February 22

Our Mystery Reader Today was…

The clues our mystery reader left us had us stumped. We weren’t exactly sure who it could be. Even when she walked in to greet us, we didn’t recognize her. It was Mrs. Sullivan’s mom!

Mrs. B was so delighted to come and join us today to read us not one but TWO stories! She first read to us a story called Lizzy’s Lion by Dennis Lee–the same author as Alligator Pie and Garbage Delight. Mrs. B chose this book because it was one of Mrs. Sullivan’s  favourite books growing up. Mrs. B carefully showed us the illustrations and asked us questions as she read through the story. The story is about a girl and her pet lion. A robber enters the story and faces the wrath of the lion. The sentences rhyme and the illustrations are detailed and colourful. You’ll have to read the book to find out the ending. Can you guess what may happen?

The second book Mrs. B read was a classic Robert Munsch book called The Paperbag Princess. This is one of Mrs. B’s favourite picture books and so she wanted to share it with us today.

This is a book with a very strong female character. We talked about what the message may be in the book and how Robert Munsch often tries to tie in a message into what he writes. For instance, we thought that the message of this book could be that you can be your own hero.

This story certainly turns the typical ‘damsel in distress’ on its head.

Thank you Mrs. B (aka Mom) for spending some of your afternoon with us.


February 19

Jumping for Gymnastics

Our class loves to explore the various gymnastics equipment each week. We seem to especially love the ropes station. There are typically 8 or 9 stations set up around the gym with varying pieces of equipment from box horses to storming planks to balance beams and so on. We work with different people each week and explore the equipment…under, over, between, around, up, down. We are asked to incorporate certain elements of gymnastics in how we explore as well. For instance, we may be asked to incorporate at least one type of balance while working on the equipment, or incorporate a locomotive movement such as galloping, skipping, step-kicking, etc.

We always focus on safety as the most important aspect of gymnastics and this includes what we wear, how we behave, being aware of others around us, and how we safely use the equipment.

Sometimes we prepare a short presentation for our peers and demonstrate our creativity and skills for one another. We really enjoy performing for others. It makes us feel proud when we receive applause from our peers.

Our next gym class can’t come soon enough!

February 18

Mathletes of the Week

Congratulations to our superstar mathletes this week…

Gregory joined our class only recently and has already earned a Bronze certificate! Way to go!


Elliott has now earned a total of 4 Bronze certificates and is edging closer to her first Silver! She is called a Junior Giant in Level 2 Live Mathletics at 89% accuracy.

You should be proud of yourselves for all your hard work. Keep up the terrific work everyone!

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February 16

Thank you Mystery Reader!

A big thank you to our mystery reader today…Ava F’s mom! She brought in a book called Someday Is Not a Day of the Week by Denise Brennan-Nelson. It is a story about a beaver named Max who is continually being told ‘Someday’ when he asks to spend time and do things with his family members. This story reminds us all of the importance of making time for family members and seizing opportunities to make memories with our loved ones. What a lovely book to read prior to Family Day this coming Monday!

Thank you Mrs. F for sharing this endearing story with us. What a timely reminder! We also loved sharing how we are hoping to spend Family Day and why family is important to us.


February 16

Introduction to Multiplication

Today we launched into our unit in multiplication. We began with a brainstorm of words we thought were associated with multiplication. Can you think of more she should add to our chart?

Here is a nice video showing how multiplication and addition are related. In our notebooks, we continued the pattern of stars in groups all the way up to 10 groups of 3. Have a look:


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February 16

Open Response Questions

Today, students were introduced to the A.P.E chart.  This is a new chapter for us as we learn to develop our reading response skills. To get students to think critically about what they read, we often ask those open-ended, thinking-type questions–questions that don’t have a definite answer and are subject to interpretation. (These are not yes or no questions). There is no wrong answer, but the quality of a good answer is based on the content within it.  The A.P.E chart, gives the students guidelines on how to answer these types of questions.

Words that begin open-ended questions:

  • What, Why, How, Tell Me, Describe, Explain, Compare, and Contrast

When discussing your child’s reading at home, you could ask him/her an open-ended question such as:

  • How is this character’s experience similar to something you’ve experienced?
  • Why do you think _______ did that?  Would you have done the same thing?
  • What’s your opinion of (situation, character)?
  • If you could describe the character of (name of main character), what would it be and why?
  • Why do you think the author…

These are just a few examples of the kinds of questions you can ask your child about what he/she is currently reading.  In response, whether in writing or orally, encourage him/her to follow the A.P.E model by Answering the question, provide Proof from the text, and Extend his/her thinking with personal opinions, thoughts, predictions or connections.  These are things that good readers do and that’s what we want our primary and junior students doing.


