Thursday, June 19, 2014

White to Brown :: (Summer Writing)

My former third graders are choosing to write summer vacation stories in their Google Drives! They share the Google Doc with me and leave a Google Doc comment asking to be published. I love having a connected learning community! Here is a great story written by Shayna highlighting adverbs! 

White to Brown
By Shayna

One day, a white pug named Eddy Wrinkleface walked happily down the Muddy Hill St. He tried as much as he could to avoid mud puddles. Eddy just got a bath, and he didn’t want to get another when he got home.  To Eddy, taking a bath was like eating jelly beans that were flavored like barf. He hated them more then being fed spoiled food. It was almost 9:00 and Eddy just wanted to get home and eat his dinner. 

Suddenly a big dark shadowy figure moved towards him. As scared as a baby pup, he tumbled into a big pile of mud. Then two big lights came on the enormous figure, blinding poor little Eddy. Then the figure hit Eddy making him very dizzy. Weakly, dirty Eddy tried to stand up. But he was hopeless. He flopped down on the floor again. Eddy barked as loud as he could, trying to yell for help, “Help! Help!” But his voice was as wimpy as a noodle. Then he heard a siren coming towards him quickly. To the rescue, came the animal control truck. They picked up Eddy carefully and put him in the truck.

But then, one eye came open, and then another. Eddy woke up finding him in a vet’s office. Still covered in brown mud, Eddy barked. Hooray! His voice was back. He stared over at the big desk in the room next to him. He saw a lady with a big phone.

The lady said, “Mr. Wrinkleface, is this you. We would like to tell you that your poor dog is in the recovery station after a delivery truck hit him. He was put under anesthesia and should wake up soon. If you can come get him tomorrow, that would be great.” Then the lady hung up the phone. This time, Eddy actually wanted a bath. The mud was spreading all over him. After two minutes, he was totally brown. From the tip of his nose, to the end of his tail was a full coat of brown mud. Eddy soon fell back asleep.

The next morning, the bell rang loudly at the veterinarian's office. It was Eddy’s family there to pick him up and take him home. Eddy was tired and dirty. He couldn’t wait to get home. Eddy jumped up excitedly and barked. The vet took the family to the room Eddy was in.

“Here he is. As good as new!” The vet said pointing at Eddy.

“I’m sorry, Miss, but this isn’t our dog.” explained Mr. Wrickleface. Our dog was silky white, not brown.”

“Oh dear. My mistake. Let’s look at room four.” Said the lady. Then they all walked away.

Eddy sat down with a frown on his face. What was he going to do? He got up and ran out the door of the pet care building and slowly walked off into the middle of nowhere. With no clue of where to go, Eddy stumbled off in disappointment.

Eddy decided to write a letter to his family and leave it at the front door of his old house.

Dear Family,

I see you no longer have interest in me. I could tell by the way walked away from me. I am off to find a family that wants me. But don’t worry. I will surely never come back.

Yours Truly,

Eddy left the note at the front door and hurried off. Eddy had no luck of finding an owner. He had to sleep in the dumpster too.

The next day, Mr. Wrinkleface stepped outside to pick up the morning paper. To his surprise, he found a note. It read:

fjsghpa rhf apijhg pairhfpasrihg pajht pariuthp9q ytiaerhg iuhasrigha srgj as hkgjajgaos hfoasjhgfiasjgfiasjjhf  aosjfhdjfnakjfh asjhfkljs dhfkjs dhgk ljsdhjhsg kjjfk kadhf djh

ejfhk jjdhglk sj
rkfkjs (Eddy never new how to spell)

But then, Mr. Wrinkleface realized something. “That’s Eddy’s signature. Everybody get out here! Eddy left a note! We have to find him.”

The family went out looking for Eddy, but they didn’t find one pawprint.

Farther into town, poor Eddy found himself walking alone in an empty village. A car drove by and over a big puddle of rainwater, splashing all over Eddy. The mud disappeared. He was clean at last. Then he turned around and saw his family. They all ran towards Eddy and gave him the biggest hug ever given to a dog. Then they took Eddy home and lived happily ever after.

What do you think of Shayna's story?

What a great way to showcase adverbs!

Cursed Cursor :: Part 3 (Summer Writing)

My former third graders are choosing to write summer vacation stories in their Google Drives! They share the Google Doc with me and leave a Google Doc comment asking to be published. I love having a connected learning community! Chloe is on her third story in the Cursed Cursor series! Evan wrote one too! I'm happy to publish on our class blog! :-) 

The Cursed Cursor 3: Alberto’s First Mission!

