Mrs. Hoechstetter

Journey- Thanks Maira!

Maira recorded the first half of our script. Thank you!

If you would like to add your voice, please email me a recording. The latest version of our story can be found in D2L in the "Learning from Home" folder. 

Video Link:


As noted in an earlier post, students in Room 44 and 29 have been working on a play for our assembly scheduled for May. The theme of our assembly is "excellence".

Our work is based on Aaron Becker's award-winning picture book, Journey. 

  1. Journey has very detailed pictures, but no words. The first challenge for students was to write words for each illustration. In doing so, students were writing their own interpretation of the story. We created a class list of writing criteria (see photo below). After writing, students had an opportunity to share their work with a friend. Students were  encouraged to make improvements to their work by editing for capitals, punctuation, word choice, spelling and clarity.
  2. Students used laptops to type good copies of their stories. These were glued into little yellow booklets and illustrations were added. Not all students had completed this step when school was suspended.
  3. A class version of the story was created by combining students' writing. It was so exciting to read our shared version to the class. The children were so proud when they heard their words in the story.
  4. Next, students worked with a partner to add dialogue to our story. Our actors and actresses need lines to speak during the play! Again, student work was combined to create a final unified story. This has not yet been shared with students.
  5. As all of the above work was taking place, we were dedicating some of our art blocks to creating props for our play. 

 A sun and clouds for different scenes.

Writing Criteria

Trees for the Magical Forest

River Sticks

A mask for our Purple Bird and the red marker.

We were beginning work on an airship.

Science Design Challenge: Cooler

Students worked in teams to design and build mini coolers. The goal was to keep their ice cubes frozen as long as possible. Students monitored and documented changes in their ice over time. There was a wide range of results, with many coolers keeping the ice frozen right until the end-of-day bell rang.

Sorting & Patterning 

Students created sets of cards with two attributes: animal and colour. Then they were challenged to find different ways to sort those cards. Students wrote their sorting "rule" on an index card and documented their work with a photo. The last step was to use the picture cards to create a pattern with a minimum of 5 repeating elements. Students were very successful!

Kenojuak Ashevak (2)

Students had been looking forward to showing off their prints at Parent-Teacher Conferences. Below are some photos of students' work.


Students in Room 44 have been working hard to create good copies of their interpretations of the story Journey. We have also been working on adding dialogue to our play for our May assembly. It is a big project! 

Check out this video: Journey

Addition & Subtraction

We have been working with our math coach, Mrs. Nelson, to learn about the different types of addition and subtraction problems we may encounter. Children have been encouraged to see fact families as a strategy to identify unknown information and efficiently solve for that unknown number.

Valentine's Day

The children in Room 44 had a wonderful time giving cards and treats to their friends on Valentine's Day.

Kenojuak Ashevak

In February we made prints inspired by the famous Inuit artist, Kenojuak Ashevak. They will be displayed during Parent-Teacher Conferences in March. We can't wait to share our work. Below is a Heritage Minute about Kenojuak Ashevak.   Some Grade 4 friends joined us for the print making. It was a lot of fun to share the project with our big buddies.

Blubber Experiment

How does blubber help animals survive in cold environments? Students had an opportunity to test how a layer of fat kept one hand warm while the other hand went directly into icy water.


This week students learned to read a thermometer. It is extra tricky because this is one of our first exposures to negative numbers. Below students are working together to sort themselves into the correct order.

January 17, 2020

Students have been working on a series on art pieces celebrating Canada's north. We used several techniques to achieve the icy foreground and textured sky. Ask your child how we created these effects.

January 12, 2020

Boats & Buoyancy 

In December students were very busy designing, building and testing their designs for our Boats & Buoyancy science unit.

In the picture below students are learning how to make a simple propeller using elastic bands, bread clips and pipe cleaners. 

Students then designed and built their own watercraft. The criteria were:

-it must float

-it must carry a load

-it must travel across our "sea" without being pushed

January 12, 2020

In December students created wonderful paintings inspired by Barbara Sculing's book Winter Lullaby.  We would like to thank Mrs. Paul for her help with the colourful yarn trees.

November 10, 2019

Thank you to families for attending our Parent-Teacher Conferences last week. I always enjoy the opportunity to meet with you. I hope that you had an opportunity to listen to your child's story. We used qr codes to link to an audio file of each student reading their version of Time Flies.

November 10, 2019

The virtue of the month in November is Honour. We are talking about honouring the feelings, experiences and ideas of our classmates in Character Circle. To help us, students are learning about the Indigenous concept of "two-eyed seeing". We must look beyond ourselves and always consider the perspective and experiences of others to more fully understand the truth. Students in Room 44 were wonderfully behaved at our Remembrance Day Assembly. I was so proud! Also, we were honoured to be asked to place our wreath around the cross as part of the ceremony. Room 44 did a lovely job using fabrics and buttons to create a beautiful wreath.

