Friday, March 13
It's been a pretty good week of learning in room 72. We did lots of math tasks and spent lots of time on our Hot & Cold Temperatures poster as well as completing our Paleo Writing assignment. Expectations to complete exemplary work were high. All the thinking added with the time change does tire you out. Thinking we may have had some early bedtimes this week.
Students did do a great job with their work and should be proud of their accomplishments.
I know there has been lots of talk about math this week but we did do literacy work. QSR, Book Club, word work and our Paleo Writing assignment were our regular activities. We did do an assignment were students evaluated a paragraph and identified nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
As well, the students became the teacher and evaluated and edited a paragraph to correct any errors. This task came in handy. Students were able to make connections to how neat organized printing is a skill that can be extremely useful when creating a poster.
The last couple of days we did add to our math work but did so in a more interactive way... Math Games! We will decided over the next couple of days which games to share at student conferences. Our latest game is "Fill the Stars:
Be prepared to test your math Math Skills next week.
Have a great weekend! I'll see the troop on Monday for some great learning.
Wednesday, March 11
Wednesday morning was heavy on the math tasks. We continued to work on multistep problems... adding groups of dice together and then calculating the difference between our answers.
We also looked at creating math sentences using "+" and "-" to balance the equation.
Throw in an Esti-Mystery and we certainly used a lot of numbers to stretch our brains!
We have two main projects on the go... Paleo Writing and our Hot and Cold Temperatures poster. Mr. W has been providing lots of feedback. Others appreciate knowing how to make their work better while some just want to be finished. They may not like it but one of Mr. W's favorite sayings is "You are never done!" There's always something to learn and a way to improve your work. I've only met with minimal resistance and having to restart does require work but the satisfaction you get with a quality product is worth it. A characteristic of a strong learner profile.
Just a quick look at the experiences happening in room 72. Have yourselves a great evening.
Monday, March 9
After QSR and SPARK room 72 started the day with Mystery Doug. Today's topic: How do germs get inside your body?
If you would like to check out the video link below or goggle Mystery Doug:
Math was next on the agenda. We started the lesson off with a warm up game called "What's the question?" Students were given a number and the had to come up with a number sentence that equals the number. There are many many possible questions for each number. Use your brain, can you come up with something different.
Math Message 18.1 was a bit of a challenge.... we had several sleepy heads in the classroom. Organizing data and reluctancy to think were the biggest obstacle. However, in the end, everyone seemed to wake up and get the job done. Thanks to those students that indicated they did not understand and sat with Mr. W to get the job done.
We finished math up looking at different strategies to solve double digit subtraction. You may have your favorite way but it's good to know multiple ways and have different understandings.
Hot and Cold posters are starting to take shape. Students are learning how to present their data in a visually pleasing way that makes people want to read their poster. Color, neatness, pictures and organization are all key factors you need to consider. Several students asked for a redo after their first attempt.
We investigated a poem called Spring... hmmm... no very spring like this morning but we did get to look at rhyming words and different word families. Can you think of any other words to add to the "ake" and "ow" word families?
ake: make, awake, cake, bake, flake, brake, take...
ow: flow, show, grow, know, row, slow, snow...
Reminder that curling intramural for Room 72 is tomorrow at lunch. If you haven't already done so please return the content form.
Final notice to end today's Blog:
Have a a marvelous evening!
Friday, March 6
Friday Letters - Took a bit of different approach to Friday Letters this week. On Thursday, we did an exercise where the students became the teacher. Mr. W gave the class a paragraph and they had to find the mistakes and correct them. Spelling mistakes, run on sentence and capitals and periods were things to look out for. We've also been using juicy words in our Paleo Writing project. For Friday letters students were allowed a maximum of 5 sentences. These sentence had to be high quality with lots of descriptive vocabulary. The were challenged to edit their sentences when done. How could they make the sentence better?
We moved onto some math... we've been changing subtraction questions into addition question to help solve double digit questions. Most students understand the concept but we've been having to revisit this strategy to solidify the understanding. We also got some time to finish our 100 Ways to Make 100 chart. Mr. W kept forgetting to complete this task... finally carved out some time to finish it.
The rest of our academic time was spent on our Paleontology writing and Hot and Cold Temperature Poster. As I reflect back on the Paleo project I was impressed at how the students did research to gather information and then used that information to create an interesting piece of writing.
Students have also done a good job organizing their posters. We did a bit of research as a class on what makes a poster successful. Things like important words, 3-5 colors, pictures, borders and a bold title were recorded. It's been interesting observing the students navigate this project. We are going to use this poster as a guide for them to talk about their understandings at student lead conferences.
Reminder that Curling forms need to be returned by March 10 in order to participate in intramurals.
It's been another great week of learning in room 72. Enjoy your weekend!
Wednesday, March 4
Arctic adventure book is finally done! We got the art work finished, put on a fancy border and added it to the book. Students are excited to show parents their hard work and student lead conferences! I can'y even get them to displauy the book in the Learning Commons for other students to read.
We've been working hard at double digit addition and subtraction. For subtraction we've been changing the question in an addition question and using Base 10 blocks to show our understanding. When we break down the question into smaller steps and use strategies we already know the problem is not so daunting.
In science we completed our last experiment: What makes a good insulator?
We insulated the outside of 4 jars using different materials (Wool, cloth, paper, tin foil). Each jar was filled with boiling water. We know that water boils at 100C. After 30 minutes Mr. W measured the temperature in each jar. The jar that has the highest temperature, we predicted, will be the best insulator. I won't give you the results... this is a good topic to discuss over dinner tonight. Students should be able to describe the role of insulation in keeping things hot or cold.
For our final assessment students will create a Hot and Cold Temperature poster with 4 things they learned. I'm hoping we will have this complete intimate for student lead conference. If not it should be pretty close to being complete and the students will have something to to talk about and share with you.
Our Early Days of booklets are just about complete. Students did an excellent job recording their details and assembling their booklets. The Inuit lived off the land and very little of the resources they used were wasted. For example, the Inuit hunt caribou, every part of the caribou was used. The meat was used for food, the hide was used to to build tents and clothing, the bones were used for tools.
Monday, March 2
Another month in the books!
Today we got started with some catch up work. Students had the option to work on their artifact drawings or arctic animal art instead of reading. I gave the instructions and students made a choice and we got right to work. In the back of my mind I as thinking that was a bit to easy and wondered if there was going to be a catch. Turns out the morning went smoothly and the stellar behavior was just foreshadowing for the day... phew!
Once the students were back from Spark we looked at Mystery Doug. Today's question was why do we cry (or have tears) when we are sad? It got our brains activated as we moved into some math. We played a game called "Half it. Double it" Mr. W gives you a number and you either have to double the number or half it. Mr/ W tried to trick a few students by giving them an odd number. With a bit of thinking they were able to figure it out (i.e. Half of 75). We then looked at double digit addition. Using our knowledge on how to represent numbers with Base 10 blocks students had to answer a series of 2-digit addition questions.
As per our regular Month beginning we studied the March Chicken Soup poem, looking at rhyming words, word families and illustrating the words. Students are doing a great job taking their time to produce a neat detailed drawing.
After lunch we investigated how animals stay warm. Students identified materials that insulate animals from the cold; e.g. wool, fur, and feathers; and identified materials that are used by humans for the same purpose.
We spent some time exploring the Inuit culture as well. We looked at home life was like in the early days. Before things were modernized we explored what the Inuit lived in both the summer and the winter. We discovered what the word Inuit means and how the caribou was important to the culture. We looked at early forms of transportation that the inuit used to travel across the ice and snow. We are working on assembling a booklet to record our knowledge.
Pretty eventful day in room 72! With the warm weather outside and the hot learning inside... I would say Monday, March 2 was smoking!
Have a great evening.
Friday, February 28
This morning we started writing in our Friday Journal. We brainstormed ideas and the students jumped write into their writing. We had a 20 minute window to write. We agreed that paying 2 welebucks for being off task and doubling it it for each subsequent distraction was reasonable. Mr. W ended up with 10 welebucks on his desk.
It's been a busy week looking at hot and cold temperatures. We looked at how temperatures from season to season. Students should be able to describe ways in which temperatures affect our daily lives. We looked at how we would have to adapt differently if we lived in a different part of the world. Would we behave differently if we lived in Australia?
We investigated how our school is heated. Did you know that each classroom has it's own furnace? Mr. Fred stopped by and have us a tour of the schools furnace and heating system.
We discussed in general terms, how local buildings are heated. We identify the energy source or fuel, recognize that most buildings are heated by circulating hot air or hot water. Students should be able to describe how heat is circulated through the school building and through their own homes.
In social studies we sketched and labeled various artifacts from the Inuit and Blackfoot cultures. This MuseoKit will help springboard us into our next social studies unit as we investigate the Inuit.
We also built boats this week! This is a been a hot topic which main revolves around when can we take our boats home. As we haven't started the Buoyancy & Boats science unit yet, I'm holding the boats hostage until we can do a little bit of research.
Just a brief look into the learnings of room 72. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, February 27... Has spring sprung?
The warm weather this week I think has created spring fever! The end of the day comes and I'm exhausted. The challenge this week has been the constant reminders to adhere to proper classroom behavior.
- Raise your hand.
- Stay on task.
- Follow instructions.
- Line up quietly.
- Stay out of other people's personal space.
- No cart wheels in the classroom.
- No tag in the classroom.
- Scissors are not an airplane!
With that said, we are able to pull back before things escalate to far. It's tiring with the frequency. The other grade 2 teachers are experiencing similar things so I'm thinking it's spring fever.
We have been accomplishing things in room 72. With our author bio's complete we have moved onto our paleo writing. Mr. W has set high standards and students are having to edit their work to meet them. The pieces of writing I've had the opportunity to read are high quality. The students want to create another book and we have set the goal of having the book complete for student conferences.
There are lots of other things the students have been exploring and I'll write more tomorrow. This teacher has to drive to the UofC to coach. Older kids and they have been slightly off this week as well... I tell ya it's spring fever (insert smiley face here)!
I've emphasized home reading today with the students. Please ensure you are finding a few minutes this evening to read. I've noticed improvement as I read with students during book club and lots of the credit goes to you parents more working with them at home.
Enjoy your evening!
Monday, February 24
Lots of math and science exploration were on the agenda today!
The students maneuvered themselves into the classroom this morning and quickly settled into their reading. I love it when they know the routine and do their job without having to be asked. Just sharing one of those magic moments we teachers silently celebrate when there's no other adult in the room.
After reading we tackled a lot of math.
Before we got started we tackled a story with a hole in it. This was to get our brains warmed up and thinking:
Jane can turn invisible. At night she’s visible, but during the day she’s invisible. How is this possible?
These types of puzzles are sometimes also called Conundrums. The solutions are usually not obvious and require adjustment of a way of thinking. Often Hidden Assumptions get in the way. They often require Lateral Thinking; that is, thinking not straight ahead, but more to the side.
This might be a good dinner table discussion tonight. Your learner will know the answer!
We did a mini lesson on how to change a subtraction question into an addition question. This involves moving the numbers around. Students were able to pick up on this concept quickly. The second part to the lesson had to deal with place value. We discussed how to identify the number of tens and ones in a number. For example the number 42 has 4 tens and 2 ones. This is an extension to the work we have already been doing. Students were quick to pick up this concept.
Students tackled Math Message 16.1 to work on their understandings and ask questions. This was followed by a place value quiz:
I'm happy to report that almost everyone got a hundred percent. The errors that were witnessed were mistakes cause by rushing through the question and forgetting to include a zero. Great job room 72!
The science component for the day was: Temperature Changes: Season by Season. We looked at the seasons and students had to do a series of activities to describe ways in which temperature changes affect us in our daily lives. As the students worked in their journals and as I walked through the room it was inspiring to see the detail and organization of their work. Another moment of quiet celebration... although Mrs. K came into the room and did comment on the quality of work she witnessed.
All in all a great day of learning. Tomorrow afternoon we have our Teacher's Pet in-house field trip. Students will be doing work for our upcoming science unit: Bouyancy and Boats.
Have a great evening.
Friday, February 21
We finished off the week with some great learning. Many of the students have finished their Author Bio's for our Sliding Into the Arctic book and are now working on their Paleontology writing. I've had many requests to create another classroom book
In science we having been investigating Hot and Cold temperatures. On Thursday, we looked at how we measure temperature. We investigated the thermometer. We looked at the parts of a thermometer and investigated how to read it. The unit of measure is degrees Celsius. We measured the temperature of cold, warm and hot water and recorded our results in our research books.
Today, we investigated body temperature. We discussed what happens to our body when we get sick. Students brainstormed many great ideas: coughing, runny nose, sore throat, fever. When we get really sick we usually end up at the doctor and one of the first things a doctor does is check our temperature. When our body temperature exceeds 37C it tells us that we are sick.
Just a couple of musing from the last couple of days. Students wrote about their learning this week in their Friday Letters journal. Please take a moment to read and ask questions.
Have a wonderful weekend! The learning continues Monday morning.
Wednesday, February 19
Today we learned a new math game called "Don't Break the Bank!" The goal is to try and get as close as you can to 100 without going over. This a 2 player game. You need a 6 sided dice, base 10 blocks and something to record your answers (we used dry ease markers and white boards).
This is how you play: Roll the dice. Whatever number it lands on, each player can choose to take that many tens or ones. The game ends after the dice has been rolled 7 times. After each roll you keep adding to your total. Students can use base 10 blocks as a manipulative.
The winner is the person who comes a close as possible reaching 99 without going over. If they hit 100 or higher they have "Broken the Bank!"
This game was lots of fun. Mr. W was able to walk around the room and help students that were having difficulties with adding larger numbers. When the game was done, students created and filled in the missing parts in a chart in their Math Task books to demonstrate their understandings.
We spent a fair bit of time on our Author Bio's today. Students had to write their Bio in the third person. It was a bit tricky getting away from using "I" and "my" in their vocabulary. We imagined we were stepping outside of our bodies and writing about ourselves as a different person. This seemed to help. Students did a great job recording interesting facts about themselves.
In science we investigated hot and cold changes.This experiment was done as a demonstration by Mr. W. Mrs. Hordyk's class joined us. Ask your learner to describe in detail what they observed. The should be able to describe how heating and cooling materials can change them (e.g., melting, and freezing, cooking, burning).
Have yourself a wonderful evening!
Tuesday, February 18... Back into the school routine!
It was really nice to start the day without telling students what they needed to do... they just did it. Students were allowed early entry into the classroom this morning due to the cold weather. There was lots of chatter regarding the adventures over the weekend. The teacher bell rang and the noise level dropped.... the student bell rang and the noise stopped and students were reading. No prompting from Mr. W required. What a great way to start the day.
Transitions still need reminders as students still think changing from one task to the next means they can talk and become silly. A few redo's seemed to jog their memory and the change overs became quieter and more efficient.
We got got our brains active with some math. Students calculated the difference between two ten frames and created a a 2-digit subtraction question for their super challenge. We did some work with base 10 blocks and started making the connection that if you count the 10 blocks first and then add it to the ones blocks second you can figure out the answer quicker... also shows you how to break apart (decompose) the number:
We investigated what an "Author Bio" is this morning.
The author bio is where you establish yourself as the kind of person who ought to be read by your target market. It's where you forge a connection with your potential readers and get them to trust you, believe in you, and want to read what you have to say.
We will be adding an Author Bio to the back of our Arctic Adventure books so future Evergreen students know who contributed to this awesome book.
The afternoon we tackled our first hot and cold experiment, comparing temperature. Students describe temperature in relative terms, using expressions, such as hotter than, colder than. We brainstormed items that were hot and cold and then used the expressions to compare and contrast items.
We also had the opportunity to work on the art piece for our Arctic Adventure story. Using water colors added a nice touch to the drawings. This book will be so awesome when it's finally completed.
Hope you all had a great long weekend. It was nice seeing the students this morning. It looks like it's going to be a great week of learning.
Wednesday, February 12... Happy Evergreen School Valentines Day!
Today is kind of a blur... the morning went by super fast. We started with our regular QSR. Students settled quickly into their reading and the room was silent. I'll admit I was bit surprised as valentines and treats were trhe topic of conversation as the students filed into room 72. I'll take this a win!
With QSR complete students moved into the gym to practice some Quidditch with Mrs. Roworth. This gave Mr. W some time to review some options for teachers convention. Lots of interesting things to see and do... won't get to see it all but have a few compelling things to participate in. Back to room m72...
Gym was followed by an Esti-Mystery were we estimated the amount of marble in a glass jar. Our first estimate proved to be in accurate as many of us were more than 10 marbles off the actual amount. We spent a few minutes calculating the difference between our estimate and the actual amount. A popular strategy was using a number line to figure out the difference between the numbers. Two digit subtraction with regrouping is certainly a challenge for a grade 2 student.
Next on the agenda was to create a Valentine loot bag for the afternoon exchange. I was impressed at the students ability to follow instructions with no visual step by step instructions to help guide them through the process. They did have an example of the finished product. Listen skills were put to use as we we assembled the bag.
We did manage to get in some Nunavut sketching before lunch. Drawings are looking good and many students have learned how to plan and organize their page so work is presented with precision.
The afternoon... let's just say the afternoon broke from the norm as we celebrated Valentines Day. The students were well behaved amidst the chatter and laughter. The students demonstrated great communication skills, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, managing information and collaboration as the grade 2 classes interacted and moved through various activities. Evergreen School truly is a great place to teach and a wonderful community to be apart of.
Have an outstanding weekend! I'll see the group 8:30 am on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday, February 11
Another big morning with math... We started by calculating difference between numbers on a domino. This task is pretty straight forward for the students in room 72. The challenge question was to find how many different numbers you can make using 5 base 10 blocks. The base 10 blocks we are working with are the blocks that represent 10 or the blocks that represent 1.
How many numbers can you make using any combination using only 5 of these blocks?
During snack students were presented with a fill in the blank chart:
After 2 days the students are well exposed to the concept of place value. To solidify their learning the next step will be for them to articulate in their own words what we've been doing.
Students started working on their Nunavut Journal page today. We looked at the provincial bird, flag and flower. We added color to our pictures to ensure we had the correct representations. Tomorrow students will spend time drawing pictures of their favorite or memorable things from this territory.
We also started a new science unit today. We are exploring the concepts of hot and cold temperatures. Today we took a look at how we are going to track our learning:
We will also record vocabulary definitions as we work through the unit. We took time to record the different things we wonder about hot and cold temperatures. Our goal is to answer as many of these questions as we can as we explore the unit. Students took some time to color their title page and before we knew it was time to go home!
Reminder that tomorrow is the last school day of the week as Teacher's Convention is Thursday and Friday. Monday is the Family Day holiday and there is no school. It's a 5 day weekend! Enjoy.
Monday, February 10
Lots of math to start the week! I have to admit that it was a bit of a struggle this morning understanding the math concept. Students had to pick 11 base 10 blocks (10's or 1's). They could be in any combination and write the number that combination represented in their Math Task book. This proved to be a difficult task but a great way to assess place value. We'll continue to work on this throughout the week.
We reviewed adverbs and students had to evaluate a paragraph in google docs. Being word detectives that had to highlighting the adverbs. This incorporated tech time with literacy. I have to say students have become very efficient selecting a laptop and logging in. I'm also impressed at how the students work and assist one another to accomplish their work.
We finished looking at videos on Nunavut. Highlights included a campout on the floe edge we saw polar bears and narwhals! We also learned at how expensive the food is in the grocery stores. Many Inuit still hunt for their food to offset the cost. They hunt things such as whale, caribou, musk ox, fish and seal.
Nunavut also has many remote national parks. The landscapes are simply breath taking. We visited Auyuittiq National Park which is known for having it's mountains named after Norse Gods like Thor. Sirmilik National Park is way up on the North end of Baffin Island.Qyttinirpaaq National Park was the most northern park we visited, this place is unbelievable. It's just 500 km away from the North Pole!
We also got to spend some time working on our Arctic pictures for our class book. Students have taken pride in this project and are excited to share their work with the rest of the school. When our book is complete we will publish it in the Learning Commons.
It was a great start to the week. Only two days left to go till the students hit a 5 day weekend. There's lots of learning to do so get your rest. We'll be stretching those brains some more.
Friday, February 7
It was a heavy week of learning in room 72! We covered a lot of material and the students demonstrated their understandings extremely well. If we did have a down fall it was in our ability to raise our hand and wait to be called upon before speaking. Mr. W collected several welebucks this week. In ability to follow this classroom policy cost a student 5 welebucks. It can add up pretty fast but you quickly learn to raise that hand and not shout out.
This week was heavy on the math. We did our normal Math Messages. As we were learning about plane value this week students had to draw base ten blocks to demonstrate their understanding. They were also faced with some tricky word problems, such as:
If Aythen plays Minecraft for 3 minutes each week, how many minutes in total does he play in 5 weeks?
Many students were able to figure out that: 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = was the math sentence they needed to solve the problem. Others used their knowledge of multiplication (3 x 5 =) to demonstrate their understanding. We discussed both of these methods... gives them a jump start to grade 3!
To assess the students understandings Mr. W gave the students a place value problem:
Assessing the results showed that the students have a strong understanding of the concept. We've learned that "I don't know" is a stop thinking answer. We respect and give students time to think. If we provide an answer that is incorrect it's perfectly fine as we are using our brains and learning.
All Arctic animal stories are completes and have been added to our classroom book. We did an art piece to go along with writing. Student drew a picture and colored it with water color crayons before using the water to blend and smudge the colors. The picture will accompany their part of the story. Think the book will look really good when it's complete. The book will be on display for student lead conferences. Their story can be accessed through Goggle docs on your home PC.
Sound Kreations was a big hit. The students did a great job demonstrating their dancing skills. Videos of all the dances can be found on the school website.
Reminder that next week is a short week. Teachers convention is Thursday and Friday.
Enjoy your weekend. It's a well deserved one after a great week of learning.
Wednesday, February 5
Representing numbers and making the connection that a number sentence is just a different way of representing a number.
We've been looking at different ways we can represent a number. Reflecting on our Math Message tasks students brain stormed different ways we have seen numbers represented:
- Counters or pictures
- Ten Frame
- Roman Numerals
- Math Sentences
- Number Line
- It was even suggested that we could use the sides of a 2D shape to represent a number.
After working on an Estimation-Mystery we learned a new math game called dots and boxes. Interested in learning what this game is ask your learner to explain. Today was part one where we took turns drawing lines connecting the dots to create boxes. Part two will have students adding numbers that appear in the boxes.
We continues to work on our Fossil Writing project. Today students looked up and recorded interesting facts about their dinosaur. Our goal was to find a "mind blowing" fact that we thought would amaze the reader when we write about how our dinosaur became a fossil. The engagement in this process was unbelievable. We learned the if we type our dinosaurs name followed by "facts for kids" we got appropriate websites with appropriate vocabulary that made investigating the facts easier. I was met with many "no's" as I announced it was time to log off and get ready for lunch recess.
We said good by to NWT as we boarded the plane and headed to Nunavut. Lots of neat things to explore over the next couple of days before students will complete their last territory entry in their journal. This will complete our trip across Canada,. We will then turn our attention to investigating the Acadians, Blackfoot and Inuit cultures that are important in Canadian history.
From the gym:
Our students have been working hard and enjoying our 2 week Sound Kreations Hip Hop Residency with Josh. This Friday will be a chance for classes to informally share their new skills and celebrate with their peers in a 1-2 minute dance. In order to fit a dance floor and all the student audience, there is not sufficient room in our gym to invite parents to the live performance. Not to worry though! The performance will be videotaped and shared with parents at the upcoming Student Led Conferences.
Thank you to Parent Council for supporting this residency and to all the students for their incredible energy and enthusiasm during this program!
Ms Roworth and Mr. Josh
Hope everyone has a wonderful evening! I'll see the students tomorrow morning.
Monday, February 3
Today we welcomed February with some awesome learning to stretch and expand our brains. After some reading we got out our math books and made some sense out of numbers:
We are looking at decomposing numbers and the different ways we can represent numbers this week.
In literacy we examined what an adverb is. This might be a good topic of discussion around the dinner table. What is an adverb? What do adverbs commonly end in? We have some more work to do on this topic to do but it can't hurt to have a discussion about adverbs outside of school.
Our next writing project is to write about how our dinosaur became a fossil. Students picked a dinosaur skeleton and we created an authentic looking fossil. Today we discussed what is paleontology and what a paleontologist is. We watched a few videos and students where given technology to research the topic of paleontology. I was impressed with the ease at which students logged on to the computers. They were able to search and locate websites (for kids) that provided them with them the information they needed to answer the question "What is paleontology?" They recorded information in their writing journals. We learned that studying a fossil can provide us with information on how the dinosaur died and the type of conditions that may have caused it's death. Students were thoroughly engaged and excited to start the next writing project.
Students spent time working on their NWT journal page. As I circulated the room I was impressed at the level of neatness and the quality of their drawings as they worked on their page. There certainly has been an improvement.
If there was one negative to the day it was the constant interruptions when the teacher was talking. Mr. Welechuk had to constantly remind students to raise their hand if they wanted to talk. I'm still amazed at how a student will come up to me while I am talking and say "Excuse me Mr. Welechuk can I...." It's a polite interruption but we need to raise our hand and patiently wait to be called upon. If I could get some positive reinforcement on this at home it would be much appreciated.
Hope everyone has a wonderful evening.
Thursday, January 30
Reminder that there is no school tomorrow. With that we say good-bye to January. I'll see the troop Monday morning to startFebruary learning.