One day in summer, the seven dogs were cruisin’ by the pool.

“Ahhhh,” The dogs chorused together.

“Now this is fun,” Cooper started. “I really need to relax my paws.”

Georgie: Photo by Clare


“You’re right, Cooper,” Georgie began. “I love being poolside.”

The hot tub started to bubble. Gracie threw off the towel with her paws and did a belly flop into the hot tub. Since she was small she didn’t get hurt. David took off his towel with his teeth, the NOT fancy way, and plopped into the cold, refreshing pool. Alberto flipped himself so that he could lay on his back. He was sunbathing under the hot sun. Noë was wagging her tail with her head up. She was panting because dogs don’t sweat. She stated cheerfully, “I love the pool. It gets my mind off my teething!”

Just then, Rocky heard a shake in the bushes. “What’s that?” Rocky whispered to everyone.

Cooper saw a couple of tails appear from the bushes. “It’s a squirrel! Let’s get it!” Cooper and Rocky darted to the bushes. The squirrels began to sprint away from the two medium-sized dogs. David swam out of the pool, shook the water off of him, and started to catch up. Gracie stayed with Alberto.

                                               Photo by Mrs. Yollis

“I see squirrels all the time,” Gracie began rolling her eyes. “They’re too fast, and I’m too small, so why even bother.”

Alberto nodded, grinned at Gracie, and flopped back on his stomach. “Yes, my little amigo, but it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Alberto’s advice made Gracie feel better.

Then Rocky came running in dirty. “Huh, Huh, others cursed by cursor.” Rocky said out of breath. “Squirrel was a trap.” Rocky laid down to rest.

Gracie and Alberto looked at each other and exchanged looks. “Oh no! It must have been a cyber-squirrel!” The two started sprinting to the other three dogs while Rocky stayed resting on the ground.

“I know what to do,” Gracie began. “Let’s go to my place! Shayna will know what to do!”

Gracie and Alberto sprinted to Shayna’s porch. It was early in the morning, about 9:00 on Saturday, and Shayna wasn’t expecting Gracie to scratch on the door.

                                   Photo by Shayna

“What?” Shayna said half awake. “Gracie! It’s 9:00 A.M.! I’ll let you in, but go to sleep!”

“Shayna!” Gracie yelled. Shayna never knew that Gracie could talk. Shayna fell and was unconscious. “That’s just great!” Gracie frowned.

The same thing happened with Carlos. The two dogs didn’t know what to do.

“Alberto,” Gracie was serious, but still cute. “You’re going to have to be an undercover spy.”

Alberto froze for a minute. He smiled and said, “What am I going to be?”

“You’re going to be undercover as a cat so the cyber-dogs will chase you back, but we’ll have to figure out the rest later.” Gracie smiled back. They ran to Micheal’s, bought some fabric with the money that Gracie stole from Shayna’s wallet while Shayna was unconscious, and went back to the pool.

“Ok,” Gracie stated. “Now put this white fabric on your ears and….done! You look like a cat.”


“I look like an American kitty!” Alberto loved to be undercover as a cat. The two dogs darted to a fire hydrant. Alberto questioned, “Why this fire hydrant? There’s  another one around the block that I marked yesterday.”

Gracie rolled her eyes. “Just watch! Rocky showed me this after you ate that Oreo last month.” Alberto thought about the Oreo, while Gracie watched to see if anyone was looking, put her right paw on the top of the fire hydrant. The hydrant lifted up, and revealed a secret water slide elevator. The two dogs slid down the slide to an underground room. The room had purple wall paper, Alberto would have suggested blue, but he didn’t want to be rude. The room had seven bathrooms, and each door was a gray rubber doggy door with one of the dog’s names on it, and each bathroom had a personal hydrant. There were jars of bacon-wrapped bones everywhere! It was paradise! Alberto had tears in his eyes, “Gracie,” Alberto said almost crying. “It’s beautiful! But, why are we here?”

“We’re here because this is where we’ll find where the cursed cursor’s hiding place is!”

“Um, Gracie” Alberto used his metacognition a lot. “Don’t you think, because it’s summer, that the cursor’s hiding place was in your owner’s computer lab?”

Gracie knew what he meant. “Ohhhhhh. That’s right!”

