I need to use cursive more ofen in math- the kids thought the whitboard looked like "university math". Lol!
We have been working on creating this anchor chart together in Reader's Workshop as we immerse ourselves in this month's genre: poetry.
The two books below are just 2 of the mentor texts we're using as we learn about poetry.
Some partner reading - poetry!
As we wrap up our unit on fiction stories, some students were wondering how to title their chapters so we explored the books we're reading and created this anchor chart of ideas.
On of our literacy week activities was to decorate our class door as a book cover. Our class even decorated the back of the door like the back of the book!
Another literacy week activity- dreds as your favourite book character. Can you figure out who they are?
As we edit our fiction stories we've been noticing some spelling woes with homophones. This activity helped students to fix their mistakes.
Book club meetings!
March 4th-8th, 2019
We looked at our books to notice what's in a book beyond the story itself to help us as we prepare to publish our fiction stories.
Grade 6 Social Studies: We've been learning how Headings and Subheadings in non-fiction text helps to support our understanding. They are excellent clues to the main idea and supporting details. Grade 5s are still working on their coat of arms in Social Studies (pics to follow).
In Math the grade 5s are continuing to learn about the attributes of quadrilaterals, and the grade 6s are learning to measure angles with standard units (protractor and degrees).
February 25th-March 1st, 2019
As we continue to write our fiction stories we occasionally need to conference with a peer or the teacher to get some feedback. On Friday we figured out who could help support with which skills. Students signed their name next to the skill(s) they felt most comfortable supporting others with.
The grade 5s are working on using math language to describe the attributes of a shape.
Both grades were learning how to identify angles. The grade 5s' focus is on right angles, as well as angles greater and less than right angles. Grade sixes need to identify and name acute, obtuse, right, straight, and reflex. Grade 6s are also working on measuring angles with a protractor.
One of our number routines as the beginning of most math classes is using the website Estimation 180. Today we were discussing Day 114, which was estimating was percentage as well as angle (in degrees) was eaten from this pie. Students think to themselves, then discuss with a partner, and then we have a whole class discussion. The emphasis is on justifying your thinking and trying to use benchmarks to help estimate.
The grade 5s have been busy completing their coats of arms (pictures to follow when they're complete) while the grade 6s experimented with paper gliders, adjusting their designs to see how far they could fly and how long it could stay in the air.
Students are working to try to sort books into two different categories: realistic fiction and historical fiction. I noticed while doing reading assessments that students often mistakenly identified historical fiction as realistic fiction. We talked about how important the setting is to help us identify between these two genres. Also often confused: realistic fiction and non-fiction. Ask your child about using the author's name as a clue to determine whether the genre is realistic fiction or non-fiction!
As we use our text books in Science and Social Studies, we have been exploring non-fiction text features to help support our understanding.
February 19th-22nd, 2019
In Writer's Workshop we were working on sentence fluency. Mini-lessons on varying sentence lengths and beginnings helped to improve the sentence fluency of our fiction stories.
We also continued our work on using dialogue effectively in our fiction stories, noticing how authors use quotation marks conventionally in the books we're reading in Reader's Workshop.
We worked together to create an anchor chart to help guide our book club discussions as all groups have now had their first meeting and we wanted to make sure we were getting the most out of our discussions.
Charlie from NS Power did an interesting presentation on electrical safety. Students learned how to get out of a car safely if the power lines are down (stay in the car, but if you have to get out because the car is on fire etc., you need to hop like Riley demonstrates in the pictures) among other safety lessons.
Students are working in pairs to conference and practice the skills being taught in writer's workshop.
In Math we wrapped up our multiplication unit with an assessment on Wednesday and follow up practice work on Thursday and Friday to tweak the skills that were not yet where they needed to be (representing 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication with the area model for grade 5s, using estimation rather than calculation to place the decimal in a product for grade sixes). We will begin our geometry unit next week!
February 11th-15th, 2019
We have been noticing how authors use quotation marks and paying attention to the conventions to help us use quotation marks conventionally in our own fiction stories.
