is not careful the currents can pull you way off the course. Before the race begins the race supervisor informs us of the days current and what we should aim for on race day. Most people attempt the race wearing a wetsuit, as this keeps the body warmer. It is also not uncommon for a seal to pop up in front of you and say hi. In addition there are supposedly baby sharks swimming below. When you complete the swim you will receive a very impressive medal. "

Darius' grandmother shares about the New York Museum of Art:

"Dear students,
I am Darius' nana, and I work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I know that the class is studying about Native Americans and I thought you might like to see some bronze sculptures from an exhibition that is now showing at the museum. It is named “The American West”. 
The first picture shows the head of Chief Blackbird of the Oglala Sioux tribe, one of seven tribes that make up the Great Sioux nation, and many still live today in South Dakota.

Bryce's grandmother shares about a hot air balloon ride: 

"Several years ago, my husband and I went on an adventure.  We drove up to Connecticut and went for a ride in a hot air balloon! It was so exciting!  It was autumn, and the colors of the trees were so beautiful.  We leaned over the gondola and noticed that the shadow of the hot air balloon was showing on the trees so we took this picture.  The ride took about an hour and it was very peaceful and quiet up there, floating above the houses and trees. What a fascinating experience it was! We landed safely in an alfalfa field.   How high up do you think we went?

Bryce’s Grandma in New York"

Miss Jordan from Australia has run a Family Blogging month:

Nate's father contributed a photo, Clare's mother joined in with a Georgie photo, and many more on our Class 365 Blog

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Teachers, here is some information about running your own Family Blogging Month.

Everyone, here is some information about contributing to our Photo-of-the-Day blog.

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What did you learn from the comment contributions?

What value do you see in Family Blogging Month?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Minecraft Math!

Recently, Mrs. Yollis' class has become a BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) room. During our geometry math unit,  students were building in Minecraft.

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Guest Post by Shayna 

During math,  students were allowed to make solid figures on Minecraft. First I made a cube, and then set my goal to make a square-base pyramid with five flat faces. However,  there was a problem. In Minecraft, it will not let you tilt a single cube, so I could not get the flat triangular faces I wanted.  I ended up with a stair-step square-base pyramid.  

As I was building it, Mrs. Yollis mentioned that it was hard to count how many cubes were on each level because they were all one color. She recommended that I make each cubic unit a different color, so the other classmates could count how many were in each layer. 

I started out with three colors, diamond, iron, and lapid lazuli. Then when I was almost done, two of the same colors were side by side making it difficult to count. So, I tried adding a fourth color, black obsidian. It worked! 

I took these pictures as I got closer to being done. When I finished I took a final screen shot. My pyramid had seven layers. 

As you can see, I am starting to color each layer. The top cube is diamond colored. 

The top layer is one cubic unit. 
The second layer is a 3 x 3 = 9 cubic units. 
The third layer is a 5 x 5 = 25 cubic units.

The fourth layer is a 7 x 7 = 49 cubic units.
The fifth layer is 9 x 9 = 81 cubic units. 

How does the pattern continue? 

What is the volume of my pyramid?

We noticed that the even square numbers (2 x2 and 4 x 4) were skipped. 

Later, we built my pyramid with the one inch blocks that Mrs. Yollis had. We also build a pyramid using all the square numbers. Then I took a picture of that and put it with the others.

In Minecraft, each square face must line up with another square face. That was the reason I could NOT build the pyramid on the right.   

Have you ever built a solid figure in Mincraft?

Your pupil,

Ms. Neumeyer Interviews Mrs. Yollis

 Ms. Neumeyer is our online student teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada! (She is a preservice teacher in Dean Shareski's class) 

Ms. Neumeyer has made many contributions to our class. For example, she has reviewed several useful iPad apps for the class. 
Check out her iPad reviews!

*     *     *     *     *

One of her college assignments was to interview her mentor. I am her mentor.

men·tor (men-tôr)
noun   An experienced and trusted adviser

*     *     *     *     *

Below is the interview Ms. Neumeyer conducted.

Notice she used open questions. Open questions are questions that cannot be answered YES or NO. Closed questions can be answered with a yes or no. 

Here are some examples: 

Closed question - "Do you like teaching?" The answer is yes or no.
Open question - "When did you first begin to use technology in the classroom?" The question requires a full answer.

Ms. Neumeyer is the interviewer; she asks the questions. 
I am the interviewee; I answer the questions.  

Have you ever been been part of an interview? 

Were you the interviewer or the interviewee?

Do you have any additional questions?