June 27, 2013

208 is Great!

They loved it! It was very quiet in the room after we watched it together (except of course for my sniffling!)  
And I hope you enjoy it too.  
So here it is...my wish for "my kids". 

Happy Summer everyone. 
Mrs. M 

208 is Great!

Reading Rockets

My wonderful colleague, Mrs. Linse shared this website with me.  Reading Rockets is an incredible, information packed site. This particular link will take you to an article on the importance of summer reading for children. 

But as you'll see when you get there, this website is what the Sear's Christmas Wish Book was when we were kids: it's jam-packed full of great things!  Okay, so there are no GI-Joes or  Barbie Dreamhouses, but like the Sears Wish Book, one could spend hours with it!  

Thanks so much for the great link Mrs. Linse! 

June 25, 2013

Thank You

When Moms talk, I listen! And I've been told that Kleenex is required for this post. ;) 

It seems hard to believe that 40 weeks have passed and here we are, getting ready for another summer, and then before we know it, a new school year and these beautiful kids of mine move on to Grade Four.  

What a wonderful journey this has been. I sincerely hope that the boys and girls of Room 208 have enjoyed their time in my classroom as much as I've loved having them.  

We really did become a little family and it didn't take long.  When I read back over the blog posts from the last ten months, I see a year filled with lots of new learning (for me too!), lots of laughter and many, many new adventures.  

It's incredible when I think about it: every single day, we came together, we had our little routines,our morning handshakes, our own inside jokes, laughs that made our bellies hurt, lessons that bombed, lessons where I knocked it out of the park, videos, videos and more videos, music that moved us and of course, Full House every Friday at lunch. 

Just like a family.  

I tried to capture that feeling here on this blog, but I don't know to what degree I succeeded because what goes on in that classroom is kind of magical.  When you have all those people working together to achieve goals and make things happen, it's hard to find the words to describe it. Perhaps that's why I rely so much on videos. I wanted you to come in and see first hand how your children spent their days. How happy they are. What beautiful people they are and what wonderful citizens they will become. 

Doesn't it seem like yesterday that I was asking for returned permission forms for our Crawford Lake trip? Or how about all those two-litre pop bottles you brought in?  We had so much fun making our crafts this year.  Remember when I asked all the kids to bring in sunglasses and jean jackets for what promised to be a great Fun Friday? "Let the Good Times Roll!" That video still makes me grin from ear-to-ear.  And how about all of those videos where it's just me talking and explaining...videos that I hope helped you to support your child's learning at home or at least made you feel part of the loop. Thank you for watching them. Thank you for partnering with me in so many ways. I think we made a great team. 

We've spent 190 days together and it flew by. I really don't know where February through May went. I find all these new great ideas online or from my colleagues and I tell myself, "Oh, we can do that later in the year." But it's now Week 40 and there is no "later in the year." 

There is no job better than teaching, I really believe that. And after this wonderful year with your children, that's all the proof I need to confirm this opinion.   

Parents, thank you for your support, patience and sense of humour.   

Boys and girls, I was your teacher for Grade Three and now, I am your friend for life. I hope that as you grow and succeed, you will always come back and visit with me and tell me about all the wonderful things you are accomplishing.  And when your day isn't going as well as you would like and you need a cupcake and a soft place to land, you know where to find me.  

I have one more video to share with you all. I'm going to first show it to "my kids" and then I'll post it here later in the week.  

Thank you again for a wonderful year.  
Have a safe and happy summer. 

Mrs. M 

June 21, 2013

Beat the Cheese!

This is our new favourite game! I promised the boys and girls that I would post a link here on the ol' blog. 

Beat the Cheese

June 19, 2013

Partner Writing!

Earlier in the week, prior to watching the last Boy and Girl Classmate video, I asked the boys and girls to work with their elbow partner and create a Venn Diagram about what the two characters might do over the summer.

Students needed to reflect on their prior knowledge of these characters and really have a good think and be able to rationalize their  ideas.  

Venn Diagrams are hard to draw and even harder to draw on a large scale, so I asked students to instead make a chart. This would make it much easier for them to organize their information. 

After they completed their charts, we hung them up in the room and I asked everyone to have a walk-about and read one another's work.

I'm so pleased with how this activity went! Everyone was on task and discussing, in a really meaningful way, what should and should not go on the chart.  

I'm sorry my camera skills are not very good here. The video is a little shaky and I suggest you do not watch it in "full screen" mode. Shaky yes, but boy is it ever fun to watch them interact with each other this way.  

Partner Writing (walk about)  

June 18, 2013

Today was Garfield's birthday!

We had such a ball today!  The day flew by! So fast that we still have a few activities (and some cupcakes!) that we'll get to tomorrow. 

Thank you again to all the boys and girls for their hard work leading up to today. I hope you all had fun! 


Garfield's Birthday!

June 17, 2013

Their last video

I can't wait to show this to the boys and girls later today. This is the last video from Boy and Girl Classmate!  I tried to make it extra special for the kids.  

I'll show it to the class later today and I hope they enjoy watching it as much as I loved making it! 

I wonder if I'm the only one who got a little tear in her eye watching this? That sounds so silly doesn't it? But these characters feel like friends! 

Sigh...I do not like goodbyes. 

June 13, 2013

What's my pattern?!

We have had so much fun making our Math game show! It's also been a great opportunity to teach the boys and girls about how to create a media presentation. 

