What Do You Call A Cold Swan?

What Do You Call A Cold Swan? A brrrrrrrrd.

Goal Check! If you work hard on your goal, you can it show it off in the hall!

Math: We used a special geometry tool called tangrams. First, we cut and coloured our own set of tangrams.  Next, we followed a demonstration video to arrange these 2D shapes like animals. We paused this many times so we could take pictures of our work.

Finally, we made Pic Collages of our tangram animals.  Most of us even included the curriculum expectation and alliteration names!

Today’s chapters of The Trumpet of The Swan were intense.  The cygnets learned to fly and Louis decided to attend school.

Chapter 6: A – Cat – Catastrophe!

Check Out:  Our class always ends the week with a check out.  Everyone gets to share their best memory from this week/and or a wish for next week:

I learned what remote control reading is. You can stop, pause or even rewind when you read! (Spencer)
I learned how to make prisms and pyramids out of clay and toothpicks. I made a LEGO lion by myself. I wish we could find more E.B. White books. (Malcolm)
I learned how to make structures out of 3D shapes. My favourite 3D shape is the sphere because soccer balls are spheres. (Tyson)
I liked when we watched the tangram video. (Taylor)
I liked listening to The Trumpet of The Swan. I still wish we could play that dice game! (Mason)
I learned that it takes baby swans 35 days to hatch. I wish we could have more blogging time.(Ally)
I learned that baby swans are called cygnets and I wish we could do more DPA. (Quinn)
I learned that the dad trumpeter swan is called a cob. I also always added awesome alliteration to all activities. I wish for more LEGO math. (Luci)
I got to work with Taylor for tangrams and I really liked this lesson. I wish we could do more tangram math (Aiden)
I learned how to use an atlas! I wish we could do another rhyming week. (Max)
I loved doing 3D shapes with toothpicks and clay. I wish we could have more time for that, and Miss Versteeg says we can if we have indoor recess! (Hudson)
I loved how the baby swan undid Sam’s shoe. (Ayla)
I super-loved when I got to share two posts. Everyone commented my blog. (Tyler)
I learned a couple of simple machines. My wish is to have more language groups (Finn)
I liked that we made Pic Collages with the tangrams. My wish is to do more math and science. (Boston)
I wish we could do more math about shapes and make Pic Collages about it (Arjeta)
I got a special card for being safe in Phys. Ed. on Friday (Andrew)

I Said Smile!


How Do Bears Cool Down?

Partner reading: sharing word family stories.

How Do Bears Cool Down? Bear (air) Conditioning

Blogging: My post today is short because students like Taylor, Tyler and Tyson had their own blog writing session today. Head over to Ally, Ayla, Andrew, Aiden or Arjeta’s blogs to see their versions of what has been happening this week. **Notice how I snuck some alliteration in there, Max, Mason and Malcolm?

Math: we built shape skeletons!  I sent these home today, but I doubt they will make it there one piece.  Here is what it the projects looked like.

Other notes:  Aiden was our star, Pita Pit forms were sent home today, and we have our -sh test tomorrow.

When Do Monkeys Fall From the Sky

APEril (April) Showers

Poems:  A couplet is just two sentences that rhyme.  We found couplets and collected rhyming words during our shared ‘Spring Poem’ reading time.  When we finished the poem, we decided to try to write our own couplets about Spring.  It is tricky, so we worked as a class. Here is what we came up with:

The Trumpet of The Swan: The cygnets hatched!  One of them could not make a ‘beep’ to say ‘hi’ to Sam. He untied Sam’s shoe instead.

There is more than one way to say hello!

Social Studies: In chapter 5 of The Trumpet of The Swan, we learned that the swans are from a place called Montana. I taught the class how to find Montana in an atlas. We spent the rest of class looking for our heritage countries.

I forgot how much fun an atlas can be when you have just discovered how to use co-ordinates!

