Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I had asked for all students to hand in a rough copy of their opinion paragraphs, so I can provide them with some constructive feedback.  I am pleased that 8 students did this and, perhaps, another one is working on it tonight.  The assignment is due tomorrow!

Here are a couple of examples of the feedback on the rough drafts.  In one case, the student added more information on the page and has now moved on to type up his paragraph:

  In a similar exercise, I introduced the students to something a friend of mine, Samantha Lanaway, did when she taught English.  She provided them with a template to organize their ideas.  Not only do the students have to write a reason -- to support the topic sentence -- but they have to add an example.  In my opinion, this will make their writing stronger.  Here is an example I provided:

This style of writing will be built upon and developed more in the second term.

There will be a test tomorrow.  THE final test for the unit on Measurement.  As always, Rewrites are available for students who score below 50%.  Play the games online, which I posted yesterday, as a way of reviewing.  We will do a final review, in class, tomorrow.

-Storytelling framework
- Media poster
-final paragraph (Opinion based)
- Parent - Teacher interview forms 

Have a good night.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Please excuse the heavy handed reference to God and the Bible, this a short example of how to set up a concluding or closing sentence for a paragraph.

In addition to this video, we also did a paragraph puzzle type of activity where sentences needed to be placed in order:

 All the groups agreed that #2 was the Topic Sentence and #1 was the Closing or Concluding sentence.  The supporting details came next.  Two groups agreed on the exact order of the supporting details :  2, 4, 3, 5, 1.  Another thought it could be:  2, 5, 4, 3, 1 and the last group considered:  2, 3, 5, 4, 1.

The last group's suggestion had the sentence beginning with "Also" as the second sentence.  Usually, the word also follows another sentence with a supporting detail.

We followed this up with an activity where the students were given a concluding or closing sentence and then had to build a paragraph.  I have done this before, but can be a little abstract for the class.  So, I do one as an example.  Here are the stages of this exercise that I have for the class to see:

These exercises are designed to help the students in writing their own
paragraphs.  They will be doing this
and they will be doing a rough
draft for me tonight with the idea
that they will be getting feedback
from me and make any necessary

2 completed copies done by students:

The Success Criteria for the paragraph is here:

Yesterday, we through are second reading of the Fables.  Again, this is practice for the Storytelling unit we will be getting into in the end of the Term 1/start of Term 2.  The presenters did much better in terms of not reading their scripts and telling the stories.

Here is a video of Kevin and Brandon presenting their fables
and doing the "Expression" warm-up exercise.

The final Math test for this Place Value/Measurement Unit will take place on Thursday.  We did some review today and we will continue with it tomorrow.  I would direct you to this lengthy video, which I have posted before, that may help some of you review:

I think this is it.
This is a handout that I think of as a 99% guarantee for understanding how metric conversion works using the infamous King Henry chart.  I will read through it tomorrow.

I just did a search for an Internet based game.  Here it is; it should help with the review:

A metric volume game:

A metric weight/mass game:

Metric length game:

Metric ruler game:


Complete a rough copy of your opinion paragraph.  Use the Success Criteria chart to guide you.  Feedback will be provided for all completed rough drafts.  Final copies of poster are due on Friday, January 31.


Final Math test on Thursday

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

I created this distance chart for an upcoming Math test we will be doing.  It will concern calculating distances and being able to convert from one unit to another.  It is based on a homework activity we did last week.

Term 1 interviews will be taking place on Thursday, February 13 between 4 and 8 p.m.

Together, we came up with a Success Criteria chart for the Media/Art/Writing assignment.  It was based on the Brainstorm chart I had posted before (Monday, January 20), but this one was done with a lot more student input.  This will be used as the basis for grading/evaluating the final posters, which are due on Wednesday.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday January 24, 2014

I forgot to upload a few shots from last week's Reading Buddies visit to Mr. McLaughlin's class:

Information concerning the vision screenings, done at AMG, went home on Wednesday.  This is what they look like.  THIS ONLY HAPPENED FOR THE GRADE 7 STUDENTS.

As part of a Drama activity we were doing, we did a couple of warm-up exercises.  Here is the activity and a short clip of what happened when a student tried it out.

A short notice put up near the Recycling bin in the classroom.  You may want to review this with your son or a daughter.  This may not seem like a huge thing, but if we can divert some waste away from the landfill, then that is beneficial to all of us.

