February 26, 2013

Practice Quiz

Would someone be so kind as to attempt to download this practice quiz and post in the comments if they were able to do so?  

This is the same quiz that is posted in the "Update" from earlier today but for some reason, it will not open for blog visitors. I'm hoping I have fixed it.  

Please also excuse the typo in the quiz.  

Here we go: 
Practice Quiz

An Update

In Math this week, we are continuing to work hard at solving those multi-step Bake Shop problems.  We're going to have a not-so-secret surprise quiz tomorrow morning. I've attached a practice quiz for the boys and girls.  

In our Writer's Workshop, we've been working on these Trash/Treasure paragraphs about the T-Rex dinosaur.  I have given the students a list of 12 facts about the dinosaur and asked them to choose four that they consider to be treasures. From there, they are to write a paragraph using those facts. 

I've also asked students to add their own voice to the paragraph by including their comments about the facts that they've chosen. For example, adding comments such as, "Wow! That's huge!" bring the writing alive. The students know these aren't "plusses" they're adding but still that extra comment adds a little sparkle to their work.  

Practice Quiz (please excuse the typo in the quiz) 

In the last two days, we've also read two really great books as part of our Civil Rights theme.  
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson 

White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman

Our Counting by 8s Song!

So we have a song for counting by 3,4,6 and 7 and today we watched this video of last year's kids performing our counting by 8s song! 
I'm asking all the boys and girls to watch the video tonight and to start to memorize the song.  

Counting by 8

February 25, 2013

Parts of Speech

I've recreated the large charts we had in our classroom that explained the five most important parts of speech (at the Grade Three level). They are: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and pronouns.  
These mini-posters are nice and small but still easy to see and take up a lot less real estate in the classroom.  
Parents, at your convenience, would you please open the document and review the pdf with your child?  
There's no need to print the posters, just a quick online review will be very helpful.  

Parts of Speech

February 20, 2013

Report Card Day!

The boys and girls are bringing home their Report Cards today.  I'm asking each child to complete the "Report Card Reflection" below.  I've provided each child with a copy, but in the event another copy is needed, it's here.

Students have until Friday to complete this task, but they're welcome to hand it in on Thursday. 

February 17, 2013

Weekend Math Homework

This weekend's agenda asks students to complete a "video problem".  There are two parts to this video. 

Part 1: explains the strategy and provides the problem to be solved 

Part 2: provides the solution and how students would explain their thinking if this were a test question. 

The boys and girls are asked to write the answer to the problem in their agenda and indicate if they solved it on their own.  

Good luck! 

Edited to add: I'm sorry the videos appear so huge on your screen. I'm still trying to figure out this new computer of mine.

Math Mystery Part 1

Math Mystery Part 2 Solution

February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

We had the most wonderful talk this morning on the carpet. It was a goosebumpy, tears in your eyes, perfect for Valentine's Day kind of moment. We have been talking about our families and how the love family members have for each other is endless. We talked about how we are all made from love and that one of the first ways our parents knew we were on our way was the sound of a heartbeat. We thought about what that moment must have been like when our parents first saw us.  

I told the boys and girls about a girlfriend of mine who recently adopted a baby and the moment she and her husband found out the baby had arrived, the joy that filled their hearts was indescribable. Families come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all have in common is love. 

We talked about what we think of when we first hear the words "Valentine's Day" and we all agreed that it's all about love.

Thank you parents for sending me your photos.  The video is beautiful and it was such a wonderful and memorable way to cap off our discussion about families, and there's no better day in the school year to show this to the boys and girls. 

I wish you could have seen the looks on their faces as their photos came up.  We talk of people's eyes lighting up, but in this case, their entire faces lit up! It was truly something.  

Our classroom is a loving and wonderful place because that's where my students come from and for that I sincerely thank you.  

I hope you enjoy this video as much as we did. I could watch it over and over again. Every photo tells a different story and yet they all say the same thing: we are all so blessed to be so loved. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 12, 2013

We love our families!

With Valentine's Day this week it seems the perfect time of year to talk about the love that surrounds us all. 

We are having a week long conversation about the love our families give us and how the love and support of our families can see us through anything. We talked today about the three most important people to us: our mothers, fathers and God.  We also talked about how as we get older, our family circle widens to include siblings, extended family and perhaps one day, a spouse of our own. 

If you haven't had a chance to send your family photo yet (as mentioned in this post ) would you please do so by Wednesday February 13th at 5:00pm?  I want to do something special for the boys and girls for Valentine's day and need your help. 

As I mentioned in the original post, if I don't receive a photo for each child, I won't be able to create this special surprise for my students.  It just wouldn't be right.     

Snow-day Writing!

