Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 ღ A Wonderful Year in Review!

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The 2014 school year has been one filled with many memorable moments and fabulous student achievement. As I look through the archive of our class blog and our international, collaborative Yollis' 365 Project, I am filled with pride. 

Here are a few of my favorite posts from the 2014 year:

My Students Present at the Texas Google Summit! 
Thank you, Amy Mayer, for inviting us to present! 

Thank you Julie Hembree for the nomination!
Congratulations to Todd Nesloney who took home the BAMMY! Well deserved!
The BAMMY Awards honor the good things that are happening in education, and it was a highlight of my profession career to be named a finalist. What a lovely night for education! 

My principal accompanied me to the red carpet event in Washington, D.C. 

While there, I got to spend some time talking with educators I deeply admire, like Angela Maiers and Vicki Davis

I also got to spend some time with my friend, Daniel Beaupre, from National Geographic. Daniel Beaupre is the creator of the National Geographic Giant Traveling Maps series. 

My students helped me plan my time in Washington, D. C.! 

(A collaborative writing project with 

(We won second place!)

Our Yollis' 365 Project landed in fourth place for Edublog's Best Group Blog!

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I have had a wonderful year! I'd like to send out a hearty thank you to the friends and family who support my students on our blogging journey throughout the year.  And to my positively perfect PLN, (Professional Learning Network), thank you for being so warm and helpful to me. I value your ideas and appreciate your continued support. I feel fortunate to be part of such a fantastic global learning community!

Friends, in 2015, think about joining our collaborative photo-of-the-day blog,  Yollis' 365 Project! We welcome photos from everyone!

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Happy New Year!

Family Blogging Month Winners!

At long last...Mrs. Yollis announces the winners of Family Blogging Month! :-) 

Nearly 1,000 comments were contributed over the month!

Congratulations to Sean (156 comments)
Ruby (143 comments), and 
Troy (135 comments)!

Each winner received a free kid's meal at a local restaurant, a fabulous crown to wear and enjoy, and a free post on the classroom blog! 

This year exceeded every Family Blogging Month since Mrs. Yollis created the idea back on April 1, 2010! The participation, the quality of the commenting, the interaction and learning that transpired via this classroom blog and the 365 Project makes Mrs. Yollis beam with pride. 

Not only are her students and their family members becoming superior writers, but they are also honing important digital skills like how to communicate and contribute on line, how to limit personal information on the Internet,  and how to develop a dynamic digital footprint

(To hone is a fancy verb that means to improve over time.) 

Mrs. Yollis would like to personally thank all the parents and family members for their constant support. Your participation is the key to your child's educational success! 

A special shout out is given to Troy's paternal grandmother for her exceptional participation! 

Grandma Barb not only submitted photos to the 365 Project, like her Fabulous Fall Foliage, but she was a major contributor to numerous online conversations. We thank you, Grandma Barb!

Finally, Mrs. Yollis is proud to announce that November is Family Blogging Month post won Second Place for Most Influential Blog Post for 2014! The post has nearly 100 comments! 

What was your favorite part of Family Blogging Month?

What are some digital skills that you have honed?  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

❄ Winter Solstice ❄ 3:03 P.M. December 21, 2014!

The winter solstice will occur on December 21, 2014,  at 3:03 (PST). 

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is the coldest season of the year. It begins about December 21 and lasts until about March 21. 

Around December 21 or 22, 
the sun's rays fall directly over the farthest point south of the equator. 

 This marks the first day of winter. 

Winter days have fewer hours of daylight because of the path the earth takes as it revolves around the sun. The earth completely revolves around the sun during 365 days. The earth's axis always tips about 23 1/2 degrees from a line perpendicular to its path. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins in June.
Different regions have longer winters than others. For example, in the polar regions, winter takes up half the year. In the Temperate Zones winter takes up about one quarter of the year. 

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In regions where there is cold weather, it causes many changes in the environment. Water may freeze and become ice, snow, sleet or icicles. 

Sometimes it gets so cold, boiling water will vaporize! 
(Thanks Mrs. Rose from Ontario, Canada, who created this Vine last December!)

Most plants and animals become dormant and rest. Some animals hibernateThe only plants that grow and remain green are evergreensPeople protect themselves from the cold climate with winter clothing when they go outdoors. They enjoy a variety of indoor activities or outdoor wintersports such as skiing, skating, or sledding. 

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Here are some fun winter links!

Want to make an online snowflake? Click here! 

BrainPop has some great winter and snow movies! 

Click here! 

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What do you enjoy most about winter?

How will you be celebrating the holidays?

What activities will you be participating in this winter break?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Maori Hand Game :: Thanks

Our blogging buddies in New Zealand, Room One @ Auroa School  introduced us to a fun Maori Hand Game. We loved learning it and have made video for them. We're sorry this video was delayed in publishing!

Did we do the correct moves?

What are some typical games that you play in your country? 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sensational Snow Scenes!

