June 18

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Harry Potter

Poised on Platform 9 3/4 with their black gowns, lightning scars, and ticket in hand, students were ready to step through the brick wall into a whole different world–Hogwarts!

With a SWISH and a FLICK, we began with the Sorting Hat who whispered into Mrs. Sullivan’s ear which house each student would be assigned to.

We began with some activities in our new houses, all related to Harry Potter, of course. Photo opportunities came next and then the much anticipated FEAST!

At 11:00 we began digging into the incredible assortment of treats and eats. We are all so thankful to all of the parents who helped make our feast super special.  We had everything from beautifully decorated homemade cakepops, Hagrid’s rockcakes, to Wizard hat cupcakes, Ollivander’s licorice wands, and Professor Sprout’s veggie sticks. You can see it all in the pictures below.

After filling our bellies, we began watching the movie of Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone, followed by more picture-taking.

I’m happy to announce that all students graduated with a degree of Master of Wizardry courtesy of Professor Albus Dumbledore and Professor Minerva McGonagall. Congratulations!

I think it’s safe to say the students enjoyed their time at Hogwarts. I’m so happy they all embraced all that is Harry Potter and soaked it all in. 

 

May 17

Today We Went on an Adventure…

What an awesome day spent together, learning, laughing, engaging. I was so proud of our students who represented our school so well. Way to go!

We started off our day visiting the local Apple Store in the mall. Upon arrival, we became Apple Ambassadors and got to wear a special Apple magnetic pin that we wore for the rest of the day…and got to keep!

The staff were so welcoming and once we split into teams, they advised, and coached in how to use the app called Clips. It’s free in the app store.

The task was to take a poem they’d been given, and to bring it to life using the app Clips. Students spent about an hour exploring the app, working with the Advisor in putting together their project, and then finally added the fun effects such as filters, emojis, stickers, music, and so on. All groups had brought in some props to help tell the story of the poem. Most importantly of all, the students had fun!

We concluded our visit at Apple by watching all of the groups’ projects on a big screen. Students were given a USB wrist bracelet with their project on it to take home.

Our next mission was to enjoy a picnic-style lunch outside beside Masonville Library. It was a gorgeous day so we took advantage. Afterwards, we went into the library and met the librarian named Linda. She taught us how books are organized in a library, what a Call Number is, read us a book called Library Lion and invited us to write a short book of our own.

Next, it was time for a library tour. Finally, students were invited to explore the library and sign out a book with their library cards and take them home to enjoy.

Thank you to all of our parent volunteers: Mrs. Franze, Mrs. Paterson, Mrs. deRond, Mrs. Cifelli, and Mrs. Pinto. We appreciated your time and energy today and it made our trip extra special to have you there.

 

Here are the completed student projects. Fantastic job, everyone!

May 14

Mystery Reader…revealed!

We were so fortunate to have another Mystery Reader visit our classroom last Friday. It turns out many students guessed correctly…it was Jacob F’s mom!

Mrs. F read to us a book called If You Hold a Seed by Elly MacKay.  This author not only wrote the story but created the illustrations as well. Did you know Elly is from Owen Sound, Ontario? Pretty cool, right?

This book tells the story of a boy who plants a seed and must wait patiently through the seasons as the seed develops into a plant. While there are not many words on each page, the illustrations are so beautifully done and are worth spending extra time looking closely at the detail. This book not only teaches us lessons of patience but also that we can often find the magic in the smallest of things.

Thank you, Mrs. F!

Check out the author’s short youtube video about how she makes the illustrations and her ideas behind the book.

Click here if you want to check out her work on etsy.

April 23

Mystery Book Clubs

We have officially launched into our book clubs now and the students have been working hard to share insights, questions, inferences, connections, and more when discussing their book. Most groups have 3-4 students in them and there is quite a bit of choice when it comes to picking their just-right book. Students collaborate to choose how many pages to read before the next meeting–usually there’s 3 days in between meetings.

What’s a Book Club? Here are some of the basics:

  • Readers gather to read the SAME book, accessible to all readers so groups are as ability‐based as possible
  • Readers read the book independently and gather to talk and grow ideas together across the book
  • Book club meetings are scheduled and routine. Ours are 2 times/week
  • Students learn from each other and the teacher
  • There are mini-lessons given by the teacher several times per week which are to be applied within the book-club structure

Meetings–What are book club meetings for?

