Thursday, November 19, 2015

Anti-Bullying Week

This week was Anti-Bullying week. As a class we read stories, watched videos and participated in a kindness activity to put our actions and our words into perspective. The paper doll kindness activity helped students to understand the impact that their words and their actions can have on their peers. 

To begin, each student worked hard to colour a picture of themselves. They were told to make it their best work and to make sure that it looked just like them. Then, we sat in a circle and had a discussion. Students were told to tear, rip, scrunch and mark up the doll of a classmate with crayon. Each rip, scrunch, tear or mark represented a hurtful word, a tease, or an unkind action. Students learned that every time they make fun of someone, tease, kick, or exclude a peer they are leaving a mark that cannot be erased or fixed so easily. After the activity we had a long discussion about how the tearing and ripping made us feel. Students used adjectives like disappointed, surprised, tongue tied and heartbroken. When we talked about how it feels when a peer kicks them, teases, laughs or excludes them, the adjectives they used to describe were very similar: sad, sorry, hurt, angry and upset. We made a word collage to represent how we felt during both activities. The paper doll kindness activity and the word collage are now posted outside of our classroom. The students are eager to share with the school what the activity taught them and how they can stop other from bullying or being unkind to their friends. 

This activity was a springboard to our poster project. Together with a partner, students used what they learned this week to make a digital posters to promote kindness. They had to share how bullying makes someone feel and how we can be better friends. They did a great job of capturing their learning and sharing their ideas on Slides. Students have asked to print their posters and they will be posting their work around the school next week. We hope that students in our school can learn from our digital posters. We hope students will stop and make better choices instead of being hurtful friends. 

Growing Patterns

In Math our current focus is on Patterning. We previously worked on understanding repeating patterns. We talked about the pattern rule, the pattern core and the changing attributes. We learned a lot of new attributes and created our own patterns.

Students are now working on growing patterns. We are using number lines, hundreds charts and materials to create, identify and describe growing number patterns. We are recognizing pattern rules in words and matching them to growing patterns using numbers and objects.

Our morning brain snacks are filled with great math problems. Students are beginning their day with growing pattern questions that challenge them to figure out the pattern rule and use many strategies to solve their problem. Our principal Mr. Gautreau gave us some great math questions to think about during our Brain Snacks. It was really neat to discover so many patterns in one question. Hundreds charts have so many patterns in them...who knew? Ask your child about it!

Students had a lot of fun completing growing number pattern activities this week. We worked with partners to figure out the pattern rule to a problem. We also used materials to build pattern rules in a game we created. They all did a great job of collaborating together.
For homework this weekend, students have some math problems to review. They will need to read each question carefully to determine the pattern rule or the missing numbers in the growing number patterns. The questions are similar to the type of questions your child sees each morning during our Brain Snack activities. Please work with your child on these math problems. Next week we will have a patterning math test. This homework will help them prepare for next week's test!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Read to Someone

We are slowly getting comfortable with each of our Literacy Centers. Students have been practising what they can do at their centers independently to practice their reading, writing and vocabulary skills. We will soon be doing our centers daily to practice many concepts that we learn on our own or with a small group. The goal of our Literacy Centers is to have students work collaboratively or independently at centers to practice key concepts in fun and engaging ways.

This week we practiced another center called Read to Someone. We made an "I-Can" checklist as a class to discuss what the rules are for the center. One of the goals that I'd like students to work on is their reading fluency. We practiced this by reading together with a partner and self-evaluating how we did. We had to rate our accuracy, rate, expression and punctuation. A goal for each student is to understand that when we pause during our reading, we need to put a punctuation mark to end our sentence. Students practiced this with their partners while reading their descriptive paragraphs. They did a wonderful job of evaluating how they did. We will keep this evaluation at our center and students can refer to it when reading with a partner at their centers. Ask your child about the new Read to Someone center!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Reflecting on our Learning from the Global Read Aloud Project

CR's beautiful drawings of the 6 books we read during the #GRA15
We have really enjoyed participating in The Global Read Aloud Project over the past few weeks. Students looked forward to finding out about the newest book in the author's study each week. We read 6 books in total. We used the books to increase our vocabulary, to become better writers and to connect and share on a global scale. Thanks to the project, we got to collaborate with a number of classes around the world via Twitter, Padlet, Google Hangout and Google Slides. The students loved seeing how they could interact with a story in so many different ways. We learned a lot about collaborating with friends in our room, and with new friends we are meeting online too.

Students have become better writers as a result of the author study. They are comfortable with answering questions on the books that we read. We used the books to work towards writing descriptive paragraphs that had at least 5 sentences. The students worked hard to write about their best memories and built on the strategies that they've been learning about to write a descriptive paragraph.

