Book Suggestions

It is hard to believe that summer is almost here. There are only 24 more school days left until summer vacation starts. I am sure you are looking forward to having time off.  One of my favorite things I like to do in the summer is to catch up on some reading. I am always looking for a new book. Help me begin compiling my summer reading list.  What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author? Why is that your favorite book or author?

Happy reading.

First Week Back

VokiThis week students returned back to school. We worked on many fun activities to get to know each other.  One of the activities that the students enjoyed the most was creating a Voki.  The student created Voki’s explained what students liked about Math and what they were hoping to learn as 5th graders. They also created a Voki telling what their favorite book was and gave a summary on that book.

Students can create their own Voki’s by going to

Welcome Back

back to school
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: jesuscm via Compfight

Hello fifth graders. It is hard to believe that summer is coming to a close and that we will soon be back in the classroom. I hope that you all had a fun  and relaxing summer . I know I did.  Don’t forget about these upcoming important dates.: Friday, August 1st, 2014 is Meet Your Teacher from 5:00- 7:00 . Tuesday, August 5th is the first  day back to school.  I look forward to seeing you all soon, I know that we will have a great year. 

Quality Commenting

by Tracy Watanabe

One beauty of blogging is the quality conversations that takes place in the comments. In order to get a quality conversation, students must write quality comments.

Crafting quality comments

Watch this video by Mrs. Yollis’ students to learn about quality comments:

How to Compose a Quality Comment! from yourwonderfulteacher onVimeo.

Created by Tracy Watanabe on Glogster Edu. Tips learned from Linda Yollis & Class.

The Arizona College and Career Ready Standards

The Arizona College and Career Ready State Standards expects students to write quality comments:

  • #1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
  • #5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 3 here.)
  • #6 With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Linda, Kath, & Tracy
Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Yollis, and Mrs. Watanabe–Photo by Mr. Morris

Rating Comments

I once heard Mrs. Yollis share that she rates quality comments. A “2 point” comment will add a compliment, add new information, make a personal connection, or ask a thought provoking question. While a “1 point” comment is a comment that does not give a specific compliment, add new information, make a personal connection, or as a thought provoking question. Let’s rate our comments throughout this year to make sure we write quality comments.

What areas do you believe you need to work on for writing quality comments?

What do you feel will be the easiest about writing quality comments?

What do you think will be the most challenging about writing quality comments?

About Pages

Guest post written by Tracy Watanabe

In blogging, a page is different than a post. A page gives information about something such as information about your class or guidelines for being safe on the blog; while a blog post is about your thoughts, ideas, and reflections that you want to have a discussion about.

Explore these About Pages

Your first task is to explore the About Pages on the blogs listed below and answer the questions in the comments below:

  • What information do they tell you?
  • What do you like about them?

Here are the blogs you may explore:

  1. Mrs. Wright’s Blog
  2. Mrs. Hamman’s Blog
  3. 4KJ at Leopold — Miss Jordan’s Blog (Click on the links to the four different About Pages)
  4. Mrs. Yollis’ Class Blog
  5. Em’s Canvas

What information did you learn on the About Pages?

What do you like about their About Pages?

What do you like about your About Page?

Digital Citizenship

Guest post by Tracy Watanabe

What does it mean to be a “good citizen”?

What does it mean to be safe?

safety glogster by Tracy Watanabe


Behavior Expectations

When I was growing up, there were expectations my parents had of me for my personal safety:

  1. Ask permission before going somewhere.
  2. Don’t talk to strangers. — (With the exception of my parents/entrusted adult being aware of the conversation.)
  3. Ask for help when I need it.
  4. Be polite and use good manners.
  5. Help others when I can, and add to their lives.

These are the same expectations I have of my own children for their interactions in our physical community and our digital communities.


How can we be “good citizens” and safe on the Internet? 

How can we be safe on the Internet?

Click here to watch a BrainPOP video about Digital Etiquette to find answers to these questions (you may need to use your School BrainPOP username and password to log in).

Moby the Robot from BrainPOP UK
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Brain POP via Compfight

Creating Blogging Guidelines

Blogs often have Guidelines about the expectations for safety and digital citizenship. Visit these examples and decide what is strong or important on these:

What do you think we should include on our Guidelines Page?

How can we be “good citizens” on the computer? 

How can we be safe on the computer?

Arizona Museum PBL

Larry Clark 2 Larry Clark 1 Larry Clark 4Larry Clark 3

Third graders at Desert Elementary School are studying Native Americans as part of a school wide PBL on Arizona. Today , the third grade classes had a very special guest named Larry ” Greywolf” Clark come visit them. “”Greywolf” taught the students the importance of music for Native Americans.  He showed the students how to play the Native American flute, drums, and hand rattles. 20 lucky students were selected to join Larry on stage in a Cherokee Dance Circle. 

Back To School


I bet that you are super excited to be in third grade! My name is Mrs. Wright and I will be your teacher!  Before we start school, I want to tell you some things about myself. I am married and have two children, my daughter Cameo who is 17 and is a senior at Apache Junction High School and my son Keegan who is 8 and is in 3rd grade here at Desert Vista. They keep me very busy between going to Keegan’s baseball games and Cameo’s plays. Aside from spending time with my family my other hobbies include reading, writing, watching football and baseball. My nephew Colton is on the both the varsity football and baseball teams at Apache Junction High School, so I attend many of these games. Go Prospectors!

You are probably wondering what you will learn about in third grade. We will learn about reading, writing, math, science and social studies. As a class we will work together to help each other learn! There will be many other interesting things to learn and do in third grade, so I hope you are ready! I know I am ready to be your teacher.

As your teacher, I am here to help you be all you can be. Please talk to me when you have something to share, when you don’t understand, or need someone to listen when you are upset.  I promise to listen very carefully.

Meet your teacher night is August 5th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. I hope to see you all there.

Our first day of school is August 7th and our room number is 18. !

I look forward to having a great year!

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