Math:  We read a shape couplet poem to get warmed up for today’s activity:

The picture at the bottom of the poem ties into the math expectation I covered today:

That’s right.  Building stuff is in the math curriculum!

Taylor made this Explain Everything presentation about her structure (The only thing I added is my voice):

Simple Machines:  We made our own levers today using our rulers:

A lever is a bar that you use to move something. It is like a teeter totter or a wheelbarrow.  It needs a thing called a fulcrum in the middle. When you use a spoon to flick your food (like a catapult or a slingshot) you are using a lever. Do not do this at the dinner table.

Malcolm was our star. He shared two posts and he built this Lion:

How Do You Avoid A Swan?

You Duck!

We read two more chapters of The Trumpet of The Swan Today.  We learned a lot of interesting facts about this special bird.  The male is called a cob.  The full wing span is 8 feet across.  A nest is 6 feet across.  The babies are called cygnets. 

Pyramid and Prism Play: In math we sorted 3D shapes, and I challenged the class to create a Pic Collage to show they understand the difference between a Pyramid and a Prism.

Check our blogs to see which students took this challenge to the next level by including these terms: cylinder, cones, spheres, triange/square/rectangle/pentagon/hexagon/octagon -based.

Science:  We spent some time reviewing the names of simple machines. We also had a ‘work relay’. Work is what happens when you use a force to move something by pushing, pulling or lifting.

Work relay!

Max was our star.  He got to do this month’s special things. First the whole class wrote comments on the post he wrote when he was away yesterday, and then he built a robot by himself!

Language was pretty great too:

What Did Summer Say To Spring?

Help!  I’m going to fall!

Remote Control Reading:  For the next few weeks, we are going to be learning strategies to monitor our own reading. This week we are sharing a rhyming Spring poem together to practice ‘remote control reading’.  We only read the first verse of our Spring poem today.  We had to use the remote control a lot to make sure we understood everything!

Poetry Writing: In writing, we are working on Alliteration Acrostics. Alliteration is when a series of words begin with the same sound. Alliteration is used in tongue twisters like this:

An acrostic is a type of poetry where the first letter in a line spells out a word. Click on this poem about our co-op student Kendra to see the adjective list the class uses to help write absolutely awesome alliteration acrostics:

New Read Aloud: We read the first chapter of The Trumpet of The Swan today. E.B. White is one of my favourite authors. You may have read, or seen a movie about, some of his other stories: Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.

Our First Spring Goals:

What Time Is It When You Have A Toothache?

What Time Is It When You Have A Toothache? 2:30 (tooth-hurty!) **this joke is for you Ayla.  We missed you today and we hope you have a great March Break!

Say Archie!

Healthy Hearts:  We had a visitor today. Mark is a representative from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  He led a discussion about how to keep our hearts healthy and he even did GoNoodle with us!

Team Work: Gear Configurations

Spencer was our star.

Check Out:
I learned about keeping my heart healthy. (Grady)
I learned how to switch gears to change speeds on the robot spinner. I wish we could play more dice and card games. (Mason)
I learned how to make LEGO machines. I wish we could do more science. (Quinn)
I learned how to do a KeyNote and I got to read it to Jade and Knox. (Hudson)
I learned that I can make cubes and rectangular prisms with polydrons. I liked that I got to play with them a bit too. I wish we could do more LEGO in the middle of the day so there is enough time.(Boston)
I learned about Jade’s family tree and timeline. I wish we could have more reading time. (Tyson)
I learned about the Heart and Stroke Foundation (Spencer)
I learned how to draw a cube with a sticky note. I wish we could do more KeyNote. (Malcolm)
I learned how to draw shapes. This includes triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon,octagon, nonagon and decagon! I wish Miss Versteeg would read us some more long books like Freckle Juice (Finn)
I learned how to find Germany on the class globe and I wish that Mrs. Baxter’s class can come over more. (Aiden)
I finally learned how to use KeyNote. I liked typing and putting the pictures on. I wish we could have more blogging time. (Ally)
I learned that my real country that my dad is from is Scotland. I wish Mrs. Priestap’s class could visit. (Taylor)
I learned about other people in our class’s countries. I wish we could do more health about our heart and brain. (Luci)
I learned some good jokes and I liked the one about bright students. (Mason)
I learned that you can make different kinds of LEGO robots and I wished we didn’t have to waste gym a lot. (Tyler)
I learned that parallel lines never cross. (Max)
I learned how to plant a shamrock. I wish that we could do more blogging about math. (Andrew)

