September 26, 2015

Welcome Fall!

WOW! Three weeks have already flown bye...

We had a great week this week as we finished our week of inspirational math. This week students learned strategies that will help them reason and be convincing, two important mathematical practices. Students participated in the paper folding challenge, where they were given different criteria to fold their square piece of paper. The criteria progressively became more challenging as they went on. Students were then asked to convince a "skeptic" that they had created the intended shape. They had lots of discussion and found that it isn't easy to convince a skeptic!

The week continued with students working on Pascal's triangle and trying to figure out patterns and make connections to patterns in real-life. This was probably one of the favourite activities this week for students. It was like trying to break a code!

In literacy, we continued working on understanding the importance of becoming a digital citizen. We watched some videos and had a lot of discussion about keeping our private information private. We learned about the effects of sending private messages through social media and the impact that can have on a student. Students also created fictional rumours and wrote about the impact those rumours could have on classmates. We also participated in the 100 word challenge this week, a few students wrote their challenge on their blogs, check them out! This week's challenge was ...but under the earth...Love seeing all the CREATIVITY that goes into 100 words!

On Friday we wrapped up with some time at the "Tinkerspace." This week the duct tape station was very popular, students created picture frames, wallets and anything they could think of with just simple duct tape. Our lego station was a happening place as well, students were creating vehicles and structures. Next week we will add Rainbow Loom and knitting, as requested by students. Watch for the creations!

Friday was the celebration of the Franco-Ontario flag! It marked the 40-year anniversary and the 400th anniversary of French Presence in Ontario. Big Thank you to Mme Gariepy who helped create this large flag to celebrate!

Have a great week everybody!
Ms Porcari

September 23, 2015

Meet the Teacher Presentation

A Big THANK YOU to everyone who came out last night for Meet the Teacher night. It was great to meet all of you and your children. If anyone missed last nights presentation, I have posted it below. Thanks A Porcari

September 17, 2015

Week 2

We are into the swing of things... This week we began our week of inspirational math. The week of inspirational math is focused on fostering a growth mindset for students specifically in the area of math. We began with asking questions about our mindset and our thoughts around math. The big idea is to have a growth mindset beyond math but we are going to focus on teaching this mindset through math.

We began by watching two videos around the idea of the brain and its elasticity. The big idea being that everyone can learn math. It was then followed by an activity called the "Four 4. This activity involved students trying to find every number from 1-20 using only four 4's, all four of them have to be used each time and any operation. This was really exciting for students, they were up out of their seats with excitement. We tweeted out about our lesson and we had tweets from math monkey and one of our math consultants from the board who has some inquiring questions for to ponder on.

On day two we moved to look at visual representations of numbers. Students had a lot of fun looking for patterns and making some connections of numbers visually and symbolically. Students then began to use colours to highlight patterns they began to see. It was very neat to see the pattern the large circles made. Students began to wonder what is the connection between these numbers.The activity continues with students drawing their own visual representations of numbers 1-20. Can't wait to see them!

Students also participated in a math mindset survey this week. The survey created by Ms Marilyn Kasian, requires students to critically think about their feelings and thoughts about how math is taught and learned. In a few months, we will re-take the survey to see if our thoughts and beliefs around learning math have changed. I look forward to seeing the results!

Follow our journey as we continue the week of inspirational math...

A. Porcari

September 13, 2015

Our First Week

We had a great first week back! As this was a new school for me this year, the students were excellent in helping me figure out the schedule of the school. A BIG thank you to all of you for helping me find my way.

We kicked off the first week with a photobooth where we had the opportunity to get our "sillies" out. Students enjoyed taking pictures with their friends as we begun talking about the importance of building a school and classroom community.

This week was all about building TEAMWORK! We begun our engineering challenges where students had the opportunity to work in groups to try to overcome some engineering challenges. For example, one group had to create a pyramid using plastic cups, one elastic with four pieces of string attached. It was great to see groups talk through the process in order for them to construct their tower without it toppling over.

