April 6

Zumba…say what?

That’s right. Zumba. If you’ve never experienced it, Zumba is a dance-based exercise program that gets your heart pumping. We had the joy today of experiencing Zumba for ourselves thanks to 2 instructors from Movati Club.

We had 30 minutes of upbeat music and even got to use drum sticks as part of our activity. What fun!

Have you ever tried Zumba before? What do you think?

 

 

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 25

Fantastic Fiction

Students are gearing up to put all their hard work and drafting skills into their good copy. We will be turning our stories into books and can’t wait to share our finished pieces with you!

Students have been learning over the past several weeks how to embed meaningful dialogue, setting details, step-by-step details, double-endings (physical and emotional as Jack Gantos would suggest), colourful vocabulary, different types of narrative (1st person versus 3rd person), leads, conclusions, paragraphing…phew! It’s endless.

The students are so creative and love to share their work with others. Some of the stories are about going to camp, entering a race, losing a Roll up the Rim tab, friendship, auditioning for a school, sleepovers, water slide disasters, etc. They are all quite diverse.

Today we spent time learning how to edit with a partner and were asked to listen very carefully as to where the student did well and what they could improve upon. We also worked on our title pages.

Stay tuned for the finished product celebration. Write on!

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:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/style/modern-love-you-may-want-to-marry-my-husband.html?_r=0

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!

 

 

March 6

Mathlete of the Week

Ok…so this is a few days late, but today we give a special shout out to our very first silver certificate winner….

Elliott! She has earned the first silver certificate in the class by earning a total of 5 bronze certificates. Elliott works hard to practice regularly and earns points for every correct answer. Let’s giver her a round of applause!

 

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March 1

A Season of Spiritual Preparation

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the first day of Lent. Yesterday, Father John invited us to gather outside to witness the burning of last year’s palm leaves–leftover from Palm Sunday. Today, we wear the ashes on our foreheads as a visual symbol of penance, reminding us that we are sinners and we are asked to repent which means to turn away from sin. We heard the words, “Repent and believe in the Gospel”.

Lent is a season of reflection and preparation for Easter–Jesus’ death and resurrection. During the 40 days of Lent we are called to sacrifice. This is meant to mirror Jesus’ sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.

  • We are asked to pray perhaps before bedtime and in the morning, or pray the rosary;
  • We are asked to fast or give up something such as watching TV or playing video games;
  • We are asked to give alms which means to help those who have less than us such as give to the Food Bank, donate used clothing, or even give our time like volunteering.

How will you prepare for Easter during this season of Lent?

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 22

Our Mystery Reader Today was…

The clues our mystery reader left us had us stumped. We weren’t exactly sure who it could be. Even when she walked in to greet us, we didn’t recognize her. It was Mrs. Sullivan’s mom!

Mrs. B was so delighted to come and join us today to read us not one but TWO stories! She first read to us a story called Lizzy’s Lion by Dennis Lee–the same author as Alligator Pie and Garbage Delight. Mrs. B chose this book because it was one of Mrs. Sullivan’s  favourite books growing up. Mrs. B carefully showed us the illustrations and asked us questions as she read through the story. The story is about a girl and her pet lion. A robber enters the story and faces the wrath of the lion. The sentences rhyme and the illustrations are detailed and colourful. You’ll have to read the book to find out the ending. Can you guess what may happen?

The second book Mrs. B read was a classic Robert Munsch book called The Paperbag Princess. This is one of Mrs. B’s favourite picture books and so she wanted to share it with us today.

This is a book with a very strong female character. We talked about what the message may be in the book and how Robert Munsch often tries to tie in a message into what he writes. For instance, we thought that the message of this book could be that you can be your own hero.

This story certainly turns the typical ‘damsel in distress’ on its head.

Thank you Mrs. B (aka Mom) for spending some of your afternoon with us.