Why Did The Teacher Need To Wear Sunglasses Inside?

Because her students were so bright!

Science:  We built robots again.  We made something else that can spin! Tomorrow we will tinker with the gears on our spinner to see if changing the size of the gear will change how fast our robot spinner can spin.

Math:  We added a few new words to our shape vocabulary today:  Rectangular Prism, and Base.  Arjeta built us a net and a rectangular prism:

Language:  Quinn was our star and she shared a favourite blog post.  The rest of our language time was spent working on this week’s jobs:

Sharing time with Quinn!

What Did The Ocean Say To the Beach?

Nothing.  It just waved.

We had our first ‘indoor recess due to high wind speeds today’. The class worked together to make this!

iPads in the Classroom:  We spent a lot of time using iPads today.  We read iBooks:

Reading Time

We commented on Aiden’s heritage writing and his weekend writing:

Aiden shared two great writing projects today!

In the afternoon, we shared our heritage projects with Mrs. Baxters’s class:

Baxter buddies!

Cubes in the Classroom:  We did not use the iPads for math. We used a lot of other things though!  We began by reviewing new math vocabulary: quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon, right angle, parallel, and cube. Next we took a closer look at what a cube is made of.  We used square polydrons to make our own cubes. Polydrons are geometry math tools that you can snap together. We found out that all cubes have 6 square faces. Andrew discovered that it is easiest to make a cube if you start by laying the squares flat to snap them together first.  Then you just fold up the sides:

Andrew’s idea was a perfect way for me to introduce the next geometry term: net. A ‘geometric net’ is what we call a flattened shape that you can fold into a 3D shape.  Math ended with a challenge: Draw a net that you know will make a cube. Then cut it out and fold it up. Prove you understand.

Why Was Six Afraid Of Seven?

Because 7, 8, 9.

I think the Team 2 Joke of the Day is going to be popular new feature!  I’ll need to find a joke for tomorrow with some ch- words.  We found even more ch- words to add to our chart during independent reading today:

Luci was our star. Her presentation had a twist to it. We followed along as she read her heritage post and then we wrote comments and questions to her instead of saying them.

Luci’s presentation

Keynote App: We spent some time today working with the Keynote App. Students are following a simple guide to prepare a  six page presentation about their favourite Blue Spruce 2017 book:

Science: We finished making notes about what we learned from our bird robot investigation.  We discovered that adjusting the position of a belt changes direction and the size of the pulley changes speed.

Grady shows he understands by keeping track of what he observes

Social Studies: We did some shared reading about Ireland today, and we learned a little Irish:

Math:  We learned several new vocabulary words today.  We also learned how to draw a cube by tracing a sticky note:


This is our CH- week

This is our CH week: One of our favourite songs to dance to for a class body break is ‘Fight Song’. We decided to try to write a new version about what we are doing this week:

This is my ch- week
Get my work done week
Reflect on my goals week
My brain is turning
I’m showing learning 
Taking tallies I’m earning
And I really care about everyone there
‘Cause there’s no place I’d rather choose be.

Taylor was our star.  She brought a family photo album and she found Scotland on the globe.


Math:  We are finishing our geometry unit this week.  Here are a few snapshots of students showing learning today:

St. Patrick’s Day: St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17, 2017. This holiday originated in Ireland and it is a big deal in Listowel! In Language we read two iBooks about St. Patrick’s Day. In Music we learned about a special Irish dance called a jig.

