April 30, 2017

Only Mrs. C can make science this fun!

Last week, Mrs. Chiarotto had the boys and girls set up in an alternate location within our school to do a tour of soil.  As always, she's gone out of her way to see that students are provided with rich learning opportunities! 

The boys and girls are learning about the particles of soil. They're visiting five different soil stations: rock, sand, slit, clay and loam. At each station, students are using magnifying glasses to observe different factors such as appearance, smell and texture.  They're also looking for evidence of specific nutrients such as humus and how each soil receives air and water. 

April 26, 2017

The Venus Flytrap

Well, this might very well be the grossest post of the year. Brace yourself.  

As part of our preparation for EQAO, we're having Wednesday Workshops. The boys and girls will complete practice activities that are very similar to EQAO-type exercises. 

As you know, EQAO preparation is built into my instruction, so this means the students have been preparing for their booklets since day one.  But the Wednesday Workshops are more intense practice opportunities with actual EQAO resources and practice materials. 

Today's workshop focused on a non-fiction article about the Venus Flytrap.  I had everyone's attention when I told them we'd be learning about a really gross plant that would fascinate them. By the looks on their faces throughout the lesson, they were indeed fascinated! It was so fun to see them light up with question after question about this very special plant! They were just bubbling with enthusiasm!  

After the lesson, the boys and girls where then asked to write about how this is an unusual plant by providing evidence from the text and their own ideas. We call this an RRWEP (Reading Response With Evidence).   

The boys and girls were told that there are many interesting facts, photos and videos to view on Youtube.  I reminded them that if they wish to learn more about the Venus Flytrap online, they'll need your assistance and permission.  

They loved watching this video created by some botany students from the United States. A while back, we talked about how the music in a video or movie is chosen very carefully to evoke a response from the viewer or to set the mood. I'm sure you'll agree, this piece of music was a perfect choice!   

April 25, 2017


These writing skills!  
Just amazing!
Students are finishing up their comparative writing paragraphs this week and they've done an incredible job. The boys and girls were asked to compare the two characters from the mini-story below.

It takes about two weeks for a writing piece to go from start to finish and that's not necessarily because the assignment is long or the expectations are too high. It's more of a practical issue: at times, we need to shelve it for a day or two in order to get the other stuff done.

The kids have been plugging away at these paragraphs and judging by the ones I read today, the boys and girls are continuing to reach higher and higher when it comes to achieving their personal best.  

As each child completes their paragraph and checklist, we have a little conference and review their work together.  It's incredible to watch the growth in their writing over the course of the year together. Watching them implement feedback and add new words from their own reading and experiences is so, so exciting.  

Please have a look at the high-quality work below and you'll see what I'm talking about.  I cannot wait to conference with the rest of my class in the coming days.  Congratulations to all the boys and girls in room 208, your work is a pleasure to read! You do everything right: you're work is neat and easy to read, you add funny and interesting details and your writing consistently evokes a response from the reader!

Even the artwork is great! 

Thanks to cookie-jar Charlie for covering up my students' names! 

Here's some of the great work from a recent "Morning Work" page.  This particular paragraph helps get our mind ready for persuasive writing, which comes next.  

April 20, 2017

Week 30 is here (yikes!)

This week is a short one, but it's kind of a bittersweet one. It's week 30. This means we have just ten weeks left together as a little class family.  It's been such an incredible year hasn't it? And it certainly has flown by.  

Like the first ten weeks, the last ten weeks are an exciting time.  There's lots of fun to be had, lessons and skills to be learned, new books to discover and of course, EQAO to write. After that, we'll have a field trip to Country Heritage Park, learn how to do cursive writing (Yep! You read that correctly!),throw a bubble party and enjoy all the good times and popsicles that June brings.  

As we begin the final quarter of the school year, I look back on the many memories I've made with my little group and smile. It's been a terrific year so far and I hope the next ten weeks are even better!  

April 06, 2017

Do you follow us?

Whether you're Apple or Android, you can follow @meandmythrees on Instagram!  It's like a whole other mini-blog over there and it's one of my favourite ways to share our day-to-day news with families and friends.  It's also terrific way for parents to interact with us and enjoy a glimpse into what makes 208 so great. 

You can always see the rotating photos here on the blog, down in the right corner, but by following us on Instagram, you can really join in the fun in a unique way and see the new pics right away! 

I especially love it because sharing the news of our day can be done so in a much more timely manner than blogging. 

If you haven't checked out our page yet, please consider following my class here at Instagram.  

Hope to see you there! 


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