H o m e w o r k

-Review fable and be ready to present with expression and enthusiasm on Monday.
-Media Poster (for Persuasive paragraph) due on Wednesday, 29th  
- 1 or 2 items of waste with Metric units on it (only Jonathan and Jessica have brought something in)

** There will be a "King Henry" conversion test coming next week! Begin reviewing now.

 Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Kevin, attempting a tongue twister.  This was part of a warm-up exercise for Drama.

I updated my example of the rough copy of the poster I did for the class.  Here it is:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This is a line of items (from large to small) is decreasing 10 x (or being divided by 10)

The large weight equals 1000g, followed by 100g, followed by 10g, and followed by a box of Tic Tacs (2 of them equal 1 g).

There are usually 48 in a box.
You would need 20 Tic Tacs to equal the weight Caleb has in his hands (2 Tic Tacs = 1 gram, so
20 Tic Tacs equal 10g)
Estimating the width of the room.  It was close to 10m.

Brandon, expressing himself, during the first stage of Storytelling, in class.

The Media/Art project, to support the paragraph writing exercise, looks like this:

Both the Grade 7s and 8s received this today.  I tried to model how the planning for a poster would look by using the template provided on the back of the handout.  It was a larger version of the chart you see.  Here is my sample:

My position on the importance of failing comes from being an athlete in Track and Field who, only later, began to understand the value of losing; it is something that can build character and a resilient or bounce back spirit in individuals.  At the time, it was hard to understand that.  I just thought losing sucked.

I was heavily inspired by the work of author Paul Tough, who wrote this really cool article on the value of failing:

Have a good evening. 

Complete, if you haven't pp.174-175 of the Math
Prepare for your second telling of your Fable
Media poster for persuasive paragraph due on January 29
2 empty items of packages/bottles from home with Metric units on them

Monday, January 20, 2014


 image from:

To build on the Persuasive Paragraphs the class is preparing to write, the students will be creating a poster (for the Media component of the Language program) to support their particular point of view.  We will be looking at some examples of effective poster design.  

Here is a link, on Google, to a page of posters.  Not all of them are good, but we will spend some time trying to understand what elements go into designing an effective poster.

 Some effective posters I found from this page are:

 A Success Criteria chart will be created for the Art/Media/Language poster project, but the initial thoughts on this project have been recorded and posted on chart paper:

For the Grade 7 Health Project, I wrote a note for the students to use to help guide their research.  Because I need the board space, I have erased the note and posting it on the blog for all to see:

Ms. Sitarek has arranged for a school presentation on Social Network Safety for parents on January 22.  The presenter is Paul Davis.  You may read about him at:

I am working on a small community walk to Freshco (on Gladstone, just North of Queen) to work on some of the Metric conversion exercises we have been doing in class.  More details will follow about this, but I am asking students to bring in 2 items from home to help practice for this short trip.

Friday, January 17, 2014


The Grade 8s are off to a visit at Central Commerce this afternoon and there will not be a lot of time today to get into some topics.  I am hoping to do some review on Metric conversion because it seems that a lot of students are struggling to understand the principles of conversion and introduce a unit on this:

image from

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I wanted to provide the students with some hands on, real connection to some of the Metric units we have been talking about directly.  While they measured objects around the classroom (mostly using cm and mm as units), I wanted to give them a sense of how large a kilometre is.  So, we went for a walk around the school.  Here was our map:

So, in terms of putting together some of the activities relating to the Metric System, here is a King Henry conversion chart, along with some benchmark images:

To be continued.  I am going to check the results of the in-class, group estimation and measurement activity.  If students are having some difficulties, it will be another opportunity to re-teach some of the main concepts.
Evaluation of this unit will begin next week.

The paragraph quiz has also been reviewed.  Here are a couple of images:

A slide from a lesson from Promethean Planet.  An example of a good paragraph:  clear introduction, with supporting details, and a strong concluding sentence.

A sample of a multiple choice question on selecting the proper Topic Sentence.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I finally put together a Success Criteria for the work on paragraphing we are doing.

I have been looking over work that the students have been doing a providing a lot of feedback for them.  This teaching, feedback, and assessment will continue, but we will be having a short quiz tomorrow to see how well the students have been doing on this paragraph unit.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I did manage to put together some good examples of Topic Students different students created from the exercise last week.  My apologies if I mentioned your example yesterday in class, but is not posted in the following image.

Have a good day!