Most students have completed their Arctic Animal typing. A few have taken copies home for the weekend to complete. I will be editing the stories through out the weekend but if you wish to take a look at their story with them and edit please feel free. Here are some editing guidelines:
- Read over misspelled words and and try to have them correct their spelling.
- If their tech savvy I have been showing them how to auto correct the word by right mouse clicking.
- If a sentence doesn't make sense I read the sentence out loud so the can here it and make to correction themselves.
- I've also noticed with some of my early edits that students have missed parts of their story. In those cases it's going back to their original copy and completing their work.
I suspect we will still need some time next week to do some minor edits but for the most part we will just have the picture portion to do before we assemble our classroom book. The book will be on display at student lead conferences.
It was a pretty good week of learning. I did notice that emotions were a bit higher than normal this week. We had talks about how to regulate ourselves to create a calm environment that allows us to be successful learners. I do reflect back on September and see how far the students have come. Through all of our grade 2 experiences our brains are growing our understandings and learning about the world around us.
Enjoy your long weekend.
Wednesday, January 29
The last 2 days we have had a big focus on getting our Arctic Animal story typed. We are nearing completion. A few students may bring home a copy of their story to finish up this weekend. I told them if they do so that they are to complete their typing on their own and they would have to be the teacher and show their parents how to log into google docs and access their story. Just a heads up that some stories may be coming home. No pressure to complete this task. There will be opportunity next week to complete this during catch up time.
We finished looking at the slides of NWT. Things we explored include
- Dempster Highway
- Fort McPherson Tent & Canvas Company
- The "Igloo" Church
- Tittut National Park
- Fort Simpson
- Nahanni National Park
- Wood Buffalo National Park
- Northern Lights
- Diavik Diamond Mine
Want to know more? Ask your learner if they can recall some details of these places for you. We started work on our NWT Journal page. I can see an improvement in student work. Students are taking their time to colorant draw neat pictures to represent some of their favorite things from this territory.
We continue to work on describing out strategies when adding double digit numbers. Today I posed the question if you were to teach double digit addition to someone in grad 1, how would you explain what to do? That got students to dig deeper into their explanations.
We tackled an Estimated-Mystery this morning and practiced calculating the difference between the actual number and our estimation. I am pleased to report that there was a definite improvement from last Wednesday. Students have picked up and implemented the strategies we discussed last week.
We learned how to play Number Chart Tic Tac Toe today. Want to play? Challenge your learner to a game. The should know the rules. There's nothing better to solidify your learning and understanding by teaching someone else what you know.
Sound Creations has been a great hit amongst the student population. Here is a brief overview of the first three lesson:
Lesson 1: 3 main types of GROOVES. Most other moves play off these base movements
Lesson 2: VOCABULARY/MOVES
-Bobble Head - Bankhead Bounce
-Prep - Drop it like it's Hot
-Arm wave -Snake and Snap
-Rock Steady. - Raise the Roof
-Patty Duke. - Body Rock
Lesson 3: FREESTYLE
- Review your moves/make them your own
- Circle up
- Cypher (Share moves 1 at a time)
It's been a busy week so far. Reminder that Friday is a Non-Instructional Day. Teacher are in for professional development. Students have the day off.
Enjoy your evening! I'll see the group tomorrow morning.
Monday, January 27
After QSR our learning started with math. The students were given a math message. There were several single digit addition questions that they had to answer. The challenge questions were double digit number. The twist was they had to explain/describe the strategy they used to get their answer. This proved challenging for some students. One of the best ways to show what you know is to describe it!
With our brains activated the students were given a number sense pre-assessment. Mr. W was only there to help read the question if they didn't understand. Try your best to answer the question. The purpose of this task is for Mr. W to get a sense of our knowledge and where we need to take our learning.
We were off to gym for some Hip-Hop dancing with Mr. Josh. He was impressed with the students ability to pick up on the choreography. Feedback was positive and the students are looking forward to tomorrow.
The students then logged onto a computer and navigated to the water pollution page we investigated on Friday. We discussed how you can read the titles on each section to get an idea what the sentence below are discussing. It's a quicker way to locate information to answer your questions. Reading everything can be interesting but answering the questions first and then spending time investigating interesting facts is a better way to organize your time.
When their science work was done is onto "Arctic Animal" writing. As we are assembling a book with all the students parts they are typing their finished product for publishing. We are all at different parts as some students needed to finish writing while others were ready to create a google doc and type. Almost everyone got to typing today.
It was a heavy tech day. Typing continued after lunch and we were all ready for some fresh air at recess.
After recess we hopped on the bus and started to investigate NWT. To begin our trip we took a look at some pictures of the NWT. We noted that there is lots of wilderness and while the winters looked beautiful we agreed that it could get really cold there. Lots of students would like to experience a winter vacation where the sun is only out for a couple hours. A summer vacation seems to be out of the question as there's only a few hours of darkness, which would make it difficult to sleep. The polar bear shaped license plates on the cars was a unique element to NWT. We saw a few of them as we travelled down the Dempster Highway. The Dempster Highway is not paved. We discussed why there was no asphalt. Maybe a good question to ask tonight to see if your learner can remember.
With that our day was complete.
Take time to relax and enjoy your evening, rest those brains as we will stretch them again tomorrow.
Friday, January 24
Reminder if you have a child that wants to participate Basketball Club on Monday, please return the form if you haven't already done so.
The morning just flew by today. We started the day off with some math. Students were given a few options...
- Math Game
- Finish 3D Shapes title page
- Welebucks exchange
- Purchase a fancy pencil (you have a 50 dollar bill, a fancy pencil costs 4 dollars, how much change do you get?)
Friday letters were next on the agenda. We made a list of all the interesting things we learned or experienced. We learned a lot. Students were given 30+ minutes to share their week with you. A few students had to miss a bit of gym time to complete satisfactory work. We discussed the expectations on Friday Letters and agreed staying focused and getting our writing done in the allotted time is a better option than missing other parts of our day.
We then we moved on to our last lesson on liquids: Human Responsibilities. We discussed if the world had a water crisis and what it may be. The students came up with great ideas. We then watched a couple of videos that confirmed some of our ideas.
Students solidified their learning by logging into a computer and investigating water pollution. They had to answer a series of questions in their visual journal. Tech time is always a challenge but the students in room 72 have demonstrated an increased proficiency for logging in, navigating and investigating information using technology.
It was a great week of learning in room 72. Hope you all get a chance to get out and enjoy the weekend. It's a 4 day learning week next week. The learning will continue on Monday at 8:30!
Thursday, January 23
Grade 2 Evergreen Basketball Open Gym at Lunch
Those students wishing to participate in this lunch time club have taken home a participation form today. It requires a parent signature. Details are on the form. If your child wishes to join the club please return the form.
Wednesday, January 22
Back to routine and revising classroom expectations. Mr. W was away yesterday morning for a dentist appointment. The substitute teacher left a note about how wonderful the students of room 72 were and how she would welcome the opportunity to come back and teach them. I was proud to hear that comment, however, I had to ask myself how come I didn't experience the darling students of room 72 in the afternoon? There were lots of reminders to stay on task and keep the talking on topic... Super Mario Cart is not part of the curriculum. I thought this morning might be a different but alas many students were loud with the transitions and made choices to just shout out during class discussions or walk across the classroom to chat with another student during individual work. Mr. W collected a fair bit of welebucks before we had to have a serious talk about expected classroom behavior. Think we are back on track as "the Mr. W look' seems all that is required to remind students to stay on track. They are a great group of kids and really are a pleasure to teach.
Now onto some of the interesting topics of learning in room 72.
In science we put a piece of celery into some colored water and let it sit over night. When we observed our results the next day we discovered that the water had traveled up the capillaries to the top of the celery stick. We could see the red dots at the top of the celery stick. Water is important to all living things. The reason the water travels to the top is to make sure the leaves get water so the celery plant can continue to grow. Students a great job drawing and labelling their diagram and recording their conclusion.
In math we started looking at estimation. Our first task was to look at a glass full of glass beads. Observing what we could see we made an estimation to the amount of beads in the glass. When the result was revealed our next task was to figure out the difference between our estimation and the actual amount. For some this proved to be a difficult task. The word difference needed to be explained and we had to discuss strategies.
A number line, using subtraction or using addition for subtraction were 3 useful strategies the proved to be helpful as we moved through the lesson. By the end most students were getting the hang of it.
We learned a new math game called "Pig." In teams of two students rolled a dice and add their numbers to get to 50. They can roll as many times as they want before passing the dice to their partner. Here's the catch... if you roll a 1, it wipes out your numbers and you loose your turn! Do you keep rolling your dice and risk rolling a one?!?!
Just a small glimpse into room 72.
Hope you have a nice evening and get a chance to enjoy the mild temperatures.
Monday, January 20
Whoa! Warm weather equals high energy. As the students filed into the room this morning it was clear the intensity level was much higher. Students wanting to share their weekend activities the room was buzzing with chatter. Mr. W was able to remind students of their job as a student and paying 'welebucks' forward for being of task seemed to refocus the group. With that our day was underway.
Let's get you caught up to speed on some of the activities from Thursday and Friday.
With our unit of measure decided, the unisex cube, students were tasked with measuring their height on a strip of colored paper. Each students were only given 10 unisex blocks to complete this task. There was a bit of strategy involved as you had to mark and move the unifix blocks.
Our fossil art was completed as well. We added the tissue paper over top of the modeling clay to produce an authentic looking fossil. Our next step will be to investigate what a paleontologist odes and then write about how our dinosaur became a fossil.
We also investigated the Water Cycle. We learned about evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection. Students were then given the opportunity to research diagrams on the water cycle using the computers. Then they had to draw their own water cycle in their visual journal.
We continued to use technology on Friday. Students opened their goggle doc to discover a Highlight the Verbs documents. Each student had a copy of the same document and had to learn how to highlight the chosen word and select the color they wanted to identify the verbs in the paragraph. A few students had already discovered this document at home and had completed their work. It was nice to have extra helpers assist Mr. W with this exercise.
We also started to explore 3D shapes. We learned that 3 Dimensional shapes are categorized on three attributes: faces, edges and corners (vertices).
Our last session with our Author in residence, Cathy Beveridge ended today. Without giving to much away students went on an adventure with an arctic animal. They used descriptive writing and created a problem to add excitement. Friday we drew 4 pictures (4 Frame) to outline our problem. Today the students wrote about it.
It was a busy day in room 72. Once we got our brains activated the learning seemed to take off with lots of engagement. Enjoy the warmer weather. We're off to a great week.
Wednesday, January 15... Hump Day, the arctic freeze continues!
Even though it's super cold outside the learning is super hot inside.
We finished part 1 of our Disappearing liquid experiment. We learned that water evaporates. Water in it's liquid state will turn into invisible water vapor (gas state). The vapor rises into the air and this is called evaporation. However, when there is a tight lid on a container it stops the vapor from escaping into the air.
Today we are going to see how wind effects evaporation. Mr. W got some funny looks this morning as he was carrying a a fan from the science room. Minus 30 degree weather can't stop the learning from happening in room 72!
You may have heard ... Room 72 is exploring the first of the three Canadian Territories, Yukon. We noticed that there is lots of wilderness. Even when we investigated the capital city, Whitehouse, we noticed that this city was quite different from Calgary. There were no big skyscrapers and within seconds of leaving the city it looked like you were in the forest.
We also learned that the Yukon was famous for gold. We learned how in the easy 1900's thousands of people left everything they had to travel not to mine for gold. Many people used a pan to unearth this material in rivers and streams. We learned what a Dredge was and how these machines dug up river beds to excavate for gold. Dredge #4 was 8 stories tall!
Before they built a road miners used the SS Klondike to travel between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The SS Klondike carried supplies and miners. It took a crew of 23 to opporate the vessel. It's not surprising that once a highway was built between these two cities the SS Klondike was retired. It's way cheaper to pay 1 truck driver to carry supplies rather than a crew of 23. The SS Klondike has been turned into a museum and tourists can explore this piece of history in Whitehorse.
The ever popular Northern Lights are always a big hit and a must see when visiting the territories. During the winter months when the days are short are the best time to view this natural phenomena. Yukon is known for being the Land of the midnight sun, where the sun can still be out at 1 am in the summer. That makes it difficult to witness the Northern Lights.
Mrs. Kraus has also started doing some spelling with small groups on Tuesday mornings. We practice the words during snack time throughout the week before students will work with Mrs. K in the smaller groups to test their learning.
If you would like to practice at home here are the words for next Tuesday:
- Groups 1-3: just, our, things, after, very, years, place, know, work
- Group 4: between, own, base, country, plant, slip, lunch, pond, front, thump, inches, yard, area, formula, width, calculate
Our writing with Mrs. beverage continues and the students are using their juicy words to describe their Arctic animal. It will be nice to see the finished product next week.
Stay warm and give those brains a good night sleep. Tomorrow is another cold day and there's lots of new things to learn.
Tuesday, January 14... -30C!
When it's this cold out you need to add negative numbers... The super challenge for Math Message today:
1) 10 + (-2) + 4 + 6 + (-3) + (2) =
2) (-10) + (-5) =
3) (-30) + 0 =
Just a little math to keep you warm tonight.
Monday, January 13... Brrrr!
Cold start to the day but it didn't stop the learning in room 72. After some reading we took a look at out science experiment. To bring you up to speed... we measured 500ml of water, added some food coloring, one container had a lid while the other container was open. This morning we measured the liquid. We discovered that the open container had 400 ml of water. That means 100ml (500 - 400= 100) of water evaporated. Students recorded the results in their journal.
Next we tackled a Math Message 11.1. Students were challenged to add a negative number to a positive number. Negative numbers are on a thermometer and it was -26C this morning. Brrrr!
We then spent time with our author in residence, Cathy Beveridge. We are going to be writing a story about our chosen Arctic animal. Today we brain stormed juicy words to help us use descriptive vocabulary in our writing. The students did an excellent job providing Mrs. Beveridge with exciting words. Mrs. Beveridge used interesting props to help the students.
Despite the cooler temperatures outside the learning was super hot inside. Mr. W tried to keep the afternoon busy with lots of activity. Students spent time working on their creative journal page for BC. They were challenged to be creative, use neat coloring and display their pictures in an organized manner.
We finished off the day coming up with more innovative ways to make 100. Once coming up with an idea students had to present their idea in a neat an organized way for display.
Just a brief overview into the learnings of room 72. Enjoy your evening and stay warm.
Friday, January 10... Week 1 complete!
We just completed our first week of 2020 and what a successful week it was. The students in room 72 demonstrated growth in their learning profiles. If this is any indication of what's to come the second part of grade 2 is going to be awesome.
This week we tackled measuring with nonstandard units. We decided to investigate if we were vitruvian. After finding different ways to measure our arm span and height we ran into a problem when we tried to compare our results. If we use different things to measure ourselves it's really difficult to compare the results. If we all use the same unit of measure it's so much easier to compare the results. We also found out that using something smaller (unifix block vs a book) makes measuring more accurate. We agreed that if we all used unified blocks to measure ourselves we could get more accurate results that were easy to compare.
Now we now why a ruler was created!
We reviewed verbs this week. Present tense verbs (things that we are doing right now) usually end in "ing," while past tense verbs (actions we did in the past) usually end in "ed." However there are exceptions to this as the past tense of eating is ate... no such thing as eated!
Students were diligent at working on their BC journal page. The break didn't seem to inhibit their creative spirit. We will finish the page on Monday and Tuesday we will be exploring the Yukon Territory.
This week Mr. W introduced the 50 and 100 dollar welebuck bills. Students were keen to exchange their currency for one of these bills. Mr. W made the students count their money first before a new bill was issued. It was nice to see students counting by 20's, 10's, 5's and 2's in a practical, authentic way.
We completed step 1 of our dinosaur art project. Just waiting on one student to finish applying the modeling clay to the Dino skeleton. As students completed their work they offered their services to those still working. As I circulated the room it was nice to see the students collaborating and communicating with one another. Discussions on who should do what part and how to angle the page demonstrate how problem solving and critical thinking skills are developing in room 72!
Students selected their arctic animal for their writing project next week. The could choose from:
- Arctic Fox
- Polar Bear
- Snow Owl
- Harp Seal
We went over some interesting facts on each one of these animals. To help them prepare for next week ask them why they chose that animal and if they can recall any interesting facts.
Next week is going to be cold. We will most likely be inside all week. I've planned body breaks during the day to keep the blood flowing and our brains energized... I'll try my best to ward off cabin fever. Have a great weekend!
Yours in learning,
Thursday, January 9
"Movie Night! Come in your pajamas and join us for the movie "Abominable" on Thursday, January 30! Tickets available through your healthy hunger account https://healthyhunger.ca/
Doors open at 6pm, the movie starts at 6:30pm. A candy concession will be available. All children must come with adult supervision. If you're able to volunteer please sign up at volunteersignup.org/YAYT7.
Evergreen School Council
Wednesday, January 8
The last two days I have seen a change in room 72. I almost don't want to jinx it by talking about it but the students have been stellar with their focus and work ethic. Don't get me wrong, we have moments where things start to go sideways but a simple queue gets them back on track.
As it's snowing and I have to make it to the UofC to coach this will be a quick (Mr. W quick) synopsis of the last two days.
We reviewed adjectives. The task was to write three sentences, circle the adjective and underline the noun. Students came up with great ideas and were able to independently apply feedback to strengthen their sentences. For most three sentences were not enough and they are chomping at the bit to write more. This is a good sign for next week when Cathy Beveridge, author in residence, comes to work with the students.
In math we started to look at measurement. We discussed what is measurement and recorded our ideas. We then investigated Leonardo DeVinci. In 1490 there were no such things as rulers. We used items in the classroom to measure our height and arm span. We are trying to determine if we are Vitruvian. Not sure what that is? Ask your learner if they can tell you. Hint: if your arm span and height are the same... you are Vitruvian!
We finished up science experiment 6, Liquid Layers. We made a prediction of what would happen if we poured syrup, milk, water, dish soap and oil into a jar. Would they mix? Hmmm/// inquiring minds want to know.
We discovered they form layers. A great piece of conversation for this evening., why did the liquids form these layers? The heaviest liquid was on the bottom, it has the highest density. While the lightest liquid was on the top, it has the lowest density. See if they tell you which liquid has the molecules closest together.
We got completely through BC! Lots of interesting things were explored. A few topics for discussion:
- Big Money Doug
- Ogopogo: Real or a myth?
- Spiral Tunnels
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Vancouver Aquarium
We are currently on a 16 hour ferry ride from Port Hardy, on Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert. We are done all 10 provinces and are now going to explore the northern part of Canada. Our first territory, Yukon.
Have a wonderful even, stay warm and we'll see the group tomorrow morning.
Monday, January 6... Welcome 2020!
It was nice to see the smiling faces of room 72 this morning. As they filtered into the room there were lots of stories to be shared along with some sleepy heads. It will take a few days but falling back into routine will be much faster than it was in September. At least I'm hoping so, I have an ambitious week of learning ahead. Students were welcomed back into room 72 with 40 new 'welebucks.' Didn't take them long to figure out the money represented 2020. The students were eager to count there welebucks and exchange currency for 50 and in some cases a 100 dollar welebuck.
We started the day with our regular Quiet Silent Reading. The students took some time to settle but had a clear understanding of what their job was. I had the opportunity to read with a few students.
To get our heads into math I had the students fill in a 100s chart. This is a relatively simple task and was used to create some confidence with numbers under 100. Tomorrow we will continue to create ways to make 100 to finish filling in our 100 ways to make 100 chart.
For literacy we started off the year reviewing nouns and verbs. Students were able to define and provide examples. I extended the lesson by talking about proper nouns and the difference between past and present tense verbs. We will dive a bit deeper into these concepts as the week progresses. With our brains focused on literacy the students got to their first writing assignment for 2020:
On preparation for our Paleontology writing projects students selected a fossil they would like to create and use as inspiration for their writing. When the art piece is complete you get an authentic looking fossil.
As we moved throughout the day the students demonstrated good learning behaviors but it was apparent that we needed to work on our stamina.
As we hopped on the bus to take a journey through British Columbia it was apparent that the bus would need to stop for frequent body breaks. Sitting still and maintaining focus were definitely a hard ask for the afternoon. However, when we did our Liquid Layers experiment, the students did a great job completing their journal page.
It was a great start to 2020! We all left the day a bit tired. It's hard work filling our brains with new information. I think everyone will have a good sleep tonight. The learning begins at 8:30 am... room 72... be there or be square.
These items were left amiss at the back of the classroom today. Few students are going to down some welebucks in the morning.
Thursday, December 19th... Humphrey and the dinosaurs are friends!
Please be sure to read the Blog for Wednesday (below). Mr. W for got to hit the publish button last night.
After successfully escaping the dinosaur attack yesterday it appears that there was a reconciliation between Humphrey and and the dinosaurs. We came into room 72 this morning to discover Humphrey and the dinosaurs having a winter celebration. They were sharing candy canes and appear to be having a joyous time.
After writing our Friday Letter, Ms. Bell and Mrs. Hordyk's class joined room 72 to watch the Polar Express. I haves I was impressed, a room of 40+ grade 2 students was well behaved. They were even able to make comparison's between the movie and the book.
At 10:30 we headed to the gym for some caroling! I have to hand it to Ms. Bell, she sure does a lot if work in December!!! It was a lot of fun and their certainly was a lot of energy.
I would like to thank everyone for the kind gifts. We have learned lots of new things during the first 4 month of grade 2. The students have shown growth and I am looking forward to the months that follow the winter break. Wishing you all the best over the holiday. May those brains take some time to relax and enjoy the season. We'll stretch them and fill them with new understandings in January.
Wednesday, December 18th... Humphrey escapes!
This morning we came into the class to discover that Humphrey avoided the dinosaur attack! He is sitting safely on top of the cabinets while a couple of dinosaurs are tangled up in lights. One can only imagine what happened during the night... Now this would have made an awesome writing piece, if only I thought of it sooner! We still had our Tundra Buggy typing to complete so I will store this idea for a later date.
Only three more Tundra Buggy stories need to be completed!!! Much to Mr, W's delight most students are self sufficient in getting to their google doc to type. Was a bit frustrating to learn a couple of students spent 30 minutes trying to log into google docs without asking for help.
We completed experiment 5, The Magic Penny. The concept was to learn about surface tension. The students completed a journal page.
Tomorrow is Pajama Day it's an option to participate. Students should wear their PJ's to school. Remember to bring a sealed mug for some hot chocolate. Other than that I've only got warm wished for you on this awesome Wednesday night. Tomorrow is early dismissal and you are on break till January.
Tuesday, December 17th... Humphrey's under attack!
This morning we discovered that Humphrey is having difficulty getting back into the classroom. He's moved closer to the door with Mr. Trex hot on his tail but Roger Raptor is at the door ready to pounce! I wonder if he will make it back into room 72 before the winter break!
Ah computers... Some students were able to get into their goggle doc within minutes and start typing, others it was a 30 minute process. You need to pay attention to detail when typing in passwords and email addresses, edcbe.ca is not the same as educe.ca. Everyone was able to get into their doc and experiencing the joy of typing up their work.
We were math ninja's this morning. We looked at the numbers on a ten frame, figured out the total then added 10 to get our final answer. The challenge was to to add two of our answers together and the super challenged was to add all the answers together. The strategy was to decompose the numbers into 10 and smaller numbers to help add everything together (i.e. 18 can be decomposed into 10 and 8).
Alberta journal pages are well underway and should be completed before our break. When we return we will pick up our travels in BC. Students are eager to get to the Okanogon, I'm sure there will be lots of pictures of the Ogogogo!
Enjoy the mild weather!
Monday, December 16th... Tech Time!
Looks like Mr. Trex got into the action over the weekend as students came in to find him chasing Humphrey back into the classroom. I guess he didn't want Humphrey to miss any lessons.
This morning room 72 got some tech time! As promised, Mr. W taught the students how to log onto a laptop, change their password, open Safari, open and log on to Google, create a Google Doc, edit the documents name (Tundra Buggy) and share the document with Mr. W. One adult and 19 students makes this a tricky task. There are left and right mouse clicks... they do different things. A light tap is not the same as a click. You have to hold down the shift while clicking the @ symbol to get it to appear. Your email address has to be spelled correctly in order for you to log on to google. If you try three times to log on to the computer with the wrong password you get locked out for 30 minutes. I will admit that this years class was much quicker than last year. We are all set to start typing Out the Tundra Buggy Window writing from last week!
This Thursday is Pajama Day. I have sent out an information slip with the students. In case it doesn't make it home... I fear it may get lost in the abyss of the backpack, here is a copy of the slip:
Room 72 also got to do some planting on our Living Wall in the Learning Commons. The wall arrived on Friday and today each classroom got to plat a section.
We finished our trek through Alberta. From Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump we drove west to Crowsnest Pass. We investigated the Frank Slide before taking in the breath taking scenery in Banff National Park. Edmonton, the capital city, of Alberta offered some interesting sites such as West Edmonton Mall and Fort Edmonton.
Busy day in room 72. two and a half days left till winter break. Enjoy your evening!
Friday, December 13... It's Friday!
Humphrey didn't make it into the classroom, yet. He's still in the hall outside the classroom. Looks like he's trying to use the jingle bells to swing himself back in. It's kind of like how Humphrey in our chapter book uses the cord on the blind to swing himself back up on the table to get to his cage.
It's been a whirl wind of a week but there are still things to get gone before the winter break!
