Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bank of Canada process for selecting Viola Desmond

On the most recent History test, there is a question about Viola Desmond.  She will be featured on the new $10 in 2018.  The Bank of Canada, who are in charge of making decisions about our currency, explain the steps of the historically significant process here:

In Math, for 7/8B, we will be using another approach to preparing for next week's test.  Instead of a Study Sheet, we will be playing some online Math games and using an Internet Learning chart to document our understandings.  More details are posted on Google Classroom.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Show and Tell, reviewing for the upcoming test

Language:  Show and Tell/Show and not Tell

This is an Oral Communication exercise that all students of the class are responsible for completing.  This assignment was posted on September 14 on Google Classroom and I modeled how to do it on a couple of occasions.

Mathematics:  Review for Fractions Test Part 1

We began our review for our upcoming test today.  A number of items will be posted on Google Classroom with some attached notes.  I will post the general note we went through today:

100s chart:  used to find common multiples (when circles overlap on a digit)

Multiplication Charts can assist you in discovering the GCF of a number.  In the above example, the GCF for 4 and 6 is 2.  Why?  They both are circled under the column with the heading of 2.
I still have to post the answer to the most recent set of Homework that was assigned.  I am glad to see that more students are working harder to complete their work!

We will continue our look at these ideas on Friday, in class.  Tomorrow, we are off to Stratford!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Brain matters: Research on ADHD and notes on Neuroscience, notes on upcoming Math test and a couple of fractions games

Matters of the Brain

Let them fidget: Children with ADHD seem to learn better when they're moving Shared via the CBC News Android App

Thea, and those of you who were wondering about Part 1 from the Class Dojo series on Growth Mindset.  Now that I see it, I think I may have shared this before.  This one introduces the idea of Neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain being able to learn and stretch with some work.

The ability of the brain to grow is looked at a little more in this Class Dojo video on neurons in the brain:  

Here is a little more in-depth material on your neurons.  

In the Links section, I added a great Youtube link on methods for studying; check it out!

Mathematics: preparing for a test

I will be posting a couple of images on Google Classroom relating to some review items for Math (Improper and Equivalent Fractions).  This is a video, which I did two weeks ago and posted on Google Classroom but it summarizes the idea of Equivalent Fractions and the concept of reducing to the Lowest Terms.


This will probably be our last week and a half of working through the Number Sense Unit on matters relating to fractions.  I will then move into another strand which uses fractions, decimals, and percents.

It was either in a post from last week or on Google Classroom, but I posted a link to a game involving the addition and subtraction of fractions.  Here is a review site for Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions and, I hope, Improper Fractions to Mixed Numbers:

Here is a game, for you Football fans, for reducing fractions:
Corrected Math HW and the new Math HW has been added to the Math section of Google Classroom.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Use your agenda & Grit, work and learning from mistakes, Sugar and your brain

Learning Skills and Work Habits:

Yes, this is a very large image for an important reminder about the importance of using the agenda.  Every month, I want to check the agendas to ensure that they are being used and that all students are on top of the work they are expected and required to complete.

In order to grow and develop your skills as a student, you need to make mistakes.  In order to make mistakes, you have to try.  I know so many of you do and am very proud of that.  Work is hard...

...and sometimes you may not, yet, understand the ideas right away.  That's okay.  With some grit and hard, help from your teacher(s) and supportive friends, it is possible.  That is the power of YET.


I will be using an article on the brain and sugar in teens to assist you in understanding how to complete a Reading Response.  To activate some prior knowledge for the article I will share with you, here is a short video.  We will come back to it again because it is full of a lot of information:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Reviewing with Math Games: Factorization and Adding & Subtracting fractions

Post #
image from


I used to use Math games a fair bit when I would review and teach concepts in Math.  It was another mode for offering another way of learning for a number of our learners.  I will aim to return to this method this year.

There is another game, worthy of review and playing, but it requires an explanation and teaching of Improper & Mixed Fractions (sometimes known as Mixed Numbers).

Jiya's pal:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Media Literacy, Healthy Living (part of the Health and Physical Education program), length of spikes, Mathematics reminder, and HW

Media Literacy

Depending on where you look, most Internet sites and books will have a list of the key components of Media Literacy:

A couple of weeks ago, when we first began discussing Media Literacy and the concept of fake news, we found out about a university that turned out to be fake.  When we investigated, the website for the school looked pretty authentic.

The website ( looked real.  The Internet is an example of a medium; the word media is the plural form of a medium and both have been constructed.  The authentic look of the site is deliberate and conforms to a particular aesthetic form we have become familiar with.  Developing our Media Literacy skills requires us to be aware of how information is put together and constructed.

