Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013


- please complete journal question from the visit to the traveling African Inventors museum
- spelling homework and final due on Tuesday
- there is a lot of outstanding work from the class:  Science work, History jot notes, complex sentence writing, Math work sheets


Unfortunately, I lost about 15 nice shots I took at the African inventors museum today.  This took place in the school and had a lot of interesting facts about inventions by people of the African diaspora (people with roots in Africa who live in North America or in continental Africa).

We're on the cusp of starting long division and completing some work that concerns dividing and having a remainder.  Here is a word problem with 3 different solutions that we did in class.  I like to have to the work done on the board, so the students can check and make corrections to their work.

There is also an Art project we are doing which involves the tearing of construction paper and old issues of National Geographic.  Here is a sample which I created, to model for the students:

I may add to it or create another one.

Have a good evening.

A student asked today if she could leave a comment if she had a question.  That would be okay.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


- p. 140 for Math (assigned on Monday but not taken up yet)
- 3 x spelling list words
- pp. 3 & 4 of report card signed by parent/guardian and student

I am in a bit of a rush at the moment and trying to compress a few things into today's post.

I am pleased that 80% of the class completed the jot notes I assigned for History a week and a half ago.  We began to debrief some of them today and I added in some interesting information about the City of Toronto, especially as it relates to the War of 1812.  Here is a video that I imbedded into the Promethean Board lesson on jot notes:

I am adding a couple of photos of something which came up in our discussion about the War of 1812.  It had to do with Garrison Creek, which is a large body of water (creek) which flows through many underground sections of Toronto.  It is named "Garrison" because it ends near Fort York.

At one point there was a Harbord Street bridge near Harbord Collegiate.  Here is a shot of the bridge between the years 1909 and 1914.  You can still see a part of the bridge today.

The Community Circle involved  the students taking on a reflective role to think about the kind of person they want to be as they get older.  Here are the questions:

Our discussion on Lance Armstrong continue.  Although we did not get into it today, we have been doing some background work on the upcoming role play we do about his situation.  We have one more article to read about him, but we will be looking at the different people who are/were in his life and the impact his actions may have on them.  Here is the chart paper of our ideas so far:

Whoops, those are the background videos we have been watching on the story.

We will be beginning an Art exercise that involves tearing some paper and using it in layers to create a new image.  I did an example for the class to see:

This image was taken with the document camera, attached to the Promethean Board (Interactive White Board).  The work of art is mounted on a piece of Black construction paper.

Have a good evening.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013


- The Math quiz is postponed until Monday 
- p. 70:  Classify clauses into Independent or Dependent + create 5 complex sentences

- Quiznos sub form due on Monday at 9:30

Before I forget, I am going to post some videos from Youtube on the Lance Armstrong/Performance Enhancing Drug scandal.

Some of the details behind the story are from this ABC newstory:

The history of Lance Armstrong denying the allegations can be seen in this ESPN video:

Our discussions in class will continue.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I was away from school yesterday and did not post on the blog.


- ensure that pp. 138-139 are completed (this was assigned on Wednesday in Math)
- Math quiz on p. 131, 133-135

- homework from Tuesday still has not been done on writing Complex sentences (4 only from the worksheet on Independent and Dependent clauses)... an example of what to do was posted on Tuesday's blog

- pp. 3&4 need to be signed, by the parent and student, on the most recent report card


Here are a few things we did today, in no particular order.

I am hoping we can spend some time talking about the cheating of cyclist Lance Armstrong.  Before we got to reading a brief article about him, I surveyed the class to see what they know about him:

The brief article comes from the excellent Canadian website, Teachkidsnews:

While posting that, I just learned that all of his records are being erased:

Our discussion on this topic will continue.

The class seems to be enjoying listening and talking about a book that I got my daughter, Charlize, for Christmas:
It is interesting because we have been able to make some connections between cheating, as in the case of Lance Armstrong, the suicide of Amanda Todd, and our former TDSB director Dr. Chris Spence. 

