Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Meet An Olympian!

The Winter Olympic Games are starting on February  9 - February 25. The host country is South Korea. 

The Winter Olympics are held every four years and the best athletes in the world come together to represent their country. It is an exciting international event!

Here is the Winter Olympic Schedule. When are your favorite events scheduled?

In anticipation of the Olympics, we invited Tanner mom to come and share her experience with the Olympics. She's an Olympian! 

Tanner's mom was a member of the U.S. Speed Skiing Team. That's the fastest ski race there is! The skis are very long and measure approximately 240 cm long. (About 94 inches) No one could believe how fast speed skiers go. The fastest speed Tanner's mom recorded was 196 km (That's 120 m.p.h. WOW!)

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

She used a special suit when she raced down the hill. 

A highlight of her time as an Olympian was the opportunity to meet other athletes from around the world. She said trading national Olympic pins was popular and fun. 

Here is a photo of the Olympic pins she collected. What an array!

In this fabulous photo, you can see the length of the skis and the special suit she wore during races.

What a pleasure it was to hear from an Olympian and learn about the grit and persistence required to compete!

Tanner's mom recommends that young kids try out lots of sports and see which ones they love. Then they need to practice and practice if they'd like to be an Olympian. 

Do you have any questions for our Olympian?

What sports do you enjoy playing?

What events will you be watching during the Winter Olympics? 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Blogging: How to Teach and Promote Quality Writing

In my 31 years as an elementary educator, I have never seen a project more powerful for sharing classroom learning, making global connections,  and building a positive digital footprint for young students than having a classroom blog. I recommend every classroom teacher consider flattening the walls via blogging. There are so many benefits!

Educational blogging is also a fantastic way to teach and promote high standards for writing. Students want their writing to get published and educational blogging is a great way to leverage that interest.  

I have two educational blogs that I use in our learning. Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog is a public blog where classroom events and projects are published. The comment section is where the blog comes to life. Students and parents interact in this online community. 

My second blog is called Yollis' 365 Blog, and it is a public photo-of-the-day blog. Students, family members, and other classes throughout the world contribute photos and text. The digital images are used to inspire creative stories, spark  poetry entries, and share information about hobbies and interests. 

Below are TWO videos I've made to help teachers begin blogging with their students.  

1. This is a video made by Mrs. Yollis' students called How to Compose a Quality Comment!  It offers FIVE tips to help take comments to the next level! I use this video to teach students about content

2. This is a video made by Mrs. Yollis' students called Tips to Ensure Quality Blogging. It outlines the rules for participation in our classroom blogs and the agreements the students make when publishing on our blogs.

Do you have any questions about blogging for my students?

How has your writing improved through participation on the blog? 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What Are Text Features?

Mrs. Yollis' class is learning about informational text

Informational text, or nonfiction writing, is based on facts, real events, and real people. There are many helpful text features found in nonfiction writing. Some common text features are:  headings, subheadings, captions, diagrams, timelines, maps, charts, table of contents, index, and the glossary.

Below is a humdinger of a video made by Sheriff Yollis and Sheriff Salsich. They hope their video helps you greenhorns learn about these important reading features!


Here it is on Vimeo if YouTube is blocked.

The Nonfiction Trail from Jonah Salsich on Vimeo.

In class, we used published informational texts as mentor texts.

Here are some headings, photos, and captions.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis

Look closely. Here is a heading, a subheading, a map, a photo, and a caption

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Here is a map with a key. I wonder what the red means? Check the key and it will unlock the meaning. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Wow! Text features are everywhere and you can sure learn a lot if you pay attention to them.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

What are your favorite text features and why?

(Headings, subheadings, captions, diagrams, timelines, maps, charts, table of contents, index, and the glossary.)

What are TWO facts that you learned from a mentor text explored in class? Be sure to tell us the text feature you used to learn the factual information! 

Monday, December 11, 2017


We have blogging buddies in the southern hemisphere! Even though they are 8,000 miles away in Australia and we are in California, we love learning with them via blogging and Google Apps For Education, or GAFE! 

Here is a Google Presentation we made for Ms. Jordan and Mrs. Morris' class. Every slide has TWO TRUTHS and ONE LIE. Can you spot the falsehood?

Each team worked collaboratively to create two slides for the Google Presentation. That means everyone contributed to the project. It was a good lesson about how to contribute and how to politely bring in those who are not! 

Acers and World Book Online were used to gather facts. 

Teams research and then discussed options for the truths and lies. 

As teams were ready, representatives came up and typed in their information and inserted an image. 

Be sure to directly address a team if you leave a comment! Here are the teams!

Team NAFTS Thaisand created slides for the Seattle Space Needle and Hoover Dam.

Team Unicorn Pizza Clouds created slides for our school and the Empire State Building.

Team Three Musketeer Sporters created slides for the Rocky Mountains and Mt. Rushmore.

Team Sparkly High Heels created slides for the Liberty Bell and the White House.

Team Watermelon Purple Pizzas created slides for the St. Louis Arch and for Alcatraz Prison.

Team Electrons created slides for the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial.

*     *     *     *     *

Please use the comment section to tell us which one is the lie. Be sure to address your comment to the correct team. (See names above.)

Go to Ms. Jordan's blog to see their Two TRUTHS & One LIE about Australia! (It will be published soon!)

What did you learn about the United States?

What did you learn about Google Presentation? 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Family Blogging Month Winners!

♕       ♕      ♕

Congratulations to our Family Blogging Month Winners

Jake, Ben, and Mia!

Each blogger received a free kid's meal to a local restaurant, a fabulous crown to wear, and a free choice post on Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog!

♕       ♕      ♕

Mrs. Yollis created the idea of Family Blogging Month back on April 1, 2010. The participation, the quality of the commenting, the interaction and learning that transpired via this classroom blog 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 online, 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!

What did you think of Family Blogging Month?

Who commented from your family?

Where did your family comment from? 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hour(s) of Code!

Hour of Code is an annual event to promote Computer Science. According to their website: 

The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2017 Computer Science Education Week will be December 4-10, but you can host an Hour of Code all year round. Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). 
We're starting Hour of Code and changing the name to Hours of Code!

Thank you, Hadi Partovi for creating this project!

To prepare for our coding lessons, we did a collaborative unplugged activity involving building. The challenge was to build a free-standing tower out of 20 pieces of spaghetti. At the top of the tower was a marshmallow. Only 1 meter of tape and 1 meter of string were allowed to create the tower. 

This building challenge was a great chance to practice the strategy of trial and error. If your design didn't work, try another tactic! 

In preparation, we watched a building video on BrainPop.

Then it was time to start building!

 Some bundled the pasta together for strength. 

Others spread out the sticks for a broad base

The pyramid base was an idea from the BrainPop video! 

After 18 minutes, the building time was up!

1st Place :: 47 cm

2nd Place :: 46 cm

3rd Place :: 42 cm
Fun fact, this tower is still standing today!

Everyone enjoyed the first build! 

One tower was so tall is rose above 60 centimeters! Unfortunately, gravity was not a friend. 

After learning about the importance of trial and error, the class signed into our Hour of Code class. 

We needed our secret image to sign in! What a cute array! 

Let the coding begin!

What are you enjoying about the Hour of Code?

What skills have you learned?

What can you do with coding?