Thursday, November 28, 2013


Thursday's homework

We took in a couple of the Senior Boys Volleyball games yesterday.  It was nice to see the team in action and the class did a good job with their school spirit.

We started moving into our look at Complex Sentences.  Here is a slide I posted as part of my lesson.  I think I may print it for the students.

There is a Promethean board lesson I have to support the homework form last night, WHICH A NUMBER OF STUDENTS DID NOT DO.  Actually, it is more like a game and should be a fun review of how the sentences work.  I will then have some writing for them to do this weekend to see if they are able to put into action what they have learned.

The Math tests from early in the week returned.  The option to improve grades, through Rewrites, exists and will be due on Monday.  I have to post the Level 3, and higher, results, but there were not many.  Only:
scored marks above 70%.  One thing they all have in common; they completed a Study Sheet that was factored into the final grade.

Have a good evening.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chequing Activity links, last previews before the test, and some Reading Buddy information

For this Math activity, I will add some more details, but I will add a couple of links you will be able to use to help you look for items to buy:

This exercise is designed to be a review for the upcoming test.  The students are given the task of finding at least 2 "big ticket" items they may want to buy and then filling out a cheque>

The students are responsible for:

1. Writing out who the cheque is for
2. The date
3. The cost of the item in Standard Form
4. The cost of the item in Expanded Form
5. The cost of the item in words
6. The cost of the item in Exponential Forms (for the Grade 8s only)
7. Providing a signature
8. Writing in the MEMO section to indicate what the item it that they are purchasing

Here are three current examples for the students to see.  I will walk through the examples and instructions tomorrow morning.
There were a few students who I prepared a Study Sheet for.  Here is a copy for everyone to see.  It is based on something I have already posted to the blog and an additional reference to writing a number in words.

Out of a class of 15 students, 10 handed Study Sheets in.  That is an improvement, but we still have a few students who are accepting zero out of 5 for not doing one.  Since the test is out of 25, the test is worth 5/25 marks or 20% of the test total.

As far as homework completion goes, here is an image of our current homework tracking chart:

Happy faces indicate completed items and Xs indicate an incompleted item.

I have had this homework resource page up for a number of years.  It is for Math homework, perhaps it might be helpful:

Even though it is a late start, I have started my Spelling program.  A pre-test for Unit was given today (not for marks) and the assigned questions were given out.  The work for the unit and the final dictation will be on Friday, November 29.

Here are the two photos from last Friday's Reading Buddies session.

Helping with drawing in the Reading Buddies journal


Math test tomorrow (A Place Value chart may be used + a Study Sheet, if created by the student)
Spelling work + final dictation on November 29

Saturday, November 23, 2013



A student asked the question, yesterday, why all this talk about goal setting.  It was a good question and it relates to something new the Guidance department at the TDSB is planning for the Grade 7 and 8 students.  It is known as My Blueprint and is an educational planner.  I will be in serviced on how this works, but you can see the website for it at

I have been talking a little bit about goal setting with the class and every student has had to complete a recipe of something they have been successful at and what "ingredients" went into it.  Here is the example that I did:

So, in figuring out what goes into being successful, the students begin to understand that certain things are needed when goals are planned.

Mr. Rodriguez speaking with the students about SMART goal setting.

Here are what the acronym means.

There were a couple of high school visits for the Grade 8s this past week.  Representatives from Parkdale Collegiate Institute dropped by to present about  the International Baccalaureate program.

Additional information may be found at:

The 8s also went on a trip to CTS.  I did not take any photos of the building, but I should have.  I have always loved the way "Tech" looks.  Here is our crew, less Jonathan, waiting for the streetcar:

A photo, from the blog, from 2012.
Walking back from Central Tech.  It was a gorgeous afternoon.

One additional note relating to Central Tech concerning high school:

Reading Response on a reading they do (not a film, this time)
Math Test on Tuesday.  Final details will be posted on Monday's entry after a review activity

Friday, November 22, 2013


Brandon added his name to the list of students who bumped up his test mark by completing Re-Writes.  Good work.

