Thursday, December 19, 2013

Twas the day before the Holidays...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!lt
image courtesy as 

Here is an image of the talented Coach, Music Teacher, and all around great guy, Mr. Chung playing the keyboard during the rehearsal for the Christmas concert. 

The entire school, practicing caroling in preparation for Tuesday night's concert. It was a superb concert!!

Here is a list of the most recent Level 3 (70%) results of our end of year tests:

I am offering Rewrite options for both the Math and Language activities.

In class, there will be the option for doing this.  I am breaking from tradition and allowing students to improve their understanding of sentence writing by making corrections to the Sentence test.

Here is the three examples of the types of sentences I reviewed.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, we will be reviewing these type of sentences in the new year as we begin writing paragraphs.  There will be other opportunities to improve our understanding and mastery of these sentence types.

Here are two pages of notes that will help some of the students complete the Rewrites for Math.  I was just talking with another teacher and thinking that doing at least one Rewrite should be mandatory for all students who failed the test or scored below 50%.  When the opportunity to improve your mark is offered -- and coaching from the teacher -- I really believe students should be taking advantage of this and developing a sense of resiliency (bounce back) and responsibility.  

A newsletter was sent home yesterday.  It only seemed to go to the Grade 8 students.  I am not sure why.  Here it is:

A few shots, from my not-so-good camera of the dance this afternoon:

 A snack form was handed out today to ALL students in the class.  If you did not get one, and want one, please pick up one next year (2014).

Have a wonderful holiday with your family.  During extended holidays, the TDSB Homework Policy says no homework!!  You should still aim to read at least 30 minutes per day.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Online Math games relating to decimals prior to final test for Place Value

This site offers links to a variety of decimal games:

I would suggest:

Football Math
Decimal Ducks
Place Value Pirates
Click the Decimal Point

Also look at your Math notebook to see how expanded form works for decimals and the relationship between fractions and decimals.

Good Luck!!
image taken from:

Monday, December 16, 2013


The sentence test had to be done over today.  It was a technical issue that was my fault and needed to be smoothed out.   I made the necessary corrections, had the students do the test, and put that grade alongside the written test done on Friday.  Results will be give out this morning.  A screenshot of one part of the test looks like this:

I decided to "chunk" the Math test.  The Promethean Board part of the test was done today. It will be graded for tomorrow and reviewed, prior to the written portion of the test tomorrow.  Here is a screenshot from the test:

Both tests are in multiple choice or true and false type questions.  So, while the students don't have to write, they must have an understanding of the topic.

The final dictation for Spelling was today and the graded tests will be returned tomorrow.  I will also be marking the work for the Spelling Unit. Unfortunately, a number of students ARE NOT doing this.  While it results in less marking for me, it also means that the students are not meeting the obligations of the classroom or taking initiative and responsibility for their learning.

The same reminder also goes for the lack of Study Sheets being prepared by members of the class to help them with the most recent Math test.


Math test on Place Value relating to smaller numbers.

From last week's rehearsal.  The Holiday concert is tomorrow night.

Have a good evening.

image from

Friday, December 13, 2013

Liu Xiang as inspiration and an opportunity for learning about thousandths of a second

Post number:

Former world record holder, Liu Xiang has always been a source of inspiration for me.  In 2008, he had to leave the 110m Hurdle race in Beijing with the whole stadium and nation watching him.  He had a severe Achilles Tendon injury and attempted to run, but could not.  Here are some photos of him and a video of the unfortunate race in Beijing.

This must have been a very difficult moment for him, but Liu Xiang was able to bounce back from this tragic moment.  This is where the Math comes in!

As he went through recovery and rehabilitation, Liu Xiang demonstrated an incredible amount of resilience.  He was able to bounce back, being patient, and taking the time he needed to prepare himself, once again, for competition.  In the end, during his comeback race, he lost by a mere thousandth (0.001) of a second.
There you have it; Character education meets Place Value.


We did our Sentence tests today.  They will be marked on Monday.  From looking at the early results from the Promethean Board/Activ Expression test, there will probably need to be a review.  The Math test and final Spelling dictation have been moved to Monday.

Reading Buddies took place in Mr. McLaughlin's room.  I snapped a couple of shots:

The last 2 are from the rehearsals from the Winter concert, which will take place this Tuesday.  Enjoy your weekend. It is almost time for the break; there will be a 4 day week next week!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Math test scheduled for tomorrow has been put off until Monday.  There were two final sheets to review and take up and I did not feel comfortable giving a test while there was unfinished work to be reviewed.

To help some of the students improve at responding to the weekly New York Times exercise of figuring out what is going on in a particular photo.  The Grade 7s came up with some ideas that we added to a Success Chart that will be posted in the class when the students have to do this activity.

I decided to add a response to the photo, as well.

The actual image, an information about the photo, may be seen at:

Some of the time was spent getting ready for tomorrow's test on understanding and writing out different types of sentences.  Here is a preview of what to expect, using the Activ Expression, devices and an image of reminders about the 3 types of sentences we learned.


