October 27

Soft Sculpture Pumpkins


              photo by Mrs. Sullivan

Before we stuff ourselves silly with Halloween candy, we stuffed some pantyhose to create plump pumpkins. We made a soft-sculpture decoration–a pumpkin, that won’t rot like real pumpkins. In fact, our sculptures will last for years to come!



  • Each student was asked to bring in 2 pairs of nylons…they could be skin-colour, black, pink, purple, etc.
  • We then stuffed our pantyhose with a fluffy material called fiberfill.
  • We cut the legs off 2 pairs of pantyhose, along with the toes.
  • Next, we arranged the legs on a flat surface, crossing over each other in the center like the spokes of a wheel so that there’d be eight open-ended tubes radiating from the center. We stapled the centre.
  • We stuffed our ‘tubes’ with fiberfill and then gathered up the tubes, holding them together with a rubber band at the base and another at the top. Voila!
  • The last step was painting the pumpkins and the stem.

See below if you’d like to see the instructions visually.










What is your costume for Halloween? Does your family decorate their home?

October 27

“Did You Say It’s Gym Time?”

Let’s face it–students LOVE gym time.There’s so many activities to choose from. We learn cooperative games, organized sports, how to be a team player, how to strategize, raise our heart rate, and so much more!

Have you ever used a KIN Ball? KIN ball is an actual start that began in Quebec. Go Canada! In our class, we use the ball in a variety of ways. It’s a lot of fun! In this particular gym class we played a few games including Railroad, Indiana Jones, and Keep It Up.


In these first video below, we’re playing a fun game called Bench Ball. In the second video, two of our students try to explain how the game works. Have a look & listen:

Bench Ball from MrsS on Vimeo.

Bench Ball Explanation from MrsS on Vimeo.


What’s your favourite physical education activity?

October 26

What’s your Favourite Reading Spot?

readingnookFinding that comfortable, cozy reading spot, wherever that may be, is a great way to enjoy reading a good book! Do you enjoy reading in bed before bedtime? Is it on the couch? A special chair? On your bunkbed?

Who are you reading with? Are you reading alone? With your pet? With mom or dad? Brother or sister?

What sounds do you like to hear when you read? Quiet? Music? Your dad snoring? Ok, that last one was a joke!

It’s important when we read that we find a spot that we love to be in and that we feel cozy and ready to get lost in the pages of our book.

Check out this really cool reading nook:

cozyreading-nookWe all know a character or two that we connect with or fall in love with. We all probably have that favourite book we ask our parents to read to us over and over again! I remember asking my mom to read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to me when I was growing up. It’s still one of my favourite books!

In the video below, how many characters are you familiar with?

What is the name of a character  with whom you really loved growing up or still do love?

October 25

Science is Eggsellent!

eggToday was the day we finally were able to test our designs for our Egg Drop Experiment. Students have been busy working in their small groups to design and build a protective barrier for their egg.

Problem:    A local sports store “Eggactly Sports” are needing new ideas to help improve their line of protective gear such as helmets. They are looking to young, innovative kids to help design inexpensive protection that could inspire the store to make new gear.

Solution: Design safety equipment that will protect your egg from a drop of at least 1 m.


Last week, students began with a deep discussion around what materials to use to help cushion the egg from the impact of hitting the ground, how many different materials should be used, how to slow the drop of the egg (e.g. making a parachute), and so on.

Here are some of the students building their design. You can see sponges, knee pads, and styrofoam bowls being used:

All of these ideas created the basis for the wonderfully creative designs that each group put to the test today.

Yes, there were a few groups who found a runny mess when they peeked inside their design, while other groups found an intact egg. Either way, congratulations to ALL groups for your creativity, thinking, and for having fun along the way!

We’ll continue our discussion tomorrow and link it back to our unit on Forces.

Egg Drop Experiment from MrsS on Vimeo.


What forces do you think were at play in this Egg Drop Experiment?




October 21

Calling All Mystery Readers

mysteryreaderWhat is a Mystery Reader? Mystery Readers are special guests who come to our classroom to read a story to students.  A mystery reader can be a parent, grandparent, relative, friend, sibling or educator.

When do Mystery Readers come to read?  A Mystery Reader emails me and we set up a flexible time that works for both of our schedules.

Why should I be a Mystery Reader? This is a great way to model your love for reading and enjoyment for books.  Our class will be thrilled with your surprise visit and to have a special story read to them.

