Friday, August 26, 2016

Welcome Back! 2016-2017

Welcome back to a new school year! 

Wednesday was our first day of school!

Like my dog Buck near a body of water, we jumped right in and started our third grade adventure! 

Photo by Mr. Yollis 

First, we gathered together as a school and got a big welcome from our principal. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

When we got to the classroom, Mrs. Yollis introduced herself. She explained that she has been teaching for one score and one decade. How many years has Mrs. Yollis been teaching? 

Here is a photo of Mrs. Yollis on her very first day of teaching back in 1987!

Here's Mrs. Yollis today with our classroom friends Barnaby Bones, Beverly the brown bear, and Puffy Panda. Together they help third graders become the best they can be.

Photo by Mrs. Minicozzi

The classroom is set up with flexible seating options. Students can work alone or in groups.  There is a long, rectangular table for project work.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

There are several circular tables.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

A popular place is Tall Town. This is a special table that is higher than the other tables and seats four. Of course, Panda is always available to lean on as we learn. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

If you like to work independently, you can go old school and work at this vintage desk from long ago! 

Here we are reading the Cub Corner! This paper magazine was filled with events, time tables, and photos of parents and staff members who help lead our school. Keep the Cub Corner for reference throughout the year! 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis

Many students couldn't wait to read in our class tent! 
Classroom camping at its finest!

Several times we took a break to play a fun game of Silent Speed Ball! 

Mrs. Yollis got everyone a beautiful, acrylic name tag holder. We wrote our names in large print so they can be seen from across the room. In addition, the acrylic name tag holders are mobile.  That means when we move to a new area, we can easily move with our acrylic name tag! 

A highlight of the week was meeting our Reading Buddies. They are in the Journeys class and are only four years old! We will be role models for them and help them be the best learners and friends that they can be! 

Here we are showing our young friends the way to the office. There they found the nurse's office, so they would know where to go if they are ever sick. 

It is going to be a fabulous year!

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 Here are some links for you to peruse as we start our year of learning together:

A. This educational blog is the centerpiece of our classroom community. It is a wonderful space for sharing and learning together. Here is a link to an article I wrote about the benefits of classroom blogging. I hope you'll have a chance to read it before our Back to School Night.

B. We also have a class Photo-of-the-Day blog! Anyone is welcome to contribute a photo or comment throughout the year. Join our 365 Photo-of-the-day project! :-)

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Like Buck off a dock, let's jump right into blogging!

Students, please leave a comment telling us about yourself. What did you do over your summer break? What adventures and experiences did you enjoy?

If you are one of our blogging buddies, please introduce yourself to my new class. Where are you from? What have you been up to?

Remember to proofread your comment with a parent before you publish! 


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    What a terrific week we have had! I loved how everyone was working together to help each other learn. In addition, they are all such good listeners! Wow!

    My favorite part of the week was watching people doing "Read to Self". I noticed that every reader followed the Daily 5 "Read to Self" rules:

    * Read to yourself
    * Stay in one spot
    * Get started right away

    Go readers!

    What was your favorite part of the week?


    1. Dear Panda,

      Thanks for replying to our first blog of the year! You are wonderful!


  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis and new third graders,

    I am so excited to see this first blog post of the new school year. I first learned about this blog when my son Troy was in Mrs. Yollis' class two years ago. I became a blogging buddy, and my favorite thing was seeing all the photos of everything that the class was learning and doing and creating. That year, I learned a lot about blogging, and I even learned how to make some of my type bold, which I didn't know how to do before.

    Now my other son, Nolan, is in Mrs. Yollis' class! I am looking forward to all the fun posts and to watching our learning network grow as we learn more about each other and talk about what you are discovering at school.

    I see that Mrs. Yollis has added many neat features to her classroom, and I can't wait to see them all in person at Back to School Night.

    I have a tip for some of the parents. When you leave a comment, you might want to select the Name/URL option from the drop-down menu where it says "Comment as" so that you can leave a comment using just your first name. If you are logged in to Google, it may post using your full name, which we do not want.

    Students, what are you excited to do this year now that you are third graders?

    Lisa (Nolan's Mom)

    1. @ Lisa (Nolan's mom)

      Thank you so much for jumping in right away and leaving a quality comment for our class! I appreciate your support.

      I liked how you used your first name and then put (Nolan's mom) in parenthesis. This is an excellent way for the class to communicate together without revealing too much personal information. Thank you for that!