Unfortunately, when people acquire fake degrees and attempt to practice or sell themselves as something they are not, there is a potential for a lot of damage.  Consider this phony counselor:

The original story on the fake university, which we will check out another time, is here:  

Healthy Living:  conversation starters

In Media Literacy, one of the questions you were asked about related to the idea of knowing where your SOURCES come from.  In preparation for today's introductory lesson on making healthy choices around food, you can find a lot of information but the source it comes from must always be noted, even when the information is beneficial.

Let us turn our attention to what we can do to ensure we are at our best.  Think of this as an opening conversation to future investigations about what we eat and the importance of the choices we make around food.
Here is another link for some ideas on eating healthy in the morning, when you feel you don't have enough time:

The Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto, has an article we will listen to on the importance of eating a healthy breakfast.  Here is the link:

Marisa Moore, an Atlanta based nutritionist, has a short article which summarizes some key points about why you should eat breakfast:

As we explore the topic of Health this year, making healthy food choices will always be one of our goals.  In class, we will reference Canada's Food Guide.  I have ordered some copies for the Intermediate team.  In the meantime, you can find some more information here:

This year, I want to make it one of my goals that we learn more about the brain and how it works.  I do know that there are some foods which can be really positive for how our brain functions.  Here is a quick poster idea from a Pinterest site:

FYI:  question about the length of spikes (also a Measurement Math question!!)
spike donation at Morant Bay High School


I had a personal reminder of the importance of the poster I put up on the front door of the value of not knowing and not knowing yet.  I figured out how to explain how you would find the GCF of a number if you were not yet comfortable with knowing your multiplication tables.  I thought it would be difficult to explain the concept, but once I tried the exercise a couple of times, it made sense.  I will post a photo of the process, once I get into the class and a video on the 7/8B Math site on Google Classroom.

The video that relates to this tutorial is posted on Google Classroom.
For those of you who are having challenges logging on, I will post the Math homework questions and answers that were put on the board.  In the future, I will have to ask that all students show the steps in how they arrived at their answer.  Simply writing an answer is not very helpful to those who are interested in the process.

The GCF method, using the 20x20 multiplication chart.


On Monday, I will ask for all of the agendas to be handed in so I can take a look to see if they have been used.  Among the 5 teachers in the Intermediate division, I am sure there is some homework.  I gave out some homework.  To simplify, I took a photo of the Homework board.

It is very important that the students get into the habit of doing their homework.  It will assist them in feeling connected to what is going on in school and help with the development of some important habits.

Have a restful weekend.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Residential Schools in Canada: an example of Historical Significance & another perspective on John A from Chippewar; Curriculum Night, New York Times (NYT) exercise, Math HW

History.  Happening now, commenting on the past and, hopefully, influencing the future. 

Indigenous residential schools need to be marked as sites of conscience, MPs told Shared via the CBC News Android App

On the CBC Radio show Unreserved, host Rosana Deerchild has a talk with Artist Jay Soule -- aka Chippewar -- about the "currency" of something we use on a regular basis.

This notice went home yesterday.  I hope to meet all of the Intermediate Division parent(s) on Thursday.

Reading:  What is Going on....

my thinking around last week's exercise
What is really happening in this photo:
Math:  Homework

Fraction reducing, using the Greatest Common Factor (GCF):  assigned on Monday
- The answers are posted, as well, on Google Classroom

Monday, September 25, 2017

Historical Thinking in the news: Damage after Hurricane Irma & Rohingya Refugees

Irma's hit to Florida citrus crop will put squeeze on your morning glass of juice Shared via the CBC News Android App
This news story is an example of the Historical Thinking of Cause and Consequence.  The impact of the storm results in higher OJ prices.
Similarly, for the farmers, this event may be seen as an example of being Historically Significant.  The crop devastation is a significant blow for them.

Citrus groves from Southwest Florida.  This image is from the CBC link I posted above.

A few students brought up the issue of the crisis of the Rohingya ethnic group in Myanmar.  At this point, many Rohingya refugees are making their way into Chittagong, Bangladesh.  Some of you may not know about this or even where these countries are or the circumstances behind this matter.

The story on YouTube can be found here:

The matter of Historical Perspective is illustrated in this story.  The Rohingya, appear to be persecuted and are fleeing for their safety, but the Myanmar government sees things differently.  According to the story from the Aljazeera website, the Rohingya have sought out safe places in Bangladesh and other Asian countries since the 1970s.  This story follows the ideas associated with Continuity and Change.  

