Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday: Grade 8 Graduation

The week is almost over and so is this school year.

empty... for now

A last look at the Homework board before it is cleaned tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2014


This is the last week.  Wow.
Today is, also, the absolutely last day for anything to be handed in.  Mega-extensions have been provided and so have the reminders.

Once again, a few photos, with comments to document the busy, last few days of last week:

Rehearsals for this Wednesday's graduation began last week.  We will have the final one tomorrow morning.

Elle, sporting a new haircut, successfully completes her Readers Theatre performance.

A.J., along with supporting cast member, Eric, perform a scene from his book.

A couple of fun scenes from the Grade 8 walk up the Don Valley on Thursday.  The Grade 8s are off on another trip today to High Park.
The Drake Pasta lunch happened on Friday for AMG.  They are a great community supporter.  If you feel like spending some money on a lunch or a night out, consider The Drake!  Can you spot Tracey, Cassandra, Megan, Alyssa, and Junior?

The following image from last week's demonstration by Eric (with AJ's help).

Here is a short, edited video of Eric "sharing" or averaging the set of cubes:

The following students have completed their Prezi presentations on Identity.  Here are the links to the presentations.  The deadline for the submission of this assignment, and all other outstanding Term 2 work, was today:  Monday, June 20.














Prezis Identity presentations still missing:  Jonathan & Tracey

Narrative paragraphs still missing: Jonathan, Tracey, Caleb, & Alyssa

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


To be continued and added to, but I thought I would post this:

This was based on last night's homework.  Thanks to AJ and Eric for helping set up this question and for helping to explain it to the class.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Very late on Monday, but really on Tuesday

I have not gone for more than a week with a post for quite some time.  The summer vacation is almost here, but this always seems to be the busiest time of year for teachers as they prepare to wind down.  School sports are ending, but the graduation is on the horizon, along with IEP updates, and report card completions.

As I have done in the past, when I am trying to fill in some details, I will upload some images and comment on them as they relate to the work of the past week.

This is a video selection from Tamar's Reader's Theatre project.  This is the scene involving the dramatization of some movement from the book he read, The Iron Man by Ted Hughes.

Here are some other images of our presenters.  The students have known about this assignment for, at least, 8 weeks.  Some of the students are not prepared to present (and I am not talking about the people who forgot their books or needed one more day to get ready).


We began to use some of the statistics from the World Cup to learn about Measures of Central Tendancy which is usually known as Mean, Median, and Mode.  I did not put any Group G information; I think people are still hurting from that Portugal loss.

Here is another item I received in the mail today.  It is a Real Estate report for my area. It makes reference to the Mean and Mean (Average).

The Grade 8s took Algebra a step further and caught up to some of the work their peers were doing in the other classes.  For a lot of them, this was new material and challenging.  A lot of them, though, really pushed through this and learned some things that will benefit them in Grade 9.

This letter was a follow up to the remind parents and guardians of the 2 Progress Reports which went home over the past 6 weeks.  Some students did not bring them back, so I provided them with additional copies.  If you have not signed this letter, please do it and return it please.  Thanks.

 Column A of worksheet on calculating Averages (the Mean)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday and Tuesday

I know school is close to being done, but teaching for this term will not be over until the final report cards go home.

Thanks to the parents who signed and returned the Progress Reports.

 There are many of you who have not returned it.  Please do this; it is appreciated.

I am still plowing through some curriculum materials.  I am trying to balance off some of this work by providing opportunities for the students to interact with the work in a non-traditional way.

For Grade 7s, I have discovered another game for the students to investigate that relate to the 1st quadrant of the Cartesian plane:

This is grid with all 4 quadrants.

This game is a little more challenging and takes into account the other quadrants:

And here is another challenging,
4 quadrant game:

As far as some games and posts for the Grade 8s, who are now currently working on Algebra, I have re-posted a link from a couple of weeks ago.   I think this work may be more of an appropriate review for the Grade 8s.  Some of the content in the links was a bit too advanced for a number of the Grade 7s.


Grade 8:  Math sheet p. 50 all + p. 51 odd questions only (Algebra)

Grade 7:  Questions 1-12 on Math sheet  (Geometry)

Reader's Theatre/Book Talks begin Wednesday afternoon

Narrative paragraphs are due

Prezi/Identity projects begin on Monday.  I will aim to make a version of what the project may look like.  So far, here are my rough notes:

I just spent the last hour and a bit collecting images and putting some of these rough sentences into a draft Prezi for the students to see.  It may be seen at the following link:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday and Wednesday

For some students, they admit defeat even before they begin a task.  They may not even be aware of how easy something might be because they are afraid or have doubts about their abilities.  In Room 52, I like to see possibilities and that requires a sense of hope and optimism.

Sure, we all fail or have difficulties with certain things, but that should not define who we are.  Accept defeat, from time to time, figure out where you went wrong, ask for some help, and move forward.

image taken from

As we prepare to hand in the short, narrative paragraphs, I was reviewing, with a students, the 3 types of sentences I am expecting in the paragraph:

Simple, Compound, Complex
Another important point for this paragraph exercise, is the use of transition words.  The students received a handout from Writers Express which looked like this:

We spent some more time -- the Grade 7s did -- taking up the old Algebra test in preparation for another one tomorrow:

In addition to looking at these questions, we will look at some word problem questions.  Here is a question that Tamar solved:

The questions are nothing different from the adding and subtracting the students are already doing.  I would like to push them a bit by introducing Multiplying and Division to the equations, but I will be mindful of not overwhelming the students.

For this question, I drew a couple of rough pictures to break down the question.  For some of the class, they learn best with images and pictures.  Once the question is laid out, using the knowledge of "balancing" the equation is very straightforward.  Here is a screenshot of the completed question from the preceding video.

Here is the other problem solving question  that a number of students got involved in answering.  Again, I used a visual to demonstrate how to extract the information from the question.  It makes it a little easier:

As the Grade 7s embark on their journey into Geometry, here is another useful link from that will introduce some concepts:

Here is an image of what will be looking at over the next little while:

image taken from

If we have time, we may explore the full grid, which looks something like this and also contains negative numbers.  If we don't get to this now, we will in Grade 8.

image taken from


 The Reader's Theatre project is the second last major presentation for the year.  I have provided the students with the final details of the assignment and created two rough drafts and shared the first one with them.  Here is the second one:

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

I am back from Camp Wahanowin.  Although I do not have specific pictures of people from our class, I do have some nice shots I took in and around the campsite.  I mostly enjoyed taking photos in the evening.

I thought I was going to be away at a Track and Field event and very grateful that I was in Room 52 today.

Including the Track meet last week, I have been away for 4 days and wanted to connect with the group and set the path for the end of the year with some assignments.

I will be away at a workshop and Track meet (The TDSB City Finals) next week.

As far as work goes, I wanted to return and add some details to the narrative paragraph assignment.  I reviewed elements of the Success Criteria to help the class along.

 To review sentence length, I returned to this sheet we used earlier in the year and provided an example of each type of sentence for them:

As for the Transitional, or linking words, they are often used to make a work of writing more clear and visual for the reader.  Here is the list, with a few examples:

I will come back to this again tomorrow, but I gave the students a sample of my paragraph and the steps I went through  to complete it.


3 x Simple, Compound, and Complex sentences (9 in total, 3 of each kind)
Narrative Paragraph due on Wednesday

Have a pleasant evening.  Drink lots of water and wear sunscreen; if not tonight, then do it tomorrow.