Sunday, 27 October 2013

Busy & Hard Working Students

It has been a couple of busy weeks. The students in my class have been very focused and working hard.  I have been so proud of their accomplishments.  This should be a fun week for them because I just love Halloween and will enjoy incorporating learning into the Halloween theme. So for Monday I started with my door.  I found this door on Pinterest and made it my own.  Very quick and easy.  I cut strips out of used chart paper, and the eyes are out of Bristol board. Literally took me 20 minutes to make and looks so cute.  This is a clip of the one off of pintrest. Mine looks almost identical, just with the bandages made out of chart paper.
We are doing a trick or treat rotation this week with the other grade 3 classes.  I have done it for a handful of years now. The other teachers love it. The classes rotate from classroom to classroom for an activity or craft that lasts about 25 minutes. When they leave each teacher has a small trick or treat for them. The kids love it, and as teachers we plan for one activity and just do it 4 times. What a great morning it makes and the students are so engaged.  This year I am doing the scavenger hunt with each class. I did it last year with just my students but they enjoyed it so much, I will have each visiting class do it. If you didn't see this last year, here it is.  See what we did last year here.
So in the past week, the students have learned how to "Tweet" an incredible paragraph--Making great word choice and only using important details in their writing. They have chosen a topic and stuck to it.  Each sentence has been about the topic (when tweeting I used the word hash tag).
The  Really "Tweet" Student Project went home on Thursday last week.  The students have 2 weeks to work on it. This year is the latest I have sent the projects home. I wanted to work on writing and paragraph's before they went home. We even did one in class that I was able to assess for a writing mark, which gives the students a model to follow. I was so proud of the results and look forward to the incredible work they will bring back to me. This is the first time using the paragraph package, I know Kaitlin used it in the summer with some children she was tutoring (see it here). It really was easy and specific.  Copying their work into the good copy was easy as well. I found the template, allowed room for corrections, which kept the sentences organized--Which some of my students really need.
Check it out here.
Here are the project packages that went home.
In Language for the last 2 weeks, we have worked with a new book from Literacy Place.  The book was jammed packed with opportunities to teach.  This book in particular all the students could relate to. You would think that two weeks on one book would be too boring for the students. This book proved me wrong. Between glossaries, headings, print concepts, text features, predicting, analysing, surveys, letters, thought bubbles...this book had it all. The class did their best group, pair sharing work with the ideas from this book. I liked how it tied into surveys and math (even though we are not working on data and probability), I find that I have been doing quite a bit of "Whole Teaching" (teaching things as they come up and not as they are presented separately with a unit) it does help to have some prior knowledge on little bits of everything.

 In Visual Arts we jumped into Pointillism. We examined and researched the famous work of Georges-Pierre Seurat. The students found his work fascinating and we're trying to imagine the time it would have taken to complete just one of his works of art. I then read "The Dot" to the students.  It is one of my favourites, and I loved how it was symbolic of how simple this type of art is. It all begins with a dot on a page. If you have not read this book, it is a must have for every classroom.  It empowers every student that has ever thought or said "I can't". For us teachers, it is how we look at each student's work. Is it what we envision or can we look past what we expect and try and find the reasoning behind their interpretation of what we expect.  I know I am always trying to empower and find something positive to build a child's confidence. I understand it is hard to do all the time, but this book puts it into a simple perspective.

 Hope everyone has a fantastic Halloween Week!
 Christine :)


Sunday, 20 October 2013

A Quick Weekly Roundup: Mixtures, Math & iMovies!

Well, all be gee...... it's already nearing the end of the October!
Here's how a little of the week played out......

My students officially completed their iMovie's about The Particle Theory.

 We continued our investigations and looked a little deeper at Mixtures....specifically Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Mixtures.
In order to try to get my students to remember the difference between the two, we dabbled into a "scientific taste-test".

