Thursday, 26 November 2015

Happy 50 Day!

It's hard to believe we've been at school for 50 Days already!  Today was a day of fun and counting in Grade Two!  We started the day with skip counting to 50 by 2's, 5's and 10's and then also by 4's, 7's and even 20's.  Counting to 50 in 50's didn't take long!  We figured out that the kids in our class will turn 50 years old in the years 2055 or 2056!

The students were challenged to create a recipe with 5 ingredients that totalled 50 items.  Then they had to make another recipe, in case there wasn't enough to make their first idea.  Students did a great job partitioning the number 50 into smaller units.

Happy 50 Day!

Thursday, 19 November 2015


The Grade Two class has begun a theme all about dinosaurs! This card game is like "Go Fish" but with dinosaurs.  It takes great phonics skills to try to say those names correctly!

 We have an amazing app for the Ipads that brings 3D dinosaurs to life from a piece of paper.  It is so hard to capture it with a photo but have a look at the video below that describes similar augmented reality.

Links to videos and educational sites that we use our desktop computers and Chromebooks to view can be found linked to our classroom web page here.

We also have an amazing collection of both fiction and non fiction books on the theme.  Some of the students have even brought their own books from home to share with their classmates.  Lots of literacy skills are going on around the theme and that's what it's all about!

Lost and Found Art!

What do you do when students don't recognize anything from the Lost and Found to take it back home?  Turn it into Art!


We hope that our Artwork disappears before Parent Teacher Conference day on November 25th!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

How Our Communities Remember

In Grade Two this week, we have been talking about Remembrance Day and its symbols.  We decided to find ways that our communities have found to remember.  We took a walking field trip to the Reston Memorial Park to visit our community's cenotaph.

The students took along the Ipads to take pictures of what they saw and back at school we will study the pictures and learn about them. The back of the cenotaph is inscribed as below and the Grade Twos are busy finding out what these words refer to.

We also stopped in at the Reston Memorial Theatre and looked at the plaques that are hanging on the wall inside.  There are maps, medals and lists on names of those who served.  The outside sign has a picture of a soldier and now we understand why.

Some students in our class live in the Pipestone Community and they also have a cenotaph in their town.

Inside the hall at Sinclair are some other items that help us remember.  We would love to know more about the propeller pictured below.  Please email us at if you know its story.

We have been reading "In Flanders Fields" and the "Ode to Remembrance" together and are looking forward to our school's Remembrance Day Service on November 10th.  

Read Alouds

One of my favorite times of the day in Grade Two is when I read aloud to the students.  Robert Munsch is my favourite children's author of all time and I love to read his stories aloud.  The reaction of the class is always big!

This week, I have been reading a chapter book from the Bad Kitty series by Nick Brunel.  It is a good chapter book series for Grade Twos with lots of picture clues and funny illustrations.

Reading to children even after they can read themselves is so important to introduce new authors and let them enjoy the stories without the hard work. I hope you make time for read alouds at home too! 

Sunday, 25 October 2015


As an introduction to a Science Topic that we will cover later in the year, the Grade Twos have been spending the week before Halloween learning about bats.  Growth and Change of Animals is a topic that everyone enjoys researching and finding out about reptiles, insects, birds, amphibians, fish and mammals.  Here is a link to a blog post from last year when Oak Hammock Marsh helped that class learn about bats.

Sometimes I wonder how I was ever able to teach without the internet.  YouTube videos about bats were a big hit that could prove very educational for my readers and non-readers alike.  They could hear the sounds made by bats and watch their movement, something books could never give us.  Getting the students interested in the topic will give them a purpose for reading to find out more and expand their vocabulary with words like mammal, hibernation and echolocation.  

Jamie's family was so generous to share the pumpkins from their garden and we decided they should make wonderful bat decorations with a few embellishments.
We know that learning about bats will make us less afraid of them!  Happy Halloween!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Is It a Solid or a Liquid?

As part of our study of Matter in Science, we have been talking about the way to decide if an object is a solid or a liquid and on Friday we had a real challenge!

