October 25, 2015

Mathletics is HERE!

I am pleased to announce that our school board has purchased the online math program "Mathletics." This is a great online tool that allows student to practice skills learned in class. Just like Dreambox and Prodigy, Mathletics is all Canadian based curriculum. All students files have been set to their grade or ability. I have preset their lessons so that they can focus on the skills we are currently learning in class. As of now, their accounts are set to only patterning lessons. As they become proficient in those skills, they will move to other areas of the math curriculum. As the classroom teacher, I receive reports on their progress of those skills. I am super excited to add Mathletics to our bank of online tools! Students are to access Mathletics through the student portal. We have gone through this in class already and they have access to their passwords in their shared technology folder.

We have a relatively busy week ahead of us with many activities for Halloween taking place. We will
be decorating a pumpkin this week in order to raffle off at the Halloween dance this coming Friday hosted by parent council. On this coming Friday our class, along with a grade one class will be creating Halloween lanterns. If you have a mason jar at home it would be greatly appreciated if you could send one to school with your child. Don't forget to wear orange and black on Friday. We are very excited to make these lanterns! I wish everyone a great week!

October 22, 2015

Using Padlet in the Classroom

Today we had a great discussion about chapter 8 from Fish in a Tree (GRA). We are specifically looking at how Ally Nickerson is adjusting to her new teacher. We are focusing on what her strenghts are as a character with some specific examples from the book. Check out our Padlet where students are sharing their ideas. Mr Robinson's class will be sharing their ideas on here as well! 

October 20, 2015

Chapter 8

As we continue our Global Read Aloud of Fish in a Tree, author Lynda Mullaly Hunt reads for us chapter 8 of the story. Boys and girls, please listen to the author read her story and answer questions about the book. Please have this completed by Thursday October 22, 2015 in order for us to have a class discussion.

As you are watching the video think of some Self-Monitoring strategies we discussed today about being an engaged reader. You can visualize by drawing pictures in your head about what the author is saying. You can make connections to what you are hearing. You can try to feel what Ally Nickerson might be feeling and you can "be in the moment" by focusing on the story and clearing your mind of distractions.  Enjoy chapter 8!

October 17, 2015

Blogging Challenge

This week we will begin our blogging challenge with Mr. Robinson's grade 5 class from St. Anne School. We will be writing our 100 word challenges every second week and commenting on our blog posts with Mr. Robinson's class in between. We are now ready to provide blog comments to the students of Mr. Robinson's class. Check out your posts, Mr. Robinson's class has already started to post comments on our blogs.  Blog teams are now found under the quick links tab on the right hand side. This past week we began our discussion on what an appropriate blog post looks like, and sounds like. Our two classes, will be following the success criteria listed below.

How to Comment on Posts
All comments should start with a greeting (e.g. “Hi Sally”) and a positive comment.
Then, students should extend the conversation by:
  • providing positive, specific feedback
  • asking a question
  • adding a fact that the author may not know 
  • making a connection to their own lives
Students can then also make a specific suggestion on how the writing could be improved (e.g. next step).
Check out the video below which outlines some great commenting criteria:

Example “Level 3” comment:
This comment starts with a greeting and includes positive feedback about things that he liked (e.g question at the start, quotes, providing a link). In order to bump this comment up to a “4”, he could have included one of the quotes from the text or added a next step on how the writing could have been improved.

Example “Level 4” comment:
4_commentIn this first comment, there is a greeting and positive feedback (e.g. the inclusion of interesting facts). She then goes on to use specific details from the text to support her feedback. Finally, she included a next step (e.g. add a headline).

Example “Level 4” comment:
In this second comment, a greeting is included as well as positive feedback (e.g. love the question included in the opening). She also adds WHY including a question is a good addition (e.g. acts as a hook). Finally, she included a next step on how the writing can be improved (e.g. add more detail) and gave specific ways on how this next step could be implemented.

