Friday, March 31, 2017

Success Criteria & Science Project, a couple of EQAO Reading activities


One of the intentions of the upcoming Science Inquiry is to push and stretch yourself.  As teachers and students, we have often been used to projects where information is regurgitated (sorry) back and not processed deeply.

The Science Inquiry is meant to look at this range of topics, based on two overall expectations from the curriculum:

Space Exploration & Contribution of Canadians to Space Exploration
-          A social and/or environmental component has been researched and communicated, taking into accounts different points of view
-          Canada’s contributions to exploration and the scientific understanding of space has been clearly communicated

Understanding Components of the Solar System
Postcards (2):
-          #1 Using information from the Inquiry and in your role as an Astronaut, you have communicated clearly about how you meet your needs in space
-          #2 Using your imagination and information from your Inquiry, you will write as if you were on the sun, an asteroid, another planet, natural satellites, a comet, or some other aspect of space and describe their physical characteristics in detail

-          Your model will demonstrate your understanding of the sun, an asteroid, another planet, natural satellites, a comet, a Black Hole, or some other aspect of space
-          The model will be clearly labeled with key vocabulary to ensure that the viewer has an understanding and how it relates to the study of Space

As I was reviewing some of the initial planning, I realized that some students were researching information that was at the lower end of the graphic -- pictured above -- and not following one of the following requirements of the assignment!

We are early in the research process and would like to stop this and provide a moment for redirection.  This Inquiry is meant to be engaging a fun!  Here is a video and a link to some interesting areas of study.  

Initial Inquiry construction:

This photo did not come out as clearly as I would have liked.  It is the Earth, some shooting stars, some very large and scary asteroids, set inside a solar system cardboard box.  

EQAO practice/review questions:

As I mentioned before, we will be doing some review of the type of questions you will encounter on the upcoming assessment.  To provide some interest with the questions we will look at today, and over the weekend, here are a few interesting news items!

Daredevil Felix Baumgartner

SToronto swimmer, Marilyn Bell

2 Tutorials for grasping the Ideal Average Sum (IAS) for a missing measurement in a set

The following handouts will help you with this weekend's Homework.

I think I may have miscalculated the mean for one of the two students.  Hannah pointed this out to me.  Over the course of the weekend, I will investigate and make this change and update the blog.  UPDATE:  Going to have to check with Hannah and see where the mistake is.

I know this work can be tricky.  Let me provide a review from last week to explain.  

This results of this 5 tests are all the same.  All 5 scores are 8/10.  For the 5 tests, the total sum of marks equals 40.  In class, I have been referring to this sum as the IDEAL AVERAGE SUM (IAS).  You could also find this total by multiplying  5 x 8.  As you can see, all of the results are the same and leveled out.

In the homework questions, you will have to look for the answer by demonstrating your understanding of the IAS.  Although the next image does not have a test result removed, we will pretend one of the results is not there.

The results you see look more realistic; some are higher and some are lower, but the mean is still 8/10.   For the purpose of this lesson, let's pretend the 3rd test is not there.  It is are mystery mark.  

You will need to add up the marks for the tests you see (1, 2, 4, 5).  The total for those marks is 36.  This total should be subtracted from the IAS of 40 to discover the mystery mark (40-36 = 4).

The homework questions will be taken up in detail on Monday and we will set our sites on a new Math unit sometime next week.   


EQAO homework will be put on hold to Monday.  Feel free to browse the EQAO website for example questions from the Writing, Reading, and Mathematics section.

Ideal Average Sum Math sheet (it is orange)

Any outstanding work from the Homework chart

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hot Docs for Schools: 2017, "Grade 7 History fact," New York Times exercise

Hot Docs:

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America's largest documentary film festival and held annually in Toronto (

When I was at AMG we I helped to coordinate the Hot Docs for Schools film festival, which is part of the larger festival.  For a week, the room would be transformed into a theatre, where students would visit and take in some thought provoking films.

This year, I am hoping that some of the films may inspire some ideas for the Social Studies Inquiry project, which is being assigned and maybe even related to some concepts in Health.  Here are some of the trailers, or links to them, for the films we secured:

Driving with Selvi

The Crossing:

Chasing Ice:  

Fed Up:

Handsome and Majestic (interview with Milan, subject of film):  

I mentioned the interesting story about Darius McCollum, who assumed the role of a public transit operator in the New York City and in New Jersey.  Darius has Aspergers, which is on the Autistic Spectrum.  While this is not part of the festival, it is a documentary I would like to share with the class sometime.

When thinking about people you may know who are on the Autistic Spectrum, think of it like this:

Grade 7 History tidbit:

I have always thought that film was an awesome way to give students some insight into the lives of others and challenge and stretch how we see the world.

What is Going on...


Artists’ idea of what the TRAPPIST-1 solar system might look like. For now, each of it’s Earth-sized planets is known by a letter only. Their estimated relative size is shown.
I found some sugar!

There was no work assigned this evening, so this work is from last night.  The Homework chart should be monitored too!

Have a good evening.


On the links section to the right, there are a couple of links to older EQAO based sites.  The one is the direct link to the page you see below and the other is a blog site from a teacher.

