Ethical Shopping at Foodland

After reading the book Iqbal, our class did some investigating into child labour. We wondered if it was still happening in the world, and where it was happening. Wee shocked with what we found. Check out the student blogs to see some of the student findings.

During our investigations, we found an app called “Sweat and Toil“. This app identifies goods and countries where child labour is used to harvest or produce the goods. We decided that we wanted to go shopping and try using this app.


Items that did not use child labour:

  • Windsor salt from Spain  (Aaron and Theo)
  • pineapples from Costa Rica  (Samantha and Mason)
  • coconuts from the Dominican Republic (Andrea and Mahdy)
  • wax beans from Canada (Theo and Aaron)
  • tomatoes from USA (Miles and Trinity M)
  • onions from Canada, USA, Peru (John Wei and Jared)
  • bananas from Guatemala (Garrett and Ayden)
  • citrus fruit from USA (Emily and Carmondy)
  • edamame from China (Aaron and Theo)
  • grapes from Chile (Noah and Austyn)
  • corn from Canada (Alena and Cadence)
  • tea from USA (Aaron and Theo)
  • blueberries from Chile (Trinity F and Kennedy)

Items that may have used child labour:

  • cucumbers from Mexico  (Chloe and Abbey)
  • coffee from Columbia (Jayson, Abbey, Chloe, Ben)
  • tomatoes from Mexico (Alena and Cadence)
  • green beans from Mexico (Mason and Samantha)
  • honeydew melons from Honduras (Jayson and Ben)
  • bananas from Ecuador (Abbey and Chloe)
  • rice from Brazil (Emily and Carmondy)

The majority of items we looked at did not seem to come from a country that uses child labour.

We noticed that a lot of the fresh produce was from Canada or the United States. The produce did not need to travel as far and also did not use child labour. Eating local produce, means we are supporting the local economy and ensuring that child labour was not used.

We were very concerned about the coffee industry. The Sweat and Toil app says that there are 16 countries that use child labour to harvest their coffee. The coffee at the store did not say where it was from. How can we ensure that the coffee we drink did not use child labour?

We have decide that we need to do some more investigating into the coffee industry since so many people we know drink it!




Rock Song Simile Contest


She runs like a gazelle.

A simile is a comparison using “like” or “as”.  

He is as hungry as a horse.

Similes are an example of figurative language. We have been looking for figurative language in what we are reading, especially poetry.

Songs that we listen to everyday are poetry set to music. Students, your challenge is to find examples of similes in the songs you are listening to. Record the simile and the name of the song in the comments. The student with the most similes, will win. (We will also take examples of metaphors and personification, but make sure that you identify which type of figurative language you are sharing.)

Happy hunting!

100 Word Challenge

Image result for noise loudWe had some visitors from the Connected Learners from Australia to our blog. We went to visit and noticed the 100 word writing challenge that their students were working on. We decided to try it out ourselves.

In exactly 100 words, students worked on writing a story that included the words “the noise was so loud“. They also had to include a problem and solve it by the end. This was a challenge indeed!

Check out the student blogs to see how they did. You can also follow the link to the 100 Word Challenge page to sign up for this weekly writing challenge yourself.



We are going to be reading the novel Iqbal by Francesco D’Adamo. This novel is based on the real life of Iqbal Masih who was the child who inspired the Kielburger brothers to start Free the Children.

Students: What do you think is going to happen in this book? Make a prediction based on the cover, the title, and the summary and share your thoughts in the comments.

While we read and discuss the book, students will be sharing their thoughts about what they are reading on their own blogs. Check it out!

Experimenting with Printmaking

We worked through printmaking stations today. Students experimented with different mediums and printmaking tools to start off our printmaking unit. There finished products were used to create Valentine’s cards for home. Check out the student blogs for some of their work.


Building Challenge


Build a structure with a moving part that is powered by an electrical circuit. 


In order to be successful in this challenge, students thought that the following needed to happen:

  • everyone needs to be involved
  • listen to each other’s ideas
  • compromise when needed
  • cooperative
  • persevere (Don’t give up!)
  • respect and share materials
  • be creative!

Students worked in pairs to create some of the following structures:

  • snowplow
  • ferris wheel
  • car
  • “Coby” machine
  • sailboat
  • swing
  • flying house
  • spin-a-go-round
  • crane
  • clock

While students were working they demonstrated creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and perseverance. Students made a plan and then needed to modify and change the plan as they worked. Students were not only collaborating with their partner, but students were sharing ideas with other groups that needed it without prompting. There was a buzz of excitement and team work in the air.

Check out the student blogs to see the creations in action!

Current Electricity

We have been experimenting with current electricity this week.

Students have been challenged to create simple, series, and parallel circuits.


Some of the challenges the students had were:

  • burning out light bulbs
  • broken bells
  • figuring out what the problem was
  • batteries dying
  • parallel circuits were the most difficult to build

Some of our discoveries were:

  • Putting a wire around a battery will make a short circuit (Theo)
  • You can put more than one alligator clip on an item in a circuit (Kennedy)
  • I learned how to make a parallel circuit (Aaron)
  • A series circuit has only one path for the electricity, but parallel has more than one path (Noah)
  • A series is like a simple circuit just with two items in it (Kennedy)
  • The third prong on a plug is called a grounder. It is there for safety so we don’t get shocked. (Mason)

Some questions we still have are:

  • Is there ever a time when you use more than one battery in a circuit? (Mason)
  • Why can’t we get the bells to work? (Aaron)
  • Why can’t we get the switch to work? (Trinity F)
  • In a parallel circuit, why don’t the electrons just take the shortest path? (Jared)

The students have demonstrated fantastic collaboration and problem solving during these challenges. They have communicated their findings on their own blogs. Check it out!

Visitors: If you have any answers to our questions, please share with us! We would love to hear from you.



Reaction Times and Measures of Central Tendency

We spent the morning dropping and catching meter sticks to determine who had the best reaction time.

Students had a chance to catch the meter stick ten times. After the ten trials, students calculated the mean, median, and mode of their set of data to help them determine who had the better reaction time.

Student findings:

  1. Most students used the mean to determine who had the better reaction time since it included all of the numbers.
  2. Some students did not have a mode.
  3. The median might be the better choice if there is a number that is much smaller or bigger than the rest of the numbers in the data because it will affect the mean.
  4. The mode might be the best choice if one number comes up most of the time. For example, Jared had a 1 cm reaction time 6 times out of ten. We thought the mode would be the best choice for him since it was the score he received most of the time.

Students: Which measure of central tendency did you use to determine the person with the best reaction time?