Big Thanks to Mr. Fisher and his class for sharing all of their ideas with our class.  Stay tuned this week to see what is happening at STB. Have a great week!
A. Porcari

October 11, 2015

The Week in Review!

Wow what a busy week we had!

On Wednesday we participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge. Our classroom, as well as Mrs. Roche and Ms. Eaton's grade 2 class gathered in the Learning Commons amongst hundreds of cardboard boxes.
One challenge...to build something amazing out of cardboard, recycled materials, and imagination. And they did just that! The creations were amazing, from ping pong games to spinners, to sailboats, imagination and creativity was humming in the room. Take a look below at some of the creations.

We wrapped up the week on Thursday with a Mystery Skype! Our class has begun reading "Fish in a Tree" for the Global Read Aloud. As part of the global aspect, we partnered with another class who is also reading the same book. The students were unaware of where this class was situated in the world, so myself and Ms. Bargas from Argentina decided we would host a Mystery Skype for our students. The premise behind a Mystery Skype is that students are allowed to ask yes and no questions in order to guess where in the world this class is situated. Students are grouped into special roles, such as the Think Tank, where questions are generated, to mappers who are using their mapping skills to locate this group of students. Check out what a blogger, Jaina had to say about our Mystery Skype here.  Once both classes were able to guess each others county and city we then began to share some historical landmarks and information about our cities.
The students are currently working on creating a video with photos of Canada during the different seasons to share with the class from Argentina. As well, Ms. Bargas class is creating a video to share with our students about Buenos Aires, Argentina. We will continue to communicate with Ms. Bargas class through various forms from Twitter, Skype sessions to Padlet in order to connect and talk about the book we are reading. We will share our insights and predictions with the other class.

That is a small glimpse into our classroom for this past week. Stay tuned next week to see what we will be doing! Have a great week everyone!

October 3, 2015

Busy Week Ahead

We have a short week ahead of us but check out everything that will be happening this week!

But first a quick recap from last week. We launched our inquiry in math on patterning by brainstorming what we already know about patterns from our prior knowledge as well as what some wondering are that we have with patterns. A common topic that seemed to come up in our wonderings was patterns in nature. So we will explore some of those inquiries. We had a great discussion about real-life applications of patterns in the world. Mr. Chaplinsky shared some insights with us on how patterns are used in science. We are excited to learn more about patterns. To see the big ideas and curriculum links to patterning and our math word wall check it out here.

In language we wrapped up our discussion on being a "Digital Citizen" and the importance of netiquette. The students are now working on creating a story using all the information they have learned about being digital citizens. The students will be presenting their stories using Powtoons. Stay tuned for their creations.

This week we begin the Global Read Aloud. This year, our class will be participating in a project called the Global Read Aloud.  This project will start October 5th and will run for approximately 6 weeks.  The idea behind it is very simple; teachers around the world read the same book aloud to their students and then use technology to share the reading experience with these other classrooms.  It is a free project and it fits perfectly into the standards we have to cover.

During the project, our class will be reading Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and connecting with students around the world who are reading the same book.  We will use technology tools such as Skype and Padlet to facilitate these connections and conversations.

We are very excited to connect with others, especially since more than 200,000 students are already signed up to participate.  This project will allow for our students to use technology tools in a meaningful way, as well as learn about other cultures, all while listening to a fantastic read aloud.  

Another global challenge happening this week is the Cardboard Challenge. Our class, along with Mrs. Roche and Mrs. Eaton's grade 2 students will be using their imagination to create something made out of cardboard. There are 42 countries to date participating in this challenge, from making trains, to whole cities, wherever their imagination takes them! To learn more about the challenge and see how it all started with a little boys imagination watch Caine's arcade (below) and be inspired like our students are. Follow along on twitter on Wednesday to see our live tweets of our creations.
As you can see we have a very busy week this week! It may only be a four day week but we have many fun and exciting lessons planned. Enjoy your week! And be sure to tune into our twitter feed this week as we will be tweeting about our challenges!