      I am going to repeat your tip again because it is a good one:

      When you leave a comment, you might want to select the Name/URL option from the drop-down menu where it says "Comment as" so that you can leave a comment using just your first name. If you are logged in to Google, it may post using your full name, which we do not want.

      I am excited to be together again!

      Do you think Nolan grandma will be participating again? I hope so!

      Mrs. Y♥llis

    2. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

      Yes, I think Troy and Nolan's Grandma, Barb (AKA Grandma Barb), will blog with us again from Wisconsin. Also, we will contribute a photo or two from our summer trip to Wisconsin (to visit her) to the 365 photo blog.


  3. Hello grade 3's!
    Your blog was forwarded to me from another div 1 teacher in Alberta.
    My 3rd graders will be starting on September 6th, but once we are back into the swing of things, we'd love to connect with your class!
    We are grade 3 in Lethbridge, Alberta!
    Hope you all have a great first few days back :)

    Mrs. Amanda Fahey

    1. @ Mrs. Amanda Fahey,

      Thank you for taking the time to connect with my students. We would love to connect with you! I wonder if any of my students know where Alberta, Canada is, so you will help us learn about our geographic neighbors to the north!

      Best of luck with your new class!

      Mrs. Y♥llis

  4. Hello Mrs Yollis and Class,

    It's fantastic to see your first post of the new school year - welcome back! I love the way you have set your classroom up for the year. It looks like a fabulous place to learn. I'm excited to see what you get up to this year - and I hope that we can share some of our experiences and even some projects, as we have done in previous years!

    In England, we start back for the Autumn term at the start of September. We finished for our summer holidays quite a bit later than you did, near the end of July. When we go back on the 5th September, we will have had nearly 6 weeks of holidays, so we'll all be ready to get back to work! How long was your summer holiday?

    Looking forward to blogging with you,

    Mrs Monaghan

  5. Hello Mrs. Yollis and New Third Graders!

    I am Nolan's Grandma from Wisconsin. Many of Mrs. Yollis’ former students may know me as Grandma Barb, another blogging buddy.

    I have enjoyed blogging with Mrs. Yollis’ students for the past two years. My oldest grandchild, Troy, was in Mrs. Yollis' class. Now my second grandchild, Nolan, is in Mrs. Yollis’ class. I am excited to continue chatting with Nolan and his classmates.

    What have I been doing? Well, Nolan and his family came for a nice long visit to Wisconsin this summer. We had a lot of fun playing miniature golf, going to the beach, and eating lots of Culver’s frozen custard! Nolan’s Great-Grandma turned 88 in July so I hosted a birthday party for her. A few weekends ago I spent some time in Chicago where I enjoyed seeing the Chicago Botanic Gardens and taking an Architectural Boat Tour. Both were fascinating!

    Right now I am enjoying my own gardens, which are in full bloom, and all of the birds that come to my bird feeders but I am also looking forward to fall. I am not a fan of hot weather and these last two months have been unusually hot and humid in Wisconsin. Cool, crisp fall is my favorite time of the year!

    Have you ever been to Wisconsin? Did you travel anywhere outside of your own city during summer vacation?

    Barb (Nolan’s Grandma from Wisconsin AKA Grandma Barb)

    Do you know what AKA stands for?

    1. Nolan, Amanda, and Dylan B.October 10, 2016 at 10:01 AM

      Dear Gr♥ndma,

      My friends Dylan B., Amanda and I were wondering, has the sunflower grown any taller?

      How was the Chicago Botanic Gardens? We loved your comment. We are having a blast in third grade.

      We also know that AKA stands for also known as. What's going on in Sheboygan?

      Your Blogging Buddies,
      Nolan, Amanda & Dylan B.

  6. Dear Mrs Yollis and class,
    It seems you've made a fabulous start to your new school year. I hope we might connect with you and join in with some of your projects this year.

    Here in New Zealand, we are over half-way through our school year. Our class celebrated our 100th day of school on July 26th.
    Can you predict when your 100th day of school might fall?

    Here is another question for you - how many of you have had siblings in Mrs Yollis' classes in previous years?

    All the best for a busy year of learning!
    from Mrs Mckenzie and B4 in New Zealand

  7. April (Dylan's Mom)August 28, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I was very excited to read the first blog post on Friday and get a true insight into the classroom. There were things that Dylan hadn't yet told me about, such as the names of areas of the classroom (e.g. Tall Town, Classroom Camping and "Going Old School").

    I liked learning about the classroom friends, silent speed ball and Reading Buddies.

    I also enjoyed seeing the photos and learning about how long you have been teaching. I'm glad that Dylan will be part of your 30th year of teaching!

