Saturday, September 30, 2017

Vegemite: An Australian Tradition

Mrs. Yollis and her students live in Los Angeles, California. Through blogging, they have connected with a class that is 8,000 miles away in Australia! 

Here are the flags for each nation. 
How are they alike? What do the symbols and colors mean? 

  American Flag


  Australian Flag


The Australian blogging buddies first connected on International Dot Day. Each class made a Connect the Dots at our School presentation. 

Mrs. Yollis Skyped into Miss Jordan's class at Barwon Heads Primary School. A topic of discussion was Vegemite. 

After the  International Dot Day  post was published, comments started rolling in. Here are some blog comments between the Australian and American classes. The topic of vegemite came up again! 

Will, Jake S., and Mila Replied to Daisy: 

Daisy, From Australia, Replied to Mila and Jake: 

As luck would have it, one of our parents is from the Land Down Under! Sam's father was born in Victoria, Australia, and came to the class to share about Australia and give everyone a sample of Vegemite!

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

First, our Aussie friend talked about his native country. Students looked at a map of Australia. Why do people in the northern hemisphere call Australia the Land Down Under?

Photo by Mrs. Yollis

What did you learn about Australia? 

Next, it was time to have some Vegemite! Sam's father brought in bread, a toaster, butter, and Vegemite.  

Photo by Mrs. Yollis
After tasting the Vegemite, students were surveyed. 
Do you like Vegemite, yes or no?

20 yes
 3  no

Students lined up for seconds! Vegemite was a hit!

A big THANK YOU to Sam and his family for providing this special treat of Vegemite! 

What did you learn about Australia?

Please thank Sam's father for his contribution. (Do not used last names. Always limit personal information on the internet!) 

What would you like to know about Australia?

Friday, September 22, 2017

So Long Summer :: Hello Autumn!

FACT: Seasons change as we orbit the sun.

Spring • Summer • Autumn • Winter

Twice a year, around March 20 or 21 and Sept. 22 or 23, our sun shines directly over the equator. That event marks the beginning of spring or fall. What is the equator?

Public Domain photo

  1. an imaginary line drawn around the earth equally distant from both poles, dividing the earth into northern and southern hemispheres and constituting the parallel of latitude 0°.

In March when the sun shines directly over the equator, the event is called the spring or vernal equinox. In September when the sun shines directly over the equator, the event is called the fall or autumnal equinox

The Autumnal Equinox will occur in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 1:02 P.M.

Things to look for in fall:

1. Deciduous (di•si•jo͞o•əs) trees will change color and drop all their leaves. Evergreen trees will not. Evergreen trees will stay forever green. :-) Why do the leaves of deciduous trees change color? Use World Book Online to research. Remember, do NOT copy sentences. That is plagiarism, and it is against the law! Take notes, and then turn your notes into your own sentences. 

Photo by Grandma Barb

2. On the equinox, there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. The day and night hours are equal. However, as we continue into fall, the days will get shorter and the night hours will get longer. This pattern will continue until we reach the winter solstice. That is the longest night of the year and marks a new season, winter.

3.  Because the northern hemisphere is now tilted away from the sun, the days will start to become cooler. People will change their behavior. What sorts of behavioral changes will your family make as the days get shorter and cooler?  (In southern California, we have mild climate. We don't get too cold in our community.)

There are many fall festivals or holidays. Watch the BrainPop video about fall to learn about the many harvest festivals celebrated. Do you celebrate any of these autumn holidays? If so, please share so we can learn from you! 

Check out the FREE BrainPop video about Fall. 

4. Some animals in the northern hemisphere will change their behavior. As fall leads to winter, some animals migrate, or move, to a warmer area. Others try to fatten up for the winter they know is coming. 

Again, BrainPop Jr. has a FREE video about fall. 


Share some fun facts about fall!
Did you use BrainPop or World Book Online as a reference? 

If you are in the southern hemisphere, tell us what season you are enjoying! How are you changing your behavior? 

Friday, September 15, 2017

International Dot Day ~ 2017

Today is International Dot Day!

At the beginning of the week, we created color wheels with our 4-year-old Journeys buddies. We then activated them using the augmented reality iPad app Quiver. Thank you, Mrs. Fuglestad, for the idea!  

Next, we created our own special dots using coffee filters and water. After the dots were dipped, we enhanced the dots using black line Sharpies. 

The night before Dot Day in America, Mrs. Yollis did a Google HangOut with their blogging buddies in Australia

Photo by Ms. Jordan

It was Friday in Australia so they were celebrating International Dot Day already! 

Mrs. Morris' and Ms. Jordan's third/fourth graders shared a dot day art project and asked questions of Mrs. Yollis.  Check out their slideshow connecting the dots and their school.

We are making a plan to schedule a Google HangOut with the class. What sorts of questions will you ask?  

Everyone smiled when we learned big bows are a fashion fad in Australia and America!

To culminate the week, we made a DOT-umentary for our blogging buddies in Australia. Connect the dots in our movie and learn about the important people and places at our school!

Do you have any questions for us?

What did you enjoy about International Dot Day?

Our DOT-umentary was our first movie-making experience. What did you learn about the process? 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Teaching Commenting Skills

WHY have a classroom blog?

Here is a video I made with my second and third graders about the value of blogging. I hope it convinces you to start a class blog!

Blogging has many parts: the post, the comments, and the sidebar.

If you do a good job with all of the parts, your blog will be more interesting.

Today we will focus on quality comments!

Content is key!

In our class, we evaluate our blog comments. A one-point comment is a general comment that doesn't add very much to the post.   Example: I like your blog. Please visit mine! 

A two-point comment adds something to the comment conversation. A commenter might compliment the writer in a specific way or add new information. Another idea is to make a connection. Maybe the post reminds you of an experience that you've had. Share that connection!  Try to end your comment with a relevant question. That way, an interesting conversation can develop.

What should I say in my comment?

Here is a video made by Mrs. Yollis' students called How to Compose a Quality Comment!  It offers FIVE tips to help you take your comments to the next level!

We like to open our comments with a greeting and end with a closing. We choose to do this as it makes it easier for us to follow the conversation within a comment section.

-For Advanced Bloggers-

Some bloggers like to use HTML code to make their comments better.  Learning to write HTML code, or HTML tags, is a somewhat simple way to take your comment to the next level.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a language.

*     *     *     *     *

To write HTML code, use the following symbols:

Important: Do not add a space between the HTML tag and the word or sentence.


1.  To put text in italics, place this HTML code around the text:



The sentence will look like this when published:

Bloggers should always proofread a comment before publishing.


2.  To make text bold, place this HTML code around the text:


The sentence will look like this when published: 

Bloggers should always proofread a comment before publishing.



3.  To make a hyperlink, it gets a little tricky.

Use the following HTML code around the URL and add your own link word/words:

  [The URL is the address of the web page. It starts with http://www…]

The HTML code below:


Will become this hyperlink when published:

                                                                 Mrs. Yollis’ Website

Sometimes it is hard to remember the HTML codes. I keep an HTML word document on my desktop with all the common codes, especially the one to create a hyperlink. Here is a video demonstrating how easy it is to a create a hyperlink if you have the code set up in a Word doc.

If you like to add fun are those codes!

What did you learn about quality commenting? 
 Why is it important to proofread a comment before pressing publish? 

Have you ever had a conversation in a comment section?