Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mrs. Ranney Matters!

Matter Matters!

The science experiments and demonstrations Mrs. Ranney has been sharing with us about matter, really matter. We have learned so much!

FACT: Matter has three states, solid, liquid, or gas.

The experiments done with Mrs. Ranney explored the gas we call air. Here are the physical properties of air: takes up space, has mass, exerts pressure, and can move. 

The fabulous Mrs. Ranney shared several lessons.

#1 Air (a gas) has mass. Two balloons were filled equally. The one on the right was popped. When the balloon was popped, the mass of air was released making the right side lighter. Because it was lighter, the right side rose up.

#2 Air (a gas) exerts pressure.   First, each student held a piece of paper to their stomach. When they removed their hand and started walking, the paper fell to the ground. Gravity prevailed!

Second, students held a piece of paper to their stomachs. When they removed their hand and started running, the paper stuck to their bodies! The invisible air pushed against the paper holding it in place.

The student on the left was FASTER than the student on the right. 

#3  Air (a gas) exerts pressure. Student were given a cup of water and a straw. Each student placed the straw in the water. Then each student covered the top of the straw with their finger. Finally, they removed the straw from the water (with the finger still covering the top). Air pressure outside of the straw pushed against the water via the bottom (open end) of the straw. When the finger was removed from the top, the water fell back into the cup...or somewhere else!  

#4 Air (a gas) exerts pressure. Here is the same experiment done with a cup instead of the straw. Air pressure is exerted on the card holding the water in place. Yes, the cup is upside down! Science is cool!

#5 Air (a gas) takes up space. 

Mrs. Ranney placed a DRY paper towel in cup. The towel was taped to the cup so it would not fall out when she inverted it. Next, Mrs. Ranney placed the inverted cup into a container of water. Snappy had a close look, and confirmed that the paper towel was dry when removed from the water. Truly, air takes up space, even thought we cannot see it!

What was your favorite experiment or demonstration? 

Do you have a question or comment for Mrs. Ranney?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Global School Play Day #GSPD

Yesterday, my class participated in Global School Play Day

Thank you to the Bedley Brothers and Twitter for introducing me to this project!  The power of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) triumphs again!

I was heavily influence to participate in #GSPD after listening to this eye opening presentation: 

☼     ☼     ☼     ☼     

On Monday, I emailed parents, shared "The Decline of Play" video, and asked for games to be brought in for our #GSPD event.

On Wednesday, we had a few curricular blocks, but we were able to have two solid play sessions. 

The sessions were sensational!

☼     ☼     ☼     ☼     

Although I did not play, I contributed a classic play item, the box. 

Students contributed games and toys. 

Fuzzy friends join the class for the day! 

First, we talked about the rules. 
There would only be , the Golden Rule.

Let the play begin!

Rubik's Cube 

Al fresco jumbo jacks. 
No one had ever played!

Paper folding and pyramid building! 

Who doesn't love a box? 

Guess Who? 

Hilarious Head Bands! 


Sorting, categorizing, and creating games 
using cards! 

Tantalizing Tangrams! 

Monopoly Empire was a hit! 

Not sure the name of this game, but it looks like you need to slide the starred disk through the small slot and into the goal to win. 

Building is always a favorite. 
Check out that fancy floor! How many ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands were used to create this mansion? 

Snappy, our crocodile friend from Darwin, Australia, learned to play the game of Life! 

What is your opinion of Global School Play Day?

Would you recommend it?

Leave a comment explaining the benefits of play.

Convince me!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 2 :: Groundhog Day!

Tomorrow, February 2, is Groundhog Day in America! 

Many people believe that Punxsutawney Phil can predict the weather on this day. On the morning of February 2, the famous Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow at Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania.

Tradition says that: 

If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, then winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

If Punxsutawney Phil does NOT see his shadow, then spring weather will come soon.

☼    ☂  ☼    ☂   ☼    ☂   ☼    ☂    

☼    ☂  ☼    ☂   ☼    ☂   ☼    ☂    

What will happen tomorrow? 

Will Punxsutawney Phil SEE his shadow or not?

*     *     *     *     *  

What do you think of the Groundhog Day tradition?

Do you believe Punxsutawney Phil?

Do you know of any other silly traditions? 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Meet Liberty! #GlobalPal

Meet Liberty!

This special bird is one of our classroom mascots. A mascot is a person or thing that represents a group or organization.  Liberty is a bald eagle which is the national bird of America.