    I am looking forward to reading the blog posts throughout the year.

    Until Next Time,
    April (Dylan's Mom)

  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I've enjoyed the first week of school. I'm looking forward to contributing to the blog! I'm also looking forward to learning how to type, code and divide. I can't wait to see what the year brings for us.


  9. Gayle (Hayden's mom)August 28, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and your new third grade class,

    Lets jump right into blogging!

    What a busy, fun and exciting week you have already had! I can't wait, and I bet you can't wait, to see what else Mrs. Yollis has in store for you this year. I can guarantee you are in for more fun and excitement throughout the year. I know Hayden's brother, Ty, and his sister, Jenna, both learned and grew so much when they were in her class. They loved their year with her and I'm sure you will too!

    Students, what was the highlight of your first week in third grade?


  10. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I had a great first week in class. I liked the idea of Tall Table. I really enjoyed meeting my little Reading Buddy, William. I also liked playing Silent Speed Ball.

    I'm looking forward to learning multiplication.

    We went to Seattle, Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Alaska over the summer. I really liked riding in a helicopter to a glacier and dog sledding on the glacier. I also really liked being on a cruise ship. I liked whale watching too. We were lucky to see a whale breach and I saw a lot of whales bubble net feed together.

    Mrs. Yollis, what did you do over the summer? What are you most looking forward to teaching us this year?

    Your student,

    1. @ Hayden,

      Wow! You are the SECOND student to leave a blog comment this year. Congratulations!

      You asked me what I did this summer. Mr. Yollis and I built a summer house in our backyard. In addition, we traveled to Cambria, California, and we saw some interesting elephant seals.

      I have a few questions for you. What does it mean when a whale breeches? What does "bubble net feeding" mean? Tell us about the helicopter ride!

      Your new teacher,
      Mrs. Y♥llis

  11. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I hope I post this correctly ... Looking forward to meeting you on Wednesday and learning all that's in store for this coming year .
    Best ,

  12. Dear Mrs. Yollis and the New Third Grade Class,

    I'm Mrs. Ranney, Mrs. Yollis' former teaching partner! It is so exciting to see your beautiful updated classroom filled with new bloggers! My favorite new features are the tent and the tall table! If I were a student in your class, I think those would be two places I'd love to work and read!

    This past summer I enjoyed camping in the Eastern Sierras where I took many photographs of beautiful wildflowers and the ghost town called Bodie. I'll be sure and send a few in to Mrs. Yollis for the 365! You may find that there are already several of my photos there!

    I'm looking forward to visiting and getting to know all of you, as well as seeing my old friends Beverly, Puffy, and Barnaby!

    This week I'll be flying off to New York to visit my daughter, Sarah, so I'll try send in a comment from there! When I get back, I'll get in touch with Mrs. Yollis to plan my first visit to meet you all!

    All the best,

    Your Blogging Buddy, Mrs. Ranney

  13. Susie (Allie's mom)August 29, 2016 at 5:24 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis's Class,

    I loved seeing all the different places you can learn in your new classroom. I can't wait to see it in person at Open House.
    Have an amazing year and looking forward to blogging with you all.

  14. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I had a great first week. You and my class are really nice.
    Over the summer I went to San Francisco to watch the Giants games and had the best time . We also did some site seeing which was also fun.
    Looking forward to learning all sorts of new things.


  15. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I had a wonderful first week in my new class!
    I can't wait to learn more math, coding and to learn more with Reach!

    I love how the class has various different seating options! One of my favorite ways to go is Old School. I also like another seating option which seems to be the most popular, which is Tall Town. I think it is very unique to have a tall table like that.

    I also like that you can write with special pens on your
    E.L.M.O. screen.

    I have had a very nice week, and can't wait for many more to come!

    What are you most excited to teach?
    And how has teaching changed since your first year?


  16. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am loving third grade! This summer I went to lakeside and learned how to water ski. I also went on lots of road trips!I went to Crater Lake and earned a Jr. Ranger badge!

  17. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    You asked what it means when a whale breeches. It means that a whale jumps all the way out of the water so you can see its whole body. We were told that they don’t do this very often because it takes up too much energy and uses too much of their fat supply.

    You also asked what bubble net feeding is. This is a very interesting and special activity. The whales, who normally travel alone, gather altogether to work as a team to feed. They form a large circle around a school of small fish. Then, they dive underwater and blow bubbles under the fish. This sort of stuns the fish so they don’t move too much. The whales keep blowing the bubbles as they rise to the surface. The bubbles carry the fish to the surface too. Then, the whales come to the surface and they all eat them together. You can see the whales’ mouths and heads as they eat. We saw a group of about 9 whales doing this together and they did it several times. Our boat captain had a special radio that could hear the underwater sound of the whales as they blew the bubbles, which gave us a clue that they would come to the surface soon.

