Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ads, Heroes, and BEDMAS

Biodiversity Hero:

Before proceeding with our hero creation, I wanted to make sure the students were caught up with what they needed to do before proceeding:

A Success Criteria will be developed to keep everyone on track.

Ad tour:

Four stations were set up in the room with examples of print advertisements.  We are working with the big idea of Media being a social construct.  This, in fact, is one of the key concepts of Media Literacy (http://mediasmarts.ca/digital-media-literacy/general-information/digital-media-literacy-fundamentals/media-literacy-fundamentals). 
While the ads we used were mostly from magazines,  we began to look at some of the ways they were put together.  To model the exercise, I used two examples.  The rest of the images are from members of the class.

Sometimes I post things on the class but do not get to them.  About a week ago, I posted the story of the late John Glenn, the Astronaut.  The narrative was told by National Geographic.  We then contrasted this "construction" with another video that explained the contributions of some of the women who were portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures.

Magic Triangles:

We watched the video on how these items worked.   Again, another old post item.  I also wanted to explain to the students how these formulas work using the rules governing the Order of Operations.
While I am certain that this is not in the Grade 6 Curriculum, it will be part of the Grade 7 program in the Number Sense strand.

There is an order to things when solving Math questions:
An example...probably something you will see in Grade 7 or 8:


Okay...let's stay on topic!  For our purposes, the Order of Operations will look like this:

I created the Magic Triangles, in relation to the area of a Triangle, on my own.  I just worked backward to figure out the steps.  Depending on what is easier, you may prefer one way over the other.


Complete old Math test on Area of a Triangle
Outstanding HW leading up to the end of Term 2

Have a good evening.

Monday, January 30, 2017

News on Stereotyping leading to discrimination, Stereotype essays, Math HW and a supplemental note, HW board

Millennials denied Toronto condo rental due to their age http://www.cbc.ca/news/millennials-denied-toronto-condo-rental-due-to-their-age-1.3953905 Shared via the CBC News Android App



portion of the weekend's homework

From time to time, I will hand out a typed out note for the students.  I did this for the calculations that needed to be done for the questions in the right column.  I commented on this type of question in Friday's blog post.

Here is another note I will give out tomorrow to paste in the Math notebook:

The Math Investigations from last week:

A collection of essays on Stereotyping, which was a big part of our Health unit.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Math, Comma test, Chloe's question on Algebra & Homework

I will begin by presenting a few examples of Magic Triangles.  We are using them in Math and I know this will be something completely new for a number of people.

Now, how do you use them?  They are used to find a certain value that is unknown to us.
Think of the first triangle as modeling the simple area for finding the area of a Triangle:

The Magic Triangle will assist us in finding the area of this Triangle.  In this triangle, b and h are side by side, similar to how they are in the formula.  This means they will be multiplied together; the divided by 2 portion of the formula is posted in the corner of the h box.

Although this explanation of how a Magic Triangle works is not for the area of a Triangle, it may help you understand the idea a little more:

The triangles I posted in orange are to demonstrate what to do when you are looking for the base or height of the triangle when the area has been provided for you.  These are the type of questions we will be looking at.

A tutorial sheet, with an example question, was given out.  It looks like this:

A page of Math homework was handed out.  Some of the questions ask for either the base or height, when the area is provided and some do not.  There are also some questions that ask for the area of a rectangle and a parallelogram.  This formula simply is base x height.


The Open-book comma test will happen on Monday.  If you would like to check out the passage I am using for it, take a look at http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/the-true-origins-of-x-men-20140526.  I read the article to the students about the outsider status the X-Men had; they were Mutants and considered outcasts.  Stan Lee, of Marvel Comic fame, was making some social-political commentary with these heroes!

The rules for the test will be available for the students to look at.  Those rules have been handed out to the students and they should have them.  If not, I have uploaded them to the Google Classroom site.


On the topic of Superheroes, the planning sheet for the Biodiversity was discussed and handed out.  I am going to post the documents on the Google Classroom site.  The link is on the side of this page.  Once you log in, go to the ABOUT link and click.  You will find the handouts there, which you can download and print.

This sheet, which I did not give out, but will on Monday, may help you with your planning of your hero and making connections between your Strengths and superpowers!


When I put up this question the other day, I drew in the height of one of the triangles incorrectly.  I changed it.

Chloe's question on Algebra:

Earlier in the week, Chloe asked about where you see Algebra in everyday life.  I used the example of ordering a Pizza and was kind of stuck until I foud this page:

It then became obvious that we use Algebra so much!  When there are major sales and we notices like 30% off, we have to be able to use Algebra to calculate how much the deduction will be and what the final cost will be; this doesn't even take into consideration what the sales tax will be.
Thanks for the question.  It keeps learning real.