November 1, 2019

The Chris Akkerman School Remembrance Day assembly will be held on Thursday, November 7th at 10:45 am. It is being hosted by two of our Grade 4 classes. Students are expected to wear their formal uniform. In preparation for the occasion, students in Room 44 created wishes for a more peaceful world. As an introduction, we read Clotilde Perrin's book At the Same Moment Around the World. Students learned how differently children around the world experience the same moment. Despite these differences in experience and circumstance, our students considered how all people want the same things for themselves and their loved ones such as a home, clean water and a family to love them. If all people had what they needed, would our world be more peaceful? Each class will present a wreath at the assembly. We used different fabrics and buttons to create poppies to decorate our wreath.

October 19, 2019

Drip, Drop, Splash...

This week students did an experiment to determine which type of paper was the most absorbent. We then used that information to select a non-absorbent paper to observe some characteristics of water. Students practiced using big vocabulary, like cohesion, to describe what they were observing. Our next steps are to compare water to other liquids and to learn about how water changes states.

October 12, 2019 - Statistics & Probability

This week students worked on their first data management project in Grade 2. Students were asked to design a closed question with four matching choices. Then they surveyed their classmates to gather data. This data was analyzed and represented using a bar graph. Finally, students were asked to write three concluding statements about their data. Ask your child which of their choices was the most popular. 

In Grade 2 we explore statistics and probability through two math outcomes. It is expected that students will:

*Gather and record data about self and others to answer questions

*Construct and interpret concrete graphs and pictographs to solve problems

I was very happy with how carefully students tracked and managed their data. We will continue this work throughout the year. Our areas for growth include improving our ability to interpret graphs and using them to solve problems. 

October 5, 2019 - Wetland Experiment

This week we added a wetland to the end of our river system. Students made excellent observations about how the water pouring into our reservoir was much cleaner and why that would be. We decided that we would prefer to drink this week's water when compared to the water that we observed last week. Our Grade 2 students are learning that wetlands are a wonderful natural tool for cleaning water and for storing water during floods. Sadly, we also learned that 90% of Calgary's wetlands have been destroyed. The good news is that the city of Calgary is working to protect these important ecosystems. Next week, students will apply what they have learned to make a poster explaining why wetlands are important and what we can do to care for them.

Why are we doing this work? On your child's report card you will see a science stem that reads, "Explores scientific events and issues in society and the environment". For the topic of Liquids, it is driven by curriculum that asks that students learn, "human responsibilities for maintaining clean supplies of water, and identify actions that are taken to ensure that water supplies are safe."

September 29, 2019 - Bow Glacier & River Experiment

Where does the water come from when we turn on the tap?

This week we learned that most (60%) of the water in Calgary comes from the Bow Glacier, north of Lake Louise. It travels down the Bow River to Calgary. We also learned that Calgary experienced a big flood in 2013. Students created dirty "flood water" and ran it through our river system. Ask your child what they observed when they poured their dirty water down our river.

Next week students will learn about the Elbow River which flows through the Weaselhead into the Glenmore Reservoir. It carries 40% of Calgary's water, principally serving the south of the city. Students will be asked to use their critical thinking skills to make a judgement

Which cleans water better: a large river or a wetland?

Here are our awesome scientists in action.

September 21, 2019

When students complete their work, one of their choices is to answer a question at our Estimation Station.

The roots of the work come from our Mathematics curriculum. In Grade 2 it is expected that students will learn to:

  • Estimate quantities to 100, using referents
  • Compare and order numbers up to 100
  • Demonstrate an understanding of addition (limited to 1- and 2-digit numerals) with answers to 100 and the corresponding subtraction

This week's question asks students to estimate how many unifix cubes it would take to cover a leaf. On Friday morning we will discover the exact answer and then analyze our estimates. We begin by sorting each estimate as less than, equal to, or greater than the actual number of unifix cubes. Then students use subtraction to determine the difference between the actual answer and their own estimate.

Last week students were very successful estimating how many pencils were in a jar. One student even estimated the exact quantity!

September 7, 2019 - Signs of Autumn

With signs of autumn starting to appear all around us, one special book that we shared this week was Leaf Man by Lois Elhert. Students wrote a new page to extend the story and imagined a new leafy character. This Friday we used pressed materials, such as leaves and flowers, to create our characters. 

Look below. Can you see a a butterfly, turtle, owl or peacock?

Ms. H.


September 7, 2019 - Character Education

An important part of our TLC program is Character Education. It is a strand of instruction from Kindergarten to Grade 5. The focus of the program this month is the virtue of respect.

In Room 44, Character Education is taught Monday through Thursday using a 'character circle'. Students sit with their classmates and have turns speaking, sharing their feeling and ideas. The general guidelines are that students may:

  • share a problem 
  • pay a classmate a compliment
  • give an example of how a virtue looks, sounds or feels

To celebrate the end of summer, we built a fire for our character circle each day this week. Our 'talking stick' had marshmallow on its end.


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