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Every month, parents come in and lead a seasonal craft lesson with the class. Nicholas' mom came in and taught us how to make  
a wacky winter wonderland!

So clever!

 Look at those poor students who woke up in a snow globe!

Is this fantasy or reality


This student didn't mind. 

He made the best of it and started juggling snowballs!

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Are you interested in making snow globes with your students? We have been working on the skill of following directions, so here are the directions for making a snow globe!

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Gather materials: photograph of each student trapped in the snow globe, snow globe template made on card stock, white paper (to glue on for background snow), lined paper to write a few sentences about "If I lived in a snow globe...", scissors, crayons or markers, glue stick, hot glue gun, clear paper plates, and a bag of fake snow. 

1. Cut out the student
2. Make the paper background snow and glue it to the snow globe template. 
3. Glue the student to the snow.
4. Add background (trees, snowmen...) 
5. Place some snow in the plate
6. Hot glue the rim of the plate. (See example photo) 

6. Place the paper template face down on top of the rim. Beware, the hot glue! :-)
7. Wait for the glue to cool.
8. Flip the snow globe over to see the student trapped in the snow globe!
9. Write a message: "If I lived in a snow globe..."
10. Glue the message to the base of the snow globe.

Have fun with your winter wonderland! 

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What did you like about making a snow globe? Tell Nicholas' mom!

Have you ever followed directions?

What advice to you have about reading and following directions? 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tutorial: A Multiplication Strategy

REMINDER: Edublog Award voting is open until December 15. We are nominated in THREE categories. Please consider voting!  Click here to give us your thumbs up/like. 

We have been learning about multiplication. 

Sometimes we encounter a large multiplication sentence and we don't know the product. We learned a strategy called:  Break the Large Array into Two Smaller Arrays and Add the Products

Here is a fabulous tutorial explaining the process 

for 5 x 7 = ?


Here is another tutorial. Again, it is modeling how to split a large array into two smaller arrays to get the final product. 

What did you think of the multiplication strategy?

What did you think of the tutorial?

Give us a large multiplication sentence that we can practice splitting into two smaller arrays to solve.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hour of Code Started Today!

REMINDER: Edublog Award voting is open until December 15. We are nominated in THREE categories. Please consider voting!  Click here to give us your thumbs up/like. 

Computer Science Education Week
December 8 - 14, 2014

To celebrate, Mrs. Yollis and her students will participate in the Hour of Code!

Here are some screenshots from the Hour of Code website

Computer Science week coincides with the birthdays of two computer science pioneers. A pioneer is a person who is one of the first to enter a field of study or explore a new area of thought.  Ada Lovelace, born in England on December 10, 1815, is considered the world's first computer programmerGrace Hopper, whose birthday is December 9, 1906, was an American computer programmer and Navy rear admiral. She contributed to the development of the COBOL language and is credited with popularizing the term "computer bug" in the programming community. Grace Hopper said:  

To me programming is more than an important practical art. It is also a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge.

For students: 
We will be accessing these Hour of Code Tutorials. However, you are free to go to these tutorials at home with your parents. Share what you've learned with the class in the comment section!

On Monday, we will start our Hour of Code using the Angry Birds tutorial. This tutorial will help us learn the "drag and drop" method of programming as we solve fun puzzles. After solving the puzzles, we can create our own puzzle!

 Here is a screenshot of puzzle 1. 

Here is a screenshot of the opening puzzle. Together we will drag and drop blocks. The blocks will snap together, and then we will run the program. Through trial and error we will persevere and become computer programmers

For those who are ready, there is a tutorial using Anna and Elsa! Here are some screenshot I took as I explored the tutorial. 

Notice verbs like move and turn
What does the term 90 degrees mean? Can Elsa turn more than 90˚? Less than 90˚
What are pixels

For parents and teachers: 
Learn about the Hour of Code organization
Hour of Code Q & A Hangout with Hadi Partovi, the creator of Hour of Code
Hour of Code Tutorials

Here are some shots from our first day of coding:

We used a paper bird to help us figure out right from left! 
Follow the beak!

After we did a few tutorials together, students worked in groups.

Follow the beak! 

What did you enjoy about being a computer programmer?

Share any tips or definitions that will help us all become better programmers.

Let the coding begin!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Edublog Awards :: Voting Now Open!

We have exciting news! 

The Edublog Awards voting is open and our class made the shortlist of finalists in THREE categories! 

We'd love your vote!

Below are the voting boxes. Click on the "thumb".

TIP:  Be sure THE NUMBER next to the "thumb" 
goes UP! If the number goes down, you "unvoted" and will need to click the "thumb" again.


See full list on Listly


See full list on Listly


See full list on Listly

Two of Mrs. Yollis' former students are still blogging years later! Miriam and Sarah would love a thumbs up from you!


See full list on Listly


See full list on Listly

We appreciate your support and are honored to have made it to the shortlist of finalists!

Best of luck to everyone!

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?