Each student has a big spoonful of cornstarch in a container and then added water, a bit at a time.  They stirred the mixture with a Popsicle stick until it was just the right mix between a liquid and a solid.  They were able to gather it up in their hands like a blob of play-dough like a solid but when they held it flat in their palm, it ran between their fingers like a liquid.

Steve Spangler has some amazing Science trick for kids and this one is covered too here.  We even found a video online where the mixture was made so you could walk across it or sink in it if you stayed still.  You can link to that one here.

What a fun way to think about Matter!

Students were cautioned - if they try it at home to dispose of it in the garbage and don't pour it down the sink!  Having a table or counter covered in newspapers helps contain the mess too!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Words Their Way

Our class has been working on the Words Their Way program to study phonics to help with both sounding out when reading and spelling when writing.

Spelling has always been a difficult thing to teach and I like this program because it can differentiate depending on the needs of the student.  Right now, we are all working on the same group of words but as the year progresses. students will be put into different groups depending on which type of words give them trouble.

Here is a video that shows the Word Their Way process in another classroom.

Monday, 5 October 2015

O Canada

As part of our study of Canada, the Grade Twos have been busy learning the words to O Canada.  As a song they have heard countless times and sung along with every morning at school, some were amazed to discover the real words to the anthem !

We are also learning about the symbols of Canada like the beaver and our national flag. Our agendas have a map of Canada on the back of them and we use them to get familiar with the names of the provinces and territories and where they are.

Mastery or memorization of the 10 provinces and 3 territories is not expected at this grade level but the students seem to enjoy the challenge of trying to remember where each is and what they have heard about them.

Students came back on Monday morning to find new table spots and Canadian flags taped to their pencils.  It is exciting as a teacher to watch their knowledge grow and we use the topic  to work on our Reading and Writing skills.  Their pride in our country is wonderful to see!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

States of Matter

Here are some videos we watched today to help learn and remember  the three states of matter - Solid, Liquid and Gas.

Everyone's favourite was this one - with Mario!

Apple Science Results

If you read the earlier post here about our Apple Science Experiments, below are the "after 11 days" pictures.
 The peeled apple on the left shrunk, shriveled, dried up, wrinkled and now looks like a toasted marshmallow.  The other looks the same as when it was hung up,
 The apple with 4 holes has wrinkled and shriveled around the holes but for the most part, looks the same as the one without holes on the right.
The apple we weighed and measured daily started at 133 grams and is now down to 34.  Its circumference was 24 centimeters and has shrunk down to 15.  We will keep watching it to see how small it will get!
My goal was to get students interested in the Science Inquiry Process - take a question you have an design an experiment to find out the answer.  I hope it encourages some experimentation at home too!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Apple Tasting

Today the Grade Two students had a chance to taste four different apples to compare their similarities and differences.

We worked together to think of words that best describe each kind and then decided which was our favourite, if we had one.  

We looked at the website here from Ontario Apple Growers and were surprised at all the varieties of apples that there are!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Dot Day

Students were greeted on September 15th in the morning with a display to let them know that it was International Dot Day!

Last year it was also celebrated in my class and here is a link to that blog post.

The app we used last year called Colar has renamed itself Quivervision and it seems they are pursuing some education uses of the app such as the study of cells.  We had fun colouring our dots and then bringing them to life with the IPads.  The students are eager to show their families how it looks in person at our Open House on Thursday, September 15 from 5:00 to 7:00.
Other Dot Day projects included making patterns with Bingo Dabbers and creating pictures using 6 dot stickers.  We celebrated creativity - it all starts with a dot!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Apple Science

Along with learning knowledge about the topics in the Science curriculum, students need to gain an understanding of the Scientific Inquiry Process.  Follow this link to the Manitoba Education "My Child in School" website where this and other curricula is explained in detail.  

On Friday, September 11, we began an investigation to see what happens to apples left to hang by a window.  The one on the left was peeled and the other had its skin left on.  Students tried to predict how the apples will look after the weekend and beyond.  
Two more similar sized apples were hung up too.  The one on the left had four holes poked into it with a pencil and the one on the right had no holes.  What do you think will happen?  Keep watching this blog for updates!