November 23, 2017

Report Card Reflection

For homework this weekend, the boys and girls are asked to complete their Report Card Reflection.  This is a super-quick, zero-frills explanation of this task. 

If you're a teacher visiting my blog or you need another copy of the reflection, you can download one here

November 22, 2017

Reindeer Directed Drawing

The boys and girls are going to visit the class blog over the next two days so they can watch this video (in class on our Ipads) about how to draw and then paint their own reindeer.  This is all part of an in-class two-day art activity.  

November 21, 2017

Practice Page #11 Need some help?

Here's the video we made during class today to help the boys and girls with Tuesday night's Practice Page! At the 2:27 mark, I should have said, "When you leave your name OFF the page..."  😉

November 20, 2017

What's your angle?

In Math on Monday, I introduced the three types of angles to the boys and girls. This was our first lesson of our Geometry unit.  
We'll spend a few days on this, but here are some photos that kids can use for home review.  Sadly, I no longer have the poster pictured below, but here's a video I made after school on Monday. It's a review of the lesson I taught. Both items will help support what the boys and girls have learned in class. 

You're only a few letters away from getting this all wrong. 

The Right Angle is the most smug of all the angles.
 He thinks he's so perfect.  

The Aww-cute angle is just that, he's tiny and adorable. 

The Obtuse angle doesn't do well in quiet places. He's has a big mouth.
 On the other hand, he's fun at football games.  

Fun with a purpose!

Last week's Fun Friday activity was all about math! After their Trader Tag time, the boys and girls broke off into small groups and rotated from one math game to another. 

Each game was designed to reinforce concepts we've covered or are currently working on.  We had a game that helped with identifying even and odd numbers, one with subtraction, one with two-digit addition, one that helped students construct three dimensional shapes and lastly, one that helped students memorize their doubles facts!  

I love using Math games as our Fun Friday activity because not only are the kids able to work together and have some fun, I can create activities that help support areas where extra practice is required.  

November 17, 2017

It's geometry time!

It's time to shape up! ← Get it? "Shape" up?! 
We're starting Unit 3 of the Math program and it's all about describing two and three dimensional shapes.  
Here's a bit of an introductory video I made in 2016 that would be super-helpful for students to watch prior to our first official lesson on Monday. Students will also learn all about the word "congruent".

You can read all about the learning goals and big ideas for this unit here. 

November 14, 2017

We're "pudding" our skills to work!

How much fun was today!!! 
We're starting our first really big writing task of the year and I wanted to kick things off in a special way.  We've done lots and lots of writing about our reading and along the way, learning about what good writers do, but now it's time to really put those skills to work! 

The boys and girls are asked to write a recount.  This means I'm asking them to recall a special day (today) and write all about it, including the essential details and the juicy ones!  

And what a great day it was to write about!  We made "Dirt Pudding" today!  

Our Milk Manager, Tatiana was on the job and ready to distribute the milk to make the pudding!

It all started this morning when I urged the kids to get their morning chores taken care of so that we could get to the fun stuff.  When I told them what we were doing, they were just tickled pink! 

In preparing for this big group task, we talked about how to be an effective group member and specifically, how to compromise. Our Text of the Week (pictured below) proved to be very helpful in that regard because just yesterday, we talked all about that word and how the characters in the story could be much happier if only they tried to compromise.  

I reminded the boys and girls that as part of their recount, they would not necessarily be giving the instructions for how to make the pudding, but rather, recounting the day for the reader.  It was important to make this distinction because the last time we cooked (applesauce) we were indeed talking about procedural writing.

We had four groups of kids each making a batch of pudding and everyone worked very well together! 

Then we combined the pudding into one large pan and put it in the fridge to set.  Along the way, the boys and girls learned about millilitres and litres and strategies for what to do when the recipe calls for 500 mL of milk, but your measuring cup only goes up to 250 mL.  

While the pudding was setting, we carried on with our day.  Finally, the time came to eat the pudding around 1:20 and it was so much fun!  Everyone was so polite and helpful around distributing, waiting turns and dealing with their dirty dishes.  

As you can see by the photos lovely Miss Sofia took, it was a super-terrific day and the treat was enjoyed by all!  Thank you to Sofia for her great photography skills! 

I can't wait to read this recounts! We had a few funny moments throughout the day that I hope the boys and girls will include!  

November 13, 2017

Wonder by RJ Palacio

I began reading this novel to the boys and girls last week at Evening Meeting.  I like to read my students books that have powerful messages that will stay with them long after we've turned the last page and those are hard to come by.

Wonder by RJ Palacio is an incredible book. It's a novel written for children in Grades 5 and up, so when I read, I modify. I leave out words that don't work for me as a teacher and skip over any material that my students aren't ready for.  

This book is so good though, it needs to be shared. Students of all ages can appreciate Palacio's message.   

It's about ten-year old August.  He was born with some pretty big special needs and has never attended public school.  The story is told from a number of different perspectives and it grabs you from page one and doesn't let go.  

We're only a chapter or two in and I think it's had the same effect on my students as it did on me when I first picked it up. 

When that bell rang for dismissal last Friday afternoon, many students groaned and asked me to keep reading. If you have an older student in your family who is looking for a great read with an inspiring character that overcomes the challenges he faces in life, they'll certainly enjoy this novel.  

I've told my students that I'll read it to them this year, and then when they're in Grade 5, they can read it all over again on their own. 

November 11, 2017

A "note" about Monday's music quiz

See what I did there → "note" about the music quiz! 
The boys and girls have their quiz quiz Ms. Marcijus on Tuesday morning. She has forwarded me this information to help them prepare.  Please also be sure to visit this link for a helpful activity →  Music Games

November 09, 2017

What's a plus? What's a comment?

Lately, we've been talking about how good writers add things like pluses and comments to their writing.  There's a difference between the two and my hope is that by now, students can articulate those.  

A comment can be something as simple as "I think that's really exciting" or "I'd like to try that someday", but a plus is a bit more.  A plus has a bit more muscle than a comment. 

These are the slides from our Morning Message where the concept of a plus was introduced last week. 

November 07, 2017

Who's ready for PIE?

It's a busy one for the kids and teachers this week! Report card writing is underway and we' the tenth week of school already!  
This week we're talking all about the author's purpose. When we talk about the author's purpose for writing, we're talking about PIE: persuade, inform and entertain. Here are the slides from Morning Message that I've used to help support my instruction.    

We're reading a variety of books together this week to explore the different purposes author's have for writing.


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