May 29, 2016

Your Sunday funnies...

I really think teaching is the best job in the world. Like any job, teachers work hard and there's plenty of stress, but unlike a lot of jobs, we also have a lot of light moments in our day.  When you're surrounded by people with no filter all day long you're exposed to some great comedy. 

This was one such moment from last week: 

Me:  Hey, Kid A, that's quite the wall you're building on your desk with your erasers there.

Kid B: You mean a wall like Trump's?

Me: Kid B, how do you know about Donald Trump?

Kid B: I don't know. I  know he wants to build a big wall and make Mexico pay for it. 

Kid C (who is across the room, hollers): I wish Obama could be President forever.  That guy's alright.

Me: Where am I??? Kid A, please put all those erasers away.

Kid A: Okay Mrs. M.  But Trump can't win, that'll be a disaster. 

Kid C: (who is still across the room).  I really like Obama. Too bad you can only be President for two terms.  

Me:  Everyone, books out. Time to read. You folks are really something. 

Kid B: Thanks Mrs. M.  

May 28, 2016

We're headin' down the home-stretch!

With just two half-days of EQAO writing left to go, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! The boys and girls have finished their Math booklets and should prepare themselves for two days of writing about what they've read and what they know.  
Overall, there are key things that I would like everyone to review over the weekend. These items are not new to the boys and girls, but it's important to keep them front and center.  

Students should know the following by heart: 

  • the correct usage of there/their/they're
  • the correct usage of your/you're 
  • the difference between our/are
  • sentences and names must be capitalized 
  • we must remember to use punctuation at the end of all sentences 
  • make sure our sentences are not so long that the reader runs out of breath (an on-going goal in our class) 
  • how to use quotation marks correctly (search blog for this if needed) 
  • plusses and comments are a great way to add voice to ones writing and engage the reader more fully 
  • no-excuse words MUST be spelled correctly-there's no excuse for spelling words from the story/text/question incorrectly 
  • printing needs to be very neat and easy to read
  • we must color in the bubbles for the multiple choice questions fully and neatly 

May 20, 2016

A Last-Minute Checklist!

Wednesday is the big day! Students have worked so hard to prepare for writing their EQAO booklets. 

My students have asked me for something to help them really narrow down key things that as a class, they specifically need to focus on.  So to help give them something purposeful to do over the next few days, here are some last-minute items students can practice as we get closer to EQAO. 

Please check back over the course of the next few days. Any updates will be indicated in blue text.  

Be sure to know/review: 

  • how to calculate area and perimeter 
  • practice your times tables
  • practice adding and subtracting three-digit numbers
  • remember to check the key first on a picto-graph 
  • what does a fair or unfair spinner look like? 
  • what is symmetry?  
  • be able to explain ways authors try to make their point (e.g. they repeat phrases in a poem, they use italics, ellipses, bold text, they s-p-e-l-l words, use funny twists/irony) 
  • be prepared to explain the point the author is trying to make by using the above tools 
  • be prepared to identify how a character or their attitude has changed over the course of a story or poem 
  • we MUST remember to use capitals at the beginning of sentences (this is an on-going challenge in our class) 
  • use commas appropriately (we can't insert them in random places, the pause must be appropriate) 
  • remember to proofread our work into a whisper-phone
  • remember to print neatly 
Creative Writing: 
Students will be asked to write a number of creative pieces. To prepare for this, they'll want to think about some of the different types of writing we've done over the course of the year: 
  • a favourite story/toy
  • a favourite place to visit 
  • a persuasive letter that convinces someone to do something (e.g. how should the principal improve the school) 
  • a friendly letter to a new student
  • an adventure story (e.g. you find a treasure on the playground, you wake up and you're an animal, write about your day) 
  • a special friend or memory 
  • procedural writing (e.g. write the steps for how to brush your teeth) students are reminded to use transitional words
Non-Fiction Texts: 
  • how do features such as diagrams, close-ups, maps, Venn Diagrams, bold text and borders around text boxes help the reader to understand what they are reading?  
  • 1000 metres in a kilometre
  • 1000 milliliter in a litre
  • 1000 grams in a kilogram
  • 60 minutes in an hour 
  • a quarter of an hour is 15 minutes
  • a quarter of a kilometre, litre, kilogram is 250 (m, mL, g)  
  • the three types of angles (right, obtuse, acute) 
  • the names of three-dimensional shapes, their faces, edges and vertices
  • the value of all Canadian coins
  • the rules for correct use of: your/your, there/their/they're along with to/too/two 
  • how to label a map with North/South/East/West
  • an average temperature for winter/spring/summer/fall
  • the number of weeks/months in a year 

May 19, 2016

A homework "heads-up"

The boys and girls were assigned a larger-than-usual homework assignment back on Tuesday and it's due Friday. We've talked a lot recently about how the expectations for homework are the very same expectations we have for in-class work.  In fact, we've talked about how the expectations are almost higher for homework because it becomes an opportunity for students to really show-off all they know and are learning about the lessons covered in class and their own work-ethic.  

To help make this an exceptionally positive experience for my students, I am respectfully asking parents to review the homework assignment and the checklist with their child to be sure it is indeed their best work. This is a great opportunity for parents to reiterate the messages I've been working to instill in my students all year long with respect to personal responsibilities and quality of work.  I don't mind if answers are incorrect, what I look for is that the child's work reflects their best effort and the checklist itself has been completed honestly and thoroughly.  

May 15, 2016

A "poetic" fun-Friday!

We had so much fun on Friday! As part of Morning Message, we've been talking about the features of poems, and on Friday, it was time to write our own!

The boys and girls learned all about cinquain poetry.  It's a five-line form of poetry and unlike most poems children in Grade Three read, it does not typically rhyme, making it a very easy-to-compose poem.  

Each child  each received a peice of bubble gum and had to write their poem according to the instructions printed (see pic). 

As you can see, we combined a little art with our creative writing and it was a real hit! I can't wait to hang these up in the room!  

Thank you to all the boys and girls for a great afternoon! 

May 08, 2016

An extra fun "Fun Friday"!

Thank you so much to all the parents and families who were able to join us on Friday. It was such a memorable day for the students and me. We are looking forward to finishing up our "Happiness is..." pictures this week and then we'll post them all over the classroom.  

As we discussed, it really is the little things in life that are so important. I'm sure you went to a lot of trouble on Friday to join us for our special day and I can't thank you enough. And I'm even more sure the boys and girls will always treasure sitting together at their desks with you, sharing their markers and doing their school work with Mom or Pop by their side.


The photos posted are shared with permission from the individual families.  

Thank you again for a very special day. 


May 04, 2016

It'll be a "happy" Fun Friday!

Parents and kids, be sure to practice this dance for Friday! It's going to be a great day! 


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