The two bright-eyed and bushy-tailed pups sprinted to their owner’s school. They came across a gate. Gracie started by saying, “Now we have to get past this impenetrable gate.” Then Alberto noticed a small hole, big enough for the two pups to go one at a time through, in the gate. “I found a way!” Alberto pointed to the hole with his paw. They both went through, one at a time, and found themselves on the upper yard’s grass. Alberto looked around, and started putting his legs together to make an X. Gracie said with an ugggg, “Don’t tell me you have to go! You should of went at the secret layer”

“I’m sorry!” Alberto began. “I didn’t have to go then!”

The two dogs went across the street, after they looked both ways, and walked to a nearby off-leash dog park. There, after Alberto went, they saw Buck with a new friend.

                                                                 Photo by Mrs. Yollis

“Oh,” Buck was delighted to see his friends. “Hi guys! This is Freddy! He’s a labradoodle.

To Be Continued...

Cursed Cursor :: Part 2 (Summer Writing)

My third graders are choosing to write summer vacation stories in their Google Drives! They share the Google Doc with me and leave a Google Doc comment asking to be published. I love having a connected learning community!

CHLOE: While I was reading comments on The Cursed Cursor,where my first story is, I noticed a comment from Mrs Monaghan. She suggested that I write some more adventures about the fab four, now spectacular seven. So, here are some more adventures. 


 The Cursed Cursor 2: The Cursor Strikes Back!

Photo by Mrs. Yollis


One day, before the four dogs were famous, they were all walking with their owners at the dog park.

“I think you two should go to our friend’s obedience class, Chloe and Clare!” Heather stated. “Our friend’s dogs, Wolfie, Laura, and Felix, go there!”

“Sure!” Clare began. “Do you have a pamphlet?

“Of course we do!” Keira opened her purse, and took out a bright orange pamphlet for Doggie Obedience School.

“Thank you!” Clare added. The four girls took their dogs and went to a nearby bench. The owners told their dogs to stay in the area, and then took off their leashes. The dogs went ,in order, to the nearby water fountain.

Suddenly, a cute and cuddly white puppy came charging into David and Georgie! She was chasing a new, crisp, yellow frisbee.

Photo by Shayna                                         

“Hey!” David started with water on his fur. “We are going to be famous some day, so don’t try to mess up our beautiful, hunky bodies!”  

“Sawy,” (sorry) the little pup began. “My name is Gracie Marshmallow, and I am the queen of all fluffy and playful pups! I’m famous, don’t you know? I was on the Internet on a post called Humans are Tricksters!”


                                                                    Photo by Darius

Just then another little fluffy dog appeared. She cheerfully said, “Hi! My name is Noë (no-ee), and I’m here with my owner Darius. Huh! Got to go! Darius is calling me!”

Noë darted off to Darius. The fab four and Gracie stayed and examined Noe.

“Soooo. Do you want to play fetch?” Gracie asked. The other four nodded no. “How about….sniffing trees?” The four crowded together in a circle and discussed. They turned around and nodded yes. “Yay!” Gracie started with pleasure. “We’re going to have so much fun!” Just then Noë came back with excitement in his eyes. He squealed happily, “Guess what?” Everyone was silent. “Ok, I’ll tell you. While Darius was talking to his friend, I met a French poodle! Anyone want to meet her?”

David started nodding quietly and started to walk to Noe. Georgie gave a stubborn look. David backed up with embarrassment. Cooper then saw a half eaten, dirty, old Oreo on the ground. “Watch out,” Cooper sounded serious. “That Oreo is a trap! I’ve seen it happen. It’s not pretty!”  

Then a chubby, golden Chihuahua with a collar that said in dark gray writing, Alberto, came. “Hola, my amigos,” Alberto stated with a Spanish accent and winking at Gracie. “I am the great Alberto! I am from Mexico, and I am here because my owner, Carlos, is a junior scientist and is studying an ant he named Nile Pipsqueak (My freind ,Shayna, is writing a story called The Wild Life of Nile Pipsqueak. Nile Pipsqueak meets a boy named Carlos. Thanks for the inspiration, Shayna!).

“Hello?” Noë said as if everyone forgot him. “Does anyone want to meet the...Whoa! It’s the poodle! See you guys later!”

Alberto noticed the Oreo. “Ooo la la! What is this? It is an American black cookie! Looks good!” Alberto simply and quickly ate the cookie, while the five other pups let out a long nooooooo!

