Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving Tradition :: Pumpkin Bread!

A Thanksgiving tradition in Mrs. Yollis' room is to bake delicious pumpkin bread.

Parents volunteered to help each group of bakers. It was so lovely outside, two groups got to bake al fresco!

Check out these busy bakers! 
Thanks, parents, for helping out!

 Mrs. Ranney came out of retirement to assist one group!

 Mrs. Yollis was on hand to assist with ingredients. Be sure you add the right item and measure the correct amount.

The next day, we decorated the breads like turkeys and created special invitations to Thomas T. Turkey!

First, students made a list of items to be cut out to make their turkey decoration.

Next, students worked in pairs to assemble the turkeys.

Finally, it was time for a photo!

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Mrs. Yollis is thankful for her lasting friendship with Mrs. Ranney. Everyone appreciates her bimonthly visits to our classroom!

Thank you, Troy's mom, for taking these wonderful photos! 

What are you thankful for?

What was some funny word play you used in your Thomas T. Turkey invitation? 


  1. Hi Mrs.Yollis,
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I remember when the class did those fun activities. I am thankful for my family,my health,and my education. What are you thankful for Mrs.Yollis? The funny word play I used was:
    The chef has a delicious recipe with you in mind.
    Thanksgiving won't be the same without you.

    What did all of you use?
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!


    1. @ Aryana,

      Thanks for the Thanksgiving greeting! I hope your family enjoyed eating the delicious pumpkin bread!

      You asked what I am thankful for. I am grateful for many things. Like I told the class on Friday, I am very fortunate to get to work with such curious and dedicated students every day. On a personal level, I am grateful for my loving husband, our cheeky Labrador, and my wonderful family and friends.

      One of my favorite word plays for Thomas T. Turkey is:

      Boy, will you be surprised when you see what we're having!

      Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

      Mrs. Y♥llis

  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    What a wonderful tradition to have in your classroom! I am so amazed that you could cook outside. Here in Seattle, the wether would NOT support that idea at all. Too windy, wet, cold......
    I like to read Thanksgiving stories with my K-2 classes. This year we read Turk and Runt, which is fun story about Thanksgiving told from the turkey's point of view.
    Writing on the desk is such a fun idea and doesn't need paper. Wow! What kind of pen and how do you remove it?
    I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!
    Mrs. Hembree

    1. @ Mrs. Hembree,

      Yes, baking pumpkin bread is a delicious tradition and one I look forward to every year!

      We are lucky that the weather is so nice here in southern Californai. It has been unseasonable warm lately. In fact, we just got back from a hike with Buck and it is 85˚ F outside!

      We write on our desks using dry-erase pens. On some surfaces, they stain. On these desks, we just wipe them off with our hands or a Kleenex and it is just like a white board.

      I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

      Your friend,
      Mrs. Y♥llis

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I am very thankful for several reasons. First, I am gratefull for my brother and my cousins to play with. We love to play football on Thanksgiving. I also enjoy playing with my baby cousin. Next, I am thankful for my health. Being healthy is good because I can run fast and play sports well. I also don't have to spend all of my time going to the hospital. Finally, I'm appreciative for a house to live in. That way, I don't have to be outside when it is freezing. It is nice to have a warm bed to sleep in. These are just a few of the many reasons that I am thankful. What are you appreciative for?

    The funny word play that I used in my invitation was:
    "We will enjoy having you at the table." and
    "We have a special seat for you in the middle of the table."

    Enjoy your turkey dinners!


  4. Dear Friends,

    Happy Thanksgiving! I was thankful to spend that day baking with you all. I love holiday traditions because they connect us to wonderful memories and friends. I love taking photos for the same reasons. If my younger children are in Mrs. Yollis' class, maybe I will get to bake pumpkin bread in that room (or al fresco) again one day!

    This year I am most thankful for the wonderful learning community we have and for the friendships that are blossoming through Mrs. Yollis' class and blog.

    Today Troy, his dad, his siblings and I are with my parents. We just talked to Troy's Grandma Barb and Great-Grandma Ruth in Wisconsin on the phone to wish them a happy holiday. Have any of you shared holiday cheer with people who live far away today? How have you done that?

    Yours in gratitude,
    Lisa (Troy's mom)

    1. Dear Lisa,

      I enjoyed talking with you and my son on the phone today and appreciated you taking time out from your busy day to extend your Thanksgiving wishes.

      I am spending Thanksgiving with Troy's Great-Grandma, my sister's family, and my youngest brother. Tomorrow, my older brother will be coming with his family. The fun and visiting will continue!

