Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Adjectives

For homework this weekend, students can complete their Halloween nouns and adjectives activity. Once they are finished, students can post more Halloween adjectives and nouns to our Padlet! We have so many great adjectives already. Feel free to add more describing words.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Investigations!

Adjectives to describe the inside and outside of a pumpkin
In Science, we continue to explore, wonder and learn all about pumpkins. This week students got the opportunity to really explore all about pumpkins when we did a pumpkin investigation. Students worked in groups to describe their pumpkin both inside and out. We used adjectives to come up with how we could describe the pumpkins. We also made predictions about the features of our pumpkin including how many lines it had and how many seeds.

Students had the chance to consolidate their learning from our pumpkin investigation and post their new learning on our KWL Chart for pumpkins. We know a lot more about pumpkins now. Investigating the pumpkins and reading stories has really helped our learning in science! 

Our current KWL Chart for pumpkins in science!

Using what we learned from Math, students had to come up with their own counting strategies to determine how many seeds they had inside of their pumpkins. We are consolidating our findings and learning more about how to skip count large numbers. So far we know that we can count by 1's, 2's, 5's 10's and even 25's. We will be practicing this skill for the next while.

Understanding how to find patterns in numbers helps us to see numbers in a variety of ways. We can use our strategies to help us count and sort big object (like boxes, desks or chairs) as well as little objects (like pumpkin seeds, coins or toothpicks). Students are encouraged to practice what they recall about finding patterns in numbers at home!

Below is a video of our pumpkin investigation fun. We used the Flipagram app for the first time. What a fun app to capture our pumpkin learning!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Skip Counting and Patterns.

In Math, our current learning goal is to recall how to skip count forwards and backwards. We are also working on skip counting at various starting points. Students are creating their own skip counting books and have so far worked on skip counting by 2's, 5's and 10's. We will be working to skip count all the way to 1000!

At home, students are encouraged to practice skip counting these numbers. We are recognizing patterns in our 100's chart and learning that we can even skip count at many starting points. So we don't always have to start at 10 to skip count by tens....we can even start at 2 and skip count by 10's!

Students are recognizing and writing pattern rules for the skip counting patterns. We are solving math problems each day and adding to our pattern thinking in our pattern books. Please work on skip counting at home with your child. You can use real objects to help you skip count such as toothpicks, coins, erasers, napkins, and more! Have fun with this activity at home.

Tomorrow, students will be working on a fun activity that will require them to recall some of their counting strategies. I wonder if they remember other ways to skip count? Can we skip count by numbers other than 2, 5 and 10??

Friday, October 24, 2014

GRA Week 3: Making Ishful Connections!

This week during the Global Read Aloud Week 3, students had the opportunity to read the great story...ISH! This story by Peter H. Reynolds allowed us to show our creative sides...AGAIN! We explored how to make ishful drawings and we also chatted about Ish connections. 

What does ISH mean? We didn't really know at first. After reading the story, students came up with many different ways to say ISH. Have a look! 

When reading the story, students made text-to-self connections. They noticed that Ramon was not showing grit at the beginning of the story.  He gave up when his brother made fun of his work. Students have been learning how to show grit even when they want to give up, or when a task seems too hard. Here is a link to our GRIT brainstorm from a few days ago. Students are demonstrating that they know how to show GRIT in all parts of their school day. Way to go friends! 

At the end of the story, Ramon demonstrated grit after his sister inspired him to be creative and keep drawing ishful things! Students made their own personal connections and wrote about when they showed grit. We will continue to focus on this important skill as time goes on. Students are working to demonstrate grit in all parts of their day (during a math lesson, when playing a game on the yard, when reading a story, etc).We also had the opportunity to chat with another class on Google Hangout today. We chatted about our connections to the story Ish. Many students got to share their ish drawings and their ish connections that we wrote about. Special thank you to the grade three students in Mrs. Caluori's class. We enjoyed meeting you and can't wait to chat online again. 

Below are some of our Twitter thinking and ishful exchanges after our Hangout today!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Science Wonder

Our Science focus so far has been on plants and life systems. We have explored many types of plants including flowers and trees. This week, students have had many wonders about pumpkins! They must be all over our neighborhood! We created a Know-Wonder-Learn chart. Students posted what they already know about pumpkins. 

We are learning about the features of a pumpkin and talking about a pumpkin's life cycle. We had read a few books about the features of a pumpkin - ask your child to tell you more about what they already know about pumpkins! 

Students are learning that pumpkins are part of the gourd family. Many students are learning about gourds for the first time. We added what we've learned about gourds to our Learned side. Ask your child what they've learned about gourds this week.