Art, by Kevin:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Place Value: Who wants to be a Millionaire/Place Value game

In our next unit of Math, just before Measurement, we will be looking at numbers smaller than one.

For the next test -- after the one on November 26 -- we will use this game to help prepare for it.  It is a Place Value game that involves numbers smaller than zero (tenths, hundredths, thousandths).  It may be used for this week's test, but there may be some difficulty in answering the question for numbers less than one.

If all study sheets can be provided with feedback and assessed before the end of the day on Friday (tomorrow), the test may be on Monday.  Only when all Study Sheets can be returned, will there be a test.

A former student, Mathew, dropped by to visit.  He was in my class two years ago and the recipient of the English award for the most improved student in the area of Language Arts.

Here is an image of a friendly ghost, who haunts our class:

A very friendly ghost, who is very tall.
The newest additions to the Level 3+ group, for the Math test, are shown below:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Links to Place Value Review games and some helpful hints for the Place Value test

I believe this is a game for putting Expanded Form of a number into Standard Form:

Funbrain "Place Value Puzzler" aimed to identify the values of digits:

A "Pacman" type game for representing numbers in Expanded Form:

While doing some searching online, I found this Place Value movie on Youtube with a catchy tune.

This Wikipedia site (yes, I know it is not always reliable, but it is a sound place to start your research from) for the various countries on the globe may be found at:

The Study Sheet, for Tuesday's test, will be do on Friday.

The Study Sheet, playing the games, and watching these two videos should help you prepare for this test.

 SPOILER ALERT:  Some of the questions for the test will be based on the World Population information contained from this site and some of the information in the preceding videos.  The test is not until Tuesday and you will give you 6 nights to prepare for it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Central Commerce Open House, high school trips, and the first page of Math HW

The 8s are off to an afternoon visit to Central Tech.  Some of our other visits, for the Grade 8s, will include:
Bloor CI and Parkdale CI.  An optional trip may be available for Western Tech or Harbord CI.

I just received this information from Central Commerce, located behind College and Ossington, I believe.

Here is an image of the first page of Math homework.  The students answered some of the questions and are responsible for making corrections to their work, so when it is time to review for a test or create a Study Sheet, they will know what to do.

Tamar answered a question for a large number that had him write it in words.  I had Brandon expand the number in Expanded Form and, as a class, we reviewed how to write it in Exponential Form.

The 8s will be off to visit Central Tech in a few minutes.

AMG is a Certified Eco School

Did you know that AMG is a certified Eco School?
We have recently moved from being a Bronze certified school to a Silver rating.  More information on what this means can be found at the ecoschool website:

Excellent work, AMG!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reading Comprehension exercise

More details to follow, but this does relate to school work.

Hee, hee.

On a more serious note.  I came across this article on the popularity of this song from an excellent news site, Teaching Kids News

While I was looking at some of the CAT-4 assessment results, I noticed that the students seem to be having some difficulty in the area of Reading Comprehension.  So, I thought I would combine this short article with a music video that so many of the students find amusing.  For tonight's homework, the students had to write some jot notes on the article.  I began a sample list of notes here for the students to see:

There are some more points in the article.  I only selected a few.
This morning, we had a visit from the University of Toronto Chemical Engineering students.  They did several experiments with the students.  Here are some photos and a video, which will hopefully upload.

On a similar note, we returned to the our examination of larger numbers by playing a game involving some probability.  A student is given digits numbered 0-9 and have to select them from the bag to make a number greater than his or her opponent.  Here is a short video of some of the game play:

Here is the game card:

In the area of Language, I am hoping to build some more connections between speaking in class (and using details to support and express themselves) and writing.  In particular, the kind of writing you would do when you are making a paragraph.  The Community Circle exercise will be a good way to bridge the two activities.  Here is Trine and Christ-Envie doing their Community Circle:


- complete jot notes on What the Fox Says article
- complete Math sheet (1-3; 5-28 odd numbers only; 29-36 all)

Have a good evening.  Thanks to the parents who were flexible enough to move the interview evening to tonight (Monday).