Mrs. Roworth stopped by this morning and taught the class a math game called 16 Squares. I dice is rolled, you then get to put the number anywhere on your grid. The dice is rolled again and you place the new number anywhere you like. This process continues till the grid is filled. Here's the catch... to get points you can only add the squares the have the same number adjacent to them!
After spending all that time setting up our journal page for experiment 5, The Magic Penny, we finally got to do it. Using an eye dropper and water we tested to see how many water drop a penny could hold. We still have our conclusion to do. Here's a picture of the experiment:
Have yourself a great weekend. Next week is a short week, no school on Friday and only a half on Thursday.
Thursday, December 12... Greeting from Humphrey!
Today in room 72 we journeyed into Alberta. One of our first stops was Drumheller. This place is filled with dinosaur bones. We visited the Royal Tyrell Museum. We learned about the badlands the are filled with hoodoos. Hoodoos are rock formations that look like mushrooms.
We finished with our Out the Tundra Buggy Window writing. Mr. W explained that we are going to be learning how to create a goggle doc and type our writing for display. Lots of excitement to get that started. Before you can type you have to have a quality piece of writing.
With all the excitement around the winter concert, Mr. W turned Math message int a ninja game. Students were only given a piece of the message and like a ninja, quietly and efficiently, they had to complete the task before the next part of the message was provided. It kept the students focused and engaged.
The afternoon concert was another successful performance. We had two actors away. Thanks to Holly and Jakob for taking on lines on such short notice. They memorized their lines quickly and the show went on without any problems!
It's a half day tomorrow and it will be nice to get back into a bit of routine. Have a Wonderful evening.
Wednesday, December 11... Where did Humphrey get those bells!?!?!
Silly Humphrey was at it again. Today's biggest quest was "Where did Humphrey get those bells? Probably the dollar store!"
Out the Tundra Buggy Window writing was a major focus today. The students spent time writing and then sharing what they wrote during Author's Chair. Most students did a great job using the descriptive vocabulary to describe the polar bear they imagined they would see.
Saskatchewan pages are almost complete and we started to read about Gran, Alice and Cal's adventures through Alberta. Tomorrow we will be on our own to investigate the province.
The majority of the afternoon was spent with the winter concert rehearsal. Mr. W tried to sneak in some mental math between the actors rehearsal and the group rehearsal... it wasn't one of best mental challenges. Focus was on the performance this evening.
Students are excited and looking forward to tonight's concert. Performance is at 7 pm and students can show up at 6:40 in room 72. Food back donations will be accepted in the gathering space this evening if you wish to contribute.
I'll see y'all in a couple of hours.
Tuesday, December 10... Humphrey tames the dinosaurs!
This morning we came in to notice that Humphrey decided to decorate the classroom room dinosaurs. Proudly riding on the back of a brachiosaurus, Humphrey had stung a set of snowflake lights across his friends on the top self. I wonder if this has anything to do with the winter concert, Flakes! hmmmmm....
Today we started the writing for our Out The Tundra Buggy Window project.
We created an introduction together as a class:
On our journey through Canada we stopped in Churchill, Manitoba. We just arrived, and we are going to hop on a Tundra Buggy adventure. We are hoping to see the landscape and wildlife. This is what I saw out the Tundra Buggy window:
Our first task was to describe the setting (sky, landscape and snow). Using the adjectives we brainstormed yesterday the students wrote descriptive sentences. The next step in this writing process was to describe the polar bear we saw out the window. Many students wrote an interesting transition sentence to grab the readers attention, "All of a sudden there was a loud jump against the Tundra Buggy! It was a large polar bear." It was hard transitioning out of our writing as many students were eager to finish. Tomorrow is another day.
Just a quick look at some of the musings in room 72.
Have a great evening.
Monday, December 9... Humphrey persists!
This morning we walked into room 72 to discover Humphrey was trying to hang more festive lights. He was more successful than last time.
Evergreen school is collecting nonperishable items for the food bank this week. If wishing to donate we have food bins in the gather space.
We completed our polar bear art. This piece of art serves as inspiration for out next writing project, Out the Tundra Buggy Window. We are pretending to be in Churchill, Manitoba on a polar bear adventure tour. We will write a descriptive piece of writing using adjectives to to describe what we see outside the window. We brainstormed things we would see and then came up with juicy words to help us describe those things. Here a few art samples:
The middle part of the morning had some Mental Math sandwiched between Winter Concert rehearsal and gym. The morning ended with students building 2D shapes out of existing 2d shapes:
After lunch students worked on their Saskatchewan journal page before recess. After recess our actors had practice with Ms. Bell which left Mr. W in the room with only a handful of students. We continued to work on our Saskatchewan journal page.
We also did an impromptu spelling test with words from the "right" family. Bright, light and fright were the words the students had to spell on their white board. If there is time this evening review these words with your learner. We will do some follow up work tomorrow.
The day just flew by! Lots of things going on at Evergreen School this week. Winter concert Wednesday at 7:00 pm and Thursday at 2:00pm, food bank donations plus all the regular learning!
Have a great evening. I'l catch the group in the morning.
Thursday, December 5... Tic Toc Tic Tic, Humphrey's on the clock!
This morning we discovered our friend Humphrey stringing the lights around the classroom clock! That silly Hamster sure wants the classroom to be festive!
As you head into a long weekend a couple of reminders:
1) The winter concert is next week with 2 performances:
- Wednesday, Dec 11, 7:00 pm
- Thursday December 12, 2:00 pm
- Students with lines are reminded to put in some practice time this weekend.
2) Home Reading (Please take a few minutes each day to do a little bit of reading).
We finished up touring around Saskatchewan today. After exploring "Big Muddy," the badlands of Saskatchewan we headed North to Fort Carlton. The fur trading history of this province is more obvious. Fort Carlton was a fur trading post for the Hudson Bay Company. We then stopped at Bartoche. This is the site where the last stand of the Northwest Rebellion was held. Remember we went to Louis Riel’s house? Here is where he was at the time he was arrested. This was the Metis people fighting for their rights. First Nation culture is evident through this province as we were driving we encountered this monument on the side of the road:
We thought it would be a cool place to stop and have a snack.
In Prince Albert National Park, we’re going to take a long hike through the wilderness to get to Grey Owl’s Cabin. It’s 20km to walk there and 20km back! Pack your hiking boots! Grey Owl was a man who decided to live life as a First Nations person, and proactively worked for the conservation of nature – especially beavers. (He even lived with a beaver!).
Our last stop before we got working on our journal page was the Athabasca Sand Dunes. A desert? In Canada? In SASKATCHEWAN??!! This place is definitely a must see when visiting this province.
We also discovered that Saskatchewan is known for it's wild berries! Wild blueberries, chokecherries and Saskatoon berries! Did you know there is a city is Saskatchewan called Saskatoon!?!? The provincial bird is the Sharp-Tailed Grouse and it is often hunted and eaten as a food source.
All in all it was a great day in room 72. Students were engaged in their work. Winter concert rehearsals are looking good and excitement is build for next week's performances.
Enjoy the extra long weekend!
Wednesday, December 4... Humphrey gets himself into trouble!
In case you weren't aware room 72 is reading the novel series about Humphrey the hamster. He's a classroom pet that gets into all sorts adventures. He also helps the students in room 26 at Longfellow school solve social issues that arise. We've learned a great deal from this little guy. Ms. Bell let us use a stuffed hamster as our classroom mascot while we are reading the series. Humphrey has been quietly sitting on the Smart-board watch the students of room 72 as they go through their daily studies. Today the students walked into the classroom to discover our stuffed Humphrey tangled in festive lights. It appears he was try to decorate our classroom and had a bit of trouble. I wonder what will happen tomorrow?
As you know we've been exploring liquids in science. Students did a Racing Liquids experiment. Water, oil, honey, syrup, vinegar and ketchup had themselves a race down a baking sheet:
Water was the clear winner! Vinegar came in second followed by oil, syrup then honey. Ketchup didn't even make it to the finish line. Since viscosity is a liquids resistance to flow we determined that ketchup had HIGH viscosity. Water was the clear winner so it's viscosity ids LOW. We recorded our results in our Visual Journals.
Our next experiment was to determine which liquid was heavier, oil or water. We set up our journal page and made a prediction. The class was split, half thought water was heavier while the other half predicted it was oil heavier. Someone thought that since oil had higher viscosity it might be heavier... what a fantastic inference!
We did two tests. First we added oil to a jar of water. We observed that the oil oil floated on the surface of the water. Pictures were draw and recorded into our journals. Our next step was to add water into a jar of oil. What we observed was really cool. The water suck below the surface of the oil. The water looked like bubbles.
We concluded that since water was always on the bottom, or below the oil, it IS the heavier liquid! Students did an excellent job recording their results into their Visual Journals.
In math we took an in-depth look at odd and even numbers. Students had a solid understanding of the difference between ODD and EVEN. We were challenged on how to represent the numbers but came up with a graph we could create in our Math Task books to help us and use as a reference as we start to test our knowledge further.
This week the students are also reversing for Winter Concert. Actors have scheduled time with Ms. Bell as well as our large group rehearsals. I'm looking forward to seeing it all come together. Ms. Bell has done an awesome job.... and I can't get S-N-IRT out of my head. Don't know what I'm talking about? You'll have to make it to one of the performances!
Manitoba journal pages are complete and the students were excited to move onto Saskatchewan. We took a look at images of Saskatchewan and were able to see why this province is called land of the living skies. In Moose Jaw we explored the underground tunnels. In Regina we watched the RCMP musical ride. Still a few more things to explore before we start working on our journal page.
It's hard to believe that we are a few short weeks away from winter break. I have seen growth in all the students as I hope you have as well. The last three months have certainly been an experience... and it is through experience we grow.
Have yourselves a wonderful evening.
Monday, December 2
One teacher... 23 students... 23 grade 2 students... 20 minutes left in the day... Painting the background for our polar bear art! With minutes left in the day I made the call to do some painting. My gut was telling me not to do it but the competitive side of me was challenging me to get it done. Card stock was passed out, names written on the back. Water containers at each table, a set of paints... A moment to settle the class... an idle warning that we could put this away and clean. Paint brushes passed out... instructions and a demo through the Doc Cam. Painting released to the students. A walk around the classroom to assess... everyone is on task and doing the instructed technique! Some feedback to increase quality... students getting it done. Students collaborating with peers, communication and peer feedback to enhance the painting. 4 minutes left... everyone is done.... the classroom is a mess, paint all over the tables...we're not going to make it to the bell. "Clean it up!" echoes through the classroom... without missing a beat the students quickly get moving on their jobs... "If you don't have a job, please help someone!" is announced. The classroom is busy... it appears chaotic. Tables are cleaned, floor is tidy... there's a minute till dismissal. Mr. Welechuk quickly checks the classroom and [proudly commends room 72 for a job well done. Only thing left to do is get ready for home.
Mental note to self... when it's crunch time we can get things done... but let's not make this a habit.
It was a good day in room 72. Students came in and just got to work. It was like the weekend never happened. I suspect over the next couple of weeks as winter break gets closer focus on school work will not be as great. However, I will enjoy the moment. Be proud of your learner and the improvements they have shown to date.
Have yourself a great evening!
Wednesday, November 27... An inside day!
Mr. Wilcox called a blue day and students spent the day inside. There was an option to go out at linch recess but you had to be dressed appropriately!
Today in room 72 we mostly worked on existing projects. Students worked on their "Down the Hole" writing project. Good copied of the writing and touch ups on their picture were mostly completed. A few stranglers that will have to complete this work during catch up time.
In math we looked at some ten frames, figured out what number was being represented and then had to figure out what was 2 less than that number. Students demonstrated a strong understanding and work in our Math Message books is looking neat and organized.
We worked on completing our flag for Mars. Many students completed the task and their flag is ready for display on the bulletin board outside the classroom. Using 2D shapes the students were given creative freedom to design their flag. A few requirements were asked of them:
Students prepped their visual journal for experiment 3 in our journey of Exploring Liquids. We learned about "viscosity" today. Viscosity is a liquids resistance to flow (or move). If a liquid has high viscosity it will move slow if the viscosity is low it will move fast. Tomorrow we will test our understandings by doing the racing liquids experiment. Water vs Oil vs Vinegar vs Honey vs Syrup... which liquid will move the fastest and which one will be the slowest.
Going to head out and make my way to the U of C to coach now. The weather is looking a little chilly and roads are looking slick. Bundle up and keep warm! I'll see the troop at 8:30 tomorrow morning.
Over and out... Mr. Welechuk
Monday, November 25... Did that just happen!?!?!
I think today was the fastest Monday in room 72 history. Best comment of the day: "Mr. Welechuk the morning went by so fast. I can't believe it." Today was one of those days where things just seem to click. Very little prompting after instructions and in some cases no prompting as students knew what to.... and just did it. I'm sure tomorrow will be a different story but today room 72 cruised through the day.
After QSR (Quiet Silent Reading), which was eerily quiet, we did a lesson on Verbs. These are action words or things that we do. We discussed things that we did in the morning before school and discovered that verbs usually end in "ing." We then had a verb challenge where we pretended we were going to to wrap a present for someone and had to come up with a list of action words that were involved in this process. After we made our list we compared it to the list the students made last year. The challenge was to come up with more words.... this years group prevailed with 16 action words!
We reviewed 2D shapes and discussed how the amount of sides on the shape is the attribute we use to classify the shape. Today we took a closer look at quadrilaterals, polygons with 4 sides. Students wrote the definition, drew and labelled quadrilaterals in their Math Task book:
In the afternoon, students came in from lunch and without Mr. W saying a word finished up their quadrilateral page. I literally only had to say "I really like how Milena, Jake and Cheska have started working on their math" and the already quiet room went silent. Yes, this is a room of grade 2 students that just came in from lunch!
We ventured down to the science room and built water molecules. Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Mr. W explained the Track Your Learning wall. This is a wall full of I can statements that the students will use to identify their understandings as we do our experiments throughout this unit.
During the clean up process we did get a bit loud and some students used the opportunity to test the goofiness boundary but Mr. W stop the behavior before it escalated into chaos.
We hope on the buss we we returned back to room 72 to finish our travels through Manitoba. Today's journey had us exploring:
- Metis Red Sash
- Churchill (Polar Bears, Northern Lights and Buluga Whales)
- Bannock and Pemmican
- Bison, Black Bears and Moose
Before we knew it we were cleaning tables and getting ready to go home. They day went by so fast.
Hope everyone has a relaxing evening. Don't forget to spend a few minutes reading.
Wednesday, November 20
Just a quick update today... with Parent Teacher Conferences tomorrow and Friday I will not overwhelm you with lots of details.
Main points of learning have come in science and social studies.
As mentioned on Monday we started our Exploring Liquids unit in science. Today we investigated what we know about liquids. There were lots of interesting answers that were on point...
- Some liquids move faster than others.
- Somethings disappear in water or make the water change color.
- If chocolate milk evaporates it doesn't rain chocolate milk.
- When ice melts it turns to water.
- We need water to survive.
- Soda is a liquid, oil is a liquid.
We watched a video on solids and liquids ad learned:
- Solids have their own shape.
- Liquids take the shape of their container.
We determined that water was the most important liquid there is. We drew a water molecule in our Visual Journal. See if your learner can remember the chemical formula of water and how to draw it. What are the molecules called?
We then set up a Visual Journal page for our experiment tomorrow. It's on how liquids take the shape of their container. She had a really good discussion on how we can use the tuners on the ruler (centimeters) to help us divide our page into equal parts. Slid a little bit of math into science today!
We said good bye to Ontario. We noted that we are half way across Canada. We read about Gran, Alice, Cal and hamster as they explored Manitoba. The Royal Canadian Mint seemed to raise lots of questions. Tomorrow we will hop on the Room 72 bus and do our own exploring of Manitoba.
Reminder to find a few minutes to read with your learner tonight.
Enjoy the snow.
Monday, November 18
Today, the students entered the classroom to discover Pat:
Mr. W made a snow person... well I guess it's an ice person on the weekend. We are starting a new science unit today, Exploring Liquids. We are going to investigate what happens to Pat throughout the day and record our results.
It was good to see the students this morning full on energy and ready to learn. After the students settled they quickly got into their early morning reading to self. Mr. W did a couple of reading assessments and our day was off to a great start.
When the Spark students returned at 9:00 we got out our Visual Journals. We first had to finish off our Magnets Unit. Students added their toy design page to the end of their unit and Mr. W gave them a picture of their final device to glue along side. Some of the original designs don't match the the final product but this is all part of the engineering design process. Students wrote about their device.
Once that was complete we created an Exploring Liquids title page and recorded our initial observations of Pat. We wrote down the date, time and drew a picture. We then recorded what we noticed, thought and wondered. We did an observation at 11:00 am, 12:50pm and 2:40 pm. See how Pat faired with the pictures below.
With our journal set up for the day we moved into some math. We did Math Message 7.4 after gym. We added up the number on an abacus and then figured out what was 1 less than that number. The challenge consisted of taking two of our answers and finding the difference. Creating a number line is one of the ways we can show our work to describe the answer.
Our afternoon started off with recording our observations of Pat. He wasn't looking the same. Biggest wonder was how long it was going to take him to melt.
The rest of the afternoon was spent on our Ontario page in our Visual Journal. The students finished coloring the bird, flower, flag and province. These were glued in and students then drew pictures of their three favorite things they saw as we explored the province. I'm amazed at the time and effort they are putting into making their page nice and neat, Great job room 72!
That in a nutshell was a day in the life of room 72. Have yourself a wonderful evening.
Thursday, November 14
Thanks for the donations for Stephen's Backpacks! If you would still like to donate you can do so till tomorrow.
Our Swimming Project is almost done. A few students finishing up their writing. Art and accompanying writing have been posted. The students efforts are on display on a bulletin board west of room 72. They will be up for Parent-Teacher conference make sure you check them out. The students worked hard and are proud of their efforts!
We started a new writing project. It's based off the book "That's Something." Curious? Ask your learner about this project. If they say I don't know ask them if it has to deal with a hole in the ground. That should get them talking. The students dipped into their imagination pockets to get the ball rolling on this one.
We've been investigating Ontario. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and Toronto is the capital of Ontario. Two capitals in one province. We investigated the Parliament Buildings. We saw where the members of parliament sit and discuss import topics about how to run Canada. In Ottawa we strolled along the Rideau Canal. In the winter this canal becomes the world's largest skating rink... and it's free!
In Toronto we visited the CN Tower. We stood on the glass floor and looked down at the street below. It was exciting and scary at the same time. Did you know that Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America? Of course what's a trip to Ontario without seeing Niagara Falls. The water rushing over the cliff is so powerful and majestic, all at the same time. Algonquin Park was a beautiful place to visit. We noted the similarities between it an Banff National Park. The main difference being the mountains. Algonquin doesn't have the colossal mountains we see in our province.
In Thunder Bay we stopped at the Terry Fox Monument and reviewed some facts about this great Canadian hero.
Learn about the legend of the Sleeping Giant – a rock formation near Thunder Bay. Look at a picture of the rock yourself. What do you think? Is it a giant?
Today in math we spent some time looking a shapes. The lesson started off with identifying the shapes in a snowman. We created a Key or Legend to identify the shapes. The shapes were counted and then students were tasked with creating a graph to manage the information. Today, Mr. W didn't scaffold the the process. This was the 4th time we've attempted such a task. Stop thinking questions were not answered and students had to draw on their knowledge to complete the task to the best of their ability. We work was handed in we discussed what our work should have looked like. Mr. W provided an example and students then analyzed their work.
We've been busy! Have a great evening. Hope you're able to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather before the sun sets. Half day of learning tomorrow, I'll see the students at 8:30.
Tuesday, November 12
Thank you for your support with our Stephen’s Backpack toy and book sale. We have raised approximately $800. This year, the grade 2’s volunteered to fill 50 backpacks, giving us the opportunity make 50 homeless children very happy. Unfortunately, this year we have only raised enough to fill 32 backpacks and are short approximately $400. This is why we need your help! If all the students in our school donated $1, then we would be able to fill all 50 backpacks! We will be accepting donations until Friday, November 15th! Thank you in advance for your help!
Grade 2 Learning Team
Today were spent a lot of the day working on existing projects.
Swimming Project - Today students did peer editing. We paired with another learner in the classroom and shared out writing. Along with checking to make sure our sentences made sense and words were spelled correctly, we were checking to make sure our writing was in a logical order. We also offered suggestions on how to add some adjectives to make our writing more descriptive. This is an important step in our learning. Mr. W is activating students as learning resources for one another. Students can edit and revise their work to produce a higher quality piece of writing for their audience.
In Math we started to explore the subtraction in more detail. Over the next couple of weeks students will be encountering "less than" and "difference" with more frequency as we work through our Math Message tasks. Last week we investigated growing patterns, today, students expanded on their learning by extending these patterns three more times:
In the afternoon students put the finishing touches on their Magnetic Devices. Mr. W started taking pictures that the students could glue into their Visual Journals. Tomorrow we will have a gallery walk where students can demonstrate their devices.
After gym, we had a brief look at Ontario. We followed Gran, Cal, Alice and hamster on their adventures. Tomorrow we will get on the bus and tour around this province... Niagara Falls is a definite stop we are excited to see.
Have a great evening! It's a short week and there's learning to be done.
PS As always there's some home reading to do this evening.
Friday, November 8
Whoa! Friday came rather quick this week. We have lots of projects on the go that we will have to finish up next week.
Winter concert parts went home yesterday. Please sign and confirm that your child will attend. Thanks for the slips that have already been returned.First thing we put on our poppy. Yesterday, we had a a class discussion about the importance of Remembrance Day. On the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th Month we have 1 minute of silence to to honor the soldiers that died in the war. These soldiers were fighting for our freedom. Today we will have an assembly to honor them.
"Friday Letters" were next on our agenda. Students were encourage to provide details about their week and not just a list of things we did. We discussed how they could pick one thing they learned and write to you like they were the teacher.
Our morning continued with more writing. This time the students focused on finishing their writing about their swimming. They handed in their finished work for Mr. W to edit. Next week we will revise and complete our good copies. This work will be on display for Conferences. I've seen progress not only the students writing ability but in their stamina. Many students can easily fill a page with interesting details and descriptive vocabulary. Good job room 72!
We got a good start on our swimming art. Our art is based on David Hockney's art.
We will finish the coloring next week and add the water detail with paint next week.
The Remembrance Day ceremony was a somber affair, as it should be. The grade 3's did an excellent job paying respect to the fallen soldiers with an outstanding hand bells performance and a couple of songs. The K's, 1's and 2's did an excellent job remaining quiet and focused throughout the performance.
Reminder that there is no school on Monday, November 11th. Friday Letters and home reading went home. Please find a bit of time to respond and read with your learner.
Have a relaxing and restful long weekend.
Wednesday, November 5
Thanks for the used toy, games and books that have come into the school! Love when everything old becomes new again. The sale will be on Thursday. Donations in lieu of buying something are also welcome. Items are between $1-5 if you wish to buy anything.
Lots of different things going on in room 72.
We are doing another writing project about swimming. We are using our memory pockets in our brain to write about week of swimming. We started with an introduction telling the reader what our writing was going to be about. Students are then tasked with sequencing their events in order using sentence starters such as first, second, third and lastly or using sentence starters such as first next then and lastly.
To challenge the students even further they were asked to include 1 sentence that has an adjective after a noun such as:
"On our way back to Evergreen School thus driver was funny."
Our magnetic toy\games\devices are almost done! The students are eager to present. Lots of cool things were built. While we can't take the magnets home with the device Mr. W will take a picture and it will be glued into our visual journal.
In Math students were asked to build a bar graph based on the following question:
It was nice to see that understandings of how to organize the data from last week carried over to the problem this week. We concentrated on making sure that the fruit was kept in rows for accurate representation of the data and quick, easy comparison of the data. The students that went onto the challenge question figured out that we had to create a second bar graph based on the days of the week to help us answer the questions.
We finished our trip through Quebec this morning! There were so many interesting things to see... Quebec City (the capital), Old Quebec... we explored the Chateau Frontenac and rode the Funiculaire to explore the shops in tower part of Old Quebec. The St. Lawrence Seaway was right there! We went to the Plains of Abraham and learned about the French British battle that happened at this location. In the winter there is festival, Carival! There are lots of ice and snow sculptures. The community gets right into the festivities... it's kind of a big deal, just like the Calgary Stampede. We went zip lining across Montmorency Falls. We learned about the Wendake, First Nations tribe that once populate the area.
We then went to Montreal... what a fascinating city. There is so much to see and do there, Old Montreal, the Biodome, Mont Royal Park, to mention a few of our stops.
We also investigated maple syrup which is a unique export from this province.
Like I said, there's lots going on in room 72.
Stay warm, have a great evening and I'll see the class in the morning.
Monday, November 4
Few house keeping details:
Evergreen School will have a Remembrance Day Assembly on Friday, November 8th at 10:40am. Families are welcome to attend, and students are welcome to wear their Spark/Beavers/Brownie/Scout uniforms if they choose.
On Thursday, November 7 we will be having out and packsack sale to raise money for Stephen's Backpack. If you would like to volunteer for the sale there is a morning shift from 9:00-12:00 and an afternoon shift from 1:00-3:00. Please let Mr. W know and he will pass your name along to the organizing committee(which is the grade 2 teaching team).
So... Today was a difficult day in room 72. It was like the students... well... forgot how to be students. I'm personally blaming it on Halloween and three days of candy. It took a lot of effort to get the students into their routines. We got thee! It took lots of persistence but Mr. W got their brains working.
forty five minutes into the afternoon I was getting the "Are we going home now?" question. I quickly inserted a body break to get the blood flowing and body activated.
