Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Robert Munsch Books

Robert Munsch is probably the best known children's author in Canada!  He has written books and our class is working on reading or hearing them all this month.

His website is a great place to go to hear all his books read aloud - by him!  We also have many of them on the MP3 players in our classroom to listen to.

Did you know that our teacher met Robert Munsch?  He and his daughter came to Sinclair School in 1993 when she worked there.  One of her students wrote a letter to him and told him the names of all of the cats on her farm.  He took that idea and made it into a crazy story.  Then he asked if he could come to visit and meet her and her family, and her cats.  This story was never published into a book, at least not yet!
Here is a photo from back then.  Do you recognize anyone in the picture?  One of these "kids" now has a daughter in Grade 1 at our school and another one has a son in Kindergarten.  Time flies!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Thanks Miss Bartel!

 Today was the last day with our Grade 11 student teacher, Miss Bartel.  She has been in our class for one period every day since September and we are sure going to miss her!  She helped us in small groups, one on one, and did some lessons with the whole group.  She read many books to us and recorded us reading on the I Pads.
She was kind, helpful, caring, smart, quiet, funny, and friendly to us.  We think she will make a great teacher someday, if she wants to be one.

 We iced and decorated cupcakes to celebrate and say good bye.  We hope she will come back to visit us!

Mental Math

In the month of January during our daily calendar time, we have been working on our mental math skills.  The smart board number generator helps us  make random two digit numbers that we need to find a way to add or subtract in our heads!We were pretty rusty at this skill at the beginning of the month but you should see us now!

We give a thumbs up to our teacher when we have the answer in our head.  This teaching strategy comes from the book Number Talks that our school's teachers did a book study with last year.  Then we list all the answers that we came up with and decide which one is right.  We can learn so much from our mistakes!  We notice when everyone had the same number of units and the tens number is one different.

The interesting part is hearing how everyone came up with their answer. Some people do the tens first, then the units.  Some people add up when they subtract.  Some people, like our teacher, stack the numbers in their heads and use carrying and borrowing. She went to school in the 1970's and that was what she learned.  We are teaching her new ways to think about numbers!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Beaver Tales


January 21 was our annual visit from the Oak Hammock Marsh instructors.  The West Souris River Conservation District sponsors this educational road show every year.  Our topic this year was Beavers.  Andrew did a great job of telling us about wetlands first.  Did you know that marsh, bog, swamp, and fen are all types of marshes?


Nairn volunteered to help us learn and remember the special body parts of a beaver by wearing 2 coats, goggles, nose plug, flippers, a tail, ears and carried an axe. 
Andrew showed us a beaver skull and the most amazing thing was the orangy coloured teeth! He told us that beavers need to keep gnawing because their teeth are always growing!  If they didn't, they would die!  He talked about beaver lodges and beaver dams too.

We were able to touch a beaver skin and later we also felt a muskrat one which was smaller and softer.  They have 2 kinds of fur.  The fuzzy one by the skin keeps the animal warm and the longer hairs help keep them dry.  We learned how trappers almost made beavers extinct in the early days of Canada, before they understood about conservation.

We saw wood chips and could see the tooth marks of the beavers on them.

Ms Simms kept notes on the IPad during the session and we made writing webs of ideas on paper as soon as it was finished.  Later in the day we made the ideas and details into sentences in our journals.  We glued a picture of Nairn dressed up in the journal too.  We though it was a good idea to dress him up because it helped us to remember special body parts of a beaver.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Mira Mira On The Table

Our grade eleven student teacher , Miss Bartel, has been working with us on some geometry.  We learned the names of 2D and 3D shapes and solids and now we are working on symmetry.

She borrowed some Miras from Miss Porath so we could try more symmetry.  They let you see the reflection of whatever is on one side of the tool.  We can use it to draw the other side of an object so it is symmetrical.  

Learning about symmetry will help us with transformational geometry later on in school.  Today we used them for Art class.  We had to take a picture from a magazine of a face and cut it right down the line of symmetry.  Then we used the Mira to help us draw the missing side.   

It was tricky at first but with practice, determination, and a little help from Miss Bartel, we got it!

Symmetry is fun!  Tell us what you think about what we did!

Literacy Center Tickets

When we work on reading and writing in Grade Two and Three, usually we are not all working on the same thing.  We have small groups so the teachers can work with a few kids at a time at their own level.  We did Daily Five for a couple of months in ELA time and also some Literacy Rotations or Stations.  Now we have tickets where we keep track of which center we have been to and which ones we have left to visit.  Everyone has favourites but we know it is important to visit all the centres to practice the skills we need.

Here is our first ticket:

Puppet Pals is an exciting app on our IPads.  Would you like us to blog about it someday?

What is a blog?

Our class is starting a class blog called Room 21.  Some of us want to guess what a blog is...

Is it something exciting?  Is it like Facebook? Do you talk about stuff?  Is it like Twitter?  Is it like Dog with a Blog ( a TV show)?  Do you use pictures?  Do you tell people about your life?  Do you write about a bunch of stuff?  Is it fun?  What is like to be a blog?  Do people write back to you? How does it work?

We will find out the answers to our questions!

We watched this video to help learn about blogs.

We published our first blog post!