Finally, today we came up with a few pumpkin wonders. Students recalled where they could go to get an answer to a wonder. First we used Google. We remembered how to safely Google an image (by writing "FOR KIDS")! Next, students remembered that we could tweet to Wonderopolis to ask a question about one of our wonders. We look forward to hearing back from them soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GRIT on Padlet!

We are currently working on how to show GRIT. What does grit mean? And how can we demonstrate grit in our daily life? Have a look at our on-going thinking we are working on using Padlet. Students are welcomed to continue posting their GRIT thinking from home. Way to go to the friends who are currently posting grit examples for homework!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

GRA Week 2: I'm Here

Our class participated in Week 2 of the Global Read Aloud project. We continue to focus on the author study project featuring books written by Peter H. Reynolds. 

This week's story is called I'm Here. The story is about a little boy who is lonely, playing on the school yard all by himself. We learn how he feels and what he does to keep busy while all other friends are playing. We learn how his imagination helps him to reach out to a friend!

To share and connect using the story this week, we organized a Google Hangout with another Grade 3 class in our city. Mrs. King's Class is a grade 3 class not too far from us. We introduced ourselves and talked about our schools. Some students in our classroom were experiencing a Google Hangout for the first time. We even learned about their school like what a portable is and what kind of earrings their principal wore today!

During our chat, one student in our class recalled how the story reminded her of a previous short video we watched in Religion a few weeks ago. The students made the connection between the friendship video we watched to the book I'm Here. Little did we know...the story I'm Here was the SAME story as the video about friendship we watched! 

As our chat went on, students began to make many connections between Peter Reynolds's books The North Star and I'm Here. We noticed that some of his illustrations were similar. We also noticed that he included a picture of the north star in I'm Here! We thought that was pretty neat. We also shared with Mrs. King's class the Twitter secret we received. Our classes compared North Star Part 2 story ideas. We hope that Peter Reynolds will use some of our cool ideas for the real part 2 that he is writing. Students did an amazing job of listening, sitting quietly and waiting their turn during the video chat. We were happy to meet Mrs. King's class and hope to visit or meet her students one day!

After the chat, we talked about what making connections mean. Students recalled the 3 types of connections we can make to stories (Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self and Text-to-World). We even wrote our own definitions. Some students had the opportunity to build an 'I'm Here' Connection poster. We wrote about our connections to the story I'm Here. Some drew pictures and demonstrated what I'm Here reminded them of. The Grade 3's have wonderful connections to the story. 

ASK YOUR CHILD WHAT KIND OF CONNECTION THEY CAN MAKE TO PETER REYNOLD'S STORY: I'M HERE! Below is a link to the video that we previously watched in Religion. We watched it again to see more connections we could make. 

We are having a wonderful experience with the Global Read Aloud Project so far. Students are getting many opportunities to connect and share their learning. I hope that the next story in the project continues to inspire the students just like the first 2 already have!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rounding to the Nearest Ten

In Math, students are currently working to represent, compose and decompose 3-digit numbers into hundreds, tens and ones in a variety of ways. 

Students are also working to round two-digit numbers to the nearest ten. Some students need on-going reminders to round numbers, including how to identify and locate the benchmark numbers. 

Students are reminded of the rounding rules. Have a look at our rounding chart that helps us to recall how to round numbers to the nearest ten. 

Here is a fantastic video that will help students who need clarification on how to round numbers to the nearest ten. Practice this skill with your child at home. 

A Surprise Twitter Secret!

WOW! We just got an unexpected surprise on Twitter. The author of our Book Study - Peter H. Reynolds sent us a Twitter surprise!! He read our Part 2 stories that we wrote after reading the story The North Star. He let us in on a really cool secret. Have a read at his Twitter message below:

How amazing that the author of some famous stories can read our tweets AND send us a message saying how there really will be a Part 2 of the story soon! We were so excited to hear of this special secret. We invited our principal Mme. Paradis to our room today so we could let her in on the surprise secret too.

What a great example of the power that Twitter has! It has already allowed us to connect with other classrooms on shared ideas. Now we've learned that we can connect with REAL AUTHORS of stories we are reading in class. Pretty neat. Ask your child all about this neat Twitter surprise we received from Peter H. Reynolds today.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

GRA Week 1: The North Star

This week we were so fortunate to begin participating in the Global Read Aloud project. We are participating in an Author Study featuring books by the author Peter H. Reynolds.
As part of the Global Project, students will be connecting and sharing their wonderings and learnings with other classrooms online. This week we received a tweet from a Grade 3 class in our city (Mrs. Caluori's Grade 3) and we replied to her with our connections. We hope to connect with her class more often as we navigate and wonder over the course of this author study project .
The first story in the author study was The North Star. The story is about a boy who faces many obstacles along a journey of discovery. Along the way he meets animals who help guide him along his true path. At the end of the story, the boy discovers his true path by following a North Star in the sky.
Students discussed what the story reminded them of by making a list and tweeting ideas. Students had the opportunity to reply to Mrs. Caluori's tweet to explain what they wondered or what connection they could make to the story. Have a read at some of our great ideas.