We journeyed into Quebec with Alice, Cal Fran and hamster. Not sure if anyone was really paying attention. It's a good thing the video portion of the bus ride starts tomorrow and we will be reviewing lots of the things we heard about today.
As always there is home reading to do. Thanks for being committed to this homework project. I have been doing regular reading assessments and have noted improvements. Your assistance and dedication to this process is appreciated.
Have a relaxing evening that is sugar free!
Yours in learning,
Thursday, October 31
A few messages and reminders for the weekend:
Starting Nov. 4 the grade 2s will be collecting gently used toys and books for their toy sale on Nov. 7. The money that they raise from this sale will be used to buy new items to fill 50 backpacks for Stephen's Backpack Society. The backpacks will be distributed to children living in shelters in Calgary on Christmas.
Reminder that Friday Letters went home today. Please take some time to review and respond to your learner.
Home reading continues. Please take a few minutes this weekend to read.
Today in math we investigated the Bar Graph. We started the lesson by looking at the Pumpkin Glyphs we created. Our glyphs were posted on the wall outside the classroom. The glyphs were unique to each student and contained information about their Halloween preferences. Trying to figure out the information in a field of pumpkins was a challenge.
Mr. W asked the question, “Is there a better way to look at the data?” First response was we could put the data into groups. This was a great way to introduce the bar graph.
Mr. W talked about the X and Y axis and how we could use this to manage our data. The X axis is where we put our variable, the things we are trying to compare and the Y axis is the number of things (pumpkins or students). As a class, we created a bar graph to use as our exemplar:
Students were then divided into three groups and had to take their knowledge and understandings to build a bar graph with the topic that was given to them. Critical thinking and collaboration skills were put to use during this part of the lesson. Our results were posted on the wall outside the classroom.
On Monday, we will review this topic and populate our last bar graph.
We also spent some time building our Magnetic devices. The engineering process was alive and well in our science room as students tested their prototypes and made adjustments. In some cases, a whole new device was created to accommodate material restrictions.
We finished our last swimming class this afternoon. Students enjoyed the extra time to go down the slide. The bus ride back to Evergreen School was pretty good but it was evident the excitement of Halloween was in the air. Mr. W set the expectations for the last 20 minutes of the day and students settle back into routine. Although, getting them to clean up at the end of the day was a challenge and we were a few minutes late leaving for the day.
Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween. Enjoy your Friday off. I’ll see this learning troop Monday morning.
Wednesday, October 30th... Welcome Mr. Fred and his real Lobster Trap!
This morning students were treated to a special visitor and the timing couldn't have been better. Just as we are leaving the Maritime provinces Mr. Fred stopped by to share his knowledge on the Atlantic provinces. Mr. Fred is originally from Nova Scotia. Did you know that his uncle was one of the last to build wooden ships in the area. He worked on building the Blue Nose II. This a a replica of the Blue Nose that we see on the Canadian dime. He shared his knowledge and we did lots of comparing and contrasting between Alberta and the Maritime provinces. Ask your child if the can describe the differences to you. Tell them to use adjectives!
Mr. Fred Brough in a real life lobster trap that is made of wood. He explained the different parts of the trap and how each fisherman has his own unique buoy. This is to make sure no one else steals his lobsters!
A note about Halloween Thursday:
Students are allowed to were their costumes to class Thursday morning. We will be changing our costumes before lunch in order to protect our costumes. We talked about the risks of bringing a costume to school/pool.
- Water and costumes don't mix. There is a strong possibility when a costume gets wet it will get wrecked.
- No masks/make up. We need to be able to see your face. Plus, we are going swimming in the afternoon and make up and water don’t mix. I don’t think the pool staff would be very happy either. Hats and head bands are allowed.
- Costume accessories! It is highly recommended that costume accessories be left at home. No toy weapons of any sort are allowed. Accessories may get lost or broken. It’s best to save them for Trick or Treating.
At the end of the day Mr. Wilcox stopped by. He noticed our Monster Writing Project that was posted in the hall. He made read a few of the monster descriptions and made his guess at which monster it matched. He only had time to share 4 of his guesses and will share a few more tomorrow. He commended the students for a job well down and was impressed with their descriptive vocabulary.
It was a great day in room 72. The weather has warmed up and the sun is shining. Have a wonderful Hallow's Eve. We'll see the troop in the morning.
Tuesday, October 29
The morning went by quickly… Some Quiet Silent Reading, a trip to the Learning Commons, writing, snack, New Brunswick and some time to work on our magnetic devices. We did back a lot into our morning.
Today in writing the students were given the writing prompt:
If you were locked in a toy store overnight, what would you do?
There were some great responses! We will evaluate the data and see what are next steps will be to improve our writing.
In science, we looked at what materials were available for building our devices. Some adjustments needed to be made to our designs. Some students found that the materials available were not sufficient to build their device. You might have scientists searching for materials this evening. If you get a chance ask them about their device and if they have the materials they need.
Swimming was successful again today. The students did a great job behaving on the bus. Transitions from bus to pool and pool to bus were much smoother today. We hit our planned departure time.
Reminder to do home reading this evening. Thanks for your continued support.
Monday, October 28… Swimming highlights the day!
Swimming today was a blast the swimmers behaved really well. We glad the green light. Red light game to and from the pool. At all red lights, each side of the bus competed against each other for the quietest side. On the way to the pool the driver’s side of the bus won.
Remember that swimming is every day this week. Don’t forget your swimming gear!
Mr. W had a chance to review the writing for our Monster Project. This is the project where we used adjectives to describe our Tie Dye Monster. After a few days of editing and revising the students handed in their work for Mr. W to edit. The work submitted was exceeded his expectations. Students are using juicy words and paying attention to the details. Some students are adding voice to their writing while other started adding character traits. Both of these writing techniques were not required and it was awesome to see students stepping outside their comfort zones.
Their work will be published on one of our bulletin boards and will be available to view at conferences in November.
We also started our work on our magnetic toy/game/device today. Students have been tasked to create a toy/game/device that uses a magnet. Students are in the planning phase. We brainstormed ideas and students are in the process of creating their blue print of plan. As I circulated the room and had conversations with students it was nice to hear terms like attract, repel and magnetic force. Preliminary diagrams are looking good with labels and students are taking pride in their work.
Mr. W has a whole bunch of materials that the students will be able to use. Tomorrow we will investigate what’s available and make adjustments to our plans/diagrams before we start building our prototypes.
Students are welcome to bring in materials from home they wish to use.
With the change in weather make sure you are staying warm. Have a great evening and we’ll see the troop at 8:30 am sharp for another great day of learning.
Thursday, October 24
Reminder that the Halloween Howl is this evening if you are planning on attending. I just walked through the Gathering Space and the decorations are looking pretty spooky.
Today was a wold ride in room 72. You can tell we are coming to the end of the week and the students (and the teacher) are tired. The focus doesn't last as long as it did on Monday but it's to be expected as we have been doing lots of learning. It's remaining consistent with routines and building stamina. For the most part the students were well behaved. Mr. W used lots of energy to keep things engaging and motivate the students to do their best work. A few extra body breaks during the the day to keep the blood flowing and activate our brains certainly helped.
We are in the midst of writing for our Monster Project. There has been lots of feedback and editing of our work to make sure we have enough details. It takes time to edit, revise and publish our work. Mr. W has set high standards and the students are rising to the challenge, stepping outside their comfort zone and growing as students. This process can tire out even the most accomplished writer.
Yesterday, we completed our bus ride through New Brunswick, We investigated the Bay of Fundy some more. Magnetic Hill is a unique tourist attraction we visited. When you stop at the bottom of the hill and put your car into neutral it appears to roll backwards up hill! It's an optical illusion but urban legend says there's a giant magnet in the hill that pulls cars back up the road.
We stopped in Saint John and talked about St. John's in NFLD. Two different cities with similar names. We toured around Frederickton (the capital city) before stopping at Kings Landing. It is a working, living 9th century village - with people who are dressed up and bring the authentic settlement to life. We also learned that NB is a French and English speaking province. We went over to Acadia and visited Kouchibouguac National Park. There is a huge seal colony here where you can take a canoe tour to get close to these awesome sea mammels. We finished off our tour at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. We noted the similarities between Banff National Park which is right in our own backyard in Alberta.
Today the students recorded their findings in their Visual Journals.
I emailed a volunteer schedule to those parents that offered to chaperone for swimming next week. Also sent home a hard copy (hard copies don't always make it home). Please review. If you have any questions please let me know.
I'm off to the University to coach.... if you are going to The Howl tonight have a great time. Still have to do that home reading.
Tuesday, October 22
Today Ms Sienna and Mr. Austin from the Werklund School of Education (Pre Service Teachers) were in room 72. They are doing their first practicum and observing a day in the life of a grade 2 teacher and their students. The students in room 72 we're well behaved and Mr. W appreciated having the extra eyes in the room.
Probably the biggest highlight from the day was starting our writing for our Tie Dye Monster project. When describing we use adjectives and provide details so the reader can paint a picture in their mind. Mr. W put a paragraph on the board and students had to draw a picture from the words:
My monster is blue. It has one eye with a big mouth. He is smiling. His nose is all squished up. He has two gold earings.
Students were then given a second paragraph:
The shape of my monsters head looks like a big, green blob. He has two round goggly eyes. The inside of his eyes are yellow. My monster has no nose. He has a big mouth that takes up most of his face. Inside his mouth he has sharp, pointy, shark teeth. His teeth are white. On the top of his head he has black, spiky hair.
When we use lots of details and adjectives we can create a better picture in our minds. Students then set out to describe their monster with their own writing. Mr. W was impressed at the classes stamina to write and the improvements since September. Our next steps will be to edit with a peer and revise our work.
We finished up our PEI journal page, drove across the Confederation Bridge and began to explore the last Maritime province, New Brunswick.
Did you know that that New Brunswick has 65 covered bridges? The town of Shediac, is the lobster capital of the world! Mr. Fred is going to stop by next week and show us a real lobster trap. We're going to sketch the trap in our Visual Journals. Our day ended in the Bay of Fundy. Some of the wold's largest tides happen here. We watched as the water rose as high as a 4 story building when the tide came in. We are spending the night at the Hopewell Rocks before exploring more of New Brunswick tomorrow.
Have an awesome evening and don't forget your home reading!
Monday, October 21
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
The day started off with some high expectations for QSR and getting our day started. Mr. W held the students accountable for being on task and doing their job. Before 9 am there was at least 30 welebucks sitting on his desk. At a 2 welebuck cost for being off task that's a lot off-tasks! It's not as bad as it seems as a few students did seem to get the "quiet" part in Quiet Silent reading. These students had to pay several times before they got the message that Mr. W meant what he said. Mr. W was all over the students today to do their jobs and stay on task.
Students got a chance to finish up their Tie Dye Monsters today. After tie dying a coffee filter the next part of the task was to give your monster a face. There are some really cool looking monsters! We've been learning to add adjectives to our writing and have spent time identifying them in sentences. We are going to use this knowledge in the second part of our Tie Dye Monster project. Students will write sentences describing their monster. We will go through the editing process and publish our work. Before we publish Mr. W will pick a few pieces of writing and read them to the class. The goal is to draw the monster and see how close to the real monster we can get... a great way to start using adjectives in our writing.
Mr. W took a big step today and used computers to do experiment 8 (Magnets In The House). Fingers were crossed that there would be minimal technical issues. Mr. W logged into the computers and navigated to the desired website:
Magnets In The House.
The students were tasked with finding 5 things in the house that used a magnet and describing what they were used for. For the most part technical issues were minimal and students demonstrated exemplary behavior when working on a computer. I think my biggest issue was reading the paragraphs and having students summarize their findings. I good first start for computers... wish me luck getting them set up with their individual accounts!
Don't forget to do a little bit of reading this evening and record progress in the reading log.
Thanks for your continued efforts with our Friday Journals. Now that I'm older I'm thinking it would be fun to go back and look at some of my writing samples from grade 2. Going to call my mom and see if she has anything kicking around.
It's a decent week for weather. Hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of it.
Here's to stretching our brains and learning some new things.
Thursday, October 17... Student teachers in room 72.
Today we welcomed 2 teachers from the Werklund School of Education (U of C) into room 72. Students were on their best behavior as we went about our lessons for the day. It was nice having 2 extra adults in the room to assist.
Students whipped through their Math Message task. We looked at another set Abacuses. These ones had a slightly different look.
Students have demonstrated growth in their ability to organize their data and show their work.
This week we practiced skills editing our written work. When examined when to capitalize words/letters in our writing, where to put a period and check spelling when we write. Mr. W provided the class with some sentences and asked the question "What's wrong?" as a class we edited the sentences. Capital letters in writing:
- When you start a sentence.
- Titles (books, movies, TV shows, and songs).
- Proper Nouns (names of something specific, days of the week, months of the year).
- The The word "I" when you write about yourself.
Students were then given a short paragraph to edit. They got to be the teacher and show what they know.
We also hopped on the bus and toured around PEI. There were lots of interesting things to see and do:
- Potato Farming
- Lobster Fishing
- Singing Sands Beach
- Bottle Houses
- Cavendish (Anne of Green Gables)
- Red Sands Shore
- Confederation Bridge
Students did a great job riding the bus and paying attention. The student teachers were impressed with our class behavior. Our only issue... the mess that was left on the floor of the bus. We had snack on the bus today. In true room 72 fashion the floor was cleaned at the endow the day. These students are good little cleaners. Should be no excises for messy bedrooms at home... Just saying.
From a teaching perspective I have seen growth not only in their ability to stay focused and discuss topics but in the way their ability to collaborate, critically think, communicate and manage information. It's impressive.
We get tired at the end of the day which is a good sign we have been using our brains. Don't forget to send a few minutes with reading this evening. A few swim forms still need to come in.
Have a great evening. Only 1 half day before the weekend... Mr. W still has meetings in the afternoon tomorrow but don't feel sad it's all to make Evergreen an even better place t learn.
Tuesday, October 15... Did that just happen !?!?!
Let's preface this with the students just had a 4 day break. That's 4 days away from their school routines. I was expecting to spend the morning going over expectations, proper behaviors, and staying focused. I was ready for it!
Turns out, the students showed up ready to learn. My desk was flooded with Friday Writing Journals, students were wondering what to do with their finished home reading... This was not the start I was expecting. Didn't want to jinx the class by saying anything, I went with the flow the created. Within moments I had attendance finished and students were doing their jobs, reading quietly and doing catch up work from last week. There was minimal talking. Any chatter revolved around the assigned work... Was I teaching grade 2 today? Was I in a dream? The rest of the morning followed suit... I wondered if it would last. This is one of those magical moments in teaching that I wanted to share.
On the weekend I piece together the art and writing portions of Our Talking Dinosaur project. Our work was published and it looks really good:
Mr. Wilcox even stopped in to congratulate the students on a job well done. He asked if he could tweet their work! Nice job room 72!
Thanks for doing the home reading! It's important to read every night. Students were eager to share what the accomplished with me. I sat with a few students this morning and could see improvements in decoding words and with fluency. Your efforts are appreciated and help significantly.
Swim forms went home today. Please fill both the Consent and Acknowledgement of Risk form as well as the Swim Ability form. I would like to have all the forms returned by Friday if possible. If you would like to volunteer there is a section to fill out on the bottom of the parent letter. Fill it in and return with your child. I will organize volunteers with Mrs. Hordyk and another form will be sent home to fill in. Please note that a valid police check is required to volunteer of school field trips. Check to make sure it's not expired.
While we didn't quite have the same behavior in the afternoon the students were visibly tired. They were troopers as we stayed on course and they stretched their brains to learn. Ask about experiment #6 we did for magnets. The question we investigated "Will magnet force work through water? Ask how many paper clips the wand magnet could pick up in a cup of water.
Think you'll have some tired learners this evening. Do some reading and hit the hay early. Lots more to learn tomorrow.
Thursday, October 10
No school tomorrow and Monday! Have a wonderful long weekend and Happy Thanksgiving!
Our Friday journal writing was done today. Please take a moment to read and reply back to your learner. I was doing math assessments with some of the students during the writing time. Mrs. K, our awesome Ed Assistant, was supervising the students in the room as they wrote. Feedback was they did an awesome job and were focused for 30 minutes!
Home Reading has arrived!
Students are taking books home to read. Each night I am asking that you spend a few minutes reading with your child. Each student has a log book to carry their book with them in their back pack. The first page in the log book provides you (the parent) with some information on best practices or strategies to help them with their reading. The second page is a log for them to keep track of their reading. Students on longer chapter books can just record the pages they read that evening. A few minutes every night is a beneficial way to help them improve their reading skills.
It was another productive day in room 72. Mr. W dropped the hammer in the afternoon and laid down the law as silliness and talking off topic were prevalent. As we got underway with our learning students responded well to the standards set and stayed focused on their work. They were rewarded with a game of Silent Frog at the end of the day.
Wishing everyone a safe and relaxing long weekend!
Wednesday, October 9
Reminder that picture day is tomorrow.
Magnetic force through material. This was a hot topic in room 72 today.
Students examined and tested how a magnetic force can work through certain materials. To start we did a group experiment. Mr. W put a paper clip on top of the computer table. He then took a wand magnet underneath the table. The magnetic force worked through the wood table and moved the paper clip! We recorded this result in our visual journals. We drew a detailed picture and labelled it. We used arrows to show how the paperclip would move when the magnet was moved. Students then had to explore and test materials in the classroom before recording their observations.
- If paper clip moves then magnetic force travels through the material
- Magnetic force is invisible and can pass through different materials.
- Thicker materials decreases the range of the magnetic force.
We also got to work on our Nova Scotia journal page today. Students are taking pride in their work. They are taking their time and adding details to their drawings and making sure things are labelled correctly. Lots of of outstanding work was observed.
I'm looking forward to another great day in room 72. Enjoy your evening.
Tuesday, October 8... Short Update Today!
Mr. W has to make it to the UofC by 5 pm today and is worried the roads are going to make th commute longer than normal so it's a short Blog today. Mr. W short, lol!
We continued our work with adjectives today. Adjectives describe nouns. Easiest thing to think of is color or size if we get stuck on how to describe something. We are really good at identifying nouns... these are people places or things. Mr. W showed us that adjectives usually come right before the noun. If you circle the noun in a sentence and read the word right infant of it it might be an adjective. It has to a describing word so some thinking and reasoning is involved. Adjectives can come after a noun but that's a lesson for another day.
For fun see if you can think of describing words this evening.
We finished up our trip in Nova Scotia this afternoon. We stopped at Peggy's Cove and investigated the famous light house in the quaint little town. Only 60 people live here year round! Our bus ride then took us to the capital city, Halifax. We explored some of the sites including the Halifax Citadel. This fortress was similar to the Fortess of Louisberg on Cape Bretton Island. We watched some reenactments of what life would have been like back in the 1700's. Not surprisingly lobster is a traditional food enjoys by the locals. Blue Berry Grunt is a local dessert we thought we would like to try. Our trip ended by looking at the provincial flag, flower (Mayflower), and bird (Osprey)
Tomorrow we will reflect on ur adventures in this province and create a page in our Visual Journal.
Reminder that picture day is Thursday. The Halloween Howl is on Oct 24th (6:00-8:00 pm), a handout went home with students today. I have several left by the classroom door so I'm thinking not many went home. I'll remind them again tomorrow.
Have a great evening, stay warm,, and don't forget to practice adjectives.
Monday, October 7... Let the learning begin!
With minimal prompting the students settled into their morning routine. They grabbed their book and began reading. This allowed Mr. W to circulate the room and read with various students. The students did an excellent job at staying on task.
The transition from QSR to math... As the students from SPARK returned to the classroom the volume all of a sudden turned on. It was like this was a signal to stop reading and start chatting. A quiet reminder from Mr. W had the students back on track reading. I think this is going to be a skill we will have to continually work on throughout the year. I will have to have my SPARK students champion a quiet return to the classroom.
We had a block of math and literacy in the middle of our morning. First we tackled Math Message 3.4. Students demonstrated an improvement with their organizational skills. Mr. W took some time to talk about decomposing 2 digit numbers. We talked about the tens column and the ones column. Using this information we decomposed numbers using this information.
Being able to decompose numbers can help us when adding 2-digit numbers.
In literacy we learned about Adjectives. These are words that are used to describe a noun (person, place, thing). Mr. W gave each table a banana and using what we saw, felt and smelled we came up with different words to describe the banana. We then came up with some words that might described the banana if we were to eat it.
Students then took their edited work from our Talking Dinosaur projected and copied it into their speech bubbles. Students were encourage to have a Level 3 speech bubble and see if there was a way to incorporate an adjective on their re-write.
We tackled our Jelly Bean Row House art. We added color to our drawings from Friday. Using chalk pastels the students chose bright vibrant colors to mimic the colors we witnessed on the houses in St. John's, NFLD.
A somewhat messy but fun task to do.
We hopped on the bus and caught a ferry from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia. After getting an overview of the whole province, Mr. W drove the bus to the Fortress of Louisbourg. This fortress was built by the French and help them maintain control over the popular fishing industry. The British colonists captured the fort first in 1745 and then again in 1758. This opened the discussion about the story between the French and British. Students watch a video and got a sense of what life was like during this time period. We drove the bus along the Cabot Trail before stopping in Lunenburg to take a look at the Bluenose II. Did you know that this famous vessel is on our Canadian dime?
We covered a lot of information today in room 72. I'm thinking the neurons in our brains made some valuable connections and that fantastic elastic brain of ours got a little bit smarter. Have yourselves a wonderful evening!
Reminder that school pictures are this Thursday.
Thanks for supporting your child's Friday Journal writing. We will do another writing session this Thursday. If Journals are still at home please send it back by Thursday morning.
Friday, October 4... Friday Journals!
Friday Journals went home today. The students had 35 minutes to write about their experiences from the week to share with you. I got a mixed bag of writing this morning. Some students had to move onto a second page to get all their thoughts down. The students that asked to work in the hall to focus better mostly focused on talking. Unfortunately, they won't have much for you to read. Please share with your child and write something back.
October 10th is picture day! A handout went home today. This is an extra reminder in case that piece of paper didn't make it home or got eaten by the inside of a back pack.
Weekly we have been doing Math Messages. Below is todays message. Students have to manage their information and solve\answer the questions. We've been doing this for awhile and Mr. W said he would assess and post some an example of someone how presented neat organized work.
We also started some art work on Jelly Bean Row Houses that we discovered in St. John's (Newfoundland). The initial drawing is completed and we will be using chalk pastels to add color next week.
Students were a bit chatty today as we began our art work. As the volume start t cheap up many students were champions at getting the noise to lower. Apparently, it's harder to concentrate and focus when it's to loud. Mr. W was happy to support the decision to work quietly... insert smiley face here :-)
All in all it was a great week in room 72. Lots of learning was had by all. Favorite comment of the day:
Student: "Mr. Welechuk, sometimes when I think to much my head starts to hurt."
Mr. W: "That's a good thing! You're growing your brain!"
Have a great weekend! Rest those brains and don't forget to respond to your child's journal.
Thursday, October 3... Roller Coaster couple of days!
Wednesday, October 2 was an amazing day in room 72! The students were on fire with their listening and work ethic. Mrs. Hordyk walked into the room while we were working on our "Taking Dinosaur" project. We were coming to the end of 30 minutes of writing. The room was silent and students were engrossed in their work. I was extremely proud of their efforts and positively reinforced the behavior.
This was foreshadowing of the day. Each lesson was met with the same behavior. I took a chance and decided to let the class know how proud I was of them. My fingers were crossed that I wouldn't jinx the situation... and to my surprise! The students continued on with their day listening and working really hard on their tasks.
Ten welebucks to everyone on room 72!
When I reflected back on the day... we covered a lot of material.
Turns out when you work really hard and stretch the boundaries of learning your need to back off and have some recovery time. Today's focus was not the same and the afternoon was met with lots of tired faces. My favorite comment of the day:
"Mr. Welechuk today was a great day of learning but it has hard to concentrate when it got noisy."
Mr. W had several talks this afternoon on still working at your best when feeling tired. Secretly I was wishing nap time was part of the curriculum, lol. We made it through the day and finished our jobs.
The writing part of our "Talking Dino" project is almost complete. Students have edited their work with a peer and handed in their writing sample to Mr. W. Mr. W has edited all the work and we are now ready to work on our good copies.
It was a bit of a struggle to finish off our Newfoundland & Labrador journal page at the end of the day. We looked at journal page of a student that was focused and complete the page with outstanding work.
It was agreed upon that we could strive to have a neater page when we visit Nova Scotia.
One last thing before I leave you this evening... Tomorrow students will be bringing home a Friday Journal. There is an explanation on the front cover. This is a journal where your learner will be writing to you about their experiences in the week. I'm asking that you take a few minutes to reply back to your child on the reverse page. As mentioned in the letter it provides you with an opportunity to witness your child's writing growth and will be a great memory of their grade 2 learning.
Have a fantastic evening.
Tuesday, October 1
Just like that we say good bye to September and hello to October! Where did the time go?
This morning started off with several students buying back their stuff that was left lying around the classroom from Monday. Five welebucks gets your stuff back! Mr. W easily collected 60 welebucks.
Today I would like to share with you our writing project: "If My Dinosaur Could Talk."
Last week the bulletin board outside our classroom changed.
There were lots of questions about it and today we got our answers. Mr. Welechuk showed the class the final product.
