April 4

Working Hard

Our projects are finally finished and we have embarked on our presentations today. Our class has worked hard to gather research and assemble their projects about a famous rock formation from anywhere in the world.

Some of the topics they researched include:

  • Egypt’s White rocks
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Fairy Chimneys
  • Camelback Mountain

Perhaps one day the students can visit these famous rock formations for themselves and witness the wild and beautiful ways that Mother Nature creates her masterpieces.

To help decorate the gym for the Heritage Fair on Wednesday April 5, we created a piece of artwork that is reflective of our Canadian culture using the Canadian flag! We used tissue paper, a template, and white glue to create our flags. Perhaps you can hang them on July 1 for Canada’s 150th birthday!  The students worked diligently and helped one another to complete their artwork in time to hang in our gym. They look great!


March 23

LeRock & Roll

This morning the students were excited to experience a Gregg LeRock concert for the first time. It was my first time, too! Gregg and DJ David were lively, very entertaining, expressive, and had us singing along to the tunes….en francais, of course!  I still have the song C’est Bon in my head!  Oh dear. He has been nominated for two JUNO awards and has performed his French language concerts to more than 500 000 students Canada-wide.

Gregg spoke entirely in French but sometimes whispered the meaning in English so we could figure out what he was saying. His songs and interactions with the students reinforce french vocabulary. He does a great job teaching his audience while at the same time, entertaining everyone with his fabulous electric guitar playing and singing groovy tunes.

Un spectacle superbe!


“My philosophy is that the best way to teach kids is to teach them without them knowing they’re being taught and to make French ‘cool’. And being able to do this while playing guitar behind your head always helps!”    —Gregg LeRock

March 15

No Ordinary Life

You may have heard about Amy lately. She is one of my favourite authors. So articulate, creative, spunky, and authentic. I had the pleasure of meeting her in Bangkok. She was the visiting author that year at my school. What a gift.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is the author of many children’s books including Duck! Rabbit!  Uni the Unicorn, Spoon, I Wish You More, The OK Book, and so many more.  A recent book she wrote called That’s Me Loving You is particularly meaningful at this time because it reminds us how those who have left us are still truly with us…and are all around us in the breezes, the stars, the clouds, and so on. I can’t help but wonder if she wrote it knowing of her diagnosis.

Amy passed away from ovarian cancer on Monday. This made me cry because I felt a kinship with her even though I only met her once. She was such an honest person, so kind, direct, and had an incredible way of bringing people together. She was known for creating things. Have a look below at her project called The Beckoning of Lovely.

Have you seen her Money Tree experiment/video?

Besides her books, you may have heard of Amy through her recently published letter in the NY Times. It’s hard not to read it without a Kleenex box. Even through her pain, she still manages to create with this beautiful, but heart-wrenching letter:


She also has several books for adults including Encyclopedia of An Ordinary Life and one that I’m currently reading called Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Even though I barely know her, I can’t help but feel so inspired by her work and how she lived her life. She was and still is a light in this world. I am so glad to have her books to share with my students for years to come.

To celebrate her life, I have taken out almost all of her children’s books from the public library and we will enjoy her life as an author in our own class, in our own way. Cheers to Amy!

“I tend to believe whatever you decide to look for you will find, whatever you beckon will eventually beckon you”


March 13

Thank you Mystery Reader

Last week, we welcomed our latest mystery reader just before the March Break.

It was Joseph’s mom! She read to us a favourite book of her family’s called The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Shel is also the author of many other popular books and poems including the book Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Many of us have heard of or read The Giving Tree before.  It’s one of those stories that is a classic and is one of my personal childhood favourites. The message in the story never gets old. As we are in the season of Lent, this book serves as a nice reminder of the importance of giving to others and about making connections with others (and nature!). In class we talked about how it feels when we give to others and the different ways in which we can give to others.

Have you read The Giving Tree? What do you think is the message of the book?

Thank you, Joseph’s mom for sharing this beautiful story with us!



February 28

You Batter Believe It!

Today was Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Shrove Tuesday always falls on the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. It comes from the old custom of using up all the fattening ingredients such as eggs, milk and oil in the pantry so that people were ready to fast during Lent. So, why not make pancakes with those ingredients? All classes in our school today celebrated by either making pancakes or having them provided. Thanks to all the parents who helped make this happen for our students! They were scrumptious.