Here is an open-ended question to think about:

What are you most proud of in school this year?

February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day!


marc via Compfight

We love to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We were excited to spend the day together doing fun things. I want to say thank-you for all the warm Valentine cards and treats from my students. It was such a kind gesture. I could feel the love 🙂

We began our day with passing out our Valentine cards to each other and placing them into our decorated paper bags. We loved looking at the messages from our friends. Next, we made some Valentine cards for our family members and finished up our morning with a Valentine challenge which involved unscrambling words.

Can you unscramble these words?

oeftnhetru          woelrfs       othcaeloc

In the afternoon, we watched The Lady and the Tramp–a classic! Later, we passed out our candy-grams. Yummy. At the end of the day, we visited our Reading Buddies and prepared for a Bingo game that we will play the following day as we ran out of time.

We had a lot of fun today! Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If you do, how do you celebrate?

So, who is St. Valentine?

St. Valentine was a priest from Rome who lived in the third century, and is thought to have died around 270 AD.

At the time, Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages as he thought single men made better soldiers.

Being a romantic, St. Valentine was arranging and performing marriages in secret so couples could still celebrate their love.

Unfortunately, the Emperor found out about this and imprisoned Valentine, sentencing him to death for his crime.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/14/who-is-st-valentine-why-is-valentines-day-named-after-him-6447259/#ixzz4YgdzfqTz

Another famous person from Valentine’s Day that you may be wondering about is Cupid (Latin cupido, “desire”). In Roman mythology Cupid is the son of Venus, goddess of love. His counterpart in Greek mythology is Eros, god of love. Cupid is often said to be a mischievous boy who goes around wounding both gods and humans with his arrows, causing them to fall in love.

February 12

Drafting Ideas

In Writing Workshop, we are learning to generate ideas for writing realistic fiction.

What is realistic fiction?

Realistic fiction is a genre consisting of stories that could have actually occurred to people or animals in a believable setting. These stories resemble real life, and fictional characters within these stories react similarly to real people.

We have learned to:

  • reread older entries in our notebook, mining for possible ideas
  • think about stories we wish existed in the world and write about them
  • draw a map of our house and let this reveal ideas for a story

When writing, it is great to learn from the pros! Recently, we’ve been learning different ways to gather ideas for writing realistic fiction. Over the last few days, we’ve had Jack Gantos as our teacher of writing. He’s the author of the Rotten Ralph series, Joey Pigza series, Jack Henry series, and other books, too!

When working abroad, I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Gantos and listened to him share his tips and strategies when writing. I was more than happy to share his presentation with the class recently Writing can be a daunting task, especially when staring at hundreds of blank pages in our notebooks. We learned that just writing 10 minutes a day can be a great start to building a story. Jack showed us his Grade 5 writer’s notebook, which he shows in the picture above. He writes all of his books in his notebook first and he’s kept all of his notebooks from when he was a child. Pretty neat!

To add to our repertoire of generating ideas for fictional writing, we’re taking Jack’s advice and drawing a map of our house and finding stories that hide within our house–either in our bedroom, in the kitchen, backyard, wherever! We might dismiss the ‘everyday’ things that happen to us and overlook them as potential stories to nurture and develop. Most of Jack’s stories that he writes about come from things that happen to him in his own life.

In this writing unit, we hope to use stories from our own lives to inspire and create fictional characters and events.

Stay tuned for more about our realistic fiction writing adventures!

February 12

Subtraction Strategy: Adding Up

Here is one of our students providing a tutorial on a subtraction strategy called Adding Up. Some students prefer to add up to a number rather than subtracting back because they feel more comfortable with adding. What do you think?

What strategy do you like to use? Why do you like it?

Have a listen:

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February 10

SuperStar Mathletes This Week

Nicole has earned 2 Bronze certificates so far! She is a Junior Giant in Level 1 Live Mathletics. She has earned 2158 correct answers and played 101 games with 98% accuracy! Superb.


Luca F has earned 1438 correct answers on Live Mathletics and is officially a Junior Giant! Keep working hard Luca!


Emily has earned 1771 Live Mathletics points at 94% accuracy and is also a Junior Giant!

Congratulations Mathletes. Keep working hard to earn those certificates.


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