Ireland is Island

Joke of The Day:  Why couldn’t the bicycle stand up?

New Hall Display

Opt for Optimism

Opt for Optimism:  The word ‘opt’ means choose.  The word ‘optimism’ means to keep being positive and to believe that YOU CAN DO IT!! (Max). When you opt for optimism, you choose be positive.

How is setting a weekly goal a way of showing optimism?

LEGO:  Team 2 built robots by themselves today!  By the end of the morning, everyone had created dancing birds. We saved them for next week’s science lesson so we can plug them in again and find out what happens when we adjust the belt on the pulley.

Tyson was our star!  Luci is star next week, and she showed initiative by getting ahead of schedule and working on her presentation today too.

Check Out:

Tyson loved when we wrote letters to Mrs. MacNeil about Blue Spruce.
Taylor thought it was fun when she and Aiden dressed up in Korean outfits on Ally’s star day.
Aiden loved that Mrs. MacNeil did GoNoodle with us for the song Summer.
Spencer liked that he worked good together with Ayla and Quinn so they could build a dancing bird LEGO robot.
We did simple machines and learned that they are: lever, inclined plane, screw, wheel and axle, wedge and pulley. (Malcolm)
Mason won’t forget how fun it was to dance with the dancing robot he built with Aiden and Grady.
Grady liked that his desk was moved a few times to make the pit big.
Quinn liked that Miss D taught the class about optimism and read Dr. Suess book. Quinn’s wish is for more blogging time next week.
Andrew is proud everything about his star day. He wishes for Zearn and GoNoodle.
Luci liked that she learned that I trusted her to work in the hall to build her robot and that another kid taught her, not a teacher! She wishes to build more robots.
Ally felt very, very important on her star day.
Boston liked doing his heritage project and he felt like a million bucks when the class listened.
Ayla liked solving the shape mysteries in the shape mystery book.
Tyler was super happy when he finally finished his triangle art!
Finn is glad that we are almost all finished the Heritage projects.
Max was brave enough to read his paragraph out loud to the class.
Arjeta hopes we can read another chapter book like Freckle Juice.

Dear Mrs. MacNeil

My view while circulating during writing time today. They’re completely absorbed in their work!

Dear Mrs. MacNeil:  Today, everyone wrote a formal letter to our librarian, Mrs. MacNeil.  The purpose was to persuade her to agree with a personal opinion about which Blue Spruce 2017 book is the best.  These letters turned out so well, that I invited Mrs. MacNeil to our class so we could read them to her.  She said it was the best day ever!  When she said this, it made us feel ‘like a million bucks’.

Boston was our star.  He made an Explain Everything presentation that includes how to find his country on a globe and a description of a musical part of his heritage. Boston also finished and posted his letter to Mrs. MacNeil today.  Great work Boston!

Science:  This happened:

In My Opinion

In My Opinion:  When you do persuasive writing, your purpose for writing is to convince the audience to agree with you. We are writing persuasive paragraphs this week. Each student is trying to convince me of their choice for the best Blue Spruce 2017 book. There are many different opinions about this in our class, and students are coming up with lots of reasons and examples to justify their choices. In my opinion, they are ALL doing great writing!

Math: In math, we worked with more 2D shapes, using new tools and new vocabulary:

Spencer is looking for a plastic 2D Shape. He already has an Ellipse and a Circle!

Science:  We started to talk about Simple Machines today and we watched a video with some great examples.  Here are the notes from our lesson:

Hudson: What simple machines help you do work when you are skiing in BC?

Ally was our star.  She brought artifacts, information, and an adult!  We had a great time hearing all about her Korean heritage

Ally chose friends to model the clothes her parents wore for their Korean wedding.

And finally:  I managed to upload the marshmallow picture from yesterday!