The author concludes the story with the words "The Beginning".
We had many class discussions about what that means and why the author chose to use those words to end the story. Students wondered if it was the boy's new journey. Students also wondered where the boy was heading to...where would he go next? As a class, we came up with ideas about what Part Two of the The North Star might look like. Students made the connection between part two of a story to the words "To Be Continued..." We discussed how sometimes author's do this when they write another part to a story like in comic books. Students creatively came up with part 2 ideas and wrote some amazing part 2 stories!

Some students had the chance to practice their reading fluency using the app AudioBoom. Have a listen to some of our Part 2 stories:

The stories by Peter H. Reynolds are already inspiring us in many ways. We previously read the story The Dot on International Dot Day and showed our creative side. We are also using his stories to guide our line focus in Visual Art by allowing our creative side to pour out!

Next week in the author study, we will be focusing on the story "I'm Here". We already have a Google Hangout meeting scheduled with another Grade 3 class in our city. Mrs. King's Grade 3 class is also participating in the Global Read Aloud project and we will be discussing our wonderings and our connections together. We can't wait!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Raz Kids!

Great News! Just in time for the Thanksgiving long weekend, a note about Raz Kids login information is in your child's agenda! Raz Kids is an online reading program where you can access leveled books at your child's just right reading level. Students have been practising how to login to Raz Kids using their password for the past few weeks. Please keep the letter for your files as is contains your child's password information. Without the password, they will not be able to access their Raz Kids account. 

Once logged in, students can select their Assignment and read a selection of books at their just right reading level. Students are encouraged to read ONE book (by clicking on the eye) AND completing the comprehension quiz each night. Students may use Raz Kids books to write an entry in their homework books. Once students have read 12 books and written a comment about their book they will receive a prize from our prize box!

Here is the link to our Raz Kids account: 

Enter the teacher username: mciampa
Enter your child's password and GO!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


Do you have headphones at home? If so, we could really use some for our classroom. We will need to use headphones often in class so students can read online stories or participate in math activities independently. We are in need of a set of headphones for each student (for hygiene reasons). If you are able to purchase any for our class please send some to school with your child. There are a number of headphone options available at the Dollarstore. 

Thanks so much!

Mrs. Ciampa

Monday, October 06, 2014

Lines in Art

For the past few weeks, we have focused on many types of lines in Visual Art. Students have read stories to spark their thinking on the various types of lines around us. As a class we decided on types of lines and named them too. 

We are currently working on a lines project. Students are showing their creativity, following directions and learning how to show various types of lines in unique ways. Our current art project has us using materials such as crayons, rulers, glue and black construction paper. We are almost ready to showcase our awesome work. Stay tuned for the final product on its way real soon. 
Our Global Read Aloud project has begun and we have already read our first entry...The North Star. The author study will inspire our creative side. Ask your child to recall how some of Peter Reynold's books have inspired us to make our mark so far!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Global Read Aloud...coming soon!

Wonderful news...our class will be participating in an author study via the Global Read Aloud Project. This project connects classrooms around the world. We will be reading a series of books written by Peter H. Reynolds. A wonderful author who writes children's stories with messages about friensdhip, belonging, perseverance and creativity. We will also use the stories to make connections and predictions. We already participated in a Twitter project on International Dot Day (#DOTDAY) where we read the story The Dot. We shared how a simple dot can take us to a million places. We were inspired to make our mark and show our creative side! We shared our creativity on Twitter. Our Dot artwork is also featured outside of our classroom. 

The Global Read Aloud Project will allow us to connect with other classrooms. Each week, we will be reading a different book from Peter H. Reynold's library. We will share and connect with classrooms in Ottawa (and perhaps around the world)! We will share our wonders and our learning via Twitter, Padlet and more. I look forward to participating in this amazing project and can't wait to see what new wonders we will discover. To follow along with our tweets and tweets about the project, we will use the Twitter hashtag #GRA14. Stay tuned to our Class Twitter account...and our Blog for insight into what we learn!

For more information about the Global Read Aloud project, click on over to their website!