The preceding photos were from our 10-minute dance session, marking the end of this week;s Wellness Week.


Open-book comma quiz on Monday

Math page questions (answers need the space to be answered in Math books)

Article highlighting on Tween Girls and Stereotypes

Super Hero planning sheet

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mr. Williams visits, Math HW from today & Homework reminder

Mr. Williams, one of our Grade 7/8 teachers at Dovercourt, paid us a visit.  I asked him to pop in and talk a little bit about the opportunities at our school, knowing some students were looking elsewhere 
--to use a term from The Giver -- for new scholastic opportunities in the 2017-2018 year.

They were a very attentive audience and had a lot of questions.  Some of the students were at a Volleyball tournament and missed out but they will have an opportunity to dialogue with Mr. Williams in the near future.

Homework answers from Wednesday's Math homework:


Short open-book comma quiz

Any homework that has not been handed in, that was on the Homework Board, at the front of the classroom*

* One of the things Mr. Williams spoke about for the transition to Grade 7 was the ability of students to take more ownership of their learning.  I was glad to hear him say this since this is something I often talk about.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Some videos on this thing called "Media", Algebra & Pizza, Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences, Wellness Team visit

While we have been talking about different aspects of Media all term, it is possible that we have not stopped to clearly define what we mean by "Media."

Long Live Kids is a Canadian organization geared to developing healthy active living, developing Media Literacy skills, enhancing student Mental Wellness, and developing strategies for Bullying prevention http://longlivekids.ca/. In this short video, the organization explains the what is what of the Media.

Algebra:  In the real world and importance of balancing...

I was about to get into the language of Math for Algebra and drop some information about variables and such, when Chloe decided to ask how Algebra would be used in the real world, outside of school. Good point.

Since I love food, I have often used the ordering of Pizza as an example.  I will explain the technicalities of this in class, but I will use the menu from Pizza Gigi as an example:


Using the variables for toppings to set up an equation for ordering from Pizza Gigi!

I will think of some other connections between this topic and do a bit of research so I can supplement my response to Chloe's question; a very good question!

Here is an example of Algebra at work as we look at the formula for the area of a Triangle:

In this simple video, they use the word width for the BASE and length for the HEIGHT of the Triangle.  Still, in its simplicity, it explains what is going on with the formula for calculating the area of a triangle:

Math homework

Learning Styles/Multiple Intelligences:

As we move closer to understanding the diversity in how we learn, and how this relates to our Strengths, I thought I would share a couple of short, informative videos relating to both Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences.

Multiple Intelligences:

Learning Styles:

Visit for Wellness Team:  

The idea behind this exercise is to write a statement about something you like or love about yourself.  In order to develop a sense of well-being, it is important to recognize something we are good at. 

For example, I mentioned that I loved the fact that I have been running since Grade 4.  This allows me to recognize an activity that is good for my body and my mind.  It also acknowledges a certain level of persistence and dedication to an activity for almost 4 decades!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Math HW, highlighting and returning to the lessons from "Hidden Figures"

Wellness Committee @ Dovercourt:

The Wellness Committee introduces the key principles to the school.  
Members of the committee came in to lead a circle in the class where we looked at the two prompts, written below.

Many members of the class took turns to share some of their insights and feelings.  This is one of the aims of the school committee:  to get people talking about how they feel and realizing that they are not alone.

More information to come.

Math Homework:

Homework is checked for completion.  This was work that was assigned from Friday.  A select set of questions were placed on the board for the students to check their work.  A number of students did not do this work.  Please check in with your son or daughter to see if this work was completed.  Doing homework helps reinforce some of the concepts we are learning in class.

last question!

Highlighting:  using the article on Hidden Figures


Many years ago, 14 to be accurate, I was given this great resource by our Family of Schools Literacy Coach.  Even something as simple as highlighting text was covered in this publication.  I was going to have students do some jot-noting tonight, but I thought I would review this important skill.

Here is the sample text, which goes with the page on jot notes.  It contains some sample highlights:

Tonight's homework requires students to re-read the article on the film Hidden Figures and highlight the important points.  I will also do this and then we can compare and discuss what we considered to be important.

Initially, I was going to have the students make some jot notes on the article, and eventually write a summary, but I have changed my mind.  I may look for another article on the same subject matter.

Here are two videos relating to the article:

Some information on Katherine Johnson:

Me to We:  Backpacks for Malawi...but do you know where Malawi is?


Homework(use your agenda to keep on top of your work!)

Open Book comma test (based on the rules we reviewed) involving a reading passage on Friday

Math Investigations need to be completed and handed in on Wednesday

Highlighting text from article on Hidden Figures