October 13

Piece by Piece

On Friday, our school welcomed a Metis artist named Brenda Collins. Brenda’s mother is of the Odawa Nation and her father is French.

Classes gathered in the library to help put together a Medicine Wheel Mosaic. It is also called The Four Directions or a Healing Circle. It is intergenerational. That means that each of the 4 colours of the Healing Circle represent either the child, youth, adult, or elders.The tiles in the centre are mirror tiles and that allows us to look at ourselves and reflect on our inner feelings and thoughts.

The green tiles at the bottom of the piece represent Mother Earth and blue tiles at the top represent Father Sky. The brown tiles around the border represent the 4 sacred smudging medicines: tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar.

The finished mosaic uses more than 6500 glass square pieces that are glued down. Each staff member and student helped to make the Medicine Wheel on Friday. Brenda will take it home and add any finishing touches.

This is what the finished product will look like:

As of June of 2018, there are 72 Medicine Wheels across the region. The one that we made as a school will proudly hang in our front hallway of our school.

A big thank you to Brenda for teaching us about the Medicine Wheel!

 Take a look at the process:

 

 

 

October 11

Mathletes Among Us

Mathletics is used as part of our math learning in class and is an online math program that helps us practice our math facts, reinforces concepts, and is FUN! Mathletics is available with 24 hour access which means that students can work at their own pace, anywhere, anytime. This online math tool helps us practice computation and improves our math fluency, especially when we use LIVE Mathletics. We love competing with one another!

Parents–If you haven’t already, it is recommended that you spend a little time looking at the program with your child so that you can gain the greatest understanding of how Mathletics will benefit his or her learning.

Take a quick video tour by clicking here!

How do I earn certificates?

A certificate is awarded to a student once they have earned 1000 points in a single week. Only one certificate is awarded each week, to help encourage sustained study by the student. Points are awarded across Mathletics in a number of ways…

  • Live Mathletics – students earn one point per correct answer
  • Live Mathletics – students earn two points per correct answers on their bonus level (indicated by a gold star next to the level number)
  • Mathletics curriculum – 10 points per correct answer within individual activities
  • Mathletics curriculum – 20 points per correct answer within a “Test”

If a student earns 1000 points in one week, they earn a Bronze certificate.

If a student earns 5 bronze certificates that earns them 1 Silver certificate.

If a student earns 4 silver certificates, they will earn 1 Gold certificate!

A maximum of 1 certificate can be earned per week. This encourages students to complete a healthy amount of work each week and rewards students for every week they practice.

Points reset each Sunday.

 

 

 

Keep up the great work, Grade 3s!

October 5

Thanksgiving is Upon Us

Today was a day filled with excitement, hard work, and fun! We started off with our first ever Flashlight Friday. Who doesn’t like reading in the dark with a flashlight and a good book, right? Our next one will be near the end of the month. Stay tuned.

At 10:45, we gathered outside to move our bodies. It was a chilly morning, but spirits were high and we were ready to embrace our first annual Turkey Trot at our school. Our principal, Mr. C, dressed in a funky chicken costume, ran with us and cheered everyone on. I’m so proud of each one of you for completing the race and having a positive attitude. Awesome!

Finally, the afternoon was our Turkey Bingo event. Bingo cards in hand, we enjoyed playing along, hoping to win a prize or even a turkey! We even danced to The Bird Dance to stretch our legs. It was a lot of fun.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I hope you have lots of family time together. This is a weekend when we come together to show gratitude for many things and one of the things that I am grateful for is the opportunity to teach students as special as all of you! See you Tuesday!

 

 

 

October 4

Global Read Aloud

A Boy Called Bat is the Global Read Aloud selection for primary students this year. Every division has a different selection.

Around the world, classrooms read the book and share in the experience with others. My students are definitely enjoying the read aloud and are exploring things such as character traits, what motivates the characters, making connections to the text, predicting, and so much more. Reading aloud to children is one of my favourite things to do!