I returned to the exercise of modelling a set of questions for the class based on the Level 1 - 4 question chart.  I had the students select a topic that they love and generate questions that were easy to answer to ones which require more thought.  Here is the sample I shared with the class to assist them in helping structure their own questions:
Notice how the questions become more thoughtful and challenging as they move from 1-4.
I hope to continue working on this research more in the Library tomorrow.

In an attempt to do some review before a short quiz on division, I had the students work with some manipulatives to actually feel and see how items are divided into groups.  I did a sample on the board and then issued three challenges to the students to solve.  The following photos are of the review question, a sample done by me, and the work of some students.

 Have a good evening.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hello.  I hope you enjoyed your long weekend.

- pp. 136-137 Math
- for stragglers (only 3):  History jot notes based on images

Independent and Dependent Clause worksheet.  The students have to identify if the clauses are either independent or dependent.  Then they must select 4 of the dependent clauses and create complex sentences out of them.  Here is an example I did, using #4.
I indicated it was a dependent clause, by writing in d, and then added an independent clause (simple sentence) to turn it into a complex sentence.

We spent a good portion of the afternoon looking at different samples of sentences.  The purpose of this is to build up to a point where the students will be able to write a paragraph, or series of sentences, about a specific topic.  Here are some of the samples we looked at:
Bishop actually recorded his voice (but I am not sure how to upload it yet) to demonstrate that this complex sentence can also be read as:  "When I am fifteen, I am allowed to go to the disco."

Independent clause is first followed by the dependent clause.

Flipped around:  Dependent clause first followed by the independent clause

Compound sentence with the coordinate conjunction "but" separating two independent clauses.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For those of you who celebrate.

For the Family Day weekend, there has been no assigned work.  A great deal of work was due today (2 items of Spelling + History jot notes).  I will spend some looking it over and doing some more planning for Term 2.

I had planned to do a major review of Division today with some hands on activities (manipulatives), but that will wait until Tuesday.  I think that will help some of the students who are having some difficulty with the concept of dividing.  I provided them with a handout to look at over the weekend as a form of review.

The Lunar New Year performance will be happening next week.  Here is the flyer for the celebration:

Enjoy your long weekend.  There will be no school tomorrow on account of the second day of Parent/Guardian/Teacher conferences.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A great deal of time this morning was spent talking about the joint Media/Art/Language project project related to Black/African History Month.  I realize that we are almost 1/2 way into the designated month for Black History and recognize that our discussions on this topic should not be limited to this month alone.

I am hoping that one of the goals of this month will be in expanding the students' understanding about how the study of History works and how some voices and perspectives our excluded and really limit our understanding about the past and present.

We started the brainstorming on a chart. I hope to keep adding to this as we move along in our discussions:

 Many of the details for the research project are located on the Library blog.

One of the exercises I am going to try for this project  relates to asking questions.  The Level 1 questions tend to be low level thinking questions and Level 3 and 4 questions require some more thought.  Here is an example I did.

I will have the students do a sample question on a topic they like to see how they do with setting up the questions.


- Spelling work due on Thursday (sentence activity + regular unit work + final dictation)
- Jot notes are past due
- Math:  pp. 134-135

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

History Homework:

I decided to change the format of the homework and make it less text heavy (reading) and more image heavy.  So, I selected a number of images from the textbook and decided to have the students make notes on the images.  I did a sample, for the class to see and I also used our cool, new document camera to take a photo of Ariane's work.

Mr. P's notes
Ariane's jot notes from the textbook
Today we had a short quiz on division.  Before the test, I allowed some of the students to work together to review.
The process is becoming more complex and challenging and I expect to be working on "Long Division" type questions towards the end of next week.  I will then find a way to connect this work with some forms of Algebra that the Grade 8s will see next year in high school.

Report Cards were sent home today.  The interviews are on Thursday, February 14 and the morning of February 15.