Students loved that creating their own OK Book on Google Slides. They are hoping to use the tool again to create books that they can share with the world. They are many blooming authors in our classroom. This book inspired some students to create their own book at the Writing Center!


One of the highlights for many of us was the Google Hangout that we got to do with Mrs. Mason's Grade 1/2 class in Kanata. Our classes chatted about our favourite  books in the author study. We shared our OK Books that we both wrote on Slides and took turns answering questions and sharing our learning. It was such a great way to open our classroom and chat with a class who read the same books as us!
I am grateful to a wonderful teacher who lives in the United States named Pernille Ripp. For the past few years, Pernille has organized and ran The Global Read Aloud Project. Her concept has quickly spread across the world and continues to be a Global Project that many teachers (like me) look forward to teaching each year. She tweeted a thank you on Friday and asked us to share what were our best memories. Students went to the Writing Center during our centers time to reply to Pernille's Tweet with some of their best memories. TC received a response from her and he was SO excited about it. Have a read below at some of our best memories!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Little Peace

Tomorrow we will be reading this story during our Remembrance Day ceremony. Please practice reading it with your child at home for homework today. Some students have a reading in their agenda. They can practice reading it at home. If you are able to join us please do! Our ceremony will begin at 10:45.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Adjective Homework November 9-13

One of our current writing goals is to write descriptive paragraphs. The best way to make our descriptive paragraphs more interesting is to add adjective words that describe. We are always trying to come up with fun describing words to add to our sentences when we write. For homework this week, students can add adjectives to our Padlet. This will help our in class writing as we will be referencing this big list when we want to add a fun word to our sentences.

Please feel free to add as many adjectives as you'd like! Parents, you are welcome to help by adding describing words to our list too!

Friday, November 06, 2015

GRA Week 5: The OK Book

This week during the Global Read Aloud Project, we collaborated with a Grade 1/2 class nearby in Kanata. We were finally successful at connecting over Google Hangout to chat with another class. The students did such a great job at being patient and at chatting with the class over Hangout for the first time. We chatted about all of the books that we've read by Amy Krouse Rosenthal over the past few weeks during the Global Project. It was great to see the students ask so many detailed questions. They also had great answers to the questions that Mrs. Mason's class asked us. A Hangout provides students with many different opportunities to collaborate, to share, to inquire and to discover new ideas. We are opening our classroom doors on a global scale when we invite another classroom into ours via a Hangout. The students were excited about meeting Mrs. Mason's grade 1/2 class and hope that they could do it again soon. After our Hangout, her class sent us many Tweets to share more things they loved about the Global Project we are both working on. Students are beginning to use Twitter to answer questions sent to us from classes we learn with. We experimented with it at our Writing Center today.

All week we talked about what the word OK means. We experimented with Google Slides to create our own version of Amy Krouse Rosenthal's OK book. Students were challenged to use Slides and Google Draw to create their own OK images and learned how to Google and insert their own images onto their Book page. It was great to see the students experiment with a tool that they hadn't used before. They quickly became experts and were excited to help their friends learn some of tricks to using the tools. We will definitely be using Google Slides again for shared learning opportunities. Creating our own class book inspired some students to create their own books at our Writing Center. We are just in the early stages of adding ideas to our writing center but so far we have many eager authors in our room. Below is our completed OK Book. We hope you enjoy reading about our OK adventures!

Repeating Patterns in Math

Our current focus in Math is on Patterning. Currently we are working to understand repeating patterns. Students defined a repeating pattern as something that repeats 3 times. We are looking at many different ways to make a pattern, how to find the pattern rule and how to identify the core of the pattern.

We are also building patterns featuring many different attributes. Have a look at the list of attributes that we are using to build our repeating patterns. We are challenging ourselves to build and identify patterns that have 2 or more attributes. We are also challenging ourselves to make different kinds of patterns that aren't always using the two attributes shape and colour.

In class this week students were challenged to build and describe their own patterns. We have their completed work on the wall in our room. Students are very proud of their patterns and they did a great job!

For homework this weekend, students can build various patterns that have 2 or more changing attributes. They can name the rule and the core of their patterns too. Challenge them to make a pattern that is not ABC. Maybe an AABB pattern or an ABBC pattern....or even an AABBC pattern that extends at least 3 times. Don't forget to have at least 2 changing attributes other than colour and shape. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Venus Flytrap Learning

Today in class we consolidated all of our amazing venus flytrap learning. We recalled all of the wonders we had and some of the answers we came up with. We chatted with friends and worked together to write some interesting facts and unusual information. Students learned a lot of great things about the plant. They had more to share but we ran out of time. If they would like to add more learning or photos for homework on our Padlet, please do!