It feels super-duper great to be back in the classroom with all my friends and the staff. I thank you for all your well wishes and kind thoughts and prayers. My students have been on my mind since day 1 and seeing their smiling faces on Monday (yesterday) felt nothing short of wonderful.
It is very difficult to be away from my class so I thank God that I am well enough to return and do what I love best…teach! When I am away from the class as a teacher, I am also missing being a student. I learn so much from my students each and every year…this year is no different. My classroom is my second home and it’s good to be home.
Earth Day was last Saturday April 22 and even though we weren’t at school that day, I hope you all were enjoying the outdoors and even thinking about the Earth and how precious this planet really is.
What are some of the ways you are helping to take care of the Earth?
I know for myself, I make every effort to bring reusable bags when shopping. I also avoid using the thin plastic bags for produce at the grocery store. When I pack my lunch for work, I use Tupperware instead of lots of plastic baggies. Some people like to plant trees as a way of giving back to Mother Nature. There are so many things we can do to help keep the Earth healthy.
I watched a film called A Plastic Ocean (on Netflix) which really was eye-opening revealing just how devastating the plastic pieces in the ocean really are. As a certified SCUBA diver, I can say first hand that the amount of plastic (and other trash) in the oceans is beyond disturbing.
Last Friday, students were delighted to welcome guest author/illustrator, Andrea Beck. Check out her website here.
She not only read to us but taught us about the writing process and how she illustrates her books. Students asked her all sorts of questions such as “Where do you get your inspiration?” and “What was your first published book?”
who’s got a question?
this is a storyboard
the book writing process
Andrea even shared with us that she just found out her book “Good Morning Canada” was chosen to be given to all first grade students across Canada! What an honour!
Andrea has written books that have even been made into TV shows. Her famous characters include Pierre, Buttercup the cow and of course Elliot the moose.
She showed us how simple shapes are used to help us achieve success at creating our own character. She sketched a picture of Elliot the moose and walked us through the fact that she starts with circles. Afterall, everyone can draw circles, she reminded us.
Andrea reminded us writers of something very important:
…it can be the simplest memories like digging on a beach or baking cakes as a kid that can become stories
In our current writing unit on persuasive writing, the students are working towards writing a letter addressed to someone (or a group of people) and in that letter, share a concern or idea they may have on a topic they feel is important to them. This letter will also serve as the basis for their speech on the same topic. It is my hope that they choose a topic they feel passionate about.
Today, the students brainstormed ideas for the letter. The topics the students came up with were quite diverse.
Some of the topics the students brainstormed included:
should animals be kept in zoos/MarineLand?
using respectful language
the dangers of video games, Pokemon Go
girls should be treated as equals to boys
girls and women should be represented equally in sports
the importance of school (don’t take it for granted)
We began the unit with an activity called 4 Corners. Each corner of the classroom had a sign that read either Strongly Agree,Agree,Strongly Disagree,Disagree. The students had to think about their position on the topic and decide which sign to stand under. They needed to be able to justify why they believed what they did and were even allowed to change their minds if another group persuaded them to do so.
Topics ranged from “Should animal testing be allowed?” to “Should children be allowed to have a TV in their bedroom?”. Several students were very passionate about their opinion while others were more easily swayed in any direction. Lots of chatter and discussion around these topics gave the students plenty of opportunity to practice their debating skills and how to respectfully disagree.
What is one topic/issue you feel strongly for or against?
Today grades 1-6 assembled in the gym and watched intently as a woman dressed in a white labcoat entertained us and had us gasping, oohing and ahhing at the experiments. Dry Ice is always a hit with kids and did not disappoint today!
Mad Science is a 6 week program being offered to our students and aims to increase students’ interest in science and is an enrichment opportunity with a hands-on approach. The program costs $75.00 and permission forms went home today.