The students have been writing their own story problems with multiplication (2 digit by 2 digit for grade 5, 1 digit by decimals for grade 6) and using personal stratgies to solve one another's problems.
February 4th-8th, 2019
We are using the mneumonic device TiPToP to help us know when to start a new paragraph in our fiction stories.
We worked with our cross-age buddies in 1Ayres. The grade 5 and 6 students were great leaders.
Students proposed room layout/seating plan changes to support our book club work. They were highly engaged in the process of choosing a book for book clubs.
One of many interesting presentations on various mental health disorders.
We worked on experimenting with impressionism this week.
We have also been building personal strategies for multiplying 2 digit by 2 digit numbers (grade 5) and single-digit multipliers by decimal numbers.
January 28th-February 1st, 2019
Students have been using story boards this week as another way to generate ideas and organize their writing.
Students hard at work on their story boards.
Students worked with Mr. Ryan on Tuesday while I was out participating in an advisory group. They watched some Bell Let's Talk videos and made a list of ways they can help support individuals with mental health challenges.
In Math we worked on concrete representations of multiplication (grade 5s are sticking to multiplication of whole numbers and grade 6s are exploring multiplication of decimal numbers with a single digit multiplier). We are also practicing writing and solving story problems with multiplication.
The grade sixes went to a presentation by the George P. Vanier Jr. High Guidance Counsellor.
January 21st-25th, 2019
Hard at work on their Health projects learning about various mental health exceptionalities.
Mini-lessons this week focused on developing effective presentations.
In Reader's Workshop we are being metacognitive: thinking about our thinking.
We have also been practicing all kinds of ways to represent decimals.
We are using story boards to plan our fiction stories. Here is mine.
Our yoga instructor Julie Coleman was in on Friday for her first session.
January 14-18th, 2019
We were naming and noticing ways authors build characters so we could build characters for our own fiction stories.
Ms. Gouthro, our guest teacher from November, came back in on Friday to make up the professional development day that was missed when school was cancelled. She showed us a cool math brainteaser that had everyone engaged in mental math!
Representing large numbers with Base 10 blocks.
January 7-11th, 2019
This week we co-authored an anchor chart to help guide us when graphing data in math (double bar graphs for grade 5s, series of points and line graphs for grade 6s).
We read the book Owl Moon by Jane Yolen without looking at the pictures. We noticed we had an incredible picture in our heads just by listening to the words she wrote. We analyzed the ways she achieved this and recorded some examples in our writer's notebooks so we can imitate these techniques in our own writing.
The grade 5s began a new Science unit on Forces and Simple Machines. The grade 6s did an experiment with paper to investigate how the shape of the paper impacts the way the paper moves through the air. They were connecting this back to what they learned so far about the four forces of flight and noticed that the "aerodynamics" of the paper was an important variable.
We finished our read aloud OCDaniel this week and created this graffiti wall to show what we thought the author's message was. We are lookong forward to Skyping with the author later this month so we can talk to him about the book.
January 3rd and 4th, 2019
We are beginning a fiction story unit in Writer's Workshop. We read the book Goal by Mina Javaherbin and examined the elements of a story. We then reflected on the writing we have done so far this year, looking for elements of a story in our writing to decide if we had written a fiction story yet this year. Over the next several weeks we will plan each element of our fiction stories, with mini-lessons focused on author's craft. Many students have writing goals to improve their ability to incorporate description into their writing, and writing fiction stories is an opportunity to experiment with this skill.
The first element we are planning for our fiction stories is the setting. In Art we examined the work of Canadian artist Doris McCarthy and landscape art so students could illustrate the setting of the stories they are planning to write. Next week students will use a graphic organizer to describe their setting in order to plan for some written description in their fiction stories.
While some students were in band, the rest of us seized the opportunity to read with a partner in order to support some students' reading goal of improving their oral fluency when reading.
December 10th - 14th, 2018
Our read-aloud novel (OCDaniel) has many examples of figurative language. We came across personification this week.
Their performance was great (and their 2nd song is still stuck in my head... "I feel like, I feel like, I feel like Fa La La...").
We started a new unit in Math (Data Management). The students discovered that HOW you ask a question can impact the results when collecting first hand data.