Liberty is on a grand Twitter  adventure! Today, he started his Global Pal flight that will take him from Los Angeles, across America, and over the Atlantic Ocean on a journey to England.

We will chart his journey using the 
Twitter hashtag: 


Liberty's first Global Pal stop will be a rural community in Middleham, England. He will be learning along with Mrs. Monaghan and her English students from A Room With a View. 

Before Liberty left, he enjoyed some time with Mrs. Yollis and her students. Ella showed him how to keep her hands on the home row when learning to type. Liberty's talons, or claws, did NOT seem suited for a keyboard. 

Liberty reviewed the skill of division with Tabitha. 
Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Liberty thoroughly enjoyed watching the students play outside during recess. The air temperature measured  75˚ F (24˚C), and he pondered what the weather was like in Middleham, England. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

It is winter in the northern hemisphere. However, we have very mild winters here in southern California. In addition,  Los Angeles is 35˚ N and 118˚ W. while the coordinates of Middleham, England are 54˚ N and 1.8˚ W. How will the differences in latitude affect Liberty? 

Although Liberty has enjoyed being with Mrs. Yollis and her students. There is one fellow she is glad to be liberated from! Buck, the Yollis' cheeky Labrador retriever, took a real liking to Liberty! 

After staying a few weeks in England, Liberty will head to the southern hemisphere. He will stay with Mrs. Shannon and her new baby Oskar in Darwin, Australia! Last year, we worked with Mrs. Shannon on a different Twitter project. 

Guess who is on his way to our classroom? 
Meet Snappy!
(The green alligator, not Oskar, the cute baby.) 

Follow Liberty's journey via the Twitter hashtag #GlobalPal. There will be at least one tweet a day! Follow Snappy's Adventures in Mrs. Yollis' class! In the spring, we'll welcome Jolly George from Middleham, England!

Here are some of the things that might tweet about:

Our food

Our location

Our pets

Our hobbies

Our favorite games

Our weather

Our families

Look out for the traveling trio on Twitter with 

What should Snap see while here in our neck of the woods?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Show Your School Spirit :: Pajama Day!

Pajama Day With Our Buddies on PhotoPeach

 We also had fun with some silly slippers! 

How are these alike or different?

Compare and contrast these!

How are these alike or different?

What makes this collection alike?

A fun fort for special friends on Pajama Day!

Some students gathered together for a photo at the end of the fun Friday!

What was the best part about Pajama Day?

Friday, January 16, 2015

App Smashing :: Turkey Travels!

My students love writing and creatingAt the end of November, we wrote fanciful stories about a troubled turkey, and we just completed the illustrations. We are finally ready to publish our funny fantasies!

✈     ✈     ✈     ✈     ✈
Turkey Takes a Vacation!

Stories and Vacation Photos by Mrs. Yollis’ Third Graders

Turkey Visits Paris, France

By Sean

     Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Mrs. Dole who lived in California with the Howard family. Mrs. Dole didn’t like the idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so she disguised herself as a tourist and ran away to France.

   She decided to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall (300 meters). Gustave Eiffel built the Eiffel Tower. About 2 million people visited the Eiffel Tower in the first year it was built! It was built by 300 steel workers!

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 4.17.00 PM.png


After she took the double decker bus to the Lourve Museum to see the  Mona Lisa. It is 508 years old! It is an oil painting. The artist is Leonardo Da Vinci. Then took a flight back to California because Thanksgiving was over.

 Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 4.16.45 PM.png

✈     ✈     ✈     ✈     ✈

Turkey Visits Japan

By Troy

     Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Bob who lived in California with the Joey-bob family. Bob didn’t like the idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so he disguised himself as a tourist and ran away to Japan. When he got there, he visited Mount Fuji and found out it is 12,388 feet tall! 

In fact, it is the tallest mountain in Japan. As he looked up at the colossal, snow-covered peak, he felt amazed. Since the volcano hadn’t erupted in hundreds of years, he thought it might any minute.

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 6.41.31 AM.png

He decided to rush over to Itsukushima Torii, which is a 52 foot high gate that is the entrance into a Shinto Shrine, but he discovered that he had to wait for low tide to get to it.  Finally, the tide went out, and Bob asked another tourist if he knew any facts about the gate. The tourist told him that some people drop coins in front of it and make wishes. Bob wished never to be in California in November for the rest of his life!  And, that’s exactly what happened!