- History jot notes for images (due tomorrow)
- Spelling homework (Unit work and small sentence work) due on Thursday
- pp. 132-133 Math

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013


- short quiz on pp. 127-130 on Division
- p. 131 Math sheet
- Spelling Work due on Thursday, February 14 + final dictation
- INTERVIEW forms (sent home last Tuesday and today) for Thursday 14th and morning of Friday 15th

second copy sent home today

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013


Just a reminder:

Forms were sent home on Tuesday and due on Tuesday, February 12.
 In the spirit of reports, I thought I would post an image of the homework tracking chart with a few assignments posted.  TAKE ONE STEP AT A TIME!  Don't let the Xs build up on you.

I am hoping to create an online research project that incorporates some Art, Writing and History, as it relates to Black History Month.  I am going to use an online animation program called Xtranormal.  Here is a video I created 2 years ago to teach about simple and compound sentences.  It is not 100% complete and could use some editing, but you may get the idea:

To be continued.  I am not sure how many students will be in Room 52, but we will play it by ear.

Only 2/15 students were in the class this morning.  For the morning, only 1 student was here!

I just finished responding to the blog entries from last week on the resignation of Dr. Christopher Spence.  Please check the Library blog link to read the different responses.  On that blog, I am posting a copy of the Reading Response for future responses on this blog.  Be make sure you comment on all of the response areas-- Retell, Relate, and Reflect-- when we do another class blog.


- Math test on multiplying (2 numbers by 1 number:  some questions with carrying and others without carrying) is postponed until Monday
- Interview forms:  if you do not want an interview, or do want one, please return the forms as soon as possible (thanks)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A short entry today.


- double sided division sheet
- Math Multiplication test (with and without carrying:  2 digits by 1 digit)

An solid example of Ariane's Study Sheet with correct questions and a detailed explanation of how each question was solved.

The above photo was taken with a document camera attached to the Promethean Board.  It allows me to share images, using a camera, and show the class something I would like them to see.  I used it today when I was reading from a book. I was having some challenges with saving the image from a book I was reading.  I'll try it again tomorrow.

With division, we worked as a class to solve some basic question on the board.  This provided the class with an opportunity, as always, to check their work.
The bottom 3 questions (3-5) were done in class and checked by me.  Well, they SHOULD
 have been done!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hopefully this video from Monday's Community Circle will upload.  Further discussion around this thought provoking topic will continue.  The issue concerns what bothers the students most about adults and how they want to be similar to or different from the adults they know when they grow up.

Here is a video I produced for today's Grade 7 visit.  It gives the viewer a snapshot of the energy from the Senior Division from the staff and students.  I can say, proudly, that I am happy I teach at AMG.

The Parent Teacher interviews are coming!  These interviews are optional for all parents or guardians.  This means that you do not have to attend if you do not have any concerns about your son or daughter.
I have sent a form home today.

- a study sheet for the multiplication test on Friday:  2 questions only; one with carrying and the other without carrying (see examples on p. 60, 61&62) 
- complete simple and compound 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pardon the short posts of late.


- pp. 62 (#2,3,4) & 127 for Math
- write 3 simple & 3 compound sentences

The multiplication is becoming a little more challenging with this homework.  Just to remind you, homework is not graded but used to help deepen the student understanding.  We had a "pop quiz" based on the homework from last night.  Here is a sample of the quiz:

We did an Open Book test today and I put some sample questions on the board for the students to see and apply them to the questions on the test.  Here were the guiding questions:

Eventually we will be moving into division, but I had a Problem of the Day question that looked liked this:

We reviewed the answer together
 One of the goals in writing this term will be on the ability to write a paragraph.  We will need to take this slow, but have started to doing some review on writing sentences.  We will use some of the lessons from the Promethean Board and books in our class to help us.

A simple, compound, and complex sentence.

Handout on sentences (in the Literacy folder)