Our student-teacher Ms. Gibson was here this week and she taught us all about advertisements, logos, and slogans in Reader's Workshop.
November 26th - December 7th, 2018
In Math we're reading word problems at least 3 times so we can understand the context, make sense of what that numbers represent, and figure out what the question is actually asking. Showing evidence for our thinking and including an equation and/or a word sentence are expectations when solving problems.
The students and I worked together to create this guide for writing news reports.
The grade 5s were measuring the classroom in order to calculate its area and perimeter.
Our map of the world is coming along slow and steady. If we discuss a certain country we colour it and label it.
Emily is growing her math brain!
This sweet little pewter ornament was designed by Sidney in our class. You can get one at the holiday concert Wednesday night.
We are growing as readers by noticing new vocabulary in our books and using context to make sense of them. If we are really stuck we use the dictionary.
Crazy hair day was fun, and one little elf wrapped a desk for his/her Secret Santa.
November 19th-23rd, 2018
Yummy cookie from a couple of talented students... so thoughtful.
This week the students did a lot of reflecting on the progress they have made so far this term. They are setting goals for term 2.
It was a busy week in math. Grade 5s worked with geoboards and 6s are learning about order of operations. Erin made her own strategy for following order of operations. If you've ever wondered about what math looks like in a combined class check out the practice problems slide. Grade 6 is on the left side of the slide, grade 5s on the right.
In Health grade 5s taught us about caffeine.
We also began our new Health unit (mental health). Some things they "know" will need to be revisited but they had lots of good questions.
In Art we were learning how to write out the steps for a how-to video for a painting project.
November 13th-16th, 2018
We began our week by exploring news reports online and in print. We worked together to compile a list to help us notice the features of this style of writing.
We then examined the features of a newspaper because although they contain news reports, they also have many other components.
Grade 6s continue to build their understanding of prime and composite numbers while grade 5s used geoboards and elastics to make various rectangles with the same perimeter but different areas.
A few students helped to put the world on our classroom wall!
We also finished our amazing read aloud (there may or may not have been tears), and learned about strategies for mindful eating (Grade 6) and the effects of caffeine (grade 5) in Health. The grade 5s are busy doing research in with Ms. Burgess for a Social Studies project and the grade 6s discussed how culture is passed from generation to generation.
November 5th-9th, 2018
We discussed the element of space in Visual Arts this week and created foil figures.
The kids made handprints with their reflections about Remembrance Day and we made a class wreath to present at the Rememberance Day ceremony.
On Friday morning Mario Eleftheros came to visit from the HRCE and students had an opportunity to try out many different kinds of technology - it was a blast! Lots of chances for problem solving and communication.
There are several videos from our tech extravaganza as well.
In grade 6 science, students were teaching one another about electricity. Their creativity certainly shone through, as you can see in these videos.
October 29th-November 2nd, 2018
We began unit 3 in Math by exploring rectangles. Grade 5s will focus on area and perimeter, and grade 6s on prime and composite numbers.
The grade sixes worked on practicing the S.T.P. reading strategy in Science by breaking off into small groups to teach one another about electricity. They are so creative!
Oh yeah, and we had a costume party.
And ask your child about: - author's message in our read aloud (and in their own books) - writing book reviews - partner reading - a technique for creating 3D effect in a 2D piece of artwork - our student teacher Ms. Gibson!
October 22nd - 25th, 2018
This week in Science we were using the reading strategy S.T.P. to help us make sense of new concepts we read in a non-fiction text.
In Math we are still working with patterns (identifying the pattern, recording it in words and as an expression, and using a table of values).
I played a bit of a trick on the kids this week when I gave them a "Follow the Directions" assessment. Ask your child about this! We made the anchor chart below as a result of this experience ha ha. Our class goal is to improve in our ability to follow instructions.
October 15th-19th, 2018
In Writer's Workshop this week we thought about all the different formats writing could take based on our previous experience as readers and writers.
We also studied various book reviews and came up with a list of characteristics book reviews tend to have. Students are experimenting with writing a book review as we were looking for recommendations for future reads that will allow students to select books from a variety of genres and authors suggested by their peers.