From there we went over all the steps we would have to do to publish our work. There are a lot of steps! This project has a writing component, a math component and an art component. As Mr. W explain the steps the students were engaged and you could feel the eagerness to get started.
After picking our dinosaurs:
We then dipped into our Imagination Pockets to decide what out dinosaur would say. We used the setting of the bulletin board to help us with our ideas. The room was silent with the only sound that could be heard was the movement of pencil across the paper.
When ever I tried to switch to our next task I was faced with objections. Have to love it when they are so into their work they don't want t stop.
When hopped back onto the bus and finished our exploration of Newfoundland and Labrador. We took a look at the unique language spoken in this province, Cape Spear, St. John's. Ellison (Puffins), Twillingsgate (icebergs & whale watching), and the different types of food you will find in this province.
Lot's going on in room 72! Get your learner to talk about these topics to solidify their learning.
Have a restful evening.
Monday, September 30... Orange Shirt Day
It was awesome to see all the orange shirts in the classroom today! The students are settling into routine and it is taking less effort to focus them on getting their day started.
After some silent reading we got into a discussion about "What matters about orange shirt day?" Our knowledge about this day was a bit vague:
"A girls had her orange shirt taken away..."
"Little children had to go to a different school..."
Mr. W lead a class discussion on residential schools and how First Nation children were forced to attend these schools far away from home. They lived at the schools, away from there families and were taught a language and culture that was not their own. They all had to dress the same and have the same hair cut. The rules were strict and there were consequences for not following them. Below are two videos we watched:
We felt sad didn't think it was right for these children to be treated this way. We discussed ways to be kind to one another, traced our hands on orange paper, and wrote words of kindness on these hands. Students used sharpie and color to make their hand unique. We agreed that being kinds part of our individual story. We posted our hand in the hall way.
We reviewed the parts of the brain (hippocampus, cerebrum, brain stem, amygdala and cerebral cortex). The students did a great job remembering what each part was responsible for. We finished up our brain hats and went to the Gathering Space for a photo op:
The brain hats took more time than expected to assemble but we did manage to board the bus (imaginary bus) and start our trip across Canada. We are following behind Gran, Alice, Cal and hamster on their journey. We read about their adventures in the book and then line our chairs up in front of the Smart Board like we are on a bus. Mr. W plays videos about lots of interesting stuff and we discuss our thoughts, feelings and answer questions. The bus was full of questions as we investigated The Edge, Jelly Bean Houses, clotheslines and Torngats Mountains Nation Park (Ancient Lands). Still lots more to explore tomorrow.
Have yourself a wonderful evening.
Friday, September 27
Couple of quick messages to note:
“Healthy Hunger is happening again this year. Sign up to order lunches for your child(ren) on the selected days. Orders can be done for the year, or month to month. Healthy Hunger is also where you will register for some school events like Movie Night (first one is Toy Story 4 on Oct 10!)
Please sign up at https://healthyhunger.ca/
Evergreen School Council
Like us on FB for information, too!”
Monday is Orange Shirt Day.
Orange Shirt Day, is a day on which we commemorate the thousands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children who were removed from their homes at this time of the year and forced to attend residential schools.
Students are encouraged to where an orange shirt.
Have a great weekend, stay warm and we'll see the troop Monday morning.
Thursday, September 26... What's going on in room 72?
What is a noun?
This was a question we explored in literacy this week. We first explored the idea making predictions and sharing what we thought a noun was. We watched a video and came to the conclusion that nouns are a person, place or thing. It can be an idea as well but Mr. W said we should just concentrate on the first three types of nouns. The class looked at a picture and we wrote down all the nouns we saw. We came up with a big list. Students were then given a second picture and had to independently write down the nouns they saw. We had a great discussion as words like jumping, quickly and stinky were questioned. If these words are not nouns what are they. Time will tell. For now anything that is a person place or thing it's noun.
We continued to work on patterns in math. Today we looked at a word problem that asked students to identify the pattern after reading some sentences. For the most part students were able to orally indicate the pattern. Our struggles came with how to represent the information on paper. After some discussions students were organizing their answers with pictures numbers and words in a way that was easy for Mr. W to tell what they were trying to explain. When asked to create there own unique pattern problem, the creativity in this group was evident. Lots of interesting patterns. You might want to get them to share with you this evening.
In science we explored magnetic poles. Which poles attract and which poles repel? These are question to ask this evening in casual conversation.
In social studies we explored images of Canada. We closed our eyes and shared the pictures we thought of when we heard the word Canada. Students can up with lots of great ideas. We then watched a video and added to our list. Students then started to create a page in their Visual Journals of these images. Some are creating their own version of the Canada Flag while other are drawing their favorite pictures. It was silent in the room as the students engaged in their work. I was met with many protests when I had them stop at the end of the day. That's always a good sign! Click on the link below to view the video.
Canada in Two Minutes
Have a wonderful evening. The learning continue tomorrow morning at 8:30.
Yours in learning,
Tuesday, September 24
Sentences start with capitals and end with a period, question mark or exclamation mark!
Periods are most commonly used end a sentence. However, a question marl is is used when we ask a question and an exclamation point is used to make a sentence sound exciting. Mr. W provided the students with a few sentence and it was their job to be the teacher and correct the mistakes.
In science we took out the magnets and investigated things that are attracted to a magnet and things that are not. We recorded our results in our Visual Journal.
Our observation: Magnets are attracted to things that are metal. Students did a pretty good job recording their findings.
We reviewed patterns in math today. Mr. W introduced a new term: the CORE of the pattern. If we have an AB pattern that goes:
What's the core of this pattern?
It was fun watching the students build patterns and share them with me.
We finally got to the labelling part of our Canada maps. Still a bit of work to do to complete them. Students are eager to finish them up. I'll post a few pictures tomorrow when they are complete. When our maps are complete we will take a look at some of the images that Canada is known for before we start investigating each of the provinces.
Reminder that our Terry Fox is tomorrow! We will run no matter what (just like Terry). Have your student of learning dressed appropriately. Donation for Terry are still being accepted if you wish to participate.
Have a great evening.
Monday, September 23... Access to the Blog!
Before I get into some of the details for the day a quick reminder:
Our Terry Fox run will be on Wednesday this week. Weather forecast on Wednesday is more favorable. We are also doing boonies for Terry and if you would like donate a townie we are collecting them throughout the week.
Well you could tell in was Monday in room 72. Lots of yawning and tired little people filled the room. Mr. W started out with some word assessments and it was clear our brains were not warmed up and ready to go... We need to activate and we needed to do so stat.
We started of with some writing. Our Monday topic: On The Weekend. Students were tasked to write 4 sentences about their weekend. Before the writing process got started Mr. W showed students how they could organize their thoughts by drawing pictures to help guide their writing. He then showed them how adding details to one thing can actually take up to 4 sentence. You don't have write about everything. Mr. W wrote about cutting the grass on Sunday. By describing what the grass looked like and talking about the stinky dog poop he had to pick up first showed the students what they needed to do. Minds were activated and students eager to write down their thoughts. Words books were out and students were asking if they could write more than 4 sentences... YES! Our day is off and running.
The rest of the morning was pretty good. Students colored and labelled parts of the brain (hippocampus, cerebellum, brain stem, amygdala and cerebral cortex). We review what each part did. Might be fun to discuss these things at dinner tonight. The amygdala controls our emotions or feelings if you need to get the conversation started.
We tackled a math problem and students are getting really good at organizing their data and showing what they know.
The afternoon was a bit more difficult to engage the students. They were visibly tired and holding their focus was a bit of a challenge. This is pretty normal for a Monday but today was a bit out of normal. A practice fire drill did break up the afternoon. The students were well behaved in the evacuation practice. Most of the students completed their KWL chart on magnets with a solid effort and neat work.
I think we used our brains lots today and I suspect there will be early bed times this evening.
Wednesday, September 18
Still not able to edit my Blog page! I’ve been wanting to post some pictures but it’s more work to ask someone to do. So, until I get control of the age it will just be my words. I’ll try and keep things short.
In math, we’ve been working lots on Mental Math, ten questions on the board write the answer. Today a reasonable time limit was set, a few students realized that not being focused limited their productivity. Our Math Message tasks have been improving. While the concepts are relatively simple, students have been managing the information in their books. Following instructions, organizing data and showing your work neatly have been the goal. Students have demonstrated an improvement throughout the week!
In Social Studies, we finished coloring all the provinces and territories on our map. Students are getting pretty good at identifying the locations. Still getting some mix ups with calling some provinces a name of a town but we are getting better. Dinner conversation could revolve around remembering what we know about each province.
We’ve investigated Terry Fox this week. Students did a writing piece for their Visual Journal page. After watching a video about Terry Fox we had a class discussion. We were able to answer the questions we had and share the new things we learned. Students were then tasked with writing about why Terry Fox is a hero. We also shared with one another who we would be running for in the Terry Fox run.
In science, we took our first look at magnets. Today was an exploration day. Without much discussion students were given a variety of magnets (ring, horseshoe, bar, wand) to examine. We came together as a class to discuss some of the things we discovered. Students created a magnets title page that will mark the place in our Visual Journals of where our experiments will start.
The students in room 72 are proving to be smart little learners. Our area of growth continues to be our transition between tasks. Mr. W seems to collect lots of welebucks during this time. There are no complaints so students realize that their behavior warrants the loss. Students are also eager to sign up for class jobs to earn some more. Room 72 is going to be spotless for the open house tomorrow!
Reminder that tomorrow morning we will be heading to Fish Creek for SOGO Adventure running. Watch the weather and make sure students are dressed appropriately. I chatted with them about it today before they left.
Have yourselves a great evening. No school on Friday.
Monday, September 16
I still don’t have the ability to edit my Blog! Hopefully that will get fixed soon. Until then I will have to keep asking someone to post for me.
On Friday, we started with Math Message. Students have to examine a series of mathematical data, organize that data into their workbook, answer the questions and make sure that Mr. W can understand how they arrived at those answers. Each Math Message comes with a challenge and super challenge questions. Students have proven to be quite stellar at presenting their data in a neat organized manner. We have figured out that adding color when we are done can add to the presentation.
In Social Studies we are coloring a map of Canada. Mr. W likes to ask students to identify the provinces on the map. Students are demonstrating an increased knowledge of our country. When the coloring is finished students will be asked to add labels.
I forgot how routines and procedures need to constantly be revisited on Mondays. Our journal writing, On The Weekend…, took a bit longer than anticipated. We needed to review double spacing and starting our printing beside the pink vertical line in our journal. The students did a great job finding the mistakes in Mr. Welechuk’s journal entry. They were quick to point out the missed periods and sentences that need to start with a capital. Spelling mistakes were also identified. Words Books were passed out to help us with spelling.
Students were excited to tackle the SOGO running stations in our field this morning. Room 72 did an awesome job with the agility station as they ran the course and maneuvered through some obstacles. There will be two new stations to try tomorrow. On Thursday, we will head into Fish Creek park to test our skills in a natural environment.
All in all, it was a pretty good day in Room 72. Looks like Mother Nature is going to provide us with decent weather all week. Have yourselves a great evening and I’ll see the group tomorrow morning to grow our brains.
Wednesday, September 11… Getting into the swing of things!
I’m unable to edit my Blog so my posts are dependent on another teacher to post for me. Might be a slight lag until the issue gets resolved. Just a heads up!
Students are starting to adjust quite well to the routines and expectations in room 72. One of my goals is to improve transitions. What I’ve observed is when we transition from one task to another the students use this time as a recess break. Volume in the class increase students will wander away from their desk and in some cases, start acting silly. It seems to snowball and escalate. Today I sat quietly at the front of the room and waited for the students to realize I was ready to start the next task. It took 5 minutes to grab the classes attention.
Don’t get me wrong when they are on task I get engagement and focus. These students can concentrate and get their work done. These transitions need work. I’ve been reminding them and taking away welebucks. The behavior is slowly changing but I’m enlisting the help of the parents. If you could remind your student that they need to be conscious of instructions for the next tasks that would be extremely helpful.
As you can see I tend to write lots and I will keep this post short (or shorter).
Me in a Bag was a big hit. The students enjoyed sharing their items and telling the class about their story. Everyone was eager to present and spoke with confidence. This is a good sign that we are gelling as a class. The tough part was the transition between presenters. Between each student I had to remind the class to stay focused and listen to the presenter. A ten second transition took upwards of 3 minutes to settle the group for the next presenter.
We have started exploring Canada. Students have a map and we are coloring the provinces. Mr. W is constantly quizzing the class to identify the provinces we have colored. If you are looking for some dinner conversation tonight ask them to recall the colored provinces: Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Alberta. As them if they know which Province Mr. Fred comes from… It’s the province that is known for lobster. Which province has a larger French speaking population and is known for maple syrup? Which province do we live in? These are some guiding questions to help get things rolling.
Just a bit of insight into the world of room 72. Looks like the weather has improved as I look out the window. Have a wonderful evening.
Monday, September 9… Welebucks are in play!
Ah Monday… Most people dread Monday, I personally love it. I was excited to see the students of room 72. I wasn’t disappointed as the students rolled into the classroom with smiles and loads of energy. Uh oh! Would I be able to contain this energy have the students focus!?!?
Turns out the awesome students I saw last week ae still awesome! They settled quickly as Mr. W went through the days agenda. We got the morning rolling with a “Find a Friend” scavenger hunt. Students had to find someone in the classroom that liked to sing (for example) and record it on their sheet. Students had a great time mingling with their classmates and practicing their spelling. Mr. W got to assess work and focus habits as the students set about their task. For the most part, this group is good at following instructions.
For our next task, we read the book “Have you filled a bucket today?” We discussed the importance of being kind not only to our classmates but to our school community and our families. When we do random acts of kindness we fill their bucket as well as our own. Students colored a bucket and glued it to the last page of their Visual Journal. When we do an act of kindness students are welcome to print it on a Post It note and put it in the blue bucket at the front of the room. Every Friday Mr. W will read the Post It’s and students can paste it on their visual journal page.
Next up on the agenda was a writing task. Students set up their journal page with today’s date and the title “On the Weekend.” Mr. W gave the students some think time and time to share with their tablemates. The task was to write 4 sentences about their weekend. We discussed printing sentences in order start with Friday, then Saturday and finally Sunday. It’s important to put things in order. The classroom timer was set at 6 minutes and students had to write silently and independently. No questions were to be asked and they had to sound out the words as best they could. This gave Mr. W an opportunity to see who could stay focused and stay on task and who procrastinated. I had a few students that could only manage 4 words in 6 minutes. After 6 minutes were up, we took a break and had snack. Snack was followed by another Quiet 5. This time if you weren’t finished your 4 sentences you had to stay in the class and finish before going to gym. There were a few students that didn’t meet the requirement. Happy to say there were no protests as they accepted the consequence and work was completed. No one missed gym entirely and Mr. W was able to provide some 1 on 1 work time with immediate feedback.
Mr. W introduced Mental Math today. Not going to say too much about that. If interested in learning more ask your learner. Ten addition questions just record the answer in your Mental Math book.
We spent the majority of the afternoon working on our BioGlyphs. Students tended to get quite loud during this time, there were several reminders about talking with quiet voices and not being silly. It is Grade 2 and to be expected it’s just takes lots of energy! LOL
After some thought Mr. W decided it was time to introduce “welebuck.” What are welebucks you may ask? It’s a classroom currency. Each student was given 60 welechuks (play money) in a plastic baggie. Our first task was to see how many welebucks was in the bag. We had $20, $10 2 x $5, 5 x $2 and 10 x $1. A total of 60 welechuks. This turned into a great lesson on how sort money into groups of 10 and how to skip count by 10’s. I love the real-world connection!
Mr. W then started to explain how the welebucks are going to be used. I had a few students not listening and talking during this time. This is secretly what I had hoped. I simply asked them to pay me 2 welebucks for not doing their job and following the class contract. Someone blurted out without raising their hand and had to pay 2 welebucks. They learned very quickly how the welebucks were going to work. Needless to say, I had model attentive students.
As the week progresses students will be able to sign up for classroom jobs to earn some welebucks. Welebucks can be used to purchase classroom supplies and there will be a raffle for some prizes. Students can purchase raffle tickets with their welebucks.
I threw a lot of new things at them today and impressed with their abilities. Thanks for all the forms that came back! Still missing a few as well some students need to bring back their Me In A Paper bag assignment.
Have a great evening and I’ll try not to write so much on Wednesday.
Friday, September 6... First week in the record books!
I'll keep this short, short for Mr. Welechuk, lol. Couple of house keeping things to mention:
(1) Parent View Point - Please fill the form out and return to Mr. W. This will provide Mr. W with valuable in formation to help guide your child through the school year.
The first week went well and I believe students are starting to feel not only comfortable in the classroom but with me as their teacher.
(2) Me In A Paper Bag - Instructions are pretty self explanatory. Students are to find 3-5 items that tell who they are. We will being doing a show and tell and some writing around this exercise. If they are stuck on what to include they could include something green to show that their favorite color is green, for example. This activity revolves around our Grade 2 theme of "What's your story?"
Weekend looks like it's going to be filled with warm weather! Get out there and take advantage of it.
Enjoy your weekend!
Thursday, September 5... Getting into the groove!
Relationships continue to develop but I'm impressed at how well we have begun to gel as a class. The students in room 72 are a very empathetic bunch. As we came up with things to include on our class contract the students offered many suggestions around being kind, helpful and respectful to one another. I had to guide them to include things like listen to the teacher and raise your hand when you would like to talk as they were engaged in making sure everyone felt safe and welcomed.
We signed the contract my covering our hand in paint and stamping it to the contact.
We took a trip to the Learning Commons to get some books for our classroom. We talked about getting books that were a good fit. The students did an excellent job gathering interesting books to fill the shelves in our reading corner. It was hard to pry them away from reading to move onto our next task.
Today we started talking about Canada. Mr. W simply posed the question "What do you know about Canada?" We learned that Canada is a country. It's the country that we live in. Our country is made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories. We quickly named all the provinces and looked at them on a map. Over the next couple of weeks we will learn to name and identify the provinces and territories. If looking for some dinner conversation ask your learner to name a few provinces.
Room 72 is filled with a bunch of bright young learners. As I get to know each student better I get excited about all the great learning we are going to accomplish this school year.
Mother Nature has provided us with another great day! Time to get outside and enjoy it.
Have a fantastic evening.
Tuesday, September 3... And so starts a new chapter of learning!
We made it through the first day! Not that it was a challenging day it was a day to get our brains working and start establishing a new learning regime. I think we are in for a great year of learning. This group of students has already demonstrated a fantastic set of skills and I'm looking forward to working with them.
A little bit about my blog style, I try and give the parents some insight into the musing of room 72. Without giving the the answer I will blog questions or topics you can ask your child about to start discussion on how the day went. If they say the didn't learn anything you have a guiding question to the conversation started. Hopefully, it will jog their memory and they will have things to share about the day.
With that said the first couple of weeks will be about building relationships with each student. Building trust and assessing them on their previous knowledge and understandings. Each student is unique. While some connections are automatic other take a bit of time to establish. In either case I am confident I will have a solid relationship with each student to help them learn.
In a previous life, Mr. Welechuk was a geologist so to start the year off I thought I would create a few activities around dinosaurs. The students started their morning off in one of three activities: (1) Building a 3D dinosaur out of plasticine, (2) a dinosaur dig, (3) 3D wooden dinosaur skeleton. Students worked in table groups to do the task at hand. Want to know more you can get a first hand recap by asking your learner about the activity. We didn't finish the task but followed the activity by talking about the competencies we used:
Teamwork Collaboration Communication
Ask your learner if they can tell you what these skills are.
Next we set up our pencil boxes. Each student has a set of their own supplies that they are responsible for. Hmmmm... what going to happen when a pencil gets lost? More competencies will come into play: Critical Thinking and problem Solving! Using our supplies students created a tag for their coat hook.
After recess we had snack and did a Room 72 wordle for all the things we like to do. After showing a sports wordle you can guess that many of the words that were brought forward were sports. Finally someone mentioned math as something they enjoy and we started coming up with new words. Don't know what a wordle is ask your learner!
We reviewed our letters (ABC's). How to print capital and lower case letters provided to bean easy task (phew!). We still have a few more letters to get through but this was a good review.
Building on our printing skills we read the book "How I spent My Summer Vacation." It's a story about a boy who exaggerates what he did over the summer. Our first writing task of the year was to write three sentences. Two sentences are truths and one sentence is an untruth about ourselves. A few students still have to finish this up but tomorrow we will read them aloud and try and guess the untruth. Plus this gives Mr. W a writing sample to guide the learning.
We then did a body break by going outside and working on some catching and coordination skills. We were on the compound and dare I say it was too hot! It will probably snow next week and I'll be wishing it was to hot.
To end the day we played "Make 10." I's a card game. Have your learner explain the game. This demonstrated that the class has a strong grasp on which numbers make 10. It was evident by this point in the day students were getting tired. I think we used our brains effectively today. Thinking we're all going to have good sleeps this evening.
As you can see I like to write and provide details. Want to make sure you have an insight into the first couple of days. I promise as the year progresses there will be shorter blogs.
Hope you have a great evening! Looking forward to meeting the group tomorrow morning.
Thursday, June 26... Moving on up!
Well today we bid farewell to Grade 2. It's been an amazing year. We learned, we grew and we're spreading our wings(and minds) as we sore into grade 3.
As this was my first year of teaching I am thankful to had the opportunity to work with your child on their learning journey. Each student has a unique set of characteristics that I enjoyed getting to know, connect with with and guide throughout the school year. My hope is that they will take with them a new set of skills that they can utilize in grade 3.
Students have brought home a mind map of their journey through grade 2. In true Mr. Welechuk fashion there is a guide to the whole year to discuss with your child... Just in case they say they didn't learn anything.
Thanks for all the wonderful gifts the true reward is the hugs, smiles, and thank yous I received from the students.
This is Mr. Welechuk closing out the school year wishing you a safe and sunny summer!
Best of luck to all the room 72 students as they journey into grade 3. Believe in yourself, don't be afraid to make mistakes and grow.
This is Mr. Welechuk closing out the school year wishing you a safe and sunny summer!
Tuesday, June 25
It's been a busy week! Room 72 has finished their projects for our Celebration of Learning this evening. They are excited to show you their work. We have spent several weeks becoming Junior Melittologists and they have some important information to share.
The show case will operate much like student lead conferences. Your junior Melittologist will lead you through a series of stations. There is no particular order as they guide you through their learning. The doors open at 5:30 pm and there will be 90 minutes to explore the wonderful world of bees. Hopefully the weather will hold so we can explore the pollinator garden this evening!
The students have been working really hard but you can tell that summer vacation is on the horizon. While we still have moments of focus and quiet in the classroom the length of these periods has decreased. When the students get off task the volume in the room goes way up and it takes a bigger effort to get them back on task!
To celebrate a successful semester where students have earned (and lost) welebucks, Mr. Welechuk will have a classroom draw for some year end prizes. Students will use their welebucks to purchase raffle tickets. Raffle tickets will be placed into a a bin for a prize of their choice. When all tickets are in a draw will be made for the winner.
Reminder that sports day is tomorrow! Students will spend the morning doing various activities around the school. Most activities will be outside. Students should dress accordingly.
Tuesday, June 18... Myth: The last two weeks of school is games and movies!
I'm chuckling to myself as I type this message. There seems to be this myth that the last two weeks of school are easy as you wind things down for the summer. It kind of feels like things ramped up! Still have lots of projects on the go. This afternoon room 72 started working on their Bee Commercials! Ms. Patterson swapped classes with me. I'm leading her class through some sketching while she has room 72 working on their sketching. Divide and conquer to get everything ready for our sharing night.
The trip to Chinook Honey Company was lots of fun! The weather cooperated and the students had a great day. It was nice to have a Bee Expert to expand on the concepts we have been studying in class. Here are a few pictures of the day.
Thanks to all the students for remaining focused on their studies as we finish up our projects. Their dedication to doing their best work is evident.
Enjoy the evening.
Monday, June 17
Tomorrow is our trip to The Chinook Honey company to investigate bees! This is a half day field trip and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate with no rain. Check the forecast and ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather.
Enjoy the evening!
Thursday, June 13
Friendly reminder that field trip forms are due. Our trip to Chinook Honey Company is on Tuesday, June 18th.
Wednesday, June 12
Things are really busy in room 72! Students are doing a great job getting their work done. My mind is going a million miles a minute at the end of the day thinking about completing our work.
We are getting towards the end of our Grade 2 Mind Map Project. Three subjects left to go! Work is looking good and the students should be able to share all the different things they learned this year with you.
The Bee Project is in full swing. We just finish learning about the parts of the bee. There were some awesome sketches!!! Here are a few pictures. Students will have a copy of their sketch in their Bee Booklet!
In theme with our Mind Map Project, students created an Invertebrate Mind Map to demonstrate how bees are classified. Here are a few examples. Students will also have their individual copy of this Mind Map in their Bee Booklet for our sharing night.
We are also learning about the Pioneers! These are immigrants to Canada that came from Europe and the USA. Students have create an imaginary pioneer character. We are taking this character through the life and times of what it was like to live during this time period. Today students did a writing piece of how their character arrived in Canada. Here's the criteria they had to use in their writing:
I'm just into the year end crunch so I haven't been posting regularly. Lots of interesting things happening in room 72. Your learner will have lots to share with you over the last three weeks!
Field trip forms went home yesterday. Please sigh and return as soon as possible. I'm only allowed 2 parent volunteers for this trip Beyond 2 parent volunteers their is an additional cost. I have 2 parents in place and have sent home the volunteer forms. My apologies to anyone that offered to help and was not selected this time. It's both a blessing and a curse to have so many wonderful parents to offer their Support.
