Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

The last day of November.  Wow:  3 months of school have passed.

We visited Parkdale CI today on this very bitter day.  While I do not have many photos from being at the school, I did take a few on the way back.  I think they're mostly artistic shots:

In the afternoon we did some hands on review for the graded Math test on Monday.  One of the activities involved measuring parts of your body.

To break the test into smaller chunks, I asked two of the questions today (so there would not be too many questions on the test on Monday).  Here was one of the questions.  It was designed to see if the students were able to make a connection between our recent 1 km walk and the standard unit of length measurement, the metre.

There were some students who helped others. Both Kiara and Ewan, who scored 90% on the last quiz, offered to help their classmates.


Spelling dictation postponed until Monday + spelling work from Unit 4
- Math test (one final small group review on Monday)

Have a great and restful weekend.

The little used centilitre (cl) + ml equivalent

Thursday, November 29, 2012

4/13 people in the class scored an A+ on the Math conversion quiz today.  Here is a sample of a perfect score:

The remainder of the class will have some review tomorrow before the final test on Monday. 

The second last collage is now posted up on the blog.  It belongs to Kiara (Tia):
I believe that I posted this before, but the Media project we are doing has a Success Criteria Chart to help the students along.  What does this mean?  It is a model of the items I am looking for in this assignment.  The students also have a checklist to work with.

We will start working on the speaking portion of the assignment (where they have to sell it), next week.

- final spelling dictation
- Measurement conversion test:  Monday, December 3

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some uploaded images used for the group Study Sheet in Math.  I was trying another approach to preparing the students for a test.  There will be a pre-test which will not be graded and count towards the marks on the report card.

each group then had to explain what they learned from doing the exercise
Each group member was provided with a photocopy to use, tonight, to prepare for tomorrow's pre-test.

- copy out each list word from spelling 3x to practice for Friday's final dictation
- pre-test tomorrow (no problem solving on this one)

Have a good evening. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

There are still 2 more people who need to complete the collage and writing assignment but a few more have come in since I last posted the works of art:




Zhao Lun

Before we do next Monday's Community Circle, I am going to spend some time reviewing what the students should be doing when they talk.  It is a fun opportunity to share something from the weekend but it is also about speaking clearly and adding some solid details when they're describing something.

Kenny sharing during Community Circle time

chart at the back of the room

Community Circle chart posted up in the class

We are now working on the Measurement unit strand in Math.  We have not had a test yet and I am spending a lot of time providing opportunities for the students to practice and review what is being learned in class.  There will be an opportunity to make a Study Sheet -- something many of the students do not do -- but this time it will be done in a small group in the class.

Modelling a Study Sheet
homework done on the board by students:  Part 1

homework:  Part 2

Using the interactive White Board

going for a walk to feel the distance of 1 km

This afternoon, the Grade 8s are off to a trip at Central Tech.  I may take some photos or maybe not.
I did not a get a chance to go over the homework, so I will explain it more on Wednesday:


- spelling:  write each list word 3x; final dictation on Monday
Math Pre-Test postponed until group Study sheet is completed on Wednesday

Some images from trip to Central Tech

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 21, 2012

I think I have to upgrade my Google blogger account.  It looks as though I have to pay not to keep on adding images to this blog.  I will have to investigate this more and see what size I may need to keep this going.

I enjoy doing this and think it is an important way for me to share what is going on in the room.

I will update some information about today's activities later on.


- complete jot notes on Malala Yousafzai
- return forms for Science Centre and Central Tech trip
- Grade 8s to return IPRC forms

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Some photos from yesterday's visit from a group of Chemical Engineering students from The University of Toronto:
Watching some demonstrations

Setting up the lava lamp

Bishop's observations

Homemade lava lamp:  mixture of oil, water, food colouring, and Alka Seltzer

A captive audience

Bishop:  very engaged

Notes on density by the visitors

Studying the viscosity of syruo

Learning about density
The King Henry lesson will be explored some more.  Not to worry!  We will also be doing some running and walking outside to get a sense of distance and the units we might use to measure length (from millimetres to kilometres).

Here is a summary sheet I have used in the past to explain King Henry.  I will be sure to get a copy for you for your Math duotangs.
Tomorrow we will be watching some video clips on Malala to help you understand her situation and life a little more.  Had I been in today, we would have watched them and this would have helped you a little more with answering the questions.  Not to worry: this is not being graded and used to get you comfortable with comprehending/understanding what you are reading.  In the meantime, watch this Youtube video:


- complete Math sheet from this morning

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

In the Library, Ms. Wills introduced the students to to try to engage them in the process of reading and writing.  She is hoping that there is a lot of potential for the students to develop and design their own blogs down the road.

So far, the students are writing brief responses to chapters of short books they are reading during Library period.  Here is the link, which will also be posted in the links section of this blog:

I will post some more notes on the King Henry metric conversion chart, but I thought I would use this opportunity to post the link to the online metric conversion site where you can practice converting various metric units:


Jot notes on the Malala Yousafzai article from What in the World?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday, November 16

It was only a four day  week but it was very busy.

I would like to thank all of the parents for coming out and having a conversation about the learning of their son or daughter.  In building for the interviews and Progress Reports going home, we did a few reflective items in our journals.  Here is one of them:

A sample response with some details.

Explaining the key word explain and what it can do

Last year, the class participated in the Strength Based Resilience Program.  Basically, it was about teaching students how to develop different character strengths or non-cognitive skills.  [Cognitive skills, put simply, would be developing the skills to read, write, and do Mathematics.]  When you are learning about developing your non-cognitive skills it may involve the skills of being resilient or able to bounce back, determined, enthusiastic, and demonstrating some self-control.  By no means are these all of the things that make up one's character but they are important.

Here is a note I have up in the class:
You will see an example of resilience and determination, for example, when someone decided to do a Rewrite in Math.  They may be disappointed in a mark they got but are making an effort to try to improve it.  I think this is very important and work on going out of my way at pointing out when students are demonstrating certain non-cognitive skills.

Last Tuesday I went to listen to a speaker named Paul Tough.  He has a new book:

Having a listen to an interview with him will give you some more insight into his belief in the value of developing non-cognitive skills:

 Here is one more addition to the collage we have been developing.  Five more need to be handed in.

Zhao Lun

On the same note of Art and design, we have been working on a Media/Art/Language project.  It will involve some writing, speaking, and creativity.  The students are responsible to create a product and use elements of advertising to help sell it.  To assist in the thinking and development of the product, I will create one.  Also, I have posted some print ads for the students to look at.

Here are some close up shots of the different icons they might see if they look closely at the ads.  For their assignment, they have to create an icon unique to the company and product they invented.

We will continue with this on Monday.

- read for 15 minutes/day
- complete Spelling and be prepared for final dictation on Monday
- continue to brainstorm and add ideas to your Media project  

Have a great weekend.