Alberto jiggled and jumped! He was turning into a cyber-dog! “I am Alberto the sidekick of the cursor of computer sixteen in the computer lab at your owner’s school. I am here to defeat YOU!” Alberto started to growl. Rocky and Cooper jumped up, ready to kick the dog away, when two, long robot arms grabbed them by their left hind legs! David and Georgie started using their razor sharp teeth two chew on his pointy, triangular ears, but cyber-Alberto’s ears turned into new, wooden baseball bats!

“Oww,” David and Georgie laid in pain on the grass floor.

Suddenly, Buck, Mrs. Yollis’ dog, came trotting in with one of Mrs. Yollis’ favorite earrings in his mouth. “Hey guys! Do you want to taste this earring? Mmmmmm, pearl, tastes like chicken. So what’s up?” Buck said mumbling.

Rocky rolled his eyes, and said with fear, “US! We’re up! Please help us!”

Gracie was a little dog, as you know, but she was yapping and jumping louder than the boxer with the German shepherd waving his paws in the air like he just don’t care in the face of the boxer. Gracie had enough, so she yelled as loud as she could, “Let go of my friends! Take me instead! They’re going to be famous one day so you can’t mess up their beautiful, hunky bodies!” Gracie then realized that she let out too much information. Then cyber-Alberto threw Rocky and Cooper next to a nearby tree. He then walked to Gracie with Buck right next to her.

Then Alberto suddenly woke up on a gray table , in a small room, and right next to him was a tall, skinny women with blond hair and wore a white uniform. He whimpered, and realized that after he ate the Oreo, he had had a dream. A wild, amazing, adventurous dream. Rocky, Cooper, David, and the two new members of the Super Awesome Neighborhood Dog Squad members, Gracie and Noë.

“You were really knocked out, Alberto,” Gracie stated.

“Maybe you didn’t hear me when I said NOT to eat the Oreo, but now you know!” Cooper said.

David announced, “Would you like to join the dog squad? We could use a guy who can be an undercover agent.” Alberto smiled at this compliment. He nodded and there was a cheer from the dogs. Alberto cheerfully added, “And I will always be a member of the….”

The seven dogs, David, Georgie, Rocky, Cooper, Noë, Gracie, and Alberto, chorused together, “Super Awesome Neighborhood Dog Squad!”

                  The End

                                     Or is it……

   Can you write a sequel to this sequel?
         Who’s next to join the group?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Super Ultimate Cursed Computer! (Summer Writing)

Summer story written by Evan
My third graders are choosing to write stories in their Google Drives! Next, they share the Google Doc with me and leave a Google Doc comment asking to be published. I love having a connected learning community!  

The Super Ultimate Cursed Computer! 
By Evan

It was the last day of school at the end of the day for Mrs. Yollis’ class and she was showing the class on twitter about Mr. JR, but suddenly the computer went crazy.

“What is going on with the computer? I must call Mr. JR.” said Mrs. Yollis. Then the Panda started to say,

“Hello class, I’m your animal Panda,” said Panda. The class began to scream!

“Ahhhhh, Panda spoke!” said the class.

“Ok everybody, we must go outside and run to the library. Run!” said Mrs. Yollis. Mrs. Yollis’ class started to run out of the room and headed to the library, but as Mrs. Yollis was about to exit the classroom, she saw twenty-eight desks floating in the air and they
were on top of each other.

Illustration by Mrs. Yollis

“Oh my, I need to get out of here. The computer has taken over the class!” said Mrs. Yollis. Mrs. Yollis slammed the door and came outside.

“Students, I saw the desks floating in the air!” shouted Mrs. Yollis. Inside of the classroom the other desks started to float in the air too.

“Class you should look behind you,” said Evan

“And why?” asked Mrs. Yollis.

“The computer has grown larger,” said Evan. Mrs. Yollis turned around and saw the massive computer.

“It’s huge, like three giants!” said Mrs. Yollis. Samantha saw three dogs named Buck, Rocky, and Tanner. They were wearing ninja suits.

“Mrs. Yollis, there is Buck, Rocky, and some other dog,” said Samantha.

“That is my mom’s old dog, Tanner,” answered Evan. The three dogs came into a group and faced the evil curse computer. Buck did a huge kick and broke the body. Then Rockey did a big paw punch to the desktops. Finally Tanner broke the screen. Mrs. Yollis’ class was saved by these three dogs.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Cursed Cursor!

Quality writing practice through blogging can really enhance a student's language skills! It can also bring about a love of writing. I have seen it happen repeatedly with my young third graders. 