      You asked if anyone shared holiday cheer with people who live far away. I have sent a Thanksgiving Facebook message to my niece in Michigan and Great Grandma had a nice phone call from her granddaughter in Florida today, too.

      I am thankful for all of my family and friends in Wisconsin, California, Michigan, Florida, and Illinois and all of my new blogging buddies.

      Did your Mom make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner? Did Troy and his siblings have enough time to play with Stella, their cousin's dog?

      I wonder how the rest of Troy's classmates spent their Thanksgiving? Did they stay in your own city or perhaps travel to visit relatives or friends?

      Barb (Troy's Grandma from Wisconsin & your mother-in-law)

    2. Dear Barb,

      Yes, we had a traditional Thanksgiving meal even though our group was smaller than usual this year. It was delicious. I also bought a Thanksgiving Bingo game and some prizes, and we had fun playing that after we ate. We also had lots of fun playing with Stella the pup.

      In addition to our learning community, friends and school, I am very grateful for good health and the many things that keep me comfortable, such as my home.

      Your Thanksgiving sounds like it was filled with lots of good cheer.

      Your daughter-in-law,

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    I am Troy's sister. My name is faith. (Note from Mom: She typed her name herself, but she doesn't know how to capitalize yet.) I am 4. I am thankful for my food and my mom and dad and my brothers and my Grammy and Pop and my pink bunny.


    1. Dear Faith,

      I think you wrote a wonderful first blog post! Typing your own name at 4 years old is outstanding. I am so proud of you!

      Did you get to play with Stella, your cousin's dog, while you were visiting your Grammy and Pop? Did you have a fun day?

      Barb (Troy and Faith's Grandma from Wisconsin)

    2. Dear Faith,

      I am so excited to meet someone with the same name as me! You wrote a wonderful comment, and I look forward to see more of your writing here on Mrs. Yollis' classroom blog!

      Mrs. Yollis' friend, Faith Ranney

    3. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

      I remember when Troy received his first yearbook after Kindergarten, he saw your name and was very excited that a teacher at his school had the same name as his sister. At that time, our Faith was just two years old! Obviously I think you have a very pretty name.

      Lisa (Troy and Faith's mom)

  6. Meredith (Sean's Mom)November 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    This morning I woke up with Sean and his brother at 6:00 am (they don't sleep in even if there is no school) and we baked 6 loaves of pumpkin bread using the recipe that we used in class last week. We decided to give 5 of the loaves to people we are thankful for. We are giving one to Sean's grandma, aunt, uncle and to our friends. We added mini chocolate chips to make the bread sweeter.

    I am so thankful to be able to spend the holidays with my family and am glad that everyone is healthy.

    I was so happy to volunteer and make the pumpkin bread with the class. That was a real treat!

    Tomorrow is called Black Friday and is the busiest shopping days of the year. If you shop on this day, what types of things are you looking to buy?

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    1. Dear Meredith,

      I had to chuckle when you mentioned your family was up very early even though there was no school. My son was that way until he became a teenager.

      It is so great that you could help the class with making pumpkin bread. From Lisa's photos posted by Mrs. Yollis, it looked like everyone was having a great time.

      I have shopped on Black Friday only a few times and did not really care for it at all. I am not much of a shopper to start with and the crowds were not appealing to me.

      I have noticed more and more stores opening on Thanksgiving evening in addition to Black Friday morning. I did that once to try to purchase something special for my brother. After arriving at the store, I found out to actually get the deal I was after, I would have had to be one of the first five people in line for that item. To be one of the first five, I would have had to stand in that particular line for four or more hours before the actual sale started. As you might guess, this year I decided to spend the whole Thanksgiving Day with my family and leave the Thanksgiving Evening and Black Friday shopping to those who really enjoy it.

      Have you shopped on Black Friday? Have you found special deals?

      Barb (Troy's Grandma from Wisconsin)

    2. Dear Meredith and Barb,

      We braved the crowds today and tackled Black Friday. But we weren't looking for anything special and have never gone at the crack of dawn or on Thanksgiving night. My mom and sisters enjoy shopping and eating out together while we hunt for bargains. It's our annual tradition to hit the mall on Black Friday.

      Does anyone else have annual traditions they enjoy?

      Judy (Ruby's mom)

    3. Dear Judy,

      I like the way you and your family shop on Black Friday - with no specific item in mind, just seeing what is out there in a more leisurely way. I think that would make the experience much more enjoyable for me as whatever I would find would be a bonus!

