April 30, 2014

Our Current Math Goals

Our current unit of study is measurement. Our focus for the week is on finding the perimeter of different shapes.

We stress the importance of using the unit of measurement in all answers. Students understand that an answer with just a number is only half right; they must include the unit of measurement.  

We're also spending the first 20 or so minutes of each Math lesson for the next few weeks on intensive EQAO preparation. We also learned a new word: revisit. We're going to revisit lots of previously learned concepts to make sure everyone feels confident and asks any questions that need clearing up.  

We're problem solving, exploring strategies and I'm doing some direct teaching on how students should attack and respond to a variety of problems. 

April 29, 2014

A Funny Twist!

As you know, our focus this week is on the "funny twist". Here's a video I made with just that! 

You'll notice around the 1:23 mark, there's an unexpected, funny twist to Girl Classmate's super-terrific new ice-cream flavour!  

Away today?

If your child was absent today and you're looking for tonight's Practice Page, here is a copy of it. It doesn't print very nicely, but you can certainly have your child record the answers on a scrap piece of paper.  

April 28, 2014

Twistin' time is here!

This week, we're going to focus on the "funny twist". For centuries authors have taken us on a ride where we thought we had the outcome all planned out and then WHAMMO! They sock it to us with a funny, unexpected twist! 

Check out our hilarious Poem of the Week by Kenn Nesbitt! It has a very funny twist!  

I'm staying home from school today.
I'd rather be in bed
pretending that I have a pain
that's pounding in my head.

I'll say I have a stomach ache.
I'll claim I've got the flu.
I'll shiver like I'm cold
and hold my breath until I'm blue.

I'll fake a cough. I'll fake a sneeze.
I'll say my throat is sore.
If necessary I can throw
tantrum on the floor.

I'm sure I'll get away with it.
Of that, there's little doubt.
But, even so, I really hope
my students don't find out.

Our EQAO-prep activity also focuses on an unexpected, funny twist. It's a story about a class that goes on a field trip and the teacher is worried about leaving one particular student behind. In the end, it's the teacher that almost gets left behind! 

To kick off our week, we read an hilarious new story by Mo Willems called, "That's Not a Good Idea". It's his newest book and it's terrific! It has a very funny, very unexpected twist that no one saw coming! I won't spoil it for you, but it's definitely worth a read! 

We're going to talk all week long about why authors do the funny twist and how it challenges us as readers and even makes reading more fun. Mo Willems' book gave us a great laugh and sparked a wonderful conversation and I hope there are many more to come this week.  

I don't know if what happens to this poor little fella qualifies as a funny twist, (it comes close!), but this video cracks me up every time I see it! 

April 25, 2014

EQAO is a comin' !

The boys and girls will be writing their EQAO booklets from Tuesday May 27th to Thursday May 29th.  

April 24, 2014

Little Mermaid Update


If you purchased play tickets, they're coming home with students on Friday May 25

A costume update: the boys and girls need a long-sleeved white shirt. It can be a dress shirt or long-sleeved t-shirt. 

Meet the Measurement Family!

We learned about the members of the Measurement
family from the little baby all the way up to

We're also learning about two important words:
area and perimeter. 

April 22, 2014

Earth Day Fun!

We had a ball today working on an Earth Day probabilty activity I created. The boys and girls were able to revisit their data management skills which almost always appear on the EQAO assessment.

Students had to make a cube (we reviewed words like: net, congruent and cube) and then make a prediction. From their, they rolled their cube 20 times and then graphed the data!

Jersey Day on Friday!

Our school is having a jersey day on Friday! Students are encouraged to wear their favourite team-jersey!   

My favourite team is the Robert Morris Women's Hockey team!  My brother, Paul Colontino, is the Head Coach and I couldn't be more proud! That's him over there on the right.  

April 21, 2014

What's your bunny name?

I hope everyone is enjoying their Easter weekend! 
Find your Easter Bunny name on the chart below!
I'm Pop Cottontail,nice to meet ya!

April 17, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone!
From your friends in Room 208

Orange you glad we found cool socks?!

Our play Directors ordered these wonderful orange socks for the boys and girls to wear during our performance in The Little Mermaid. As you can see, when pulled waaaay up to the knees, they resemble seagull legs!  

Thank you to our lovely model, Miss A, for your assistance!  

April 16, 2014

A funny coincidence!

We *love* the T.V. show called "Full House" in Room 208. The girl (now a grown woman, with children of her own) who played D.J. is now on "Dancing With the Stars."  

So imagine our delight when they had Disney night this week and her song/movie was "The Little Mermaid"! 

We think it's God's way of letting us know he has a sense of humour!  :D

Fraction Friends!

I think we're good to go for our Fractions test on Wednesday.  We worked with a paper manipulative I call "Fractions Friends" this afternoon. The boys and girls had 20 little paper kids to work with and we solved a variety of different problems with them. 
Some children wanted to bring their's home tongiht.  

Each student cut out two of these. 
But, before we could use the "Fractions Friends" we first had to cut them out.  