If you’ve never heard of A Boy Called Bat, it’s written by Elana K. Arnold and tells the story of a boy whose nickname is Bat (which stands for Bixby Alexander Tam). Bat is a boy with autism whose experiences and challenges at school and at home are shared. His mom is a vet. One day, she brings home a baby skunk who she needs to take care of for a short while until she hands it over to the animal shelter. Bat falls in love with the skunk and he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.

When building my classroom library and choosing books to read aloud, it is important that I have books that show diversity and that my library reaches a wide range of students. I’m delighted to add A Boy Called Bat to our classroom library!

 

What is a favourite book a teacher has read out loud to you?

September 27

Terry Would Be Proud

Terry Fox, a true Canadian hero, would have been proud today to see our students carrying on his legacy. Laces tightened, warm-up completed, students ran or walked to support and continue Terry’s fight against cancer. The weather was cooperative and we enjoyed being outside in the afternoon. A good experience was had by all.

Way to go!

 

September 19

The Birth of Rocks

We have launched into our first science unit all about rocks and minerals. What better way to launch a unit on rocks than to explore and learn about volcanoes, right?

Students have been investigating about some of these questions so far:

  • could a volcano pop up in your own backyard?
  • why do some volcanoes explode?

Students plotted volcanoes on a map (see picture below) and we noticed a pattern when we put all the maps together. This led us to hear of the Ring of Fire and how 75% of all volcanoes in the world lie on the Ring of Fire.

We learned today that there are different types of lava–thin lava that moves quickly like a syrup and thick lava that moves slowly and is kind of like toothpaste. We were investigating what kind of lava comes from a cone volcano and what  kind comes from a shield volcano.

Cone volcano

Shield volcano

Take a look at us experimenting with thin and thick lava (as you can see in the cups).

We will conclude tomorrow and discuss why some volcanoes explode and what kind of lava comes from a cone volcano and what kind comes from a shield volcano.

 

September 18

It’s a Whisper Phone

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.

What are YOU reading these days?

Do you have whisper phones in your class?

September 16

The Monarch

Have you ever seen a monarch butterfly and think about how it came to be? The monarch experiences such an incredible change and my husband (aka Turkey Jay) was lucky enough to see the process for himself this weekend!

He took these pictures to show you the changes the monarch goes through. Isn’t it amazing?

Here is the process:

Did you know the monarch catarpillar (larvae) cannot survive without milkweed? That is what this caterpillar is nibbling on. This is the ONLY thing they eat.

Can you see the monarch’s wings inside the chrysalis? When you can see the wings, it’s ready to emerge! A monarch stays inside for 10-14 days. During that time, the caterpillar is going through big changes, also called metamorphosis.

And poof! The butterfly has emerged from its chrysalis and has flown away. A monarch butterfly only lives for 2-6 weeks.

 

Have you ever seen a monarch butterfly? What about a chrysalis?

September 14

Dot Day!

Excitement was in the air today as Dot Day finally arrived. Students found creative ways to show their enthusiasm for Dot Day by bringing dot-filled lunch bags, adding dots to their uniforms, wearing dots on their feet, head, and some even came to school wearing dots on their arms and faces! Amazing!

We had a jam-packed day full of fun. We started by creating our dot headbands, made dot art out of coffee filters, collaborated with others outside drawing chalk dots, used the iPads and the app Quiver to bring dots to life, and finished the day eating dots and playing Twister. Phew!

Have a look at some of the fun times we had. More pictures to come!

September 12

We Have a Class of Smarties!

One of the delicious activities our class participated was a Smarties task where each student talked about various aspects of themselves. Each colour of Smarties represented a different question they needed to answer.

On Tuesday, students went on a scavenger hunt around the classroom looking for various things such as How many apples can you find? What are the names of 3 bins in our classroom library? What date does Thanksgiving Monday fall on? There were 13 questions in all.

Congratulations to Anna for winning a special prize for the most correct answers!