Students have learned: 

  • the importance of reading with fluency and modulating one's voice to create a presentation that is pleasant to observe and listen to
  • the importance of working together to record a presentation (e.g. everyone needs to be silent while recording) 
  • just how long it takes to create a media presentation!  It took us 10 minutes to create a 13 second introduction! 
  • how to fade music and other sounds to create a sense of continuity in the presentation 
  • how to add other interesting visual effects that will enhance the overall appearance of a presentation 
  • how to self-assess by revisiting what you think is the finished product and looking for things that need polishing 
Overall, this has been just a wonderful learning opportunity. It really has.  The students have been able to demonstrate their patterning skills and they have also learned so much about the skills and effort required to put together a presentation such as this. We quite literally did this together!  We used the Smartboard and my laptop and together, using Movie Maker, we created a game show. Everyone was engaged every step of the way. 

Oh, and we also had a ball making it!  I don't think there was a time this year where we were laughing harder than these last few days! It was just so much fun!  

So the premise of the game show is this: contestants solve a patterning problem and they have an option to take their (questionable) prize or risk it all and move on to the next level.  As the game show progresses, the audience (or are they the contestants-we never quite established that!) becomes more irritated with the prizes being offered. 

And then at the end, we do something we like to call "The Pickle Dance". Because no game show is complete without contestants dancing like surfing pickles!  

I'm sure you'll be just as impressed as I was with not only the patterns the students created, but their ability to present with confidence and enthusiasm! 

We hope you enjoy our show!  Thank you to the boys and girls for all their hard work, amazing ideas and contributions and great sense of humour. 

Certainly one of my best memories of the year.   

June 11, 2013

Our very last Social Studies lesson of the year!

Hard to believe, but it's true! We had our very last Social Studies lesson today. Thank you to Mrs. Linse for an outstanding lesson! The boys and girls learned all about goods and services, natural resources, trading goods and physical features of land and how it contributes to the way the land is used (e.g. fishing industry out East, skiing out west).  

The boys and girls did a terrific job on their Learning Journals.  Mrs. Linse asked them to demonstrate and extend their learning by providing examples or definitions with their interesting facts. This made everyone's writing sound very sophisticated and at the same time, demonstrated that higher level of understanding.  

Thank you to Mrs. Linse for a fantastic lesson today!  It's so hard to believe it was our very last SS lesson of the year!  

June 10, 2013

Today was Super Science Monday!

Today the boys and girls learned about structures and stability while participating in all kinds of fun activities!

Super Science Monday!

June 06, 2013

An update on yesterday's quiz

I received a few requests this morning to clarify question 1 on yesterday's Math quiz. We've reviewed it as part of today's Math lesson, but I wanted to do so here as well. 

The pattern rule for question 1 was "add 3, subtract 1". Some children thought this meant to simply "add two". The pattern started at 4 and students were asked to fill in the next six terms.  The answer was:  4,7,6,9,8,11,10. 

We've been talking about patterns where two attributes change (e.g. blue circle, red square-changing attributes are colour and shape).  

One of the learning goals of this unit is to apply this to numerical patterns as well. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I took a bit of a leap with that question, to see if students could transfer this skill from shapes to numbers.  Some students were able to make this transfer of skills and others were not as successful as they would like to be. We looked at this concept specifically in our lesson today and I'm sure after a few more experiences and further instruction, my students will have it down pat! 

I also want to remind families that yesterday's quiz will not count toward students' final unit grade, but it was purposeful in that it helped me to inform and direct my instruction.  

I reviewed the quiz again with the boys and girls this morning (we had also reviewed it yesterday right after they received it back), along with a few more numerical patterns and I feel very confident that everyone is on track for success. 
We also had another, very similar quiz and everyone did very well!  We talked about how in Grades 4 and 5, this is what numerical patterns will look like, only students will have to identify the pattern rule and extend it as well.  

June 05, 2013

My after school Wednesday smile

Two months ago, we changed the way our Listening Station was organized. Instead of having the books in Ziploc bags, paired with the CDs, I put them all in a CD Wallet and the books in a basket and then gave my instructions to the boys and girls.

I gave those instructions once.  

I have never gone back to check that the expectations were being followed with respect to the CDs in the wallet...until today.  

What a great class I have!

Today's Math Quiz

We had a patterning quiz today and I took a bit of a leap with the first question.  I wanted to see if we could solve two step numerical patterns (in this case, add two, subtract one).  We're going to continue to work on this skill as I think the boys and girls would benefit from further practice with this. 

The second question was all about doubling the previous number. Many children did well with this. Those that were not successful made a common error: they thought that double meant counting by 2s.  This is a great opportunity for students to revisit their doubles facts (e.g. 4+4, 5+5, etc.) and to review the idea of what it means to double a number (add it to itself was how I explained it to the class).  

Since the scores from the quiz indicate that we need further practice with that first question, this quiz won't count toward the final grade for this unit.  I would still like the quizzes corrected, signed and returned.  

Unit 10: Quiz 2

June 04, 2013

Social Studies update

Today in Social Studies, we reviewed what we've learned thus far: 

  • the difference between urban and rural communities 
  • the features of road maps and street maps
  • how scale is used on a map to help the reader understand the distance between places 
After this, we moved on to the focus of today's lesson, which was the difference between wants and needs.  

The screen shots below show the key information covered today.  

One Boy Classmate asked how much it would cost to stay for a night at Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta. Learning about the Chateau was part of our cross-Canada look at how our environment helps to shape industry.  

We googled the rate for one night at the Chateau.  

Um...from what we could tell, they start at $439.00.  

Their reaction was pretty funny and I think that was the rate for one person too. I think they were louder about this than they were on Friday when we hooted and hollered about finishing our booklets. They were literally falling out of their seats with shock! 


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