A special thanks to Mrs. D for organizing the Father's Day card for the students of room 72. It's an un-BEE-lievable card that the father's should enjoy. It ties in with out bee project in case you didn't guess.
This is Mr. Welechuk signing off for the school day. Get some rest... there's still 2 weeks till summer vacation and we've got work to do !
Thursday, June 6 Projects, Projects, Projects.... and more Projects!
Seems like room 72 is working on a lot of projects this month.
Yesterday we did a painting for Father's Day. Mr. Welechuk lined the canvases up along the window in front of the teepees we made. As the sun illuminated the background it made a really cool nativity scene. Spoiler alert! Picture of the painting below.
Students are diligently working on our Mind Map Project. We finished adding the information to the math portion. Students are now adding details and making the map look nice for presentation. We followed up the Mind Map with some double digit addition. The students have solid strategies to find the answers. Mr. W even through in some Grade 3 math that involved regrouping of numbers to challenge the students.
We started work on our Bee Booklets this afternoon.
We added Alberta Eistein's famous quote and a picture of what grocery stores would look like with and without bees. Students are engaged... Mr. Welechuk is wondering if there's enough time to get through everything before our sharing night!
Reminder of the Spring Fling Dance. Handout went home with students this evening. Experience has told me that these handouts don't always make it home. Here's a picture just in case you are one of those families that didn't get the handout.
Have a wonderful evening. I'll see the group tomorrow morning!
Tuesday, June 4... Inside the teachers head...
The bell has rung. The students trickle into the classroom. Mr. Welechuk is created with the regular salutations...
"Good Morning, Mr W. How was your evening? Guess what I did!"
"What are we doing today?"
"Can I type my writing?"
I indicate that the catch up list is on the board. A few minutes go by and the room settles. Students that normally go to SPARK have declined and opted to stay in the class and do work. Students that are caught up on things have figured out something they can work on, they have raised their hands. When called upon they ask if it's ok to work on their chosen activity.
It's 8:40am and the room is silent with am engaged group of grade 2 students. I haven't had to get up from my desk. Do I say something? I want to re-enforce this awesome behavior. Do I risk distracting the students? I decide to let the momentum ride. Twenty minutes go by before the students start to rile and the chatter increases.
This is not the same class I had in the fall!
This afternoon we dove deeper into a world without bees.
“If the beedisappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
There were a few concerned students in the room. While this quote is concerning, it's highly unlikely humans would become extinct. However, the world we live in would be a lot different!
We finished the day off recording our ideas on "What we can do to save the bees?"
Enjoy your evening! Learning continues tomorrow morning at 8:30 am!
Monday, June 3
4 weeks of school left ?!?! Where has the time gone? Lots of interesting things still to cover!
Students had a great time at the Bar U field trip. It was a great way to start our last social studies unit on the pioneers. We are are putting the last finishing touches on our Inuit flip book before getting into the life and times of the early settlers!
Our year end project for room 72 is to great a Mind Map. The mind map is outlining all the things we learned this year in grade 2. The students are doing an excellent job at gathering and organizing their data. The end products they are coming up with are looking really good. I happy to report that my high expectations are now their high expectations. I'm glad I started this project early cause it's taking a bit more time than anticipated.
Our last science unit is Small crawling and Flying Creatures. We will be taking the students on a journey into the life of a bee. Our launching off point is "What would the world look like without bees?" Here are a few grocery store pictures that get you thinking:
Just a quick overview of the happenings in room 72! Hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather.
Wednesday, May 29
This week has been a bit of whirl wind. Bar U field trip tomorrow. All day field trip. Looks like the weather will be good. Forecast is for later afternoon showers.
I spent some time introducing out pioneer social studies unit today. We discussed who the pioneers were and why they came to Canada. They were persistent, optimist, thrift, hardworking and resourceful. They developed these character traits in response to surviving the long cold winters. We discussed shelter, diet and the culture/economy of these settlers. They lived their lives based on the cooperative principle, where everyone worked together for the betterment of the community. This discussion with the visit to the Bar-U ranch will springboard us into this unit!
Enjoy the evening and we'll see the troops in the morning. Bus leaves at 8:45 am.
Thursday, May 23
Reading, writing, recess, boat building, math, music, fun lunch, social studies, more math, outside gym!
A quick summary on the agenda of room 72.
Students were quick to get into their morning routine with little interaction from Mr. W. I was particularly impressed when students when students completed the assigned task and started working on catch up work without any prompting. Conversations were on task and students were using quiet voices so not to disturb others. It was pretty cool to observe the class room watching a group of grade 2 students type their stories on computers, work on Mind Maps and assist each other. It was one of those magic moments where you sit back and admire the group.
We are wrapping up our Picture book stories. Ive read some really great pieces of writing, lots of juicy words and details that give the reader opportunity to paint a picture in their mind. Some talented writers in the class.
Switch gears to boat building it was time for the engineers in the group to shine. Students are finishing up their designs and in the testing phase. Mrs. Peers will help with the finishing touches and we will have our showcase on Monday!
Afternoon, was a bit more rowdy. However, after a class discussion on some important features regarding the Inuit the students did an awesome job of putting together their second Inuit booklet before starting their sketches.
Finishing off the day with outside gym! A day in room 72... priceless.
This is Mr. W signing off.
Next post will be Tuesday, May 28th.
Wednesday, May 22
Greetings from room 72! The learning continues... while the students are learning so does Mr. Welechuk. One of the things I have been attempting to do release responsibility to the students to guide their learning. While some students have spread their wings and launched themselves into developing this new skill others need more concrete steps.
After discussing a solution we decided that those students could work independently on the task in a quiet space. Those that need the guidance and scaffolding can participate in a large group discussion, while those on the fence could sit near by and jump into and leave the group as they felt necessary.
It was nice to witness a group of grade 2 students make a smart choice on how they would like to guide their learning. Just some musings from inside the teacher head. When you think back to the beginning of the school year this would have been a difficult task to accomplish. Their learning profiles are developing and the are continuing to develop confidence in their abilities!
Boat building has arrived! The students in room 72 were eager to start building their boats. There are lots of creative ideas and interesting discussions as the students went through the design process. Here a re a few pictures. Thanks to Mrs. V for being there this afternoon. A second adult in the room was very helpful to help implement and troubleshoot problems.
We will continue to refine our boats over the next few days before having a final showcase. Mr. W is away on Friday coaching his swimmers at a meet in Victoria. Mrs. Peers will be in and they can do some testing with her before we have a showcase on Monday.
Reminder that as we get close to the end of the school year to keep reading at home. As final assessment come in students will be evaluated on their reading and it's not to late to level up!
Have a wonderful evening! Enjoy the warm weather.
Tuesday, May 21... Archaeology
This afternoon room 72 had an in-house field trip! We got to investigate what archaeology is.
Archaeology is he study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains. The students did an excellent job answering Mr. F's questions as he introduced the the topic.
Students rotated through 4 stations. Each station gave the students some insight into the jobs and skills an archaeologist may use.
At station one students investigated weather something was an artifact or an eco fact. Eco facts are things that occur naturally in nature and give archaeologist clues to the environment where it may have come from. These are things like animal bones, plant remains or soils. Artifacts are things that may have occurred naturally in nature but they have been modified by humans.
Station two had the students classifying artifacts. Students looked at composition to determine the material (shell, stone, metal, clay, bone). Artifacts are weighed and measured as well as described in detail. Things like color, luster (shiny/dull), shape and feel are used to catalog artifacts. Artifacts are made, changed or used in a way by humans.
The third station looked at bones. Students compared human bones to animal bones.
Fun Fact: It's illegal to be in the possession of human bones, other than your own!
Therefore the human bones onsite were replica's made of plastic. Students had to determine wether a bone was human or from an animal. Other than the give away that the human bones were plastic students learned that the animal bones they were investigating were from a bison. They were more dense and bigger than the human bones to support the heavier weight. Bi pedal animals also have smaller bones while quad pedal animals bones are bigger.
Station four had students learning about the different bones of the bison. Using real life bones from a bison students were challenged to assemble a bison skeleton. Using the mold provided students placed the bones learning about the anatomy of the bison.
Thanks to the parent volunteers that helped out today! It allowed Mr. W to write the Blog in real time.
Despite the initial resistance to do archaeology vs building boats the students were engaged and learned some new things.
Enjoy your evening!
Thursday, May 16... Hello Long Weekend!
Hope everyone enjoys the long weekend coming up. As things winded down this week the students in room 72 have demonstrated pride in their learning. As we work on our Grade 2 Mind Maps the I'm beginning to worry that there may not be enough time to finish this project! Students are spend lots of time gathering information and paying attention to the details as they create their maps.When it's time to move on to another activity it is met with lots of "No's!!!!" and "When will we get more time?" This is a good thing but we are a bit under a time crunch.
The students in room 72 have developed some awesome work habits!
In math this week we did lots of work around number lines. In particular, the way how a math sentence can be represented. Expanding on this idea we were challenged with a a tortoise and hare problem.
A tortoise and hare are having a race. They come across a bridge that is made of planks. Some of the planks are missing. In order to beat the hare they tortoise must make three equal jumps without falling through one of the empty spaces on the bridge. The tortoise can start anywhere on the bridge and his last he has to land safely at some point on the bridge. If he can meet that criteria he beat the hare!
Here are some of the scenarios the tortoise encountered:
Note: The red places represent the missing planks.
Can you figure these out?
In gym the students have been tackling challenges! They have been encourage to try them at home. If the weather clears up, get outside, except the challenge and level up!
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 15
All the consent forms for the field trip are in! I have 10 parents that have volunteered from room 72. I only have 5 spots. I was hoping that I could have 5 parents attend Bar-U at the end of May and the others could be considered for the Chinook Honey Company field trip in June. Please let Mr. Welechuk know if you have a preference. I will follow up with an email tomorrow in case anyone has missed the Blog.
It's been a busy couple of days in room 72.
We are doing a Mind Map Project. Based on subject students are creating a Mind Map of all the things they have learned in Grade 2. This week we have been working on science. It's been fun watching the students review their work and organize their ideas. Some of my favorite quotes include:
"Look Mr. Welechuk! My work at the beginning of the year was so messy compared to now."
"Mr. Welechuk, I've improved so much!"
"Mr. Welechuk! We've learned so much I'm running out of space."
The biggest excitement of the day would have to come from our last lesson in Buoyancy and Boats. Students examined 4 ways in which boats are propelled through the water:
Students tested these boats created by Mr. W, drew & labelled diagrams in their workbooks. We had discussions on the materials required, what things worked, how we could improve these designs. Students then designed their own boats and made a list of materials they think they will need. Over the weekend they will gather the materials and the students will build the boats in class next week. I'm trying to minimize the amount of adult hands on these boats so they truly reflect the work of the students. Students are encouraged to build and test their prototype at home over the weekend to iron out any kinks. There will be a building and testing day next week.
Have a discussion with your learner about their design over the next couple of days about their boat. Sink or float they will use the principles we learned about to help solidify their learnings.
This is Mr. Welechuk signing off from Room 72 at Evergreen School. Have yourself a great evening and we'll do some more learning in the morning.
Monday, May 13... Blog is back up and running!
Last we left off room was half way through last week. To get you up to speed let's focus on some science... Buoyancy and Boats to be exact!
Here's something to ponder:
One sinks, one floats, one is suspended in water! Why is this happening? Time to ask your learner to explain this experiment. Ask them what this experiment has to do with the Dead Sea.
Building on this concept of buoyancy and density our next task was to build a boat out of plasticine. Each student was given a ball of clay and told they needed to make a floatable boat. Once their boat was floating it needed to carry a load of pennies. Manipulating the shape students explored which shapes could carry the most pennies. We had loads of 30 and 27, which set the standard. After a group discussion students redesigned their boats and were able to add more pennies to their load.
Just a total aside... While the noise volume does go up when we are cleaning up the room, the students of room 72 do an outstanding job of cleaning up the room. Don't be fooled at home! Those bedrooms can be kept clean!
I hope the mom's enjoyed their Mother's Day cards. The students worked hard and took pride in their work. They were anxious to to bring their cards home.
My mom loved her card and I hope you did too!
Still waiting on a few more field trip permission slips to be returned.
Enjoy your evening.
Wednesday, May 8
A new math game!!!!
This game is done with playing cards. First thing we have to do is remove the face cards from the deck. Somebody draw a card from the deck. This first draw represents the number we will use in the ones column. Let's pretend a 3 was draw (3 just happens to be Mr. Welechuk's favorite number). The second card that is drawn is the number we will use in the tens column. For example. let's pretend a 4 was drawn. This means our target number is 43.
We then draw 4 cards. These 4 cards will represent the digits we can use to hit our target. Note that these cards can be drawn at random but remember to leave the cards face down.
Let's say a 6, 2, 8 and another 2 were drawn.
Using these digits the goal is to see how close to 43 we can get using addition and/or subtraction.
You can only use the digits once but you can combine digits to make a 2 digit number. Here's my first attempt at it:
26 +8 + 2 = 36 (I'm 7 away from 43.... I wonder if I can get closer to the target?)
This might be a fun can to play in the evening before bed or sometime on the weekend.
After writing our definition of load:
Room 72 was tasked with creating a device that would make a sinker float. Before you could even touch the materials you had to have 2 hypotheses (with neat printing, correct spelling and a sentences that made sense). Some students took 20 minutes to complete this step and had limited time to build and test. Once students tested their hypothesis and recorded their observation they were challenged with floating a heavier load. Lots of creative ideas:
Just a glimpse into a few of the happenings in room 72 today. Have yourselves a wonderful evening!
Reminder that a few field trip forms need to be returned.
Class photo went home with students, check bags to make sure you got one.
Monday, May 6.... Chatty Cathy's!!!!
This morning the group showed up full of energy. I was excited to get the week rolling and anticipated lots of great learning, however, with this high energy came lots of talking. Several times, Mr W had to use his teachers voice to quiet the chatter and help the students remain on task. The positive of having to revisit this behavior was noting how quickly the students respond and understand what the expectation is... The question is "Why do they still test me!?!?" I say this with a smile. I'm sure this is karma coming back to bite me!
In Math, I've introduced 2 step problem solving. Today, students were asked to solve two addition questions before figuring out the difference between the answers. The challenge was then figuring out a different answer using the same numbers in one of the previous questions. Getting neurons firing this morning doing some critical thinking and problem solving. Those students that completed the task then moved onto the super challenge, which was a word problem involving multiple steps.
In science we explored how to alter or add to floating object so that it will sink. Students were tasked with finding a way to get a floating object to sink.
The first step was to create two hypotheses with a partner. Students drew and labelled their diagrams in their workbooks. Students then tested their hypotheses. Revisions were made and students retested their sinkers before recording their observations. It was a nice experiment to watch the students collaborate and come up with their own unique ideas.
Tomorrow we will take a look at creating a device that will keep a sinker afloat.
Reminder that field trip forms need to be returned if you haven't already done so.
Have a great evening.
Friday, May 3
Field trip forms went home today. There are 2 of them... One orange and 1 white.
Inside the teacher's head...
Classroom is empty, I'm sitting at my desk catching my breath, reflecting on the week that was. As I go through my learning checklist I can't help but be proud of the students in room 72. Since September they have shown tremendous growth in their learning profiles. They are making connections across disciplines and showing they can critically think and problem solve. By no means is this journey finished but it's nice to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. I'm hoping that you as parents have been able to notice a difference.
With that, I will turn my attention to next weeks lessons. I hope everyone has a chance to get some R&R over the next couple of days. Till next time...
Thursday, May 2
Inuit Artifacts – The Inuit MuseoKit has arrived at Evergreen School. The students in room 72 spent a bit of time discussing best practices for recording the data in our Visual Journals. We decided it would be nice to create a title page before sketching. After the title page was complete we had to use our math skills to decide on the amount of artifacts we would put on each page and how many pages we would need in total. Most students opted for 2 artifacts on each page for a total of 7 pages (two of the artifacts double and can be in the same section). Some opted for 1 artifact/page while others thought 4 artifacts/page would be their best option.
Once that decision was made students then used a ruler to make their sections. Best quote from this task… “Mr. Welechuk, I measured my page. It was 28 cm long so I put a mark at 14 cm and drew a straight line with my ruler. This makes my sections equal.”
With our pages organized and ready the students then started to explore the artifacts. Sketches required detail, labeling and a brief description of what it might be or used for. Journals are looking good!
Jumping into our Buoyancy and Boats science unit, students did their first experiment, “Shape Up or Ship Out.” It was in the form of a demonstration where we investigated things that sink or float. Before we got into the demonstration I asked the students to tell me what they think sink and float mean. I was pleasantly surprised with “when something breaks the surface tension and goes below the surface of the water, that is sinking.” Students were able to determine that objects that have air trapped inside them will float.
Using that information we did an experiment with tin foil. A 10 x 10 cm piece of tin foil floats on the surface of the water. Students were tasked with having to transform the tin foil to get it to sink. Ask them about what shapes sank.
Just a snapshot into some of the things going on in room 72.
Tuesday, April 30
Last day of April! Where does the time go… hard to believe that in 8 weeks this thing called grade 2 will be finished.
Couple of announcements:
Tomorrow (May 1) is Hats on for Mental Health Day. Students are encouraged to wear a hat in support of mental well-being.
We started Buoyancy & Boats in science today. We discussed thing we know about this subject.
Tomorrow the students are to come to school with things they wonder about Buoyancy & Boats.
Might be a good dinner topic tonight. We came up with floating as a way to explain buoyancy but the conversation as to why or how things float didn’t really appen. It will be a good jumping off place for tomorrows lesson.
Continuing with measurement in we used Unifex blocks to re-measure our height. We need to take our time to ensure we have an accurate measurement. It’s a good process to re-check data. We did notice some discrepancies from last week to this week.
The second step of the process was to measure our height on a strip of paper. Students watched Mr. Welechuk run through an example. Students only had 10 Unifex cubes to measure out their height. We learned how to make a mark then more the Unifex blocks to determine our height. Lots of focus to measure and label!
All in all, it was a good day in room 72. The students are showing their growth in their learning profiles by staying engaged and being able to make good decisions about not only their work but how the execute it.
Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow bings.
Friday, April 26
The Pringle Ringle. My apologies if there were lots of requests to get a container of Pringles. Using the power of food we did some estimating and then some calculations to figure the amount of Pringles to make the Pringle Ring.
Finishing up with our exploration of the Acadian community be built lobster traps! The ocean was a valuable Natural Resource for both the early settlers as well as for the habitants of the maritimes today. While lobsters were not always considered a tasty delicacy for the Acadians the students were able to identify how the ocean is a unique resource to this community.
And what lobster trap is complete without a lobster!
It was a pretty good week in room 72. I've really noticed a change in student learning profiles over the last couple of weeks. The other day I put one of our Math Message challenges on the SmartBoard without any instructions. I watched as the students set off on this task to get the job done. Other than a few "Are we suppose to be doing Math Message?" questions the task was tackled and completed in a reasonable amount of time. Just sharing one of those magic moments us teachers appreciate.
We have completed Hot and Cold Temperatures unit, Acadians is almost done. Next week we will begin to look at Boats and Bouyancy and start looking at our next community, the Inuit. Along with our regular math, reading and writing responsibilities it will be another great week of learning.
Enjoy your weekend!
Wednesday, April 24... Ozobots invade room 72!
Alien Inline skating tomorrow. Remember your helmet!
Today the Ozobots invaded! Thanks to Mr. Willcox and the parent council Room 72 was treated to the Ozobot robots.
Drawing a pathway and entering a color code students worked in groups of 2 to create their own unique course for their Ozobot to maneuver through. The Ozobots didn't always do what was expected and the students had to troubleshoot, revise and edit their courses. The students did a fantastic job listen and following the direction as outlined by Mr. Wilcox. Students collaborated with one another to enter 6 codes along their pathway. Giving each course it's own unique style. Using our math skills students were able to figure out in a group of 2 that meant each student was allowed to enter three codes. This kept things fair. Students then exchanged course amongst groups to explore and observe different possibilities.
This was in addition to our regular learning but a definite highlight to our day.
Our Tuesday writing continues. Students are engaged in their writing and their are lots of descriptive and creative journal entries coming in for editting. The biggest thing I am noticing is the improvement in the students writing. I like the care they take to ensure they have a quality piece of writing before they head into the typing portion.
We have finished the Hot and Cold science unit. Tomorrow I will be doing a review of the topics we covered and on Friday the students will do a small test to show what they learned. I will give the students the option to take their science booklet home for review.
I have started having end of the day conversations with the class getting them to reflect on things they have learned in grade 2. While some students had no trouble articulating an area of learning others struggled to think of something. Going to be having lots of these conversations over the last two months of school. I'm looking for students to express their deeper understanding and go beyond what they just learned today. It's not an easy process but an important skill to have. Challenge them at home to reflect on the past 8 months and see what they have to say.
I'll see the gang tomorrow!
Tuesday, April 23
Reminder: Alien Inline is Thursday this week for room 72.
Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! As I was doing my planning yesterday I realized that we have 10 weeks of school left! I stopped to reflect on the learning that has happened in room 72. We’ve covered some interesting topics… As I assess the students work I’ve seen lots of growth in their ability to show their understandings. The students are learning but we can’t stop here there’s still lots of fun and interesting concepts to grapple with and make sense of.
As we continued to explore and learn about measurement the students had to tackle the problem of ordering themselves from shortest to tallest. In prior weeks, the students explored ways in which they could figure out if they were Vitruvian (Is your height equal to your arm spam?). Using non-standard units of measurement to determine this, they explored the classroom and found some unique and creative ways to measure themselves.
Diving into the data today, I asked the students if they could use this data to order themselves from shortest to tallest. Once the students understood that they could only use the data, instead of comparing each other, the real problem was realized. If everyone uses a different method this can’t be done. Needless to say, an interesting debate started on how we could solve our ordering problem from a set a of data. It was determined that everyone needed to use the same measuring system.
Suggestions were brought forward, Unifix cubes, chain links, small, white boards, etc. In the end it was decided that using Unifix cubes would be our best bet to keep things most accurate. We discussed best ways to measure our heights. How could we be most accurate?
Using the tiles on the floor, for a straight line and two white boards, to mark the distance between your feet and head was the method we agreed upon. This would be most accurate and would produce the best results. The students eagerly set out to measure themselves and a new set of data was collected.
As the results started coming in we noticed that being accurate with our measurements was really important. Two students that came up with the same number of Unifix blocks didn’t have the same height when they stood back to back. We’ll need to do some further testing to refine our results.
In science, we looked at what makes a good insulator. Building off our knowledge of how animals insulate themselves we looked at materials humans might use to help them insulate themselves. Before recess we added boiling water to 4 glass jars. One jar was insulated with wool, another with newspaper, one with tin foil and the 4thwith cotton. We know that water boils at 100 C. After recess, we measured the temperature in each jar to determine which material is the best insulator. No spoiler alert… you’ll have to ask your learner all about the results.
They day went by quickly! Enjoy your evening.
Thursday, April 18
The week that was…
For a 4-day school week we packed in quite a bit of learning.
We were pretty heavy on science this week. We looked at different ways we can adjust temperature to heat or cool a room. We investigated things that can be used a s a heat source. We made a hypothesis on how our school is heated and cooled down. As soon as the boiler room is cleaned up Mr. Fred is going to take us on a tour! We learned about insulation and investigated how animals stay warm when it’s really cold outside. Fur, wool and feathers act as great insulators.
At the beginning of the week we looked at the daily life of an Acadian. Students did an excellent job updating their booklets. The sketching and color is looking really good. We quizzed on topics we have covered students are demonstrating their understandings with well-articulated answers. Next week there will be a big emphasis on this community as the Hot and Cold science unit is almost complete.
In math, we were dabbling with different concepts. Exploring measurement, we completed our Vitruvian measurements. While most of us are not Vitruvian the students found creative ways to measure their height and arm span. Our next step will be to organize ourselves from shortest to tallest using our individual measurement. I’m looking forward to that ah-ha moment when they realize using chain links to measure is not the same number as Uniflex blocks. Think we might have to discuss a standardized way of measuring to achieve this task. We looked at place value of numbers and how these values can help us add and subtract 2-digit numbers. We did some problem solving and critical thinking by looking at Skating Party problem.
We even spent some time on geometry. Students created a pattern inside an egg that had to include 2D shapes. We then used tissue paper to decorate the eggs. Students did an awesome job cleaning up the classroom after completing this project.
Not only did we do all that math work, Mr. Welechuk gave the class a test this afternoon to show what they know on many of these concepts. I'm looking forward to checking the results this weekend. At first glance it looks like the students in room 72 have a strong understanding of the concepts!
Students are continuing to create the words for the picture book Tuesday. They are familiar with the writing process and love being able to type their stories for publishing. Lots of work still to do on this writing project.
Enjoy the long weekend. Hope you’re able to get outside and enjoy the nice spring weather. Next week will be filled with lots more learning. Reminder that Monday is a non-instructional day for the students and there is no school.
Wednesday, April 17
Reminder that Thursday, April 18 is Spring Picture Day!
Tuesday, April 16
Suddenly the weekend was over and the students along with Mr. Welechuk found themselves in the midst of a whirlwind of learning! Mr. Welechuk was away today at his last Teacher Induction session. Mrs. Peers, much to the delight of the students, came in to guide the students through their learning.