How does the Mystery Reading Program work?  The first step is to email me and we will confirm a time and date for you to visit. Start thinking about the book you would like to read to us.  If you like, I can suggest a book, too. A few days before you come to our classroom, please email 3-5 clues about yourself so we can try to guess who you are. Clues should be somewhat general and at the end be a bit more specific.

Please consider being a part of our Mystery Reader community!

Please contact me by emailing me directly.

Mrs. Sullivan

October 20

Word Study Launch

wordstudy    In our class, we have started our Word Study program. Based on a diagnostic spelling test each student did in September, several Word Study groupings were established.

This current week, we all started with the same words (long e patterns) so we could get used to the routines and expectations of how Word Study is run.

How does it work?

Students are given a new sort each Monday where they learn about different aspects and features of the words they received. Throughout the week, students are asked to complete various activities from their ‘Homework Menu’ to practice using their words in different ways, and on Friday, we will have a spelling assessment.

In the pictures below, we are working with a buddy to complete the activity called “Blind Sort with a Buddy”. This is where one person reads the words and the partner writes them down in the correct category, aiming to spell them correctly, of course!

What are some spelling ‘tricks’ or rules you could share with us?

October 18

Learning About Commenting

Commenting on the blog is what helps to keep the blog alive. We’ve been learning what makes a great comment and have been using Mrs. Yollis’ classmates to help us learn various ways to make a comment great.

Writing comments is about making connections, using ‘juicy’ language, engaging with others, asking good questions, writing strong sentences, and so much more.

Have a look at their helpful video below:

In a nutshell, here are the top 5 tips we should remember when leaving a comment:

Step 1: Compliment the blogger in a specific way.
Step 2: Add new factual information.
Step 3: Make a connection.
Step 4: Ask a relevant question to get a conversation going.
Step 5: Always proofread your comment before publishing.
Today, we collaborated as a class to read a recent post from Mrs. Yollis’ class and write a comment together. We hope they write us back and answer some of our questions!
October 17

Problem Solving 101

problemsolving2Problem solving in math can be a little tricky, but if you know the steps to problem-solving, you’re already headed towards success.

One of the biggest struggles for students is reading and understanding the problem. What is it asking of me?

There are some basic steps to problem solving:

 1. Understand the problem

Highlighting the key words and question is important in this step. We also learned a strategy to use at the beginning of every problem: WIK & WINK. WIK stands for What I Know. WINK stands for What I Need to Know.   By taking the time to do this, it slows us down and helps us digest the problem, giving us a place to start. Often times, we know more than we think we do!

2. Plan

This is the place where we start to think “Have I solved a problem like this before?” Is this a multi-step problem? What strategy might I use to get me to the answer? (e.g., draw a picture, work backwards, use a number line, make a chart).

3. Solve

This is where you get to show your thinking and apply the plan. It’s a really important idea to number your steps so it’s easy to follow. Finally, finish with a sentence that links back to the question.

4. Check

It’s tempting to want to move on once you finish solving a problem. However, it’s always a good idea to look over your work and ensure you answered the question. Is it reasonable? Does it make sense? Is it clear how I solved it? If I solved it a different way, would I get the same answer?

We worked in groups today to solve a patterning problem. We did a gallery walk afterwards and got the chance to get a close-up look at what other groups did and how they attacked the problem. Class discussion and a chance to re-do the question independently will follow tomorrow.

October 14

Guess My Rule

In learning about patterning lately, Mrs. Sullivan asked for some volunteers to come up to the front. She then said, “I’m thinking of a rule that applies to the students up at the front. Can you guess my patterning rule?”

Have a look at the picture and see if you can guess the rule.


Write your answer in the comments section below this post.

October 11

May the FORCE Be With You

We’ve been learning about FORCES in Science class.

What is a force?

What are different types of forces?

A force is a Push or a Pull on an object. We see forces in our every day lives. A few weeks ago we combined drama class and Science and were asked to demonstrate in our Teams some of the types of forces we’ve been learning about.

  1. Friction
  2. Tension
  3. Gravity
  4. Compression
  5. Magnetic
  6. Muscular

Today, we were looking specifically at MAGNETIC force. We talked about where we use magnetic force in our lives…this is what we came up with:


We tested various objects in our classroom to see whether they were magnetic or not. We also learned about a really cool train in China that uses magnetic force in a unique way. Have a look at the video below to learn a little bit about the MagLev Train. MagLev means Magnetic Levitation.

Pretty cool, huh?

What type of FORCE do you think you use the most in your life?