Sentence test in 2 parts:  Promethean Activ Expression part + Writing portion (being able to write a Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentence)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday evening planning

Preparations are being made for 2 tests for this week.  One will be in Math and Language.  For both tests, there will be an interactive component where the students will use these Blackberry looking devices to answer a series of questions (True and False and Multiple Choice) using the Active Expression 2 hardware.

I have not used this hardware since last year, so I spent the evening familiarizing myself on how it works and also with setting up the 2 quizes.

There will be a writing component for both tests and will look at the students' abilities at being able to write Complex Sentences and understand how Place Value works, when decimals are involved.

We have been very busy doing a lot of review, and assessment on these topics.

We played a game in Math, similar to the one where the students had to create very larger numbers, while playing with a partner.  In this game, the object was to create the largest number, but it involved a decimal point.  Here are some game play images, along with some of the reference points we used to better understand the topic.

A completed game card with all work completed

A screen shot of some athletes from the 2012 Olympics.  We were paying attention to their scores and how they were measured to the 1000th decimal point.
A fictional exercise based on the world of Gymnastics.  Thanks to Eric for completing this for the class to see.
In the realm of writing, sample are always showing up on the board somewhere.  The name of the game is repetition and understanding.  If the students practice, I do my best to provide them with feedback so they will know where they went wrong and how to improve.

There was no homework tonight, but it is advisable that the students begin to prepare for the tests at the end of the week.
Actually, Spelling was assigned this evening and is due on Friday.  I walked through the Spelling Sheet with them and will welcome any questions, if the students are feeling confused.


Uploaded videos

It looks as though my video sizes are too large.  I read on another site that they should not be larger than 100mb and the size of film, even when broken into smaller parts, tops out at about 150mb.  So, the size of these videos may not be that large and I will know that they must be edited into smaller chunks in the future.

There were also some students who were on Global News about Kathleen, the dancing crossing guard.  Here is a brief video about her and a link to the current news story

Another attempt at uploading

Like good teaching, assignments are often broken down into smaller parts.  So, I am attempting to break the movie I tried to publish into smaller sizes.  Okay, let's take a shot at this:

Okay, this is a bit of a problem.  I have spent  a lot of time trying to make this work.  Patience, Mr. Proudfoot, go back to the drawing board.

What I will post will be something the Grade 7s have to pick up on in the morning.  As we prepare to begin working on our Persuasive Paragraphs.  Here is another sample of a Complex Sentence:

This rather scenic image comes with a quote from the character known as Morpheus, from The Matrix who imparts some wisdom to Neo, the chosen one, about making a choice.

I have always believed that we have choice and agency.  A student may decide to complete homework or they may not.  When time is provided in class to catch up on missed work, a student may or may not decide to use that time.

This is like the door that Neo, the chosen one, must decide to go through.  Students have choice; they may not be always easy decisions, and require some work, but that is life.
To be continued.

Monday, December 9, 2013


For the weekend, the students had to finish doing a Reading Response for a set of Nelson Mandela quotations that were posted on the blog.  I had them as a collection on Friday and asked the students to select one to respond to.

The next project in writing is going to involve looking at writing a persuasive paragraph.  For some reason, I seem to feel that I should capitalize it.  Maybe it's a teacher thing.  My thinking behind this rests with the ides that Tweens and Teens have opinions of a lot of things.  Why not put that to use and combine that with the work they have already been doing on writing sentences?

So, we used the Community Circle forum as a launching pad for sharing some opinions.  The ideas they share are not 100% complete and may be subject to more development, but this initial brainstorm exercise is a place to start.  Here is a video, which I hope uploads, with some of the class members sharing ideas:


Another reason I am using this particular method for writing has to do with the upcoming OSSLT (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test) in Grade 10.  For one of the exercises, the students have to write 3 persuasive paragraphs on a given topic.  Here is an image I took of the page from last May's assessment:

The link for more information on the OSSLT (a requirement, if you want to graduate from high school) may be found at

 Although I have not always posted this exercise on the blog, we usually respond to the New York Times Monday post of What's Going on in This Picture.  The link for this fun activity is posted here:

It is a way for the students to have some fun, and think critically, about the image they see and use the clues to try and make some meaning from the image.

In Math, we are looking at numbers in the tenths to thousandths place value.  To supplement the homework, I am showing a couple of videos that look at small numbers.  The first one is from the 2012 Olympics where the scores for the Gymnastics are often scored down to the thousandths of a point:

Gymnastics are scored to the thousandths of a digit.

Also, equally as impressive, are a series of close finishes from the Indy Car Series.  The finishing places of some of the cars boil down to thousandths of a second!

There is no homework assigned tonight, but your son or daughter may have outstanding work that they need to complete.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Rest in Peace, Nelson Mandela.  The BBC has posted a collection of photos which documents his life:

Another  news video, from CBC, does a good job summarizing aspects of his remarkable life:

I updated yesterday's post based on an error in a photo I posted.  I had mistakenly identified a number as being in the thousandths place value, but I wrote it as 0.08 when it should have been 0.008.  Thanks to Caleb for pointing this out!

Hi.  I am good at Math!