✈     ✈     ✈     ✈     ✈

Turkey Visits Paris, France
By Ruby

Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Mrs. Midas who lived in Sacramento, California, with the Midas family. Mrs. Midas didn’t like the horrifying idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so she disguised herself as a tourist and ran away to France. While Mrs. Midas was looking around, she wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris. She thought about how many feet tall it would be. She found out it was 984 feet ( 300 meters).

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 9.40.54 AM.png

Mrs. Midas wanted to waddle to Versailles to learn some facts.  She discovered that Versailles has about 1,300 rooms. There is a famous room called the Hall of Mirrors. 

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 9.41.24 AM.png

Next Mrs. Midas traveled to Louvre, so she could learn a fact or two about the Mona Lisa. Mrs. Midas found out that the Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The Mona Lisa was completed in 1506, so it is 508 years years old! Mrs. Midas loved France, but she knew that the Midas family would miss her so she went home. She knew she would be back next Thanksgiving!

☟        ☟       

Read all the stories and see the fabulous vacation photos! Click Here!

☝        ☝       ☝   

Would you like to know how 
we made this project? 

Steps Taken to Complete the Writing Portion 

First, we read Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano.  The funny fantasy follows our feathered friend as he finds out what Americans feast upon for Thanksgiving.  

Second, we selected an exotic vacation location for Turkey. (If he left America over Thanksgiving break, he would not get eaten.)

Third, we researched a vacation destination using reference books and World Book Online. Two landmarks were chosen from a foreign country and facts were collected. 

Fourth, we wrote the first draft of our turkey narratives. Once written, Mrs. Yollis opened her Google Drive on five classroom laptops and students took turns typing their revised stories on one document. (It was fun to watch the text getting added from five different people! Soon students will have their own Google Drive and will be able to type using their own GAFE Drive.) 

Steps Taken to Complete the Vacation Photos 

We used Greg Kulowiec's idea of App Smashing (use multiple apps to create a project) and were able to provide "vacation photos" from Turkey's Trip! 

Here are the apps we smashed to finalize our project: Google Earth, Google Drive, Blogger, the iPad camera roll, and PuppetPals Director's ($4.99) *Or use PicCollage for free (Thanks for the tip, Tina Schmitt!)  

First, each student created a paper turkey and decorated it. 

Second, each student shot a photo of  his/her paper turkey.  It was automatically saved  to the camera roll on one of our seven iPads.

Third, each student went on Google Earth and found one of the landmarks from Turkey's trip. (Example: the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, German) A screenshot was taken which automatically saved to the iPad camera roll. Students repeated this step for their second landmark screenshot. (Example: the London Eye or Big Ben)

Some students had difficulty getting the perfect screenshot. Sometimes they were too close in Google Earth and the photo was blurry or no one could tell what it was; sometimes they were too far away and no one could tell what the landmark was. The strategy of trial and error was applied. Students who were successful helped others who were having difficulty. 

Fourth, each student went into PuppetPals Director's Cut app and uploaded his/her turkey photo from the camera roll. In PuppetPal Director's Pass, the students were able to outline the turkey and make it a puppet.

Fifth, each student stayed in PuppetPals Director's Cut and uploaded their two landmark screenshots taken in Google Earth from the camera roll. Each photo was imported as a PuppetPal Director's Pass scene

Sixth, each student made TWO PuppetPal Director's Pass scenes. Each student placed his/her turkey puppet in the first landmark scene and took a screenshot. The screenshot was automatically saved in the camera roll. The student repeated this step using the second landmark scene. The second landmark screenshot was saved to the camera roll. 

Here is Nicholas' turkey in Berlin, Germany. He found a Google Earth image with a double-decker tour bus, so he placed his turkey on the bus! So clever!

Again, some students had difficulty getting the perfect screenshot. Sometimes they made the turkey puppet so big it blocked the landmark; sometimes they made the turkey puppet was so small no one could see it. The strategy of trial and error was applied. Students who were successful helped others who were having difficulty. 
Some student used vacation photos from friends. Here is turkey with Mrs. Minicozzi, our tech teacher! 

Seventh, each student emailed his/her two "vacation photos" from the camera roll to Mrs. Yollis' email

Finally, each student (or Mrs. Yollis) inserted the "vacation photo" photos into the group Google Doc.

We hope you enjoyed our stories!

Which turkey narrative did you enjoy?

What are some other apps we could smash?