Lots of different things going this week. Students are continuing to write and and their own words and spin to the picture book TUESDAY. I've had a chance to read some of the introductions. There have been some really creative and descriptive starts! We have discussed interesting ways to start a story to grab the readers attention. It was impressive to see students using actions and sound in their introductions as well as similes to describe things. Mrs. Peers will be introducing the next couple of pages today.
In math we looked at place value on Monday. Using the concept of odd and even the students set out to create 2-digit numbers with such criteria as largest ODD number and smallest EVEN number. Mrs. Peers will will take the students through some mental math questions, a Math Message exercise and an open ended skating party word problem today.
In science (Hot & Cold Temperatures), we investigated different ways to adjust temperatures on Monday. Mrs. Peers will look what is a heat source today:
In social we are continuing to explore the Acadian communities. We took a look at what daily life looks like in an Acadian community. We made connections to the things we learned when we drove our bus through the Maritime provinces earlier in the year. We noted that this community is very different from the community of the Blackfoot. Like the Blackfoot, the Acadians used the land. However, Acadians used the land to farm while the Blackfoot used the land to hunt buffalo. The Acadians used the ocean as a resource in their daily life. Things like clam digging and lobster fishing are examples of activities one might observe in an Acadian community.
Friday, April 12
The morning went by super fast! Probably the highlight was the Alien Inline skating. I'm told the students did well for their first session. Lots of excited students returned to the class afterwards so it couldn't have been anything less than fun.
After spending all week doing lessons on how to make 20, the students were assessed with a mental math challenge. It's been awhile sense the students attacked one of these challenges. Many students finished the ten questions in under 2 minutes and marking the results showed the have a strong understanding. Our next focus will be on working with two digit subtraction.
We also started a new writing project. We are looking at a picture book titled "Tuesday". Using the pictures we are writing the words to the story. Today we looked at the first 4 pages:
Using our knowledge on interesting ways to start a story we wrote our introductions! This writing process will take us a few weeks to complete as we do through feedback, editing, revisions and typing. Looking forward to some interesting stories!
A reminder about next Thusday:
t's another Movie Night! On Thursday, April 18, we will be showing "The Peanuts Movie." Doors will open at 6pm, and the movie will start by 6:30pm. Please come in your PJ's and enjoy one last movie night this school year!
Tickets are available through your child's Healthy Hunger account. www.healthyhunger.ca
We hope to see you there!
Evergreen School Council
Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend! I'll see the Gang Monday morning for the continued journey of this thing called learning!
Thursday, April 11th
Reminder that Alien Inline starts tomorrow for room 72. It's highly recommended that students bring their own Hemet to ensure best fit and maximize protection. Elbow, knee and wrist guards are provided. As well, the inline skates are provided. Students ARE NOT allowed to bring their own skates. To avoid damage to the gym floor Alien Inline has special wheels on all their skates to protect the gym floor.
It was a good day in room 72. The biggest thing I witnessed today was the effort and care students put into their work. They have really begun to demonstrate awesome organizational skills. In science today many students where labeling their pictures without any prompting. I'm also seeing an improvement in time management. Students are using their time efficient to complete high quality work. I guess they finally realized Mr. W. will only accept high quality work. Might as well get it done right the first time!
Due to Alien Inline we lost our gym time for today. My plan was too go outside but due to the weather that idea was scrapped. I grabbed some ping pong balls and we practiced some coordination skills with catching and passing before playing an engaging game of Pong Bounce. I'l let the students fill you in on that.
Afterwards, Mr. Grumpychuk only had to come out a few times to get the students focused back on their work. While the noise level kept rising I was impressed with the quality of work they were doing.
Just the thoughts from your resident Grade 2 Teacher Mr. Welechuk. Have a great evening!
Wednesday, April 10th
Reminder: First Alien Inline skate is this Friday, April 12!
We’re at the half way mark for the week! This week seems to be rushing by. Wednesday morning is the day students get to demonstrate their transition skills. We change spaces a lot!
Reading to start the day >> Gym >> Back to Class >> Music >> Back to Class >> Then Learning Commons for Sharkology. Students have become quite efficient with minimal loss of learning time!
Students are working on completing their good copies of their Sharkology page. Lots of creativity. Ms. Jones and myself are busy helping students strategize ways to implement their visions. The final product should look spectacular! Here’s a sneak a peak of some of the student’s work:
After some vigorous work with Hot and Cold Temperatures, Mr. W finally was able to find time to talk about the Acadians. This is our next community we are studying in Social Studies.
In our preliminary discussion students were shown a series of pictures of things that were familiar in an Acadian community. I was happy to note that they associated them with our Atlantic provinces: Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick. Long ago, before these provinces became provinces, this area was known as Acadia. We learned that these earlier settlers had come from France. The Acadian flag is basically a French flag with a star of the sea on it. The connection was made that these settlers relied heavily on the sea for their well-being.
We also took a look at what life was like in the “Early Days” for the Acadians. We looked at living conditions, clothes, houses and things they did to survive in this area. There was no electricity, houses were small and they farmed to get some of their food. The Acadians were religious and churches were very common in this community.
Enjoy your evening!
Tuesday, April 9th
Just a few more Alien Inline forms to come in. Need to have these forms in by Friday in order to be able to rollerblade. These are the days our class will be skating:
- Friday, April 12
- Wednesday, April 17
- Thursday, April 25
You should have seen the class this morning… With no prompting, students filed into the room, took a look at the agenda and started doing their jobs! This was one of those moments in where you step back and enjoy the labors of your teaching. I hope this is a good sign of how the day will unfold.
Lots of great learning went on today.
In math, we looked at making number sentences that equal 20 with our math message task. This concept is relatively easy for the students in room 72. Non-the-less it’s part of the curriculum and has to be assessed. Some students were keen to show their knowledge of multiplication and added a few multiplication sentences in their challenge question.
We investigated the human body temperature in science. Yesterday we learned about thermometers and hand how these instruments are used to measure temperature in degree Celsius. We measure cold, warm and hot water and finished the lesson off by looking at important temperatures, one of which was average body temperature of 37 °C. We recorded definitions of new vocabulary from yesterday's learning:
Today we investigated how the human body temperature is relatively constant and that a change in body temperature often signals a change in health.
We traced the outline of a person in our group and added details to indicate that our friend was very sick. We discussed how we would feel when we were sick, what we would wear, and what we might sound like. I asked the class what would happen if our sick friend visited the doctor and what’s the first thing the doctor would do. There was a unanimous “Take their temperature!” And why does the doctor take your temperature? “To see if they have a fever.”
We learned that a healthy person will have a body temperature of 37 °C. Someone with a fever will have a body temperature of 38 °C or higher!
We colored in a thermometer to show our friend had a fever and glued it onto the mouth of our traced friend.
Just a quick glimpse into the musing of room 72. Enjoy your evening and we’ll see the gang tomorrow morning.
Monday, April 8 (Reminder: Alien Inline skating forms need to be returned!)
“And so, begins another week,” Mr. Welechuk said excitedly! We are going to explore some amazing things. I can’t wait to do our experiments in science! We are going how to read a thermometer and use it to measure temperature of water. I’m going to add some food coloring to the water to make things more interesting when we sketch our drawings. We are also going to do this experiment called “Call the Doctor!” I’m almost jumping out of my skin in anticipation. This week is filled with lots of fantastic things to learn.
One of the things we have been learning about in writing is voice. Does my first paragraph have voice? Maybe share that paragraph tonight and discuss what voice does Mr. Welechuk has in his writing. Leading into future lesson in the week what do we know or what can we learn about Mr. W that wasn’t said in that paragraph? Hmmmm… just some higher level thinking to explore.
I’m feeling a bit witty today in case you couldn’t tell. We are exploring voice in writing and I am looking forward to seeing if the students can add voice into their upcoming writing tasks. Today we looked at how we can add feeling to our writing. For example, using the sentence:
Sally is going to the waterpark.
What could we change or add to the sentence to let the reader know Sally is excited? Just a little table talk for dinner tonight.
In science, we did investigate measuring temperature with a thermometer. Students were given cold and warm water to measure and record in the booklets. Mr. Welechuk did the measurement on the hot water, after it was boiled. The experiment was done in the afternoon.
I’m finding the afternoons a bit more challenging with outbursts and interruptions. It might be a bit of spring fever but if I could enlist the support of parents this would assist in re-enforcing the behavior to raise your hand when you wish to speak. I think I will have greater success if this is coming from mom and dad at home.
Before I leave you to your evening… A reminder that Alien Inline forms need to be returned. The inline skating starts on Friday for our class. No form, no skating. I’ll send another reminder later in the week.
Thursday, April 4
What’s going on in science?
This week we started the Hot & Cold Temperatures unit. Our first lesson we investigated the terms “colder than” and “hotter than.” The classroom room was divided into 2 teams. One team had to come up with hot items while the second team had to come up with cold items.
I have to say that this is a very competitive group of students. Each team had the goal to come up with more items than the other.
There were lots of great ideas! Using our answers we used examples from the chart to explain what was hotter then something. We quickly discovered that you could take the same 2 items and reverse them and use colder than to say the opposite.
Hot chocolate is hotter than ice cream. Ice cream is colder than hot chocolate.
Coming up with definitions for hotter than and colder than was a bit more difficult. Through our discussion we came up with temperature as the best way to distinguish between the two phrases.
Hotter than: Has a higher temperature.
Colder than: Has a lower temperature.
See if your learner can tell teach you what these terms mean.
We then investigated hot and cold changes. Mr. W demonstrated how heating and cooling materials can often change them; e.g., melting, freezing, cooking and burning. We watched an egg change from a liquid to a solid when it was cooked. We observed a marshmallow burn; it changed color and became crusty. Candles melt turning from a solid to a liquid when they heat up. Students got to review how water goes from a liquid to a solid when it freezes by examining some water balloons. I love the curiosity displayed when it comes to doing science experiments.
Raw egg - liquid
We added burning, cooking, freezing and melting to our vocabulary. See if your learner can teach you about these terms tonight.
Enjoy the warm weather! A friendly reminder that the inline skating forms need to be signed and returned to the school.
Wednesday, April 3
Question of the day: Am I Vitruvian?
In math, we investigated the Vitruvian Man. The Vitruvian Man was created by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo was a Renaissance man. Through his studies he was fascinated by nature and the human body. Many of his inventions were way before his time. Studying birds he created diagrams of the first flying inventions. His drawings were detailed and he often wrote his words backwards, it was his way to prevent others from stealing his ideas.
Leonardo wondered what the perfect human body would look like... he created the Vitruvian man based on his observations in nature.
At the basis of the perfect human body, according to da Vinci, is where the span of your arms stretched out is the same length as your height. If these two lengths are the same, you are said to be Vitruvian!
In 1490, there were no such things as centimeters, it was the renaissance after all. Using only things available in 1490 students had to investigate if they are Vitruvian. The had to find ways to measure themselves and record their answers in their visual journal. How could you prove or disprove you were Vitruvian?
Needless to say, the creative juices were flowing. Lots of great ideas! We need to work on recording our findings but it was fun to see the students working in teams, critically thinking and collaborating their ideas.
Continuing on with our lesson on writing with voice, we did some writing examining the age old question "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Mr. W emphasized quality sentences over quantity. Sentences need to start with a capital and end with a period. We also need to use descriptive words (adjectives) to help the reader identify the voice of the writer. There were lots of creative answers expressing their voice. When we shared we discussed how even though we are only writing 4-5 sentences we need to include details on the character, setting and have some kind of plot (problem/solution). After sharing students were eager to revise their story with some of these missing elements.
You have to love it when an 8 year old can identify where improvements can be made with minimal guidance from an adult!
Just a quick snap shot as to part of the day in room 72.
Tuesday, April 2
Welcome back! It’s hard to believe that we have 3 months of school left!?!?! Where did the time go? Lots of interesting things still to learn. We’ll put our heads down and dive right into learning. No better time than the present.
Few important handouts went home today:
- Spring Picture Day: Thursday, April 18 (This is my first Spring Picture Day and I'm told that it's a group photo and individual portraits are optional).
- A Fee Invoice (green sheet)
- Consent Form (white sheet) This is for Alien Inline Skating that the students will be doing as part of their Physical Education program.
After a bit of quiet reading we did some writing. Today we looked at what it means to write with voice. We started off by looking at some illustration by Jan Brett.
These illustrations are very detailed. Lots of the pictures are of animals and nature. She frequently puts a border around her pictures. These illustrations are uniquely her artistic voice.
We then looked at some illustrations by Eric Carle.
His illustrations are of animals as well. They look like paintings and have distinct shapes.
We then looked at a collage of paintings from both authors. We had some fun identifying which picture belonged to which author and discussed how these authors have a distinctive voice. If you are a bubbly person, chances are you will write with a bubbly voice. If you are a serious person you will probably write with a serious voice. We each have our own voice and it is unique as our thumbprint. Today we put our thumbprint on our writing! We had our classmates guess our voice when we shared with the class.
Tuesday is our Book Club day. The students assembled into their groups and took turns reading aloud. It was nice to listen to the students and reflect back on the improvements since September. I witnessed students reading confidently, working together and collaborating on decoding challenging words.
We started our Hot & Cold science unit today. We only had time to investigate the work booklet and color the title page. We had a top secret mission to complete (Operation Mother's Day) that took up most of the afternoon.
For this science unit students will be responsible for tracking their learning:
This will help guide us through the concepts of hot and cold.
Wednesday, March 20
Really we have been learning! Mr. Welechuk was away at Alberta Championships with his swimmers Friday-Sunday and has been working hard after school to get projects completed for conferences. My Blogging skills have not been great, my apologies. We do have some interesting and fun things planned for Thursday and Friday. Students are eager to show you their learning.
This week has been a challenge keeping the students on task. Mornings are better than the afternoons. Yesterday afternoon, I sat for seven minutes before I got the full attention of the class. This afternoon we had a fire drill and the students were exemplary in lining up and getting to our muster point in the field. When we came back in, well that was a different story. We had a class talk about student expectations and what makes a good student. Not sure if it's the warmer weather or the full moon!?!?
Reminder that tomorrow is early dismissal. School will be ending at 11:50.
Monday, March 11
Reminder to keep working on the “Timeline Project.” The ones that have been returned are looking great! The students have been enjoying the chronological snap shots as we post them on the wall in our room.
On Friday, the students started working on a replica of a Parfleche bag:
The parfleche bag was used to carry food and clothing. It refers to the tough hide that the bag is made of. Blackfoot women would make two containers from a single bison hide and decorate them with matching designs.
We used this project to talk about symmetry. Symmetry is a term commonly used in math, especially geometry. It is often used in art & design is where one half is the mirror image of the other half. We looked at few objects and identified the line of symmetry before the students set off to make their own designs. Lots of creativity was observed!!! Students were using rulers and shapes to create stunning designs:
Design by Willem
In math we tackled a candy word problem:
You got given 30 pieces of candy. If you share 5 pieces with each person at your table, how many pieces are left?
Each table had to come up with their own answer. Strategies from pictures, to number lines to math sentences were used. More so than finding the correct answer I was impressed at how the students began their work, attempted their strategies and were ok to go back and revise or change their strategy. I've been noticing the independence is growing within room 72. Students have learned to show what they know and make an attempt before simply saying "I don't know" or "It's to hard." Great job room 72!!!
With the warmer temperatures hope you are able to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.
Wednesday, March 6 … A day in the life of a grade 2 student at Evergreen.
Instead of a whole day I will give you a snap shot of some of the things we did over the last 2 days.
We’ve been studying the culture and traditions of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Yesterday we learned that the Blackfoot were nomads. See if your learner can remember what this term means. Here’s a hint, it has something to do with the buffalo. Maybe your learner can tell you why the buffalo were important to the Blackfoot people.
We learned some new math games this week. The first game is penny, nickel, dime. The object of this game to get to one dollar without going over. A dice is rolled. Whatever number comes up the student has the option to add a penny, nickel or dime that many times. For example, if the number 3 was rolled and the student selects a dime (10 cents) they will have 30 cents. This process continues for 7 dice rolls adding your sum to your previous total. Object is to end up with exactly 1 dollar at the end of 7 rolls without going over. A fun way to practice addition and secretly working on multiplication!
In science, we looked at the “Water Crisis” that is happening in the world today.
After watching a few videos, we did some research on how water in our world is getting polluted. Students visited the website http://goo.gl/uCGp2J
to answer some questions and illustrate some pictures.
After watching a few videos, we did some research on how water in our world is getting polluted. Students visited the website http://goo.gl/uCGp2J to answer some questions and illustrate some pictures.
Just a few highlights from the last 2 days.
Monday, March 4, 2019
I’m trying to find a word to describe the day… It was a good day, the students were on task and there was lots of work done. I just didn’t get to any knew material. Didn’t realize we had so many things on the go… I guess today can be described as continuing with pre-existing work, moving closer to our end game.
Miss Jones is eager to complete our Sharkology project. I modified the morning activities to include some time to work on this task. Have to admit that the students are doing some outstanding work. We are just completing our rough copies before diving into the actual page that will go into the Sharkology book. Between you and me some of the rough copies are strong enough to make it into print!
For math today we continued working on our “Operation Consecutive Numbers’ task. We shared some of our operations and answers today.
Our Paleontologist writing continued today. Most students have finished recording facts about their dinosaur. We watched some videos on how paleontologists use clues in the fossil record to figure out how the dinosaur may have died before it became fossilized. There was a good class discussion as students used their imagination through the lens of a paleontologist to share their ideas. Lots of vigorous writing. I had 5 students hand in their work, I’m looking forward to reading their ideas.
Evaporation >> Condensation >> Precipitation >> Collection is the cycle known as the Water Cycle. Mr. W read to the class while they worked on their Water Cycle diagrams. In case you haven’t heard we have been reading the Humphrey books. We’ve been following the adventures of this lovable rodent as he interacts with the students in Mrs. Brisbane’s class. Students were working diligently as I read. When I stopped for a pencil sharpening break and assessed the work it’s evident the students are doing great work. You can check it out at student lead conferences.
We finished off our day sketching Blackfoot artifacts. The Museokit has been returned to the Glenbow Museum so we are using pictures to finish off our sketches. Tomorrow we will be investigating the artifacts further in depth. Many students have identified the dog and horse artifacts as toys. They are actual model representations for dogs and horses which were important animals to the Blackfoot community but more on that tomorrow.
Hope everyone has a nice relaxing evening.
Wednesday, February 27
It's been a busy couple of days. I'll try and give you the low down on the events in room 72.
Science: We did an experiment where we looked at how wind and heat effect evaporation. We measured 250ml of water into 4 containers. One container was under a heater, another was under a fan and our control container sat at the front of the room. We let the containers sit for most of the day before measuring them again. We recorded our results and discussed our findings. See if your child can tell you the effects of wind and water on evaporation. Today we looked at the Water Cycle. Students are in the process of creating their own water cycle diagram for display in our classroom.
Math: We looked at building numbers. Students were given 3 numbers (4, 2 and 7). Looking at place value students had to create the largest and smallest number possible. When finished they had to explain in their own words why they used the order they did. We also did some number line work. Using a partial number line students had to place numbers and explain their choices. Building on our number line work we investigated negative numbers. When we measure temperature the values can become negative. Large negative numbers result in indoor recess. We created a number line with zero in the middle. Negative numbers went to the left, positive numbers to the right. Yes, this is a horizontal thermometer! Students learned that 4 - 6 results in a value of -2. If you have a moment see if they can explain to you how they got this answer.
Literacy: We laid down the ground work for our fossil project. Thursday we we spend more time investigating writing like a paleontologist. Book club is in full swing and students are eager to level up in their reading. I'm happy to see students applying different reading strategies when they encounter difficult words!
Social: Sketching Blackfoot artifacts. I love the enthusiasm of this group. I've witnessed some very detailed drawings and have been enjoying the students interpretations on some of the artifacts. The kit is returned to the Glenbow Museum on Friday. Tomorrow we will finish with our sketching that start investigating this First Nation culture in more detail. I think the authentic arrow we unveiled today was a big hit and sparked lots of discussion amongst the students.
That in a nutshell is a brief overview of the last 2 days. I'm glad to say it was so nice to get outside today for lunch and afternoon recess. I noticed a difference in behavior during the last hour of the day. Enjoy your evening.
Remember to work on your home project. It's due March 15. It's a family timeline. The sheet that went home should explain in more details.I had 1 sheet left behind so there might be one of you out there that needs more details.
Monday, February 25... The day flew by!
I can't believe how fast the day went. Maybe because some new concepts were introduced, but seemed like things just got going and its was time to head home.
Students were given a home project. A letter and a time line were sent. The letter explains, in more detail, that students are to create a family time line. Protect is to be completed by March 15. Please check back backs for this information. I realize that a back pack can sometimes eat homework, if you require another letter or time line please let me know sooner rather than later. The time lines do take a bit of time to assemble and I didn't make any extra.
Today we started looking at the Blackfoot Museokit from the Glenbow Museum. There were some very interesting artifacts for us to examine. Gloves must be warn when handling the artifacts and special precautions need to be taken to ensure the artifacts remain safe and void of damage. The students will get to explore these artifacts throughout the week as we investigate the First Nations culture of the Blackfoot.
We continued to break down numbers in math. After our mental math questions we took a look at creating numbers on an abacus:
We can make 7 numbers. See if you child can show you what this numbers are.
We finished of the day discussing what we thought Paleontology means. Our next writing piece we are going to write about the fossils we created. The goal is to write from the perspective of a paleontologist discussing how we we think our fossil came to be. Think this is an engaging topic and looking forward to seeing what these young writers come up with.
That was a quick overview with a few highlights from the day. Have a wonderful evening.
Friday, February 22
We finished off the week strong! Have to admit that the energy level seems higher on Friday... Higher but in a good way. Highlights from this morning:
Math We worked on a snowman problem. Some of the students struggled with a strategy to solve the problem. We worked through a solution together. If you have time this weekend review the problem and have your child talk about the strategy they would use. Here's the problem:
Science We worked on putting two new vocabulary term into our visual journal, milliliters and evaporation. Yesterday we measure 500 ml of water and put it into an open container and 500 ml in a closed container. We are letting the containers sit over the weekend. We made predictions on was we think would happen. On Monday, we will measure the water and see if our predictions were correct.
Social Studies\Art Next week we will be looking at the Blackfoot. The grade 2's have a Museokit of Blackfoot artifacts to investigate. To build on our drawing skills we looked at a video call Austin's Butterfly.
We followed up the video by taking a look at Leonardo Da Vinci. The Da Vinci sketch uses lots of details and invokes the 5 senses. Mr. Welechuk brought out some artifacts for the students to practices their drawing skills. Yes, there was a metamorphic rock and a couple of risks with fossils.
The Da Vinci sketching will greatly assist us in recording the Blackfoot artifacts next week.
Physical Education We concluded the morning with some gym time. A quick warm up with some laps around the gym, followed by some catching skills with a tennis ball, concluded with an exciting game of bench ball. Students hurried back into the classroom to complete their jobs for those ever desired welebucks.
The morning was over in a flash! Have a great weekend, enjoy some down time. Let that brain recharge! Lot's of interesting things to learn next week.
Wednesday, February 20
We’re 2 for 2! Two great days of learning!
Mrs. Roworth stopped by and we built soccer balls with our geometry shapes (20 Hexagons & 12 Pentagons). Students were divided into 3 groups and had to work as a team to strategize and build the soccer ball… aka truncated icosahedron!
Wednesday is our Sharkology day! Room 72 is doing an excellent job. All students are working on designing their page and making sure their information is well represented. Lots of interesting designs, when this book comes together readers are really going to want to read it!
We did an experiment called The Perfect Raincoat. There were a few students that didn’t know what a raincoat was… we had a discussion and decided the best definition was a waterproof coat where the rain slips off of it. If the water goes into a coat this is known as absorbency. The more water that goes into the coat, the greater the absorbency. Our materials were tin foil, paper, plastic bag, newspaper, sponge and cloth. We investigated the sponge and determined that this was the material that would absorb the most water. The sponge has holes in it, which hold the water. This would make a really heavy raincoat.
Before recess our classroom started to smell. It turns out the sump pump was working overtime. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the gather spaces catching up on our Totem Project and our Idea Map writing. Luckily Hopewell was in the building to get right on the problem. I think this mishap is going to lead to some insightful conversations tomorrow.
Have a great evening!
Tuesday, February 19… Back to routine!
As 8:30 approached Mr. Welechuk was apprehensive. Would the students be riled up from a 5-day break? Would we have to review classroom behavior? Would this be one of those days where I go home completely exhausted? We as it turns out we had a great day of learning. Students settled into their reading. The room was quiet and this set the tone for the day.
Our last story was typed for our Totem Project and all students are now working on perfecting their totems. We have talked about paying attention to detail with our sketching as well as details when we stylize our totems. Mr. Welechuk has pretty high standards. He can provide feedback but ultimately you have to take responsibility for your work. It’s ok to take a risk. Erasers were invented to help us back corrections and better our work. With that said a few students decided to redo their work. To be honest, totems are exceeding my expectations and looking good. When we display our work it’s going to look good!
Building on taking pride in our work we moved onto math. Today’s task was to take a number from circle A and a number from circle B to add up to 10. It was pretty simple work. After students completed their work we discussed student lead conferences. The question was asked, “Would your parents be impressed with your work?” After some consideration and ideas on how to make our work presentable, we revised our work and gave ourselves a mark (1-4). A 3 is really good work but a 4 is something you’ve done to go above and beyond what was asked. I had to chuckle as I was getting answers such as “Mine is a high 3!” I like how the class is critically analyzing their work and providing each other with feedback.
