Friday, 27 February 2015

Brainercise with Mr. Catman!

GoNoodle Inspiration Blog

The Blog at Go Noodle introduced a new set of brain breaks called Brainercise with Mr. Catman.  You can read about them here.The old standard - pat your head and rub your tummy - is included along with lots of other fun movements that use both sides of your body and brain. 

I am so pleased that Go Noodle has remained free!  So often good sites seem to go to a paid subscription once they get popular.  Let's hope that doesn't happen this time!

Animal Presentations using Tellagami

Our recent Science unit was about Growth and Change in Animals.  We started off with classifying animals into 6 groups: mammals, fish, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians.  Along the way we learned that some animals are kind of tricky to classify.  Spiders, crabs and snails were some of these.  
Research is an important skill to practice and we used books from the library and the World Book Online to find out about different animals.  Then we learned how to use the Tellagami app on our Ipads and presented the things we learned using it.  We hope you enjoy the following animal research videos.

Our next use of Tellagami is to do Number Talks.  That is where we will take a photo of a Math question for the picture background and then use our "Gami" to explain how to get the answer. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Pink Shirt Day!

February 25th is Pink Shirt Day and along with making it easy to choose what to wear, it gives us an opportunity to discuss "bullying".  This word seems to be used more all the time but it doesn't always apply.  One time acts of being rude, mean or physically hurtful are not considered bullying but are dealt with as misbehavior.  When you voice your concern and the behavior continues, then it can become an instance of bullying.

This video explains to origins of Pink Shirt Day:

You may have seen this public service commercial on TV:

This video and song "Don't Laugh at Me" is a favourite one of mine with a message kids can relate to:

If there is something happening that you'd like to stop, the first step is to assertively tell the person that you don't like it and they need to stop.  If it continues, your job now is to get help from an adult.  Saying or doing something back often gets you in trouble and doesn't solve the problem.  It will never be a perfect world but we do what we can to help everyone feel included and valued.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Digger at Reston School

Thursday, February 19 was a exciting day in Grade 2-3!  We had members of the Virden Oil Caps come to visit along with their mascot Digger.  You can read more about our special connection with Digger here. We had a pizza party for lunch as well today.  That event was a reward for being the class who purchased the most books during our school Book Fair in the fall.  It was exciting to have our pizza, drink and dessert served by Digger and the Oil Caps!  It was a day to remember!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

One Hundred Day!

Tuesday, February 17 was the 100th Day of the school year for us.  We took the opportunity to celebrate and find out just how big 100 of something really is.  It was a good chance to practice making number compliments to 100.  If I am done writing 58 words, how many more until 100?  Kids usually want to say 52 but the regrouping concept is beginning to be more developed and they realize it is only 42.
 We started the morning by working together to read 100 books!  At first, it seemed like we could never do that but before we knew it, we were done!  We wrote a list of 100 words, using word families to help (cat, rat, sat, hat...).  We brainstormed together for some of the many things that we have learned over the last 100 days.  It was a long list and we looked at past blog posts to remind us about some things we had totally forgotten about.
 On "50 Day", we thought about what it will be like to be 50 years old so we did the same today for 100 years old in 2106 and 2107!
 Some students chose to rearrange the letters of "one hundred" to make new words and others chose activities to do with number sense and skip counting.

 Our calendar activities today included the usual skip counting practice on the Smartboard.
 Today's number work on this Smart notebook slide was easy!  That was where we have been working on compliment numbers to 100.

 What better way to celebrate than with a 100 snack!  We had to count groups of ten and add them to a bag.  We were running short of jelly beans so we took 5 of them and then made up for it with 15 Ritz Bits crackers.
It was surprising that 100 things to eat looked so small.  It sure was tasty though!  Happy 100 Day!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Junie B. Jones

Our latest shared reading chapter books have been a couple in the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park.  Most kids love the main character because of all the outrageous things she does and says.  The first one we read is pictured below.
We have been reading this one this week:
These books are usually available in the Scholastic order and both the school and public library have them as well.  The website for the series lists all 24 of them and also includes games and author information.

Multiplication and Division

The very important concept of Multiplication and Division is being introduced in class currently.  The Grade 3 Manitoba Math curriculum indicates that students should know their facts to 5 X 5 by June of Grade 3.  Knowing the facts is only a small part of the expectations, they need to understand what it means to multiply and divide.

When I introduce multiplying, I have them refer to 4 ways to think about it so that they understand what it really means.
  1. Circles and Stars - Draw it out in a picture.  For 3 X 4, make 3 circles and draw 4 stars in each one.  This shows the groups in picture form and we quickly find it is not that effiecient and mistakes can be made.
  2. Repeated Addition - 3 X 5 can be shown as 5 + 5 + 5 and skip counting can help to get the answer too.
  3. Number Line - Another way to demonstrate multiplication is using a number line and showing jumps.  4 X 2 can be shown with 4 jumps of 2, skip counting 2,4,6,8.  Quickly some kids notice that the numbers can be reversed and 2 jumps of 4 will give the same answer but quicker.
  4. Arrays - drawing boxes or objects in equal rows helps students see multiplication in a concrete way.  3 X 3 can be drawn in a square 3 boxes high and 3 boxes long. 
Having learned the multiplication first, then turning it around with division is where we are right now with the Grade 3's.  Does anyone remember the Animaniacs?  Check out this video!

Free Websites!

Snow Day!  Teachers so look forward to a day like this one when they can get some of the administrative and planning jobs checked off their list!  One I've had on mine for a while is to write this blog post including some great free websites that parents and students can use at home.  We use some of theses sites now in class and some are in my future plans.  I hope you take a few minutes to find a new favourite one for your child to use at home.  
11 Free Reading Sites

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Word Clouds

Today in Literacy Centers, the students were introduced to a website called Word Clouds that makes a visual representation of the words in a passage.  A word cloud of the last post in the Room 21 Blog about Reading Goals could look like this:

The little words like "and", "the" and "to" have been left out with a setting but if they were included, it could look like this:

This tool can be helpful to find the main idea of a passage.  The words in larger size shows the words that were used most in the passage.  It is a fun tool to use because you can change the colours, the fonts and the arrangement of the words in the cloud. 

Right now, we are using it for a different purpose.  We are studying about animal groups and the students will be asked to find a list of animals and type them into word cloud.  They have reference books to use or just think about them.  If they type an animal or their name several times, it will show up bigger in the cloud.  Everyone will have a turn to print out a cloud and display them above the computers in the classroom.

Maybe you would like to try out Word Cloud at home too.  There are other online similar sites like Wordle and Tagxedo too.  Have fun!