Friday, April 29, 2016

Advertisement Walk, Avery's Book Talk, Grade 7 to 8 to 9 presentation by Guidance Counselor, our intense read-a-loud book, Proudfoot Institute Google Site, and preparing for a History Google classroom for History

The following stations were set up to take a look at a sample of ads and discover some of the techniques used to sell the product. This was done yesterday.  Each students had to browse all of the stations and then take a look at 1 ad/station and record his or her observations.

Avery was the only student presenting his Book Talk.  He is pictured reading a portion of the book, United We Stand, which is a sequel to We All Fall Down.  Both novels are about the 911 tragedy on September 11, 2001.

This shot was from Mr. Rodriguez's presentation on making the transition from Grade 8 to Grade 9.  Normally this is saved for Grade 8s, but is an important conversation to have at this time of year for the 7s.  They can begin to think about what choices they may want to make for secondary school.  There is an online program the Grade 7s are using called My Blueprint and you can take a look at what it is about at  While this pdf file is specific to Norseman PS, you can still find useful information and your son or daughter will be able to login to the program and explain it to you.
This image should have been placed in front of the Advertisement Walk images.  This was a shot of the group members trying to deconstruct an image from a Pizza Nova ad by paying close attention to the images and language used in the ad.

Our current class read.  It is intense and gripping and enjoyed by all!
 Unfortunately, I was without my camera this afternoon.  It was our Play Day/Track and Field day and I did not take one photo.  Everyone had a good time.

- History assignment on Donnacona and The Cross, due either May 5 or 6
-Camp Wahanowin 3rd balance of $31.70, past due
- Camp Wahanowin forms
- Scholastic Book Club orders due May 6th 

Enjoy your weekend. 
I am in the process of trying to link a Google site page to this blog.  It may require a TDSB sign in to see it, but I would like it to be a place where I can post copies of documents that you -- a student or parent/guardian-- may print out.  It is the newest link set up under the Helpful Links section.

Additionally, I would like to a cue from Mr. Chung and set up a Google classroom for History.  I uploaded the most recent assignment and will do that for all future assignments, if done through Google Docs.  I will ask both classes for some tips on Google Docs and about how you will accept my invitation to join, once I provide each of you with a class code. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Late evening post: Inspiration and Provocation

Definitions for in-class quiz, sample Ralph Lee journal entry, sample entry from in-class "Advertisement Walk"

This post will serve to help make some of the day a little smoother.

We began to look at some example of print advertisement in class.  Today you will be going on an "Advertisement Tour" and visiting 4 stations in the class.  You will then select one ad, from each station, and then do some thinking and recording about what makes it work well.  I will illustrate what I mean by using the following ad:

We deconstructed this ad on Wednesday

So, this is what your observations might be of this ad.  Remember, you only have to select one ad per station.  I would like you to take the time to look at all of the examples, to give you a sense of  the range of messages out there.

The next two items relate to History.

I was mistaken in the age of Ralph Lee and when he lived.
He never did work on the railway.  He is holding the railway stake as a historical example marking the first initial arrival of Chinese citizens to Canada.  The headline is cut off, but it points out that he was the oldest person, who was still alive, who paid the $500 Head Tax to enter Canada.
The article from the CBC website talks about arriving in Canada, at the age of 12, and some of the struggles he had.  I took this information and revised the initial journal entry I did and shared with 7B.

The two concepts I explored were: 1. Technology, through the example of the railroads built , and 2. Power, through the way the Canadian government set up the racist tax system to discourage Chinese from coming to Canada.\

Remember, you are commenting on the situation from the Cartier cross erecting painting.  Please see your assignment sheet for more details.  If you do not have this, please look in the blue hanging file folder, under HISTORY, to find the handout.

The last item that you will need to see on the blog relates to a short quiz you have today.  It is based on one of the definitions listed below.  There is only 1 question you have to answer.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Track Tutorials: Shot Put videos

For coaching purposes, I will post a few videos to show the athletes.  The first is from the World Outdoor Championships in Beijing, from last summer.  The second is from the World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon.

You will see the two most common methods for putting the shot; the Glide and the Spin.  In both videos, you will see the explosive power generated by these athletes.

Post # 700: some Book Talk presenters, close ups of Diorama, more Math with cubes

image taken from

Today we had another 3 presenters in our Book Talk series:  Reid, Tony, and Tyler.  Here is a shot of each of them, at various stages of their talk.

Most of the students have completed the Dioramas, the sister portion of the Book Talk.  Here are some close up shots, from some of the works of Art, we have in class.

We took the idea of Mean, Median, and Mode to another level today.  In the Resource class, we took up part of the homework.  Upon reflection, I realized that the other questions may have been too complex and required some more explanation, so I went back to illustrating the concept with coloured cubes.  Here are the photos, along with an explanation of each one:

Another question displaying possible test results for a group of 6 students in a class.  The mean is calculated for the group.

The idea of "the average" is the spreading of results evenly.  In this case, the mean of 3 is given to all of the students.