Over the next couple of months, we will be preparing for the assessment by looking at a lot of old assessments and gaining the confidence and understanding of the type of questions being asked.  Feel free to go ahead and look at the page yourself; there is a lot of information here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

from UofT to "the dip" to Orff, Homework

Starting the Science Investigation in the Library with Ms. Ling

This is a timely news story that was just sent to my phone:

More details of the story can be found here:

A couple of Dovercourt Dragon team photos



University of Toronto Varsity Blues visit

Members of diverse UofT Blues teams came to Dovercourt last week to engage the Grade 4-5s on team building and inclusive activities.  Here are some photos:

At the end of the session, the students wrote affirming messages on cards, which were attached to their backs.

 Data Management work: Working with Blocks and our Reading Buddies 

Rather than leave the work with blocks to something that I modeled, I thought it was important that the students play and learn with the blocks.  Hopefully, this preparation is reflected in the tests that will be returned today or tomorrow.

With our Reading Buddies, Ms. Sniderman made some adjustments and we had Math Buddies today.  The younger students and members of our class worked on designing surveys and doing some initial research.

Media Literacy:  

A more definitive Success Criteria for the Media Project will be shared with the class and the groups provided with work time today.  I wanted to add this final photo of the example I used earlier with David's image.

I added one more detail from Aristotle's mode of persuasion.  Logos was added since the original ad had a lot of statistics on the benefits of signing up early for the 10 K run.
Here is one of our group, who are well on their way with the project:

Resilience Work:

There are a few items of work we are using in Language class that revolve around the theme of being resilient.  In Writing, we are working on completing a summary of Mike's story (the boy who feared class presentations) and then working on a narrative paragraph on a moment of being resilient.  

To begin, we re-read Mike's story and began writing some jot notes & brainstorming on story ideas.  To help, I wrote this, based on my own experience with falling, literally, during a Track meet in 2014.  

Perhaps this idea of dealing with adverse situations can be related to "the dip," which is explained in this great series, which I have seen on YouTube.


Last week, we began to look at this piece of music and play it:

This is something Ms. Bunston shared with me for today's class.  There are two swear words in this video; my apologies. 


- summary of Mike's story of Resilience
- Comma -- open book -- quiz on Thursday
Holly's cousin, Tony

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A few items on the horizon

#1 Cereal Box Book Talks

I will let the video explain this assignment for Reading and Art.

Working towards figuring out what to do when there is a missing mark in a set of data

This particular skill involves some Algebra and understanding of how mean works.  Here is a short video which introduces the first portion of the concept.  Sorry, there is no sound.

In this graph, it is meant to show my results on a series of 5 tests marked out of 10.  In the first shot, all of the marks are the same; they are all 8/10.  For the five tests, the total number of marks equals 40 and the mean equals 8 (40 marks divided by 5 tests).  In the last part of the movie, I moved around the marks, but I did not add or take away any of them, so the mean remains 8.

Here is a similar example, with the same number of cubes:

5 tests, all with the score of 8/10.
I think the results are different from the movie, but the idea is that the 40 marks are still there, but distributed differently.

Tomorrow, we will spend some more time exploring the idea of what happens when a mark is missing, but we know what the mean is.  This note will relate to a few photos I will post.

The following images are taken from an old episode of Math Talk, which used to be on PBS.

This image represents the characters and how many donuts they ate in a year.  You can see that not everyone ate donuts.

If you calculated the mean, you will see that it suggests that everyone ate 200 donuts
(0+300+100+ 400 = 800 divided by 4 = 200)
The idea of an average or mean is a way to level out the information.
This photo relates to the idea of the Ideal Average Sum which is explained in this note that will be jotted down tomorrow:

At this point, I will not comment about the missing number in a set of data.  I will save that for another time.

Media project:  Sample #2

David brought in an ad featuring a photo from one of his visits to Camp Ooch.  I thought this might be neat to provide another example of the requirements for the upcoming Media assignment.  

Time will be provided, tomorrow, to further develop the assignment


- Math test on Friday on Mean, Median, and Mode
- Media project due on April 10

Coming soon: EQAO, Homework chart, Music/Orff, Basketball Conference finalists

The EQAO assessment will be around in a couple of corners.  This, above all else, is an assessment and is not used for evaluative purposes or to determine future student pathways (entry into Grade 7 or 9).

What is important, for all students, is to feel prepared and confident in their abilities.  As part of our preparation, we will be looking at some old assessments and seeing how to best approach the answers to particular types of questions.  Links to previous assessments may be found on the EQAO page.  For now, I am only going to look at the 2015-2016 assessment:

Homework Chart: 

Names removed...are you staying on top of this?
There were several boys, from our class, who were on this team.  A shout out goes to Charlie, Jahmarian, Sean, Kamar, Alexander, Danny, and Tlaloc.

We need some photos!  I will take a couple of shots of our various team members we have had this season.

Music/Orff:  Some Review

Emily demonstrates the difference between Staccato & Legato

Forte and Piano:

Understanding Beats/minute:

Calculating BPM for Fresh Prince of Bel Air lyrics

We have used this video before, but we will look at this video from the perspective of calculating BPM (otherwise known as Beats Per Minute)

Listening Exercise:  Alessia Cara's Scars to your Beautiful

- Study Sheet for Mean, Median, and Mode (a review video)

- Outstanding items on Homework Chart

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sadly, not. No sugar :( & have a wonderful March Break!Wit

My cupboard was without sugar.  I had planned to bake for the class for today, but that will have to wait.

According to the TDSB Homework policy, no homework is assigned on holidays.  Remember, though, you may have work that you have not completed.  If it is all done, then good for you!  Enjoy your rest.