Curriculum Night is this Thursday at Dovercourt.  

Be there.  6 p.m.

Friday, September 22, 2017

7/8 B @ work with Historical Thinking & Concepts, Factoring & Math homework


Our class was the last of the three classes to begin exploring the idea of connecting the Historical Literacy with a work of fiction.  By the time you have gone over a lesson three times, it becomes clearer.  To make the connection between the research chart and the in-class exercise, I numbered off the corresponding points.

Although all three groups are not finished, I photographed members of our class:

I will return to my text and make connections across all 4 modes of thinking to assist the groups with completing the assignment and preparing to select topics for the actual History projects.


When you have both a Grade 7 & 8 class, you sometimes have topics where the older group is doing something a little beyond the younger one.  In some cases, the topics can be entirely different.  Right now, both groups are dealing with the adding and subtracting of fractions and having to simplify the answers.

In order to simplify, you need to be able to factor.  Jiya and Saya's favourite talking head offers up some information in this video.  It is cool to see him talking about some of the concepts we have discussed in class. 

Grade 7:
Grade 8:

The Math homework is posted on the Google Classroom site.  The items relating to factoring will unfold next week in class.

Enjoy your weekend and stay cool.  Drink water.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Summary of John A Macdonald discussion, thanks from Kent Monkman, and History in action, Media Literacy, Math HW


This photo is a visual summary of the notes I recorded from our discussions during the Four Corners exercise.  Details of the notes are posted on the Google Classroom History site.  The photo of t he Residential School is from Carcross, YT, which can be found here:,+YT/@60.1762971,-152.6442385,4z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x51550bf452cd3023:0xbed32878aeaa519f!8m2!3d60.1675851!4d-134.7073506
From the initial inferencing exercise using Kent Monkman's The Subjugation of Truth, I was pleased to see his response to our exercise when I shared our finished notes with him:

The wealth of Canadian History in this photo will serve as the launching point for our first Inquiry, which will be explained soon.

On the radio and in the news today was the story about Prime Minister Trudeau speaking to the United Nations.
This story connects with all of the concepts of Historical Thinking we have been exploring, but I think it really zeroes in on 2 of them:

Historical Significance:  These schools have been around since 1880 and the discussion of their legacy still is a matter of importance to this day.  

Continuity and Change:  The fact that the PM is having this talk today is important.  The fact it is being discussed means that it is important to the government, but is it enough?  Will this help change conditions and offer support for the diverse Indigenous communities touched by the legacies of Residential Schools? The Canadian Encyclopedia has some more information on the Residential Schools:

This is happening now.  This is History in action.

I will explain why I posted this video and how it relates to today's lesson on bridging the Historical Concepts we have looked at in class, with this fictional tale.  

There is a photo I will post to help guide this exercise.  It involves some higher order thinking but will be a lot of fun.  It is intended to prepare the students to engage with the following research model:

The in-class portion of this pre-research project has the students thinking about one of the concepts they are interested in working with and selecting a story they are familiar with.  In this case, we will use a Fairy Tale which will serve as the item of history they will be researching, making sense of, and then briefly presenting it in front of the class.  To model this for the class, I am using this book.  

In reading the book and thinking about what concept I am interested in linking to the story, I am PREPARING and ACCESSING the information in the book.

Here are the concepts, which have been summarized, from Google Classroom.  

I decided to use the concept of Historical Perspective to look at the story.  In the History section of Google Classroom, I will upload some jot notes and an initial draft of my report.  Both items are examples of my PROCESSING.  I plan to return to those notes, so I can have another version to share with the classes for the next History class.  

Initially, I thought I would use this as part of my report, but I don't think I will.  Having this will confuse the example I am trying to model with too much information.  Still, you may find this story amusing, given the example, I am using.  

Language:  Media Literacy

To continue from our discussions/activity from last week, we will look at one of the key concepts of the study of Media Literacy and how this relates to the idea of "Fake News."  In fact, all news is constructed because it is a medium of communication.

One of the concepts, which may seem a little abstract, is that of Confirmation Bias:

Math HW

When homework is assigned, we usually take the time to put it up on the board.  There is not a lot of space for answers to go up, but I select several questions and we review them, if necessary.
Some students are not doing their homework.  This is not acceptable and will make learning very challenging.  If you did not do your work, take the time to record it from the board, or Google Classroom, and review it later on.  If you have questions, come back to class with them.
due to time constraints, I will post this on Google Classroom later on.