Learning happens in all shapes and forms. In our classroom, we love to celebrate learning by snapping pictures of the action, giving high fives, cheering for each other, taking risks, and being proud of ourselves and one another.
Have a look at some of the learning taking place in our class these days. You will see a building challenge, after which, we graphed the data. You will see a phys-ed class in action, Flashlight Friday, Math Tiles, building a diorama, and some of our finished digital art on a bulletin board.
Last week, we were excited to meet Alex, a marine biologist from Florida. She made special time for our class to talk to us about her research with sea turtles. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Florida where her research focuses on the foraging and behavioral ecology of green turtles in seagrass ecosystems. We learned about her SCUBA diving adventures, how pollution is hurting sea turtles, that there are 7 different species of sea turtles, and all 7 are endangered. Did you know…a sea turtle’s poop floats? (We found that mildly gross, yet very interesting).
We learned that sea turtles, eat almost anything, including jellyfish! This is why plastic bags floating in the ocean can be detrimental to the life of a turtle. Alex said that one of the ways we can help protectthe sea turtles is by reducing our own plastic waste.
We learned that a sea turtle has 2 habitats: the beach and the ocean!
Students had many amazing questions to ask Alex and she was delighted to answer them for us. She emphasized the importance of finding something you really love and just going for it! We loved her positive message.
As we remember our fallen heroes and honour those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, we must understand what peace is. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity that we may see in social media, on the news, and around us. But, we must celebrate the good, and remind ourselves how we can be peacemakers in our world, in our school, in our families.
We read a beautiful book called What is Peace by Wallace Edwards and had some terrific discussion around the thought-provoking pictures in the book and the great questions posed on each page.
Next, we designed our own peace posters with the theme of remembrance and peace. We recorded ourselves against a green screen sharing what we think peace is. Our posters are proudly hanging in our school.
On Wednesday, we celebrated Pumpkin Day! Each team were given their own pumpkin where we investigated many different things about it–describe what it looks like, smells like, sounds like, how thick is the rind? How do we measure its circumference? Height? What strategy should we use to count the seeds? Were our estimates accurate? How much water will our pumpkin hold?
On Halloween, we took a trip to Bowlerama and enjoyed having fun with glow-in-the-dark bowling. Check out the action!
Something special happens when you can connect with another classroom about the same book. As you know, we are reading Stella Diaz Has Something to Say, the Global Read Aloud selection this year.
We are enjoying our book and love to Skype with our friends in California! There is a 3 hour time difference between us so when it’s 1pm for us, it’s 10am for them!
We love learning about their school, their weather, what life is like in California, and so on. We have so many questions for them such as how many recesses do you get? How many teachers do you have? Do you have a class pet?
We discuss our favourite parts of the book, making personal connections to parts of the book, sharing our understandings of the book, and more.
We can’t wait until next week when we connect with our friends again.
Last Thursday, Mr. Lee, our Chess instructor, came to visit our classroom and dove right into the very beginnings of how to play chess. We listened intently as we learned about the different names of game pieces and how they move on the board. We started with a simple game using just the pawns, playing with a partner after our lesson.
According to whitbyschoolorg, there are many benefits to playing chess including:
Problem Solving. In its most simplistic form, chess is quite similar to a large puzzle
Calmness Under Pressure
We look forward to seeing Mr. Lee for the next several weeks! Thank you to Parent Council for providing us and many other classes this opportunity!
Have you ever played Chess? What is YOUR favourite board game?
Last Friday, our classroom was transformed into a sort of literary cafe as students were invited to their very first BOOK TASTING event of the school year. A book tasting gives students the opportunity to sample some juicy reads in a short period of time and come away with a wish list of titles. It’s a great way to let young readers sample different authors, genres, and series. After all, books are a lot like food—you won’t know if you like something until you try it!
Chef Sully made an appearance, flying in from France. Students noted she looked a lot like her sister, Mrs. Sullivan. They even shop at the same clothing stores!
We ‘sampled’ several different genres of books including:
Books in a Series
At each table sat a pile of 10-15 books of a particular genre.
After checking out the front and back covers and inside flaps, students spent a few minutes browsing through the book to develop their first impressions. When time (about 10 minutes) was up, students wrote down observations and made note of whether or not they want to add the book to their wish list.
They rated the book out of 10 and jotted some notes about various things including what they thought of the book, what did the author do to hook them, and so on. It’s a perfect way for kids to nibble on a book and decide if they want to devour the whole thing!
Students rotated through 4 different stations in total. Afterwards, we enjoyed some yummy refreshments!
It was so much fun and we all went away with perhaps a few books we would like to read, maybe even from a genre we have never explored before.
Our next Book Tasting will be sometime before Christmas.
What does reading look like in our classroom? What should it look like?
Reading is a very special time in our day. Reading is thinking, afterall. We read to learn and we read for pleasure. We fall in love with our characters, we get to travel to distant lands, and it is fun!
In our class, we’ve talked about 3 types of reading: reading by ourselves, reading with a partner, and reading in groups. When by ourselves, we agree that we should read quietly, save talking for later, and stay in one spot. Many times, we get to pick a spot to read anywhere in the class. Other times, we read at our desk.
There are soooo many benefits to reading such as stress relief, it exercises our brain, increases vocabulary, improves our writing skills, and more! The list goes on and on.
Our first official Book Tasting event is this coming Friday and I get the sense they’re pretty excited. Stay tuned for pictures and a recap of the event.
By the way–parents, if you’re reading this, your child is never too old to have a book read to them. Reading together, no matter how old anyone gets, can be an amazing shared experience. Snuggle up with your child under the covers with a flashlight or on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. Reading is a blast!
What is your favourite place to read if you could pick