A special package arrived today addressed to our class. Students gathered around the package and made some inferences as to what could be inside. The box was kind of heavy and said “Book Outlet” on the outside.
It was revealed that BOOKS were inside and there seemed to be a theme with this package…soccer!
Just right. That’s where we want to be when we have chosen a book to read. Our classroom library is full of amazing books, but how do you know when you’ve chosen a book that is just right for you? That was the focus of a recent lesson in our class.
One of the ways to know if a book may be too hard is if you can count on your fingers 5 or more words you don’t know how to read or don’t understand. We call it the “5 Finger Rule”. We should also be able to make a movie of what we’re reading in our minds. If we can read smoothly (like peanut butter) and with expression, that could mean that we’re reading a book that’s just right.
We also compared reading a lot to practicing for a soccer game. If you only show up to the game and miss all the practices, you’re going to be at a disadvantage and you won’t do as well as you could have. Reading works the same way–the more you read, the better reader you become.
Reading is a verb. It’s an action. Find that cozy spot in your home, wherever that may be, and curl up with a good book. Read with your parents once in a while! Read to your dog or cat! Recommend books to your friends….and me!
Have you ever used a whisper phone? Well, they have made their way into our Gr.3 classroom and into the hands of eager readers.
What is a whisper phone you ask? It’s a tool that can be used to help hear your voice very clearly just by whispering into it. It amplifies your voice. You use it like a telephone. Whisper phones allow students to hear themselves while speaking quietly into their phones. This allows them to focus on what they are saying and how they are saying it.
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 graduatedwith 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.
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, andthen 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 areorganized 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!
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.
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?
Comprehension help: when you talk about what’s going on in the story, you can gain a deeper understanding and clarify any misunderstandings
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
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!
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
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? 🙂
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!
What do we see? wonder?
a muddy footprint, a volleyball, an owl pen, a coffee cup with pink lipstick