As students worked on their poem interpretations, Mr. Welechuk read story. We are following Humphrey the hamster as he helps a group of students and their families navigate their real world problems. We encountered the word “reluctantly.” Part of our job is to use this word in a sentence tonight with our parents.
Building on our science experiment from last week we looked at layering liquids. We talked about why some liquids are heavier than others. We discussed the term density. Below is a picture of our results when we added 5 liquids to a container. See is your learner can tell you which liquids are in the picture. Can they identify which liquid has the highest density? Lowest density? Why?
Enjoy the warm weather! Have a great night.
Wednesday, February 13
Today for math we looked at shapes on a soccer ball. We identified a hexagon and a pentagon. These shapes combined to form a sphere. The challenge was to figure out how many hexagons and how many pentagons make up the sphere. Easy task right? We just need to count the shapes.
In groups of 3 students were given a soccer ball and off they went to count hexagons and pentagons. After giving the students time to explore we came together as a large group to share our answers. Lots of different answers were given. Hmmm. I thought this was an easy task. Why couldn’t we agree? What are some strategies we could use to count these shapes?
We also had a talk about changing or second-guessing our answer at the last minute when we think some else has gotten the answer correct. We have to believe in the work we do we do.
As soon as one group figured out they could mark the ball with tape and label the shapes the rest of the class caught on. We then started to have more consistent numbers between the groups.
We spent lots of time working on some projects we have on the go. Our totem project is almost complete. Students are working on completing their totem art. Students spent time on their Sharkology Project and we finished up our sequential writing lesson. In this lesson we created an idea map, drew the setting and marked out events that happened. We then wrote about these events in our journal.
There was also time to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We created Valentine Bags to hold our cards. Students then spent time handing out their cards and wishing each other a happy Valentine’s Day. Thanks for all the wonderful Valentine's Day wishes!!
It was a short week and we managed to get quite a bit of work done. Enjoy your 5-day weekend and I hope everyone has an awesome Family Day on Monday! I’ll see the class on Tuesday for another week of learning.
Monday, February 11
Highlights from today include but not limited to...
Looking at images of a dice face and figuring out what number you need to add to make 10. We also looked at adding 123 and 333. Today we broke down the numbers into ones, tens and hundreds. It's pretty easy to count all the hundreds, then all the tens and then all the ones. Way easier to add these numbers together.
For writing today we created an idea map. Thinking of a memory we drew a picture (map) of the setting. We then marked and labelled the sequence of events that took place in this memory. Our next step is to take this sequence of events and write a narrative using juicy words to engage the reader.
Mr. Welechuk also made some changes to Book Club. Reading levels increased and some of the groups were switched up to make more cohesive reading groups. Thanks for your continued work to read with your child each night. Lots of students are filling up their reading logs!
Looks like it's going to be another chilly week. I have to admit that I miss the recess breaks outside. Students start to get a little stir crazy in the afternoon.
Enjoy your evening and a reminder that valentines day card exchanges will be on Wednesday due to the short week.
Friday, February 8
Morning just flew by! We started off working on our Totem Project. Mr. Welechuk will be busy this weekend looking at the finished stories. Most should be ready for printing after the final edits. Hopefully we can get the totem poles and writing pieces published next week.
Students did some math work around adding 10 to a number they got from an abacus. Our strategy of breaking numbers apart came in handy as the challenge question involved adding 2 2-digit numbers together. While organization of our data has improved today we were a bit messy. Probably a Friday thing, calculations and problem solving were solid.
We also further investigated surface tension. It can be a complex topic for a 7 year but when you see how a water spider can stay afloat due to surface tension it makes learning more interesting.
Surface Tension Video
Only 3 days of school next week! A reminder that if brining valentines to school the exchange will be on Wednesday. Please ensure that there is a valentine for each student in the class. I sent out a class list earlier this week.
Have an outstanding weekend!
Thursday, February 7
This morning we started of the day finishing our science experiment. We were looking at water droplets and with the shape and size. After investigating what a droplet looks like on a piece of paper we started to change some variables that gave us more insight to the properties of water. We observed that when two water droplets get close together they attract! When the attraction is strong we can say it is cohesive. The outside of the water droplet has something called surface tension, which pulls the water into round drops. When we added more drops to our droplet it got bigger because of the cohesive force. The greater cohesive force the higher the liquid will heap.
We also did some further investigation of surface tension. We sprinkled pepper on the surface of water and added dish soup. We observed how the soap weakens the surface tension and the pepper moved to the side of the container.
Today was also a big math day for room 72. We spent time working on nets of a cube. Students have been spending time build a cube then looking at the net, which created it. The goal of the task is to find all the different nets.
We also spent time breaking down and building numbers. Today the students were given word problems and had to explain how they got their answer.
A two-digit number has more tens than ones. What number could that be?
Can you model a number with 11 base ten blocks. What could the number be?
Was a good of learning in room 72! I'm finding that the afternoons are more difficult with some students. If I could get parents to reinforce that listening and staying on task are important part of their learning that would be appreciated. Stay warm and don’t forget to do some home reading this evening.
Tuesday, February 5… Good to be back in the classroom!
Despite the cold weather it’s good to be back in the classroom. The students were well behaved and I was impressed with their ability to focus, make good choices and stay on task. With that said there was a bit of cabin fever toward the end of the morning.
Today we work hard on getting our totem stories typed up and shared with Mr. W. Most students finished this part of the project and have moved onto to stylizing their totem. Things are looking good and the students are eager to post there work around the school.
We worked on adding the number ten to a series of ten frames. This work is quite easy for the students but the challenge of adding two of your answers together requires more in-depth thought. We discussed how to decompose the larger numbers into tens and ones to help us solve the problem.
In the afternoon we did a Racing Liquids experiment. We used, water, oil, vinegar, ketchup and syrup. Droplets of each liquid were placed at the starting line on a cookie sheet. We made some predictions then tilted the cookie sheet to see which liquid would get to the finish line first. We then recorded our observations in our visual journal which included a detailed diagram of the experiment.
We then discussed how a liquids resistance to flow is called VISCOSITY. Low viscosity liquids are water and vinegar. These liquids flow fast and reached the finish line first. Ketchup and Syrup have high viscosity and flow slowly. Ketchup didn’t even reach the finish line! We discovered though that the tilt of the cookie sheet was a variable we could change to make the ketchup flow faster. This should provide you with some interesting table talk tonight!
Stay warm and have a relaxing evening.
Monday, February 4
Happy Monday! Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend despite the cold weather. Mr. Welechuk was away today at a teachers workshop. We had a sub lead the students through their learning today. The day started with some reading before heading to the Learning Commons. Mrs. Shuman read a story and the students demonstrated proper etiquette while being in this space. Students then analyzed a poem on liquids to link with our science unit. Mrs. V joined the class after gym the the students broke off into their Book Club groups. Before lunch the students learned a new math game. Using a tens dice and a ones dice the students took turns rolling and building the number using base 10 diagrams to represent the number. For example if they rolled a 30 and 2, they will show 3 base 10 blocks and 2 ones. After lunch the students continued to work on math. Looking at dominoes the students had to figure the number on the domino and add 10. For practice tonight give them a number and ask them to add ten to it. Can they explain to you how they got their anew They students finished off the day working in their visual journals. Students were to organize their page into 3 sections record the definition for Gas, State and Change of State. To enhance their learning a picture was required to visually represent their understandings.
Mr. W is back in the classroom tomorrow and looking forward to seeing the troop. Stay warm and have a wonderful evening.
Tuesday, January 29… Jake turns into a gas!
Missing toque... Yesterday a purple toque went missing from the classroom. It has a couple of purple pom moms on it. If it showed up in someones back pack by accident could it please be returned.
This morning students arrived in class to find Jake had turned into a liquid!
This is pretty much what was predicted. Jakes eyes, nose and mouth settle on the bottom still in the position of his face!
During this observation the term evaporation came up in our discussion. When water evaporates it turns into a gas and goes into the air. We were wondering how long the process would take for Jake to become apart of the air. Someone mentioned that as things warm up evaporation happens faster. This afternoon Mr. Welechuk will turn on the wok and we’ll test that prediction.
We organized our Totem Project this morning. Students got into their groups; Mr. Welechuk provided a group with a project checklist. Students had to discuss where everyone was in the project then report back to Mr. W with their status and plan on how they were going to finish. Once they demonstrated their plan of attack they could have snack!
Mrs. Roworth stopped by to continue on with our Geometry learning. All students were able to show and record the 2D shapes they observed in a 3D shape. Mrs. Roworth was impressed and the classes ability to organize their work. All that practice with organizing Math Message has paid off. Students are in the process of building 3D shapes and naming them. Our next steps will be to try and build a 3D shape from an example.
In the afternoon we boiled Jake. Students were able to observe steam coming off the water. The steam is a gas state of the liquid. It moves into the air as it cools and eventually we can’t see it! We recorded our observation in our visual journals.
We also said good-bye to Nunavut today. We looked at our last few slides and students got to the task of recording their 3 favorite things and a memory. We did it! We have visited all 10 provinces and 3 territories. It was along trip but we got to explore and investigate Canada’s dynamic communities. As we move forward we will take a look at some of Canada’s communities from the past (Acadians, Arctic, Inuit, and Blackfoot).
Enjoy your evening!
Monday, January 28… Snowman Lifecycle!
The day started off with looking at the lifecycle of a snowman. We named our snowman Jake. He was made up of three solid ice balls.
We sketched what Jake looked like at the beginning of the day and recorded our observations. We repeated the process after lunch and Mr. Welechuk captured a picture of Jake at the end of the day. We predicted that Jake would melt and turn into a liquid. Many thought that Jake would have melted by the end of the day but he’s still there soaking in a chilly pool of water. We wonder in the container (an old wok) that Mr. Welechuk has been saving since his first university degree will be able to hold all the water. We’ll have to wait and find out tomorrow.
Mr. Welechuk is curious to see how the students will react when the wok is plugged in and Jake turns into a gas.
The students’ had model behavior in the Learning Commons this morning. They say quietly while Mrs. Shuman read a story before picking out books and reading quietly. They did a nice job at finding a quiet place instead of choosing to sit and talk with their friends. Mr. Welechuk had to do a double take… could this be the start of great day of learning?
We investigated decomposing numbers and looking a 1 blocks and ten blocks. By looking at a 2-digit number you can determine how many 10’s you have and how many 1’s you have. For example the number 23 has 2 tens blocks a 3 ones block:
It was then easy to decompose numbers. By looking at the numbers in the tens placing we knew how many sets of 10’s there were. The number in the ones placing let us knows how many ones. We discovered that adding two-digit numbers together can become easy when you break apart the number count by 10’s and then by 1’s! More practice tomorrow!
We continued to work on our Totem Project. Many students are now in the phase of typing their individual totem story. Mr. Welechuk is impressed at the students’ ability to logon, create a document and share it with Mr. W. Students are learning to troubleshoot issues and ask peers for help when problems arise. I’m hoping to get this project finished this week.
In the afternoon we observed Jake and recorded our findings in our visual journal before exploring Nunavut. We left Iqaluit to explore the beautiful parks. Each park took use closer to the North Pole (Auyuittuq National Park, Sirmilik National Park, and Quttinirpaaq National Park). These parks are truly wilderness parks. Very few people visit them and the weather, terrain and wildlife can be treacherous. Perhaps our biggest lesson in the day can from investigating the high prices of food in Nunavut. We watched a few videos and discussed why food prices are so high in these communities. Mr. Welechuk created a scenario where steak cost $25, 2 potatoes cost $5 and a head of broccoli cost $10. This was for a single meal. We looked at our welebucks and found out that some students would not be able to afford all the ingredients for dinner. Some could afford to eat for two days but then their money was gone. We agreed that prices in our community of Calgary would be less for these items. Having to ship food items north is costly and increases prices. A nice discussion ensued where we talk about how to earn welebucks. Mr. Welechuk had an intake of 58 welebucks today and some students are feeling the desire to earn some more!
Heavy day of learning in room 72! Hope you have a great evening and I’ll see the learners tomorrow morning.
Thursday, January 24
Totem Stories… Room 72 loves to write and share. Today in Author’s Chair, Mr. Welechuk read the stories that were handed in for editing. After reading the story we discussed the elements of story. We analyzed the story for these elements and provided feedback to the author. When Author’s Chair was completed, students eagerly got back into their writing. Taking the feedback, revising, editing and adding to their work. Students were so engaged in their work Mr. Welechuk decided to continue writing and skip the math lesson. The students think we’re going to do the lesson but it will be part of the plan tomorrow.
We organized ourselves into our reading groups after recess and students did a great job with Book Club. Before we started Book Club, Mrs. Janis (subbing for Ms McNabb) stopped in to comment on how neatly the boots were organized outside room 72. It’s one of the jobs students can sign up for to earn a welebuck. Thanks to Jon for doing an outstanding job to make another teacher take notice.
We finished off the morning with Sound Kreations and music.
After lunch Mr. Welechuk read story (The World According to Humphrey) while students spent a few minutes catching up on work. I personally like how calm and quiet the room gets when I read to the class.
To get to the north, we need to take an airplane. We traded in our bus for an airplane to explore Nunavut. Nunavut is the most recent addition to Canada, only becoming it’s own territory in 1999. The population here is over 80% Inuit, and the Arctic environment makes for some amazing, beautiful landscapes. Since the people here are mostly all Inuit people, we agreed to would be good to learn more about their culture. We even learned a bit of their language: Inuktituk and watched some throat singing!
It can be a challenge to get out and explore this territory, due to weather, how far apart everything is, and the fact you have to travel by plane to many places.
We flew over Baffin Islandto see how beautiful it is! We landed in Inqaluit, the capital city, and discovered what a typical day might look like in this city.
Our day was finished off recording some our new liquid vocabulary into our visual journals. Students had to create a 1-column table with 3 rows. We are getting much better at spacing our boxes to produce neat and organized work.
Just one more day till the weekend! Have a terrific evening, don’t forget to read.
Wednesday, January 23… winter returns to Calgary!
Today room 72 was on the move.
We started our day with some catch up work. In preparation for our science experiment in the afternoon we completed our table. Students had to draw a table (with a ruler) and label the 5 columns and 6 rows in order to participate in the experiment this afternoon. Two words for this task… spatial awareness! Erasers were used to readjust lines.
We tackled some mental math. There were 30 subtraction questions that got increasingly more difficult. Mr. Welechuk put a ten-minute time limit on it. The classroom is so quiet as the students apply their subtraction strategies.
From there we moved to the gym for some hip-hop dancing:
Evergreen School is having a blast with Mr. Josh as our Sound Kreations Residency continues. This program has been a supplement to the regular Phys. Ed program to explore different forms of dance. The SHARING on Friday is for students to celebrate with each other and show small (90 second) samples of what they have been working on in class. This is not a polished performance. If they haven't already, please ask your child to share some of their moves and choreography with you at home.
Fun Fact: Hip-Hop was invented in 1973.
NOT-so-Fun-Fact: Ms Roworth is older than Hip-Hop!
PE Teacher/Curriculum Support
From Hip to Music, then some geometry. Students took a 3D shape and had to draw the 2D shapes that made up the 3D shape. For example a cube has 6 sides, each side (or face) is a 2D square. This concept was a bit tricky for some of the students. It was fun helping them explore and process what they were seeing.
Students worked on their Totem Stories. Many of them finished and have handed them in for some editing. I’m looking forward to reading them especially after discussing character, setting and plot! Many students are excited to share their story during Author’s Chair.
Before starting our science experiment we review transparent and opaque. We introduced the term dissolve. We took some hot chocolate power (solid) noted how it dissolved into a liquid. The resulting liquid was opaque!
All in all, another great day of learning in room 72.
Have an awesome evening! Stay warm.
Tuesday, January 22
Mr. Welechuk was away in the morning for a dentist appointment. Mrs. Lewko came in to guide the students through the morning learning. Reports back were good. Only 5 welechuks were paid. Mr. Welechuk was so happy from this report he paid out 21 welebucks to the students for being such great ambassadors for room 72!
In the morning the students continued one with previous set assignments: NWT Journal, Individual Totem Story & Art and Book Club. New learning came in math where the students investigated 2D & 3D shapes. They learned some new vocabulary:
- Uni = 1
- Bi = 2
- Tri = 3
- Quad = 4
- Penta = 5
- Hexa = 6
- Hepta = 7
- Octa = 8
- Nona = 9
- Deca = 10
They learned that shapes with these names give an indication of how many sides they have. Still lots more investigating to do!
In the afternoon we finished our NWT Journal entries and began looking at Nunavut. We are reading the “Hey Canada!” book before we start each province and territory. We take a look at what Gran and her 2 grandkids do before we drive our bus and investigate it ourselves. There are lots of interesting things to explore and we will investigate the Inuit culture as a separate unit. Our journey is almost complete!
We also investigated liquids this afternoon. We know that solids have their own shape and liquids take the shape of their container but are all liquids the same? Liquids have different properties. Today we learned about what opague and transparent mean. See if you can get your child to tell you about these words tonight, Syrup, oil and vinegar will be used to in our experiment.
It’s shaping up to be a great week! Get it? We are learning about shapes and I used shaping in my closing sentence… I know bad joke. Hope everyone has a great evening. Don’t forget about home reading.
Monday, January 21
Sound Creations Blog:
It was great to see Josh back today and the kids were happy to show off what they learned last week with Melissa! Some classes have learned their whole performance dance, and some classes were learning the first halves of their dances. Grade 3's were introduced to some Funk moves like `The Fresno', `The Walkout' and the `Neck-o-Flex', all from the 1970's. The next 3 days will be spent improving and making our dances ready to share.
PE Teacher/Curriculum Support
Highlights from the classroom:
We investigated adverbs today. For our first exposure to this concept the students picked up on how to identify quickly!
- An adverb tells us more about the verb (it adds to the verb).
- Many adverbs end with the suffix "ly" but not all.
- Adverbs often tell us how something happened.
We started a new writing assignment. To go along with our group story we created with our totem pole, students are now writing an individual story about their totem. Both the group and individual story will be typed and displayed with our Totem Pole art.
In math we continued to look at more, less and difference. The concept is pretty routine now. Mr. Welechuk was extra particular with organizing your data neatly. Students are showing improvement and taking pride in their work. Without prompting they offer each other feedback on their work.
We finished off our trek through the Northwest Territories. One of the highlights was the Diavik Diamond mine. We watched as the miners used explosives to break apart the frozen earth. The lose dirt was then loaded into these massive dump trucks and driven 350km away across frozen highways. Yes, that's right! The highways is actually on frozen lakes in winter. The next phase is to sort through the dirt and separate the diamonds. There's a pretty cool looking hole in the earth where the mine is located.
Just a brief overview of the day! Enjoy your evening.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
This morning we finished up our journal entries with our first science experiment. We talked about labeling our diagram and making sure we had accurate diagrams that best represented what we had observed. Mr. Welechuk noted and improvement to our sketching when compared to our magnetism unit.
We did some mental math work with subtraction. This time there were 20 questions that got progressively more challenging. When you have to subtract a two digit number from a two digit number new strategies have to be used… mainly decomposing numbers and regrouping. We also investigated finding out if 6 tables have 55 toys how many toys do we have in total?
Lots of good strategies from regroup, decomposing numbers and even some multiplication!
We also continued to look at more, less and difference terms with our math message.
We got into our Book Club groups and spent 30 minutes reading to each other. We took time to stop and discuss the characters, setting and plot of the story. Students are getting good at articulating what the problem is in the story and making predictions on how it will be solved. With home reading you can start to ask the students about these elements of the story to help with their comprehension.
Fun lunch was, exactly that, fun! WE ate in our classroom and took turns telling jokes. Mostly knock-knock jokes. They started to get a bit silly but it was time to head outside for lunch time recess… Phew!
After lunch it was time for some hip-hop work. Students are busting out the moves! t
- Hip Hop Ready Pose
- Swag (finding your own style of `cool')
- Patty Duke
- Aunt Jackie
- DJ (Wicka Wicka Whaaaa)
- MC (Yo Yo!)
- Free Style
I’m excited to see the final routine!
Totem stories are coming together. We presented our first drafts to the class this afternoon. Next step is to take the feedback and edit the story.
And that faithful followers is they way Mr. Welechuk saw it today!
Have a wonderful evening, enjoy the champagne snow and stay warm!
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Mr. Josh from Sound Creations was in an accident this morning and unable to make it into Evergreen so our morning got shuffled around a bit.
We continued to practice estimation. This time we had 3D prompts to look at. The students did a good job with their estimations and without any prompting from Mr. Welechuk they were calculating the difference between the actual amount and their estimation. We practiced three estimations (34, 15 and 24).
The class challenged challenged to find the total number of marbles from all three estimations. The super challenge was to figure out how many marbles we have in total if we have 6 tables of 73 marbles. Some students recognized this was multiplication! We decided to decompose 73 into 50, 20 and 3. By adding each of those numbers 6 times and putting those answers together we could solve the problem.
Mrs. Broomfield lead the students through Sharkology. Many students have moved onto the next part of the project, designing your Sharkology page. They were given a set of criteria we previously determined at the start of the project. We had brainstormed ideas on neat things we saw in other ology books that we would like to see in our book. Lots of busy pencils! There were students that were still in the gathering information stage. It’s amazing how much work can get done when the project moves forward and you have to complete work to start the next phase. Think the end product will look spectacular.
Our journey in the NWT continued. We toured through Inuvik. This city is north! It seems like we are at the top of the world… we practically are. We investigated Inukshuks, The Igloo Church, and the community greenhouse before taking a floatplane to Tuktut Nogait National Park. This park is 170km north of the arctic circle! In the park is La Ronciere Falls, which are very pretty. We decided to camp here overnight before taking the plane back to Inuvik and start heading south.
On our way south we stopped at Fort Simpson. We got a chance to look at the McPherson House, the oldest house in Fort Simpson. There was no electricity or running water. Food was stored in the cellar and water was obtained from water wells underground.
We then visited Nahanni National Park. This was a true wildlife experience. Mr. Ted Simpson took us on a floatplane tour. We got to see Angel Falls! They are twice as high a Niagara Falls in Ontario. There are many hikes to do, even one that takes you to the top of the falls.
We finished off the day looking at liquids. We learned that solids have their own shape. While liquids take the shape of their container. We poured water into containers to prove this statement. Each table had 4 containers which the students had to draw and label in their visual journals. We determined that food coloring was a liquid because it took the shape of its container. A drop was added and we watched how it slowly swirled around looking like a mystical cloud before dissolving and becoming a solid color. I wonder why it did that? Tomorrow we will investigate that further.
Enjoy your evening!
Tuesday, January 15
Today we continued looking at the elements of a story. We took a closer look at the plot. We know that the plot has a beginning middle and end. The plot also has a problem and a solution. We watched a video “plot mountain” that explain things in more detailed we saw how characters and setting were part on the introduction. There was a rising action (problem) before the climax (solution) and falling action before the resolution. Pretty advanced concepts for grade 2 but the students did link the rising action, climax and falling action to the middle of the story.
Morning was heavy on math concepts. We did some work on “more” and “less” concepts. When we say 2 more we add or plus to the number and when we say 2 less subtract or minus from the number. We did a lesson on estimation and another in geometry. We looked at shapes and did some sorting. We learned the difference between 2D and 3D shapes. 2D shapes are flat while 3D shapes have size and dimension.
Students are finishing up their journal entries for the Yukon. We are starting to use the computers more to search for pictures. Students are using the computer responsibly and quality of drawings has improved. Being able to look at a picture closely enables to add more details.
We travelled along the Dempster highway from Dawson City to Inuvik. This is a dirt road and the bus was covered in dust. However, it didn’t stop us from seeing the breath taking views along the way. We would have to be careful drivers travelling this highway in winter. Did you know that license plates in NWT are shaped like polar bears? It would be cool to have one of those on our bus but our bus is from Alberta and is rectangular in shape. We did a quick stop at Fort McPherson Tent & Canvas Company. This is a local company that makes really cool canvas tents and Tee Pees for camping. Tomorrow we will explore Inuvik.
We finished off our day working in our visual journals. It’s been awhile since we used them. Over the next couple of weeks we will be adding our experiments we do on liquids. Today we drew and labeled a picture of a water molecule. Using some critical thinking and problem solving we discovered we could use a water bottle and our pencil sharpeners to draw circles that were representative of the picture on the SmartBoard.
As I scan across the classroom I see no shoes and a very clean classroom. Tables have been wiped and the boot rack has been organized, ll this with no direct prompting. Looks like Mr. Welechuk will be paying out some welebucks!
Have a wonderful evening and we will see the troop tomorrow morning.
Monday, January 14… Hip-Hop Dancing! Welebucks are in play all day…
Today we started off with Quiet Silent Reading. Twelve welebucks were paid for not reading, distracting others and talking. There’s no arguing when you have to relinquish some bucks for not adhering to the expectation. There’s even been discussion on how to earn some welebucks back. I’ve been able to read with several students during our QSR time. I’ve seen an improvement since the beginning of the year. Lots of students are leveling up in their reading!
We spent time in the Learning Commons. We discussed what appropriate behavior is in a public space with other classes. We upped the anti to $5 for not adhering to the expectation. We also agreed that $2 could be rewarded for staying on task and setting a good example. Mr. Welechuk paid out several welebucks.
Students then worked on their Totem Pole stories. This is a group story based on the work we did last week. Students soon came to realize that not everyone shares the same ideas but we have to listen to make sure everyone is heard