This is what it sounds like when 18 children are cutting paper. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is a group of kids that gets the job done and done right! I had not told the boys and girls they needed to be quiet during cutting, but slowly as I handed out the materials, the noise and chit-chat faded and it was silent.   

April 15, 2014

We're having a great week!

This week, we're working on a booklet I created for my students. It's an Easter booklet created to resemble EQAO-type activities. Most of the activities are based around a four-page story I wrote about a class that holds an "Easter Festival" to raise money to save a local animal shelter. This story, "An Easter to Remember" is our Text of the Week.  
It's fun and purposeful and I'm enjoying the conversations we're having about the different questions and exercises. It's a great opportunity to prepare my students for EQAO while still having fun celebrating Easter.  

Students will use the activities in the booklet as their Practice Page (homework)for this week.


April 14, 2014

Help with solving fractions problems!

Mrs. Linse and I made this video to demonstrate to the boys and girls how to solve more challenging fractions problems when the problem doesn't come right out and tell you how many items you're working with.  

This video helps kids to learn how to solve problems such as: 

There are some babies. 

1/2 are happy.
3/12 are mad.
The rest are sleeping. 
How many babies are sleeping?  

There are four quick steps outlined in the video that students can use to solve these kinds of problems.  

Our quizzes over the next few days focus on this type of problem. Memorizing doubles facts up to 11+11 will also be an asset. 

A Fractions Disaster

April 11, 2014

Poem of the Week Fun!

We had a great time this afternoon practicing our cartooning skills! 
The boys and girls were asked to draw a picture of their favourite "naughty thing" from this week's Poem of the Week. Next week, we'll put them up on the Smartboard and see if the class can guess which line of the poem was drawn.  
As you can see, I have a great group of artists in my class! 

The face on the guy tied to the
tree cracks me up! 

Away today?

We have a few students away today and a number of items to record in the agenda that I wanted to share here to keep everyone in the loop. 

In the agenda tonight: 
  1. Read for 60 minutse
  2. Math test on Wednesday-see blog for Practice Test 
  3. Practice dance routine and focus on arms and smiling while dancing
  4. Math quiz from Thursday to be signed
  5. Bring a small garden shovel for Monday's Science class with Ms.Bellmore 

The Little Mermaid

Our song for the school play is called "Positoovity" and students are asked to wear plain white, short-sleeved t-shirts, black shorts, and orange socks.  

If anyone finds out where orange socks are sold, please share via the comments.  

Oh my.

Isn't it incredible how some people are so talented, they make it look positively effortless? 

April 09, 2014

Happy teacher here!

I'm just thrilled! 
We took a real leap today in Math. We had a quiz where students had to solve the following problem: 

Mrs. M has 24 jelly beans. 
Each day she eats 1/6 of them.
How many will she have eaten by the third day?  

I'm so pleased that almost all students got perfect on the quiz! Even the kids that did not score 4/4 still demonstrated understanding of how to approach a problem such as this.  

The quiz is coming home tonight for your signature.  

April 07, 2014

A bit of a "makeover"!

During indoor recess on Friday, I asked the boys and girls to help me with an idea I had. I always loved the idea of the carpet being under the window. It seemed like such a cozy space for us to gather. At the same time, I have never loved my desk placement with respect to the Smartboard. You need a larger desk or table if you have a Smartboard. You need a place for your computer, document camera and DVD player. But a big desk takes up a lot of precious real-estate in a classroom.  What to do,what to do? 

I decided on Friday to "Just do it" as they say! My students helped me move the books and stuffies and saved me a whole Saturdays worth of work by putting everything back on the shelves for me in their new homes! Would you believe we did this all in just 35 minutes?  

I think our room looks great! It reflects my "home away from home" approach to learning environments, and although the carpet is no longer under the window, I still think we've managed to achieve a nice degree of coziness! 

Friday at 11:50

Friday at 12:25

Comparative Writing

Our focus this week is on how to do comparative writing. 

I've created a seven-step formula to help kids to be successful with this important form of non-fiction writing. 

I've taken my Powerpoint and made a video out of it. No doubt, when reviewing it with your child, you'll need to pause it and read each step, otherwise, it goes too fast.  

Here is a link to the Bert and Ernie video referenced in the powerpoint.  After watching it, children made a Venn diagram and worked with their elbow partners comparing Bert and Ernie and it was loads of fun! 

Here we are working away!  


Bert and Ernie

How to do Comparative Writing

April 04, 2014

Our Dance Routine!

Here's our complete dance routine! This video will stay on the blog right up until the big night! 
Students are asked to practice as often as they can. 

We must remember to: 

  • use big, defined movements, especially our arms
  • smile
  • keep up with the beat of the music

April 03, 2014

Fraction Folders!

Everyone has been working very hard on their Fraction Folder this week! Not only is this an activity where students learn while they work, it's a great resource to use and refer to after the fact. We're going to use our's to help us warm up our Math minds each afternoon.



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