Last week I modeled how to create character profiles and this week the students worked in groups to demonstrate their understanding of how to use evidence from a book to support their thinking about character. Paying attention to what a character thinks, says, how they act, and how the author describes them helps us understand and engage with what we are reading.
October 8th-12th, 2018
In Reader's Workshop we have been learning about character.
In Art we talked about the element of colour, and experimented with tinting and shading.
In Math we were playing "Bumpers" to practice our facts and to get us thinking multiplicatively (a way of thinking to help with identifying pattern rules).
I took a lot of pictures of the kids during our field trip today!
October 1st - 4th, 2018
We have been exploring patterns, using tables to help us identify the pattern rule, and writing the pattern rule as a mathematical expression. Not all of the work we do is written on paper; we sometimes use whiteboards and we often spend time sharing our thinking orally.
We were learning about similes as another literary device authors use.
We continued to build our understanding of strategies authors use to persuade.
In word study we looked at new words to English and talked about how new words get created.
Also, ask your child about our new real aloud Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper and about the difference between moderate and vigorous physical activity.
September 24th-27th, 2018
In Math this week, we made a number line counting by 100 millions to 1 billion, and then students created their own numbers and plotted them on the number line, justifying where they placed it.
Next the students chose random numbers and attempted to make a human number line. With several students choosing numbers between 1-10, a few choosing 100, 300, or thousands, and others choosing numbers in the millions and billions, the students soon realized neither our classroom nor the field were long enough to allow students to space out proportional to the numbers they were trying to represent.
And then there were some Science experiments. The Grade 5s made it rain in the classroom and studied various clouds while the grade sixes examined the effects of static electricity.
Ask your child about strategies authors use to try to persuade the reader, or characters use to try to persuade other characters. We read the texts below together to explore this.
We also found time to learn how to create folders in GNSPES to organize all of the files we've accumulated over the past couple of years. "You mean we can create folders, within folders, within folders... forever?" The students also enjoyed learning how to summarize what they viewed in various Pixar short films, and we read 2 books about residential schools to help our understanding about why we wore orange shirts to school on Thursday.
September 17th-21st, 2018
The grade 6s made electrical safety posters in Science while the grade 5s mourned the death of a hurricane.
In Reader's Workshop we are working on choosing books that are a good fit for us.
In Writer's Workshop we continued to generate and record idea lists in our writer's notebooks (this week we made an "Always Times" list... ask your child what's on their list). This is so we could have lots of ideas to support use with our goal of writing the whole time during independent writing time.
In Health on Friday the students listed the first three bullets in the picture below as the reasons to exercise (a pretty good start). We then did a jigsaw activity where each group read a different article and then shared what they learned more about the reasons why we exercise.
September 10-14th, 2018
Our classroom library... before pic. Not organized and difficult to find a book you're interested in.
Our classroom library in-progress. The students organized by genre, series, and author so far. Lots of great discussion about how to preview a book and the characteristics of each genre.
All of the genres we encountered so far.
Learning about author's craft: We love the way Roald Dahl's descriptive writing helps us visualize (make a movie on our heads) the story. We call it "showing" instead of "telling".
Figuring out what we already know about writing conventions so we are clear on minimum expectations and so Mrs. Munroe knows what to teach.
In Math we have been working on large numbers (Grade 5 to millions, Grade 6 beyond millions) and flexibility in thinking. This chart shows how students thinking grew both in considering patterns and how much "a lot" is during our math warm up.
Oh and ask your child about: - lines (an element of art) - electrical safety (grade 6) and weather (grade 5) - scavenger text book hunt in Social Studies - being a hero to someONE vs. to the whole world (the words of Travis Price, co-founder of pink day).
First week of school: building routines and community
If you would like to go to the washroom, this is the washroom pass. Thanks to one of our wonderful students for making this.
We will continue to add to this as the year goes on.
See what we have been learning about?
We are all kinds of smart in this room. Students completed a checklist to see which intelligence(s) they dominated in. We tallied the highest scores for everyone (and there are more than 24 tallies because some students had 2 or 3 dominant intelligences).