Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays! Have a wonderful rest and lots of fun!

Our last day of school was quite laid back.  We reflected on 2016 and had some happy thoughts on what we want to do over the next two weeks of holidays.

I would like to thank all of the students and family members who gave such lovely, thoughtful gifts and cards to me.  It has been a real pleasure, and blessing, to have such a wonderful group of learners in my first year at Dovercourt.

I told myself that I will not post any school related items until the weekend before school starts.  This way, we can all take a breather, relax, and prepare for getting back to work in 2017.  The only item I will post, which relates to some work in Reading and the Holidays, is this story from the CBC:

Toronto chef prepares over 600 Christmas meals with food that was destined for landfills Shared via the CBC News Android App

Enjoy your time together!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Short Entry: Where we are at

It has been a few years since the Winter/Holiday break was so close to the celebration of a major Holiday.  Needless to say, it has been a little stressful.  Perhaps not for the students, but for me.  So, the posts haveThwrew been a little shorter and not as frequent.

I have decided to avoid any introduction of new work until January.  For now, we are doing some review and attempting to catch up on some old work.  Building on our current explorations in Math, we did an investigation where I gave the students a number in written form and they had to write it out in standard form (regular numbers).  Afterward, I wrote out t he number for them on the paper.  At first glance, it seems they all got it correct.  My one worry was that the students changed their answers, but I was hoping for some mistakes, since we can always learn from our errors. be continued


There are a number of students who did very well on the last Math test.  I am impressed.  Still, I will take the opportunity to review the test and provide another testing opportunity.  Here is the answer sheet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Comparing Units: Learning from the Teacher workshop, Place Value review, scanned Math homework

Measurement and being able to compare

During a Math workshop today, the teachers discussed aspects of the Measurement strand.  Mr. Toale suggested that we consider the BIG IDEA of comparing one attribute with another attribute (a certain quality).

At this point, we are doing some review work in Number Sense using the Place Value chart.  Even though we are dealing with numbers, there is still the element of measurement.  If we could quantify some of the examples below, it might help with our understanding.   since we are comparing values.  We have used the Base 10 blocks to assist us with understanding that the following items represent  certain things:

As we move to the right, the values are becoming TEN times larger.  Think of the values, moving from the left to right, as
 1 cent,  10 cents, and 1 dollar.  A different unit of currency is a good example of how items have a different value by still a part of the same unit of money.   

Unfortunately, I do not have enough Base 10 "1.0" in the classroom to represent $10, $100, or  $1000.  I can offer a couple of examples of the pattern behind the values increasing:
This image, paying attention to the numbers in the middle, demonstrates what happens when we multiply the term by 10.  Simply, we are adding a zero, to the digit.  I believe the list of numbers on the far left corresponds to the exponent value.
For example:

The other example continues our example of money, but the values are being multiplied by 10, but 100.
Here is our trusted friend -- I don't even know his name! -- from Math Antics, to outline some important parts of understanding Place Value.

For the more musically inclined, check this one.  It will review some of the concepts we have learned:  Standard Form, Expanded form and in words.  There are countless videos on YouTube and I could upload videos upon videos, but that would be overwhelming.  Spend some time, on your own, checking out the great things available on YouTube to help supplement some of the things we do in class.

Scanned Math homework pages:  pp.41-42 # 1-8

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Picturing the Ward Art exhibit & connection to recent Social Studies Inquiry

Over the past week, information about the exhibition Picturing the Ward came out.  The project that was completed in Social Studies took a look at how a particular community moved from one place to another.  In this case, a number of new Canadians settled in St. John's Ward, which was bound by College St., Queen St., Yonge St., and University Avenue and is an example of how Toronto has had a rich history of Cultural and Ethnic diversity.

How construction barriers are bringing downtown's gritty past to life Shared via the CBC News Android App
You may consider visiting the Museum over the break, or you can check it out online:

Here are a few visuals talking about the former community, the Art project, and excavation taking place.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dress Rehearsal images from Dovercourt 2016 Holiday concert, our evening performnace, and weekend Homework

2016 Holiday Concert:  Dovercourt PS

Our talented Strings students

getting ready to go backstage

Raise the Roof!

Night performance:  getting ready for the curtain to be drawn!

From Miriam's Dad:

Thanks for coming out, on such a snowy evening.

view from 28 at concert's end


Quiz on Multiplying and Dividing by Powers of Ten:  The new date will be on Tuesday, December 20 so Mr. P can do a review on Monday

Math homework (2 pages on large numbers)

Here is a sample question we reviewed, prior to the work being handed out:

Open-book Reading Comprehension questions on What a waste article, which everyone should have in the Language section of binder/duotang (posted in Proudfoot Institute link off Blog) 

continued efforts to encourage the habit of using the agenda...
have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Math Study Sheet, The Giver quartet of books & the film...

Connecting the Study Sheet & and an old post  

There was a blog post, just after we did some textbook homework work, that looked at some of these questions.  Here is the link, which we will spend some time looking at:

"The Giver Quartet" C O M I N G   S O O N!