Marshmallows, Hot Chocolate, Shroves, Andrew and More

Marshmallows: Yesterday, we began our #patience #amdsbkidschat with a quick video.

Hot Chocolate: Today, we tried this patience activity in our classroom. Everyone was given one marshmallow in the morning. The kids who were patient enough to save their marshmallow until the second nutrition break were given another.  They had 2 marshmallows to put in their special mugs with their Me to We hot chocolate!

Shrove Tuesday:  February 28, 2017 is Shrove Tuesday.  You probably know it as Pancake Day.  Shriven means Forgiven and Shrove Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday before Lent starts.  Lent is a time when people fast or give up something that is hard to give up.  People often decide to give up tasty foods for Lent, including the tasty ingredients in pancakes. They make pancakes the day before Lent starts because they need to use up butter, sugar and other rich ingredients.

In the United States, they sometimes call Pancake day Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Mardi is French for Tuesday and Gras is French for Fat.

Math: For math, I had planned to review calendar and backwards counting by having the class start at 40 and count backwards to see if we would land on Easter.  I was sure this would work because I was sure that Lent was exactly 40 days.  Guess what?  We did NOT land on Easter.  I had to do more research.  I learned that Lent is a 40 day season, but you do not count Sundays.  Try it yourself. You will only land on Easter if you skip Sundays when you count back 40 days from Shrove Tuesday.

Andrew was our star

***I am experiencing technical difficulties with uploading photos today.  I will try to add a few photos to this post when I figure out the problem


Each month K-8 classes across AMDSB connect for an hour to engage in a #AMDSBkidschat. We discuss topics related to character education, social justice, and citizenship.  Time during the chat is spent reading tweets, responding to others, and asking questions to further the conversation. Our goal is to build community throughout #AMDSBLearns and be the change we want to see in the world.

#Patience:   This morning, our class participated in the February twitter chat about patience. Check my @iAMbeckyann twitter feed to catch up on the #amdsbkidschat morning conversation.  Then scroll down here to see a few other times the class showed patience today.

~They waited patiently for me to record their goal:
~They patiently help me make a list of research topics:

~They listened patiently while I read this entire chapter book:

~They took their time and were patient with themselves while they practiced drawing polygons and pronouncing polygon names:

Mason was our star today.  He has been waiting patiently for his turn for a long time! He also drew some pretty great polygons:

~And finally, the kids who brought Me to We hot chocolate mugs and money have to be patient for one more day. Hot chocolate day isn’t until tomorrow!

Tricks For Tricky Feelings

Tricks For Tricky Feelings: It’s not easy being a kid.  Sometimes your feelings can feel out of control.  This can make you do things that are out of control.  I found an article that explains some tricks you can use to settle yourself down without anyone else knowing.  I shared some of these ideas with the class and we practiced a few together:

  1. Hand Presses- Firmly press hands together for 5 seconds and then relax.  Repeat 3-5 times.
  2.  Rub Ears- Gently massage both ear lobes to help decrease stress for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Belly Breathing- Put both hands on your belly and feel it expand when you inhale and shrink when you exhale.  Repeat for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Arm Pretzels– Start with arms  stretched outright, turn thumbs down, cross arms, interlock fingers, and curl arms up to make this “pretzel” shape.  Hold position while taking 5 deep breaths.
  5. Arm Squeezes- Starting at the shoulder,  give yourself firm but gentle slow squeezes all the way down your arm.  After you reach the hand, switch to the opposite arm and repeat.  Make sure you are doing them slowly.  Repeat cycle 1-5 times on both arms.
  6. Dots on Hands- Apply gentle but firm pressure to the palm of one hand with the thumb of the other.  Repeat 10 times on each side

Other highlights from today include:

We read the 10th Blue Spruce book.

Weekly Goal Check.

We practiced our polygons.

We found out about hot chocolate day.

Ayla was our star:

But… With a busy day like that, we had no time for Check Out!