Today in class we had a lot of trouble trying to publish some posts. The cursor kept jumping around and open different applications. We laughed about our cursed cursor and persevered with our blogging. The events of the day inspired Chloe. She went home, opened up her Google Drive, wrote this creative story, and shared it with me. That is the beauty of connected learning community. Enjoy!


The Cursed Cursor!
By: Chloe


Illustrated by Mrs. Yollis

One day, Mrs. Yollis and her class were writing a blog post about Mr. JR. We were trying to end with some science questions on the post Simple Machines are Useful on Google Chrome. Suddenly, the cursor started to click on Firefox, Scratch, and Finder! Everyone gasped!

“What’s going on?” shouted Chloe.

“Don’t holler out, Chloe,”Mrs. Yollis replied. “But what IS going on?

Keira politely and quietly raised her hand. Mrs. Yollis complimented her and told her she could talk.

“Maybe you can call Mr. Yollis to see if he knows!” Keira suggested.

Mrs. Yollis nodded. But right before Mrs. Yollis picked up the phone, the phone started jumping and dialing numbers! Everyone backed up with fear. The phone kept jumping up and down. Then the class heard a voice! It was Mr. JR!

“Hello?” Mr. JR wasn’t suspecting a call. “Hello?!”

Mrs. Yollis tried to hold the phone, but it kept jumping. She went on her knees where the phone was dangling and said, “Mr. JR, our computer is opening up all different types of browsers! Do you think you could help?”

“Um….” Mr. JR then came up with an answer. “Oh, I know! All you have to do is…”

The phone hang up just then.

“What? Mr. JR? What?” Mrs. Yollis was anxious. The phone made a loud, long sound. “Everyone, go to your desks and read. I’ll call Mr. Yollis with MY phone.”

Mrs. Yollis did so. Mr. Yollis said that he never learned how to fix such a thing. Mrs. Yollis was glum and gloomy. Just then, all the desks started floating, but not the chairs. Four desks started floating to the computer with the wicked cursor! The five laptops started floating to it too! Beverly and Panda were even floating!

The finished robot was complete. Laptops as two legs, two arms, and a tail. The four desks were the body, the computer with the evil cursor was the head, and Panda and Beverly turned into robots. They were the curser’s sidekicks. The class started screaming! Mrs. Yollis escorted the children outside. The children started running to the library.

“I know the rules are NOT to run,” Mrs. Yollis began. “But this is an emergency!” She began to run too!

Then David, Rocky, Cooper, and Georgie appeared. They all gathered together because they sniffed and smelled their owners in danger. They started growling at the cursed computer.

“We are the Super Awesome Neighborhood Dog Squad!” The dogs chorused together. “We are here to defeat you!”

Quickly, David and Georgie started biting cyber-Panda and cyber-Beverly. They ripped out stuffing and fake fur.

Rocky and Cooper started using their super cool karate moves to kick the desks and laptops out of place. It was pretty hard because the desks were put in place by clear Elmer’s glue, and the laptops were put together by double sided Scotch tape, but they managed. All that was left was the face of the monster, the computer.

The dogs surrounded the evil electronic and started stalking around it in a circle, but the computer wasn’t scared.

“Oh, so you little puppies think you can scare me, thy awesome, thy cool, thy powerful…..”

Then David, Georgie, and Cooper held the computer down with its screen up. Rocky started walking slowly with pride and his nose in the air. When he reached the computer screen he put his head down close to the screen and said with a growl, “You tried to threaten our owners, their classmates, and the fabulous Mrs. Yollis! Now you will get a taste of your own medicine!”

Rocky lapped up some water from a nearby bowl and shot it out on the computer screen. The computer sparked and jiggled and shocked. Then it turned off completely. There was a big cheer from Mrs. Yollis and her class. The four dogs bowed and got bacon-wrapped bones. Heather, Keira, Chloe, and Clare promised they would save up with lemonade sales and car washes to get enough money to get Mrs. Yollis another computer.

One Year In the Future…

The four dogs are now famous and started to destroy other computers, but their owners had enough money to manage. Heather was a world famous veterinarian with Rocky as her assistant. Keira was a scientist with Cooper as her inspiration. Clare was an award winning dancer with Georgie as her back up. Finally, Chloe was a writer with David at her side.  They all lived in giant quartz mansion with their owners. They got manipedis and Italian velvet beds.

Photo mashup created using: ipad camera, Skitch, and PuppetPals

Where will the next computer calamity occur?