We mixed lemonade and iced tea to create a homogeneous mixture.
And we broke apart and enjoyed a granola bar, as we discussed the characteristics of heterogeneous mixtures.

In Math, we continued working with Rates and Ratios.
As part of our 3 part math block, the students worked throughout the week on various group problems. At random, I choose 2-3 groups to present their group problems when complete.
This has given me a chance to see who is able to communicate using "math terminology/vocab" and who can explain how they solved the problem (also seeing who did "most" of the work).
I have been displaying they various ways to solve up on the math board for others to see--- and how to achieve a Level 3 or 4.

Finally, the students used their Google Accounts to send me their first "Good Copy"- for their writing portfolios.
Using the editing mark list from our "Writing Portfolio Pack", my students edited each others writing (2 students needed to sign off on each their writing) and I gave them a quick check, and they were off. I have a teacher Google account that they share their work to and voila! It tells me who has handed it in and who has not. I mark it my computer and send it back to them. Much easier than printing them all off and lugging them around with me.

Off to work on report cards. Ugh.
Happy Sunday!
Have a great week!


Monday, 14 October 2013


We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend...... and oh what a beautiful weekend it was! We were blessed with the most splendid weather.
Definitely felt extremely grateful this weekend.
It's going to be hard to head back to school after a 4 day weekend. {Only Canadian teachers will understand, I suppose! And we are THANKFUL!}
Here's how last week rolled out:
We continued with our Expository Writing. It's quite the process! It is awesome to see the students writing progress, as they take their writing through the writing process.
As mentioned before, each paragraph is colour coded. It has helped keep the students work in order and is much easier to follow when peer editing.
Here's an example.
For the students that didn't have coloured pens, a coloured block was used in the margin of the paragraph to keep order.

In Math, I have been keeping "Last Weeks" Problem of the Week up, along with an example of a Level 4 (A) answer.
Each week I feature a students work.
I have created feature cards to put up this week.
You can pick them up HERE.

Here is this weeks problem:
Junior/Intermediate Math Journals..... COMING SOON to TPT! :)

My students with special needs are also completing Problem of the Weeks.
I have been using our various Math Journal Bundles. They are producing awesome work and also see their work on display! :)
You can pick them up HERE, HERE and HERE.

In Science, my students are creating iMovies about the main ideas of the Particle Theory.
I was inspired by this video:
I can't wait to show you what they've created.
I am in awe! And it is too darn funny.
Editing block is tomorrow--- so stay tuned!

Finally, as some of you may know I have a BUSY classroom--- 19 boys and 6 girls make for fun times! Ha! With a few behaviours in my room, I needed to come up with a system.
I worked with the Behaviour Specialist in my school to come up with a classroom program. It's not NEW to the teaching world..... But it was new to me!
It's called SPA TIME.
Student Preferred Activity Time.
Each block of time/transition the students are given a time to get ready-- I.e. bathroom breaks, drinks, sharpened pencil and books on their desk. Whatever time remains goes onto the SPA Board (+) and if they run over time it is entered under the (-) time. At the end of the day they can use their SPA time or move it to BONUS. The kids created a list of preferred activities (i.e Capture the Flag, Board Games, Social Time etc.) which we keep posted in the classroom. If they move their time to BONUS, they can continue to add to it. Bonus preferred activities might include a Movie or Pot Luck etc. (depending on how much time is banked).

Click HERE for a SPA point board.

You have 1 hour or so left to take advantage of our 20% off Thanksgiving Sale!
Click HERE to head to our little shop!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Word Centres

When something works you can tell.  I have been noticing what the class looks and sounds like when something is working. The students are engaged and excited about what they are doing.  I like these word centre activities because you can have the students pick words at their personal level. We picked words from our social studies unit, the big book of the week, and our word wall. As you can see from the pictures, the students loved the activities and were on task for 15 minutes.  That included a quick pair share of what they thought of their centre. You can get these great activities from Miss Nelson here.



Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!