      At our house this Thanksgiving, we watched lots of football and in between we played a card game called Hand and Foot. It is much like Canasta and can accommodate 2 to 6 or more players. Once you get the hang of it, It is pretty easy to play, so it does not require deep concentration. If there are four or more players, we play as teams and tease each other a lot so there is plenty of laughter and fun. You never know which team is going to win until the very end as it can change with any hand dealt.

      Does anyone else play any games at Thanksgiving?

      Barb (Troy's Grandma from Wisconsin)

  7. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    One of the "word plays" that I used in my card to Thomas T. Turkey was that "we would love to have you for dinner." Get it- we want to eat him but we want him to think he is invited to dinner. The second one is "Thanksgiving won't be the same without you". This means that if the turkey doesn't come, then we can't eat him.

    This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my brothers and my family. I am also thankful to be in Mrs. Yollis' class this school year.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Uncle Phil (Ruby's uncle)November 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Dear Class,

    Happy Turkey Day! I get to spend the whole day with my wonderful niece, Ruby.

    Uncle Phil (Ruby's uncle)

    1. Dear Phil,

      I'm so happy you and Karen were able to come visit Ruby and our family this Thanksgiving weekend. We love spending time with both of you. Ruby is super glad her uncle Phil left a comment and would like another ukulele lesson from you.

      Judy (Ruby's mom and your sis-in-law)

  9. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Thanksgiving dinner was a blast.
    First, we said grace, then we had turkey and mashed potatoes, and finally( because my cousins, Royce, and I wanted it) we all had dessert. It was really good.

    The things I am thankful for are my mom, dad, water, food, shelter and life.

    I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving.


    1. Dear Tabitha,
      I am thankful for such wonderful grandchildren. I also appreciate all the help you and Royce gave me in preparing our Thanksgiving dinner. I am grateful for our entire family.
      Love, Grandma

  10. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I am so thankful for my family and for our health. As we finished our great meal tonight, I thought about how lucky we are. My sister baked an apple-blueberry-guava pie from scratch that was absolutely divine.

    Life is good and sweet.

    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

    Judy (Ruby's mom)

    1. Dear Judy,

      We truly are lucky to be surrounded by family and to have our health. Two very precious things to me for sure.

      Your sister's apple-blueberry-guava pie from scratch sounds so yummy. I have never had a pie with guava in it.

      My Aunt made an apple pie from scratch for Thanksgiving that was delicious as well. What I liked most was she used her Mother's pie crust recipe. Her Mother is my maternal Grandmother and Troy's Great-Great Grandmother. I especially like keeping the memory of my Grandmother alive by using her recipes. It seems like such a nice way to honor my Grandmother and carry on her tradition of pie making.

      Barb (Troy's Grandma from Wisconsin)

  11. Karen (Ruby's aunt)November 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Dear Class:

    This is my very first blog comment...and I am very excited for Ruby (my niece) to be part of such a wonderful class! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

    Karen (Ruby's aunt)

  12. Baba (Ruby's grandmiother)November 28, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Dear Class:

    I spent the entire day shopping with my granddaughter Ruby at the Santa Monica Mall. She picked out a beautiful dress for me and Ruby has good fashion sense!

    Baba (Ruby's grandmother)

  13. Melissa (Nic's mom)November 29, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    This has been a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! For Thanksgiving we had a yummy dinner with lots of family and friends and finally enjoyed the delicious pumpkin bread! Thanks to everyone for all their time and effort in making it!

    Nic, his sister and I also made an additional 4 loaves since we had such a large crowd for dinner and we had as much fun baking it as eating it!

    I am loving the time off of work and the chance to relax and have fun with my family. I can easily say that I am most thankful for my family and for their unconditional love. I am also thankful for everything that my children teach me. I learn so much just from watching and listening to them. They help to remind me that the greatest pleasures can be found in the simplest things!

    I hope everyone enjoys a peaceful holiday! And, Barb, the only Black Friday shopping I did was from this comfy chair in front of my computer!


    Melissa (Nic's mom)

  14. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I really liked reading about your class activities. It looked a lot of fun. What our class did for thanksgiving was a play called Turkeys Go On Strike. I was a turkey. On thanksgiving, we also made Pumpkin bread and Banana bread. It was so delicious that I couldn't stop eating it. My sister Miriam and I made the pumpkin bread and my other sister's Sarah and Hannah made banana bread. It took many hours to make everything, and when we were done, the kitchen smelled really nice. However, I couldn't eat it until we ate dinner. What I am thankful is for a great family and fun siblings. What are you thankful for?