    You also asked me to tell you about our helicopter ride. We went to a small airport. We had to get all ready in the clothing we needed to visit a glacier because it was going to be so cold up there. Then, we went into the helicopters. We had to take 2 for our family of 5 because they only hold 3 passengers and the pilot. We wore headphones and a microphone so we could talk to each other and hear each other inside the helicopter because of the rotor noise. Of course, we also wore seat belts. The helicopter is great because you don’t need a runway. The pilot starts it and just goes straight up. We flew over a lot of mountains and between them and then landed straight down on the glacier. There is no way to get to that glacier except by helicopter. It was such a fun ride! I will post a picture of the helicopter.

    When we got there, it was really cold and we went dog sledding just like they do in the Iditarod. This was really fun! We took turns riding on different parts of the sled. Then, while others took turns dog sledding, we visited the cute puppies there! The dogs who pull the sleds love it and get so excited when they get to do it!

    Have a nice weekend!


  18. Dear Kaya,

    It must have been fun to learn to water ski. Do you know how to snow ski too? That is great that you earned a Jr. Ranger badge. Where is Crater Lake?

    I earned two Jr. Ranger badges this summer also! One in Denali National Park and one in Kenai National Park. Both are in Alaska. The one I earned in Kenai I got on a boat because you need a boat or plane to get to most of that park.

    Have a nice weekend!

    Hayden & Gayle (Hayden's mom)

  19. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I am so glad I'm in your class this year. I love playing silent speed ball because I like to catch things. Over my summer I went to Puerto Vallarta and went on a boat and snorkeled in the ocean and got to see a lot of fish and corral. I also went to sleep away camp in northern CA for 11 days. It was fun!

    When I found out you were my teacher, I was so happy! I look forward to getting our Acers and learning things on our Acers (like learning to code). I like the tent and Tall Town in our classroom and Old School. I also like Beverly Bear and Panda.


  20. @Hayden & Gayle(Hayden's mom)
    You asked if I know how to snow ski, no I do not know how to snow ski. I would like to learn some day.Do you know how to snow ski?

    You also asked where Ceter Lake is. Crater lake is a national park in Oregon.It was a volcano called Mt. Mazama. When it imploded it left a huge hole. Over time it filled with rain and snowmelt and made a big lake. It is believed to be the cleanest body of water on earth!
    Sincerely, Kaya

  21. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,
    I am Kaya's Grandma, Meme. I don't know how to blog but decided that I would love to learn along with you. So here goes. We live in Sunriver, Oregon. It is in the Oregon high desert. Lots of pine trees, juniper trees and mountains. Yesterday we went to the High Desert Museum and heard a talk about porcupines. We also got to see one up close. A new baby porcupine was born at the museum this year. Do you know what they call a baby porcupine?

    1. @ Meme (Kaya's grandmother),

      Thank you for leaving a comment. We like how you are trying a new skill. How did you find out about our blog?

      Oregon is one of our border states! Six of us have visited Oregon, and it is a beautiful state. Caitlyn used to live in Oregon near the coast. She said there were jellyfish that did not sting. Nolan knew that the capital is Salem. Payden once went on a road trip with his family, and they were in the high desert. What do you love about Oregon? What is your favorite city in your state? Are there any national parks in your state?

      You mentioned you saw a porcupine. Are they native to Oregon? We think a baby porcupine is called a porcupet. Are we correct? What are some other things you learned about porcupines?

      What else did you see in the museum?

      Your blogging buddies,
      Amanda, Kimberly, Elie, Dylan, Caitlyn, Payden, Cora, Nolan, Dylan H., Rose, and Mrs. Y♥llis

  22. Dear Meme, I am so glad you started blogging! I think it will be a fun experience for you. I am not sure what you do call a baby porcupine, but I will ask the class and see what they have to say.
    Love, Kaya

  23. Dear Meme,

    Hello from California!

    You mentioned that you live in Sun River, Oregon. I know you also live in Hollister, California. What region is it in? Desert, Central Valley, Coastal region, or the Mountain Region? What is your favorite thing to see there?

    Kaya said you share a ranch with your cousin. I want to know how many different kinds of animals you have.

    Your blogging buddies,
    Kaya and Brianna


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