Our snow-day last Friday couldn't have come at a better time! It gave us an opportunity to put to work all those great skills we've learned about in our Writer's Workshop!  We've been working on a journal page that will become part of a new class book. The boys and girls are asked to write all about how they spent their snow day. 

No matter how they spent their day, it's a great opportunity to write and use those new skills!  

Valentine's Day is Coming!

February 14th is Valentine's Day and we "moustache" you a question!  

Will you be our Valentine?

An important message! Your help is needed!

Sometimes you come up with a great idea weeks and weeks in advance of the day you need it and other times, you come up with it with seemingly minutes before you need it!

Parents, I need you help!  

I want to surprise the kids with a really special Valentine video. I think everyone, parents and kids will enjoy this! I need you to send me a photo of you and your child.  It doesn't matter who else is in the pic, as long as my student and you are in it. Ideally, it would be just parents and their kids, but I understand that may not be possible. I don't need it super-close-up, but head shots are probably best.  

Please send the photo to: 


All I need is the photo and your child's name in the subject line. 

If you have any questions about this project, please ask them via the comment section of this blog post.  

It is essential that each child is represented in the video. If I do not have a photo of each child, I will not make the video.   

I'm ready to start making this video as soon as I receive the photos so please send them right away!

I'm sorry for the short notice on this, but I think it'll really be worth it!  



Math Update

We've started talking about money as part of our Measurement unit. We begin each lesson by counting a small handful of change. The boys and girls have learned (way back in September) that you want to start with the largest coin denomination.  

Today we talked about all the different ways to make a dollar and two dollars.  We learned about how there are 20 nickels in a dollar, 10 dimes, etc.  

We also talked about fair trades.  This is something parents can help their child practice at home as it will promote higher-level thinking skills.  Here is a sample problem:  Shannon has one ten dollar bill, a toonie and a loonie. Martin has three five dollar bills.  Would this be a fair trade if they were to exchange their money with each other?  Explain.  

February 09, 2013

Shrove Tuesday

This Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday and all the boys and girls will enjoy a pancake breakfast!  It's a wonderful way for us to begin our Lenten journey together as a school community.  
Students are asked to bring a toonie donation to the Holy Childhood Association.

We're also asking that students bring their own reusable knife and fork. I will provide the plates.   

Click here to learn more about the work this organization does for so many children in need.  

February 08, 2013

Snow Day!

Have a great day today gang! 

Please remember to bring your 100 little snack goodies in a small Ziploc or container for our party on Thursday.  Remember to choose a nut-free item and to use the glove that you were given yesterday at school by the Student of the Day. We'll mix it all up and enjoy our treat at our Valentine Party.  

With the Snow Day today, this means our 100th day of school is now Tuesday.  

See you on Monday!  

February 07, 2013

Punctuation Saves Lives!

For the last few weeks, we've done a reading or writing focus of the week as part of Morning Message. We go back to something from earlier in the year that we learned about, such as a good reader or writer habit. 

This week, our focus is on our old pal, the comma.  We have this mini-poster up in our room and on the Smartboard. 

You can see that if you leave out that comma, it's Grandpa for supper.  Put the comma in and you and Grandpa are sittin' down to enjoy a meal together!  

Math Update

Today the boys and girls learned all about temperature.  We've talked about temperature since the first day of school as part of our Morning Message, so today's lesson was a quick one.  In fact, I didn't even bother to print out and distribute the worksheets to accompany it. We used our slates, a few Smartboard graphics/tools and we were good to go.  

Here are the key learning points: 

  • we measure temperature in degrees Celsius
  • when the temperature goes below zero, we must add the negative sign
  • we subtract to find the difference in temperatures 
  • a thermometer measures temperature
We also learned a few benchmark temperatures: 

  • 100 degrees Celsius is the point at which water boils
  • frostbite can occur at -15 degrees Celsius
  • room temperature is 20 degrees Celsius
  • water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius  

February 01, 2013

My email policy

I want to remind parents and families that on January 13, 2013, my email policy changed and I announced that I would no longer communicate with parents and families via email and this includes any other electronic format such as texting. Comments that respect the Comment Policy are always welcome on the blog.  

Please do not email me. After a lot of experience and consideration, it is not a form of communication I find appropriate for parents and teachers. Regardless of the message that needs to be communicated, it is not the way I want to exchange information concerning my students and I am asking that parents respect this. Other teachers may find it convenient and appropriate, I do not.

My focus, as always is to be the very best teacher I can be to my students and in order to do so,  I need to make the best use of my time both in the classroom and outside of school hours.  I would appreciate your support in this matter and ask that if you have information to share with me you call me at the school, write a note in the agenda or arrange a meeting with me.  


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