In multiplication, we are learning not only about single digit multiplication as in 8×5, but also double-digit by single digit such as 45 x 3.  We understand that multiplication is repeated addition and we’ve been learning how to represent the numbers using addition sentences as well as multiplication sentences.

5 x 4 = 20      or     4+4+4+4+4 = 20

In the pictures below we were building arrays using square tiles to represent a number, such as 20. We discovered that there are sometimes more than one way to build an array to represent a number.

For instance, we learned that 20 can be built in rows and columns as in:

1 x 20

2 x 10

4 x 5

Students will continue to build on this foundation in the upcoming grades as they learn about prime and composite numbers.

In our class, the students are asked to know their times tables up to the 9s…especially our grade 4s! However, I know many of our grade 3s are up for the challenge, too!


February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day!


marc via Compfight

We love to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We were excited to spend the day together doing fun things. I want to say thank-you for all the warm Valentine cards and treats from my students. It was such a kind gesture. I could feel the love 🙂

We began our day with passing out our Valentine cards to each other and placing them into our decorated paper bags. We loved looking at the messages from our friends. Next, we made some Valentine cards for our family members and finished up our morning with a Valentine challenge which involved unscrambling words.

Can you unscramble these words?

oeftnhetru          woelrfs       othcaeloc

In the afternoon, we watched The Lady and the Tramp–a classic! Later, we passed out our candy-grams. Yummy. At the end of the day, we visited our Reading Buddies and prepared for a Bingo game that we will play the following day as we ran out of time.

We had a lot of fun today! Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If you do, how do you celebrate?

So, who is St. Valentine?

St. Valentine was a priest from Rome who lived in the third century, and is thought to have died around 270 AD.

At the time, Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages as he thought single men made better soldiers.

Being a romantic, St. Valentine was arranging and performing marriages in secret so couples could still celebrate their love.

Unfortunately, the Emperor found out about this and imprisoned Valentine, sentencing him to death for his crime.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/14/who-is-st-valentine-why-is-valentines-day-named-after-him-6447259/#ixzz4YgdzfqTz

Another famous person from Valentine’s Day that you may be wondering about is Cupid (Latin cupido, “desire”). In Roman mythology Cupid is the son of Venus, goddess of love. His counterpart in Greek mythology is Eros, god of love. Cupid is often said to be a mischievous boy who goes around wounding both gods and humans with his arrows, causing them to fall in love.

February 8

Thank you Mystery Reader!

Once again, we have been blessed to have another special mystery reader visit our class. Today it was Ryerson’s mom! She read us a funny Robert Munsch book called Thomas’ Snowsuit. It’s a book that’s been around for a while. Robert Munsch has so many books, in fact, he’s just released his latest book called Black Flies. We can’t wait to add it to our class library.

Ryerson’s mom did such a terrific job reading the story. We couldn’t help but laugh out loud at some of the funny moments in the story, especially the moments where the teacher and principal were wearing each other’s clothing!

If you’ve never read Thomas’ Snowsuit before…here is the story behind the story from Mr. Munsch himself…

Thomas’ Snowsuit was made up in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I was talking to teachers about how to tell stories. Somebody said “Hey Bob Munsch, would you like to tell some stories to kids in daycare?”

I said that would be nice. So they called up all the daycare centres in Halifax and said “If you want to have stories by Bob Munsch come out to Mount Saint Vincent University.”

About three hundred kids came. They were three, four and five years old.

When I walked into the room and saw them I said “Oh Dear, I am supposed to keep them happy for an hour. I don’t have enough stories to keep three year olds happy for an hour.” And I didn’t. After forty-five minutes I ran out of stories.

I looked at the kids and they were all wearing snowsuits. I thought it must have been hard getting them into the snowsuits. I made up a snowsuit story about a little boy named Thomas who didn’t like to put on his snowsuit. The kids liked it because every time Thomas didn’t want to put on his snowsuit he yelled “Noooooo” and all three hundred kids would start yelling “Nooooo”.

It turns out that kids love to yell no. I use “no” a lot in my stories. Whenever I can’t think of what to do next I figure out some reason for somebody to yell “no”. Kids will always join in yelling “no”.

Thank you so much for reading to us today! We loved sharing our own funny stories with you, too.


February 5

Mannequin Challenge

It was Friday and many of us were working on our superhero designs as an extension of the book Savannah read to us via Skype. The students worked hard to come up with a design for their superhero, a name, and what ways the superhero would help others.

We decided to try out the mannequin challenge while we were working on this task. Have a look at the Friday Fun!