  1. Comprehension help: when you talk about what’s going on in the story, you can gain a deeper understanding and clarify any misunderstandings
  2. Pushing your thinking: when you explain your interpretations and inferences to others, as well as hear other people’s explanations, you begin to think more deeply about the big ideas in the story, and you get better at using evidence from the text to support your thinking
  3. Lively discussion: book clubs are meant to be enjoyable; it can be entertaining to have a friendly disagreement about what you think the author is trying to say, or about why a character acts the way he or she does.

A Quality Book Club…

  • Allows for diversity of ideas—debate is encouraged!
  • Requires compromise
  • Teaches empathy and seeing things from other people’s perspectives
  • Helps students read outside of their ‘comfort zone’
  • Has members that come prepared with questions and ideas
  • Supports development of listening and speaking skills

Have a look at a few of our book clubs in action!

April 15

Mystery Reader Revealed!

On Friday, students were treated to a special guest–another Mystery Reader. This time it was Mrs. Sullivan’s mom, Mrs. B!

When I was growing up, my mom would love to read Robert Munsch to me and I even had the chance to meet him! (If I can find the picture, I’ll post it).

Mrs. B read “The Enormous Suitcase” because she could really relate to the problem of packing lightly. In the typical style of Munsch, there was plenty of repetition, laughs, and quirky twists.

What is ONE item you absolutely MUST have in your suitcase?

April 9

Mystery Solved!

The Case of the Stolen Pillows has been solved! As an update from our previous post (click here), students thought it would be a good idea to interview one of our prime suspects–Mrs. Chapman.

We called her in to be interviewed and students were poised, ready to ask their questions. Mrs. Chapman answered their questions and students jotted notes.

Students asked questions about what colour lipstick does she wear? What kind of coffee does she drink? What size does she buy? Does she like volleyball? A couple of students thought it would be a good idea to ask to see the bottom of her shoes. No match. However, a push to see her outdoor shoes did lead to a match! The tred and size on the bottom or her outdoor winter boots matched the muddy shoeprint left behind.

Mrs. Chapman finally confessed and told us she really liked our pillows and wanted to use them in her own office. She should have just asked, right? 🙂

Case closed. Great job, Grade 3 detectives!

 

April 4

Whodunnit?

Today after lunch, students came into class to a crime scene…someone has stolen our 2 class pillows! Clipboards in hand, students looked carefully at the clues left behind, jotting notes, questions, and observations. After a good long look at the evidence, we discussed each clue, talked about the facts and then made judgements based on the facts.

Finally, we made a list of our suspects. Tomorrow we will get the chance to do some further investigating by interviewing our prime suspects. Stay tuned!

March 23

Edible Inferences

Students have been learning how to make inferences. We’ve been using s’mores as a way to remember the parts to making an inference.

BK +TC = I

The graham crackers represent the Background Knowledge and Text Clues. The chocolate and marshmallow are the inferences.

Click here to read our previous post about the process.

As a little celebration of all their hard work and thinking, what better way to celebrate than eating a real s’more? It would have been even better had we done it around a campfire complete with sticks and camp songs, but the school’s kitchen oven would have to do. Cheers!

 

March 2

BK + TC = I

What does BK + TC = I mean? It looks like a math equation but really it means

Background Knowledge + Text Clues = Inference

Today we talked about inferences and specifically looked at 4 different commercials where we could practice making inferences.

Did you know that we make inferences all the time without even knowing it? You can make inferences walking down the street, in the grocery store, when watching a movie, and so on. Sometimes adults refer to it as ‘reading between the lines’. Others refer to inference as an ‘educated guess’. In general, an inference means that someone can make a conclusion on something based on their own experiences and other information. We will be working on transferring that skill to reading text over the next several weeks…and beyond.

Have a look at these commercials and see what you can infer. Some of them are quite funny!

 

February 5

Reading Buddies

Our reading buddies love our company and we love theirs. We enjoy playing games with them in the gym, making crafts, and last Friday our buddies visited our classroom and we shared the love of reading together.

We hope to spend a little time with them on Valentine’s Day next week!