Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!

It certainly makes Elementary teachers (and parents) happy when Halloween falls on a Friday!  The day can be a fun break from the ordinary and we don't have to come to school tomorrow with everyone tired or on a sugar high!  On October 31, the Grade 2-3's rotated through 5 stations to practice skills in a fun Halloween theme way.
Miss Martin, our Grade 11 student assistant, led the group in a game of Halloween word Bingo. The bingo "chips" were spider rings and other spooky things.

Mrs. Perreault led her group in some Math games using spooky dice.  In one game, called Spider, the object was to get the number 8 by adding and subtracting after rolling the dice.

I led a problem solving station where students read the clues on the Smartboard to decide how many ghosts and how many pumpkins were in their haunted house.  The picture below is the solution using bean counters for the following problem:
The number of pumpkins in your house is double three. 
 The ghosts and pumpkins in your house add up to 10 altogether.

 The IPads were used at the next station.  There were QR Codes that students could scan with the Ipad that would take them to Halloween books on videos on YouTube.

Another choice when at the IPads was to use the Cookie Doodle App to create a Halloween themed cookie.  Students could even eat the cookie, virtually of course!

 Another creating station was where students could make a card for someone to wish them a Happy Halloween. 

The day ended with treats and a party as well as visiting the haunted houses set up by Grades 7 - 12.  What a fun and memorable day at Reston School! 

Thursday, 16 October 2014


Parents of Grade 2-3 class, did you hear about dinosaurs coming to life in our classroom last week?  These photos don't come close to showing the IPad app we used to bring the pictures that you can see on the table to life!  It is another example of Augmented Reality, like in our Dot Day activity. 

Our theme topic for the next few weeks will be dinosaurs and this was a great way to get everyone excited and Ready to Learn!  Our Literacy Time will focus on reading, writing and researching about these prehistoric creatures.  The content or knowing how to say the names or facts about them is not my goal here but many skills including using phonetic clues to sound out the names and reading fact books have a purpose when there is a topic a child is interested in learning more about.
I believe when children see a purpose for reading and writing, they are much more motivated to work at their level and break through to the next one!

States of Matter

This week we have been learning about the three states of matter - solid, liquid and gas.  Here is a video that I showed the class to give you a refresher:

We will be investigating the properties of solids and liquids in future experiments so be prepared for your child to want to try them out at home too!  Evaporation, condensation, freezing and melting are all words we will use to talk about when matter changes from one state to another.  We will also find out about dissolving floating, sinking and buoyancy during this Science unit.

Here is a link to the curricular outcomes for this Science topic:

Here is another link from the My Child in School website about Science :

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

No Excuse Words

You might have heard about our "No Excuse Words". Four words per week are added to a cumulative list that we practice the spelling of daily. Therefore there will be "no excuse" to spell them wrong! One part of the day where we focus on them is “Working with Words” in Daily Five. These are words that students need to be able to spell without sounding them out, usually they don't follow traditional spelling sounds and rules. We think of tricks together like - Big Elephants Could Always Use Some Exercise - to help spell "because".
Each week we will introduce 4 new words that the students need to try their best to master and I will do a checkup each Fridays to see how they are coming. These words will be written in the agendas on Mondays so you will be able to work on them at home too.

Here are some fun ways to practice No Excuse Words at home:

1. Rainbow Words- Write your words and trace over them in 3 different colors.

2. Ransom Words- Cut letters out of newspaper, magazines, or write them out on paper and cut them, then glue them together to build your words.

3. Hidden Words- Write your words and find hidden words in your words. Ex. that – hat – at

4. Shaving Cream Words- Write your words out in shaving cream.

5. Tracing Words- Trace your words in sand, on felt, in the carpet, using your finger.

6. Word Hunt- Search for your words in books/texts or around the house. Write your words as you find them.

7. Font-abulous- Type your words in 3 different fonts on the computer.

8. Chalk Talk- Write your words in chalk. You can do this activity with a dry erase board and marker too.

9. 3 Way Words- Write your words three ways, really big, really small, and in your best handwriting.

10. Trace & Spell- Have someone write your words neatly. Trace the words spelling out each letter in the word.

11. Pretest- Take a pretest. Check over each of your words. Write any incorrect words 3 times each.

12. ABC Order- Write your words in abc/alphabetical order 3 times.

13. Cheer & Spell- Cheer the spelling of your word.

14. Body Letters- Spell each of your words while making each letter with your body

15. Travel Spelling- Spell your words out loud in the car, while riding your bike, or while taking a walk

16. Sing & Spell- Sing a song or chant your spelling words. Ex. Peo-ple, peo-ple

17. Magnetic Letters- If you have magnetic letters, use them to build your words.

Week One words - October, they, when, because

Week Two words- could, would, some, said

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

O Canada!

Our first Social Studies topic is Canada.  My objectives during this unit will involve having students become more familiar with this great country of ours.  Students will be able to name some symbols of Canada, provinces and capital cities.  Complete mastery of being able to memorize these places is not a reasonable goal for every member of our Grade 2 and 3 class but some students may be ready for that and enjoy the challenge!

Below is a video that sings about some Canadian symbols that can be found on Canadian coins.  It's another catchy tune so be prepared to hum it for a while afterwards!

We have also spent some time learning the words to O Canada in English ( some of us may have been singing the wrong ones all theses years in the morning) and next will be learning the words in French!

Part of this unit will involve studying interesting and unusual place names in Canada and the origin of those names. Please take some time to discuss with your child about places that you’ve visited or where family live and try to find how that place was named. If your child writes down what you find out, s/he will be ready for our class discussion, likely next week.