February 2


Today we had the pleasure and privilege of welcoming a special mystery reader into our class…via Skype! Her name is Savannah Whitson and she is a grade 1 teacher and also a published author! She was so delighted to be invited to share her first book with us. Prior to her Skype chat, she gave us a few clues about where she is from:

  • English is the main language spoken
  • Corn is a major crop grown in her area
  • There is a major car race that takes place annually in her area (The Indianapolis 500)

When we first met Savannah on Skype, we wanted to know exactly where she was skyping from, as the clues just weren’t enough. We retrieved an Atlas and with a few more clues, we learned she is from the state of Indiana in the city of Indianapolis.

The book is called “I Wish i Were a Superhero”.  It tells the story of several characters who imagine themselves as superheros with superhero powers such as being able to fly, have super strength, lightning speed, and so on. Towards the end of the book, the characters realize that they only need to look within themselves to see that each one of them already have superpowers such as the strength to help others. All kids have superpowers!

Savannah walked through the process of writing her book (she started writing it 3 years ago) and told us one of the most important things we can do as authors is to read and re-read our own writing, carefully listening for it to sound just right. She told us that even though her book is now published, she can still find small things she might change.

The illustrations by Clark McReynolds really brought Savannah’s message to life. The pictures are colourful, expressive, and fun to look at it. They are done in what some might call a ‘comic book style’.  There are even a few colouring pages at the very back of the book to encourage students to draw themselves as a superhero. Savannah is going to send us an order form for the book so we can add it to our class library and she will also give us a copy of the colouring pages.

Our Skype call with Savannah lasted 30 minutes and was a great opportunity for the students to ask questions directly to her and enjoy listening to a story written by the author herself!

We asked Savannah if she is planning on another book and she said YES! The next one will be about dogs (she has a Jack Russel) and what kinds of things that dogs might be thinking. Sounds interesting!

If you’re interested in ordering a copy of her book ($15 USD) before it hits the stores, click here

The link provided expires Feb.10th at midnight.

You can pay by credit card or pay pal. Savannah will personally sign each copy!

January 27

SuperStar Mathletes of the Week

A big congratulations to our new SuperStar Mathletes. Each week, we celebrate accomplishments and give special recognition to students who really shine.

Luca P. is a Mathlete! He has achieved (at last count) 2949 Live Mathletics points in the level 2 category with 92% accuracy! That’s 180 games played. Wow!


Joseph has earned a whopping 5810 participation points and has earned 2 Bronze certificates. He’s inching closing towards a silver!

Way to go! Keep up the great work, Grade 3 and 4s.

Parents, don’t forget that you if you don’t have a Parent Registration already, you can sign up here using the details of your child’s account: http://www.mathletics.com.au/parent/
You’ll then have access to view your his/her progress and results, including both weekly points summary, certificates earned and a tally of total points accumulated.

How to Play Live Mathletics

Choose your level. You can play the computer or choose Find Me a Game to play against other Mathletes.

Place the cursor over the the level tabs to see what type of questions you could be asked.

Try to choose the right level for you – look out for Bonus Points! You could earn double points if you challenge yourself!

Your goal is to improve your ranking. Your ranking is based on your recent average.

There are five different rankings to achieve: Raging Rookie, Junior Giant, Speed Demon, Almost Einstein and Human Calculator.

After you have picked your level, Mathletics will find other Mathletes for you to compete against (unless you have selected the Computer). It is possible that you might get to play the computer if there is not a good match with another Mathlete available.

The game engine selects games based on competing Mathlete’s recent averages, so the race is as fair as possible.

One game lasts 60 seconds and you have to answer as many questions correctly as you can.

You are racing against the clock, your recent average and the other Mathletes. The other Mathletes you play against will have the same ranking as you.

Be careful! 3 mistakes and you’ll strike out! If you Strike Out it will change your average and you may go down a level in your ranking.

Keep an eye out for the red line – this represents your Personal Best score.If you can beat this – you earn bonus credits for your Mathlete!

How Do Students Earn Certificates?

20 consistent weeks of work = 1 Gold Certificate

Certificates are granted when a student earns 1000 points or more within one week. This encourages students to complete a healthy amount of work each week and rewards students for every week they practice. Students initially earn a Bronze Certificate, then a Silver Certificate once five Bronzes have been earned. With four Silver Certificates, a student then receives the much-coveted Gold Certificate, demonstrating their long-term commitment and developing ability.