Of the quartet, we will most likely skip Gathering Blue, which I will summarize, and read Messenger and Son.  The last book pulls all of the novels together in a really awesome way.

C.C, not Sierra, where...are you here?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Summary writing, paragraphing, Success Criteria for Stereotyping assignment & a sample response the danger of the "single story"

Manoj Nair & summarizing

Using videos to assist with teaching can be a real plus, especially when they are good.  Manoj Nair grew up in both Singapore and England, but calls Singapore home.  Singapore is known as an island-state.,103.5668226,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x31da11238a8b9375:0x887869cf52abf5c4!8m2!3d1.352083!4d103.819836

While looking for a video on summarizing, I came across Manoj's video for a work a work of fiction.  We will be using the article on food waste from What in the World  for our summary.  I think we may do this as a group activity since this may be your first time.  It is a little complicated at first, but you will learn as you practice more and more.  Based on our time today, we will not get to this until Wednesday or Thursday.

One of the main things you should know, before summarizing, is what the main idea is of the item you are writing.  Here is a fun idea on the main idea from a Flocabulary video:

We will talk about this some more and break down and look a little closer at some of the big ideas that are really important in writing a summary.  Think of it as a mechanic checking out the parts of a car to make sure he or she knows what is going on, so the car can run efficiently!


Developing this skill is something that needs to be done for both Summary writing and the assignment related to Stereotypes.    A classic template for this form of writing is the hamburger paragraph:

In class, we will check out a few samples and then take a look at this game, which you can play on your own, at home.
Classic Paragraph song from YouTube:

Stereotyping assignment Success Criteria:

UPDATE:  Here is a sample for this assignment, which follows the items in the Success Criteria:

I think there are 5 supporting details and 1 Introductory and Concluding sentence.

As part of a cautionary note on the idea of a "single story," a couple of examples were put up on the board.  By the end of the day, I hope we can add a few more:

Spelling reminder:  a short sentence review

We are taking an easy introduction into our Spelling unit.  The 20 words on our first list are based on a lot of words that students had difficulty spelling.  At the end of the unit, I asked the students to write some sentences, using the list words.  Here is a small sample of how this might look:


Rough copy of Stereotype assignment due on Friday in Language notebook
Spelling final dictation and sentences due on Friday in Language notebook

Friday, December 9, 2016

Items from Friday, late Sunday apology, Monday's work on Stereotypes, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi, and David's presentation

A couple of journal samples from Food Waste article:

Returning to summarizing

This will likely be an activity for Monday, or later on in the week, but I thought I would post a video on one of the skills we will learn.

HEALTH:  Developing our understanding of Stereotypes:

We began this discussion on Friday with a small discussion about what we thought we knew on the topic and then recorded the definition down to have a real understanding of what it means to Stereotype.

I managed to get caught up with a lot of work this weekend and did not make this post as early as I would have liked.  I hope this did not cause a lot of you any difficulty or confusion and I have to apologize because I said I was going to post an example of the homework you were supposed to complete.

I introduced you to two scenarios and started to write an example of jot notes and a mindmap on the board.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of those notes, but fortunately, I have an example here for you to look at.  Unfortunately, it is quite late on Sunday and many of you may be asleep.  Fortun...just kidding.

Here are a couple of examples from the initial ideas I had on the board.  I will review them on Monday.

The note, from the front board, is here.  I thought I took a photo of it on Friday.  There are some slight variations from the note I posted last night.

Stereotypes can be very limiting when we make assumptions about the people we meet.  On Friday, the teachers participated in a workshop that explored some of these ideas.  We watched a selection from a video, featuring the author Chimamanda Ngozi who talked about the danger of the single story.  We will not watch the whole story, but only a few minutes and make a connection with some of the things we have talked about in class.

This video will be shared on Tuesday, but I thought I would connect it to our discussion on stereotypes by looking at this simple visual:

Using Media (news and film) to explain some of the components of the Social Studies Inquiry project:

Over the last couple of weeks, we watched a couple of short films and a news item about the Hip Hop group, A Tribe Called Red ( to explore some of the key areas of understanding for the project:  Developing a sense of place of your community, recognizing the different experiences community members, being able to identify barriers and possible experiences with discrimination, locating and developing some early research skills to discover information about the pioneers of your community in Canada or Toronto.  

Thanks, David:

Today, David did a short presentation on his experience with being diagnosed and living for a period of time with Leukemia.  Since September, he has asked if he can do this and recently completed a presentation, which he shared with the class.  He also answered some really great questions from his classmates.  Way to go, David!  That was an inspiring story and a great measure of your resilient spirit.

UPDATE:  The actor from the film Deadpool dedicated his Critics Choice award to two patients, who lost their lives to Cancer.  This was announced yesterday.  Here is the news footage from Global:


Extension of Social Studies project:  Thursday, December 15, 2016
Health Jot Notes or Mind-map, if the work was not completed on the weekend in Language notebook.

I hope you enjoyed the snow on Sunday.  Some of you seemed to have enjoyed shoveling.