To make the question a little more complex, we reviewed what it would like if we averaged a score of 3 out.  The total number of marks equals 18, but with the totals on the left (in black), we decided to change up the scores and keep one a mystery.

Rachad figured the missing mark to be 2, because the other marks added up to 16.

We did another sample questions, where we adjusted a mark.  Still, the total number of cubes remained the same at 18 and the mystery mark was 1.  The total, or what I call the Ideal Average Sum (IAS) equals 18.

Rachad took this photo of me explaining how the IAS might work for a question involving grades.  In the example we selected, the IAS was 80% and wanted to figure out what the missing amount might be.
- double sided Math sheet on IAS
- any outstanding homework items listed on Homework board

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Paragraphing on the theme of Resilience, finally framing the famous Stephen Harper quotation on Canada's history of Colonialism and an example of "historical perspective"

This work was first handed out before we began to focus on our coding and app development, but I am glad to say that we are back to it.  Not only is it an important theme to discuss on a regular basis, it is always good to practice and develop our paragraphing skills.

Before this paragraph is typed, I wanted the ideas to be "jotted" down, handed in to me, and then handed back, with some descriptive feedback and direction from me.  Here is the sample I used, and shared, with Reid.

It has never been quite the right time to show this video.  I have had it cued up, and even posted on the blog, but it has not fit into the lesson.  Today's lesson will capture our former PM denying a key component of this country's establishment.  It occurs at about 10 minutes into the video.

Interesting, this speech happens in 2009.  In 2008, this was the same Prime Minister who apologized for the legacy of the Residential Schools on First Nations people in Canada (  What Historical Concepts is this Prime Minister missing out on?

In preparing for this lesson, I looked some more reading on Cartier and the cross raising and came across this really cool website:
Within the site, you will come across an example of a historical perspective that is not acknowledged, or explored, in our present textbook.

A few photos from our Grade 7 yard clean-up for Earth Day

So, while I walked around with the SLR camera, I did not have the SD card to grab some shots of our Grade 7 students picking up garbage around on school (mostly on Dufferin Avenue, parallel to the school).  So, I used my phone to capture a few shots.  We were going to go for a walk, once we were done, but it started to rain.

near the end of the cleanup

foraging for litter
great job, Grade 7 Team!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Coding update; Book Talks in Rm. 52; looking at Mean, Median, and Mode, and previewing a short History assignment (to be given out on Monday)

Unfortunately, none of our teams from the EdAppHack competition moved forward, but I am proud of the efforts they put forward.

I let one of the members of the Yearbook committee borrow the SD card from the camera and was not able to upload the most recent photos of the Book Talk presenters.  Here are a few shots, from the first day, taken by Tonny:

We did this really nifty exercise to review Mean, Median, and Mode with cube links, but the photos of it are on the card.  I will upload them, as soon as I get the card back.  The idea of the exercise can be seen in this screenshot from a Promethean lesson I did:

 So, the images of the graphs are taken from an old, 90s PBS show called Math Talk.  In this episode, they were trying to display how the idea of an "average," or mean, can be seen as a way of balancing out.  In the images, you can see that the information is about the consumption of doughnuts.  So far, we know how to calculate the average and you can see the results of this particular set of data.  If the mean is 200, it means -- no pun intended -- that if we could balance out the doughnut consumption across the 4 people, they would each eat 200 of them.

In the exercise we did, we had some fun playing around with the cubes and I think it important that it be uploaded and reviewed.  It contains some important information that will assist  the students in grasping the key ideas laid out in the Data Management strand around mean, median, and mode.  I will get on that, as soon as I have the card.

**I have the card!!**

Original question

Looking at the mean, median, and mode
The idea of mean is that the results are distributed evenly or balanced out.  In this case, the average or mean is 4.
We still have the same number of cubes (16) and the same number of students, but the test results are difference, yet we still have the same mean.  UPDATE:  It should say, in marker, that the Mode is 5, not 4.  I forgot to erase the "4" from the previous answer.
 In History, before we jump ahead in our textbook, I wanted to present the students with a short, creative assignment, which would review the concepts and thinking covered in the presentations.  So far, I have this tentative idea which I will share with them and, if necessary, adjust, to ensure that it is understood.

The example I am going to use is based on this story:  Originally, it was from an image from a story on one of the the last "missing" railway spikes used in the Canadian Pacific Railway, but I can't seem to find the clipping from The Toronto Star (see story:

Here is a Historica Canada YouTube video on an experience of some of the the early Chinese Canadians.

The Chinese Head Tax is closely connected to the completion of the railway in the late 1880s.  Some of that information is summarized from this Wikipedia entry:

Here is a video of the daughter of a Chinese Canadian, who had to pay the Head Tax:

enjoy your sunny weekend
photo courtesy CBC Weather page

Math sheet:  p.133 and p. 137 #1 c,d [you will have to calculate the mean, median, and mode of the data set from p. 133]