Another engineering challenge was to build the tallest marshmallow tower using a limited amount of spaghetti, tape, and string.  These groups persevered! Just when they thought there was no possible way to build this tower, they collaboratively shared ideas to create a free standing tower.

I think one of the favourites was creating the 20 paper tower challenge. One of the toughest challenges thus far. The requirements were that students could only use 20 pieces of paper. No tape, glue or staples. Check out some of these towers! One group made it all the way to 93cm. Now that's TEAMWORK!
Our week wasn't complete without getting to know each other. We spent a good part of the weekgetting to know our likes and dislikes and hearing all about our summer holidays. One of our first week back routines was getting to know our expectations for this school year. I asked the students what they expected of their classmates, their teachers and of grade 5. We had some great discussions around student and teacher expectations.

We had our first friday at the "Tinker" space where students explored building, creating and sharing their talents. I know that this will become a great place for students to explore and discover their talents. I look forward to this space each week!

A BIG thank you to all for helping make the first week back a success! Thank you for your prompt return of signed permissions. This is very helpful in starting the new school year. This week we have our first school mass which is this coming Friday at 9:30. Just a heads up, our meet the teacher night is scheduled for Tuesday September 22, 2015 beginning at 6:45pm to 8:00pm. I love forward to a great 2nd week.

Ms Porcari

September 8, 2015

Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year

Dear Parents and Students,

Hi! My name is Adriana Porcari and I am SO excited to be part of the St. Bernard team! More importantly, I am THRILLED to be your child's teacher!  It's going to be a fun year filled with lots of learning and new adventures and I can't wait to see what the year has in store for us!

I was born and raised here in Ottawa and I am a sister to two brothers. Ironically, I attended St. Bernard school during my elementary years. This brings back very fond memories. If you look closely, you may see my picture up in the hall of past graduates...hehehe you REALLY have to look! I have taught at various schools in the Ottawa area. I am proud to call St. Bernard School my new home this year! I have a love for photography and during my free time I enjoy spoiling my niece and nephew.

I am very passionate about ALL subjects, but I have a particular enjoyment in using technology and I am a supporter of 21st century tools. As a certified Google Educator, I am always looking for innovative ways to leverage technology in the classroom. During the course of the year, we will be involved in many global projects that will bring the use of technology to the forefront of our learning. This year we will be using many online tools to capture our learning. Technology serves as a major function in our Grade 5 classroom to collaborate and connect with students across the globe. Safety and proper usage of the chosen technology is therefore vital for our classrooms to be successful in its implementation.

I encourage you follow us on that journey by subscribing (follow by email)  to our blog and following our twitter feed. You will be absolutely AMAZED at the things your child will accomplish!

I also think it is very important to work together as a classroom family. We will be spending a lot of time together so it is important to treat each other with respect, kindness and compassion. I know that each of you has a different brain which means you think and learn differently. It is my job, as your teacher, to help you grow as a learner and as person of good character and faith.

A Quick Glimpse into our Classroom and First Day!

As your classroom teacher, one of the most exciting aspects of going back to school for me was organizing the classroom learning space. As I was placing desks, moving tables, and ensuring that every seat was a GREAT spot, I was well aware that all these things contribute to an engaging and positive learning environment

Our design is not finished, students will have input that will help make this space easily accessible to ALL their learning style preferences. I have created a "TinkerSpace" which is a space where everyone, creative and not creative, will come and explore their passions using raw materials, tools, technology, repurposed items and imagination. Students can work individually or collaboratively, using technology and/or drawing on the collective wisdom of those in the room.

Our walls are pretty bare right, but NOT for long, as we will collectively discuss what work we will showcase. Our first day includes some engineering challenges that will allow students to understand the importance of teamwork as well as give us a jumping off point for what makes a good team player. Check out our Twitter feed to see our challenges. Today, students also participated in a photo booth to kick off their first day of Grade 5 (pictures coming soon!)

To wrap up, I look forward to working with you and your child this year. I look forward to meeting many of you at Meet the Teacher Night (TBD) and for those of you I met today, it was a pleasure to meet you!

Your partner in education,
Adriana Porcari