  15. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    Your class activates looked really creative. It seems really fun. My class had to write a final draft for what we were thankful for. My teacher said my class and I had to read our final drafts out loud to our parents on Thanksgiving night. On Thanksgiving my siblings and I woke up early to finish everything so that we had time to bake. We had to clean the house like fold the laundry and wash the floors. Then it was finally time to bake. Sarah and I baked banana bread and Michael and Miriam baked pumpkin bread. Both cakes turned out to be delicious. After, we cooked stuffing and cranberry sauce. Each of my siblings got assigned a vegetable to cut and then Miriam fried all of the vegetables.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  16. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I am thankful for family and friends. One of my word plays was "I would love to have you for dinner."

    I went to Carlsbad for Thanksgiving. My favorite food at Thanksgiving is turkey. I went to the beach almost every day!
    It was so much fun!

    What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
    Where did you go for Thanksgiving?

    Happy Thanksgiving:)

  17. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    I so enjoyed seeing this post! Baking pumpkin bread and enjoying the clever Thomas T. Turkey story are two of my favorite third grade memories!

    I was so happy to be there to help out the day you mixed up your delicious batches of batter! My group of bakers did an excellent job of measuring, mixing, and following the directions.

    I have many things to be thankful for! One, of course, is my friendship with Mrs. Yollis and the privilege of visiting and helping out in her class twice a month! In addition, I am very thankful for my family. We enjoyed a tasty Thanksgiving meal together at my home. My daughter Kari and her boyfriend, John, joined us. John just recently moved to California from Key West, Florida, so this was his first Thanksgiving in our state! A special part of the evening was a Skype call with Kari's twin sister, Sarah, and her husband Jeremy, who live in New York!

    I'm looking forward to seeing all of you soon!
    Thankfully yours,
    Mrs. Ranney

  18. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I remember when I made pumpkin bread and wrote the Thomas T. Turkey story. When I made the bread I was in Nate's mom's group. This year I sadly didn't get to make the phenomenal delicious pumpkin bread. =(

    For Thanksgiving I went to my cousins' house, and we played with RC cars and rode bikes. I had a mouth-watering meal of turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and yams!

    I am thankful for my family, house, clothes, and my race car.

    What is the purpose of Thanksgiving?


    P.S. Mrs. Ranney is helping me with this blog comment!

  19. Dear Class,

    I am thankful for birds. I have touched one, and they are soft. It was a chicken that I touched. I have also touched several kinds of bird feathers. I am also thankful for my family.

    On my Thanksgiving card, my word play was "You can get dressed at our house."

    My favorite thing at Thanksgiving this year was seeing my cousin's puppy. Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, and my favorite thing was the pumpkin pie.


    1. Dear Troy,

      I like your word play. Very clever!

      I have an idea you might want to try to see if you can get closer to your scrubbers and maybe some day touch one.

      What if you put a whole peanut on one side of your patio table and then you sat very still on the other side. Maybe a scrubber would come in and snatch the peanut.

      Then each day put another peanut out and you move a little closer to it so the scrubbers can get used to seeing you nearby but also always get a reward for coming to the table.

      Do you think that might work to get you closer and closer to the scrubbers so maybe some day one will eat from your hand or maybe you will be able to touch one?

      Barb (Your Grandma from Wisconsin)

  20. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    It's nice to hear that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Tabitha and I were reading a nonfiction book about the history of Thanksgiving and it was very interesting. We learned that children had the job of turning the turkey on the spit by hand and it usually took all day to for it to cook. The book also mentioned that the Pilgrims did not have forks and that two people shared each plate.

    I hope everyone enjoyed their pumpkin bread.

    Tara, Tabitha's mom

  21. Carole (Troy's Grandma)December 5, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    My name is Carole. I am Troy's other Grandma and live in California. I am amazed at what your class is learning and how well my Grandson Troy was able to introduce me to what he has learned about blogging.
    I especially enjoyed seeing photos of Mrs. Yollis and Troy's classmates. Making pumpkin bread together reminded me of the days when I too volunteered in making this special holiday treat with Troy's mom and also her sisters when they were young. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love hearing about the early days of the Pilgrims in the books that we put out each year and especially like all the delicious food that is served at our family feast.

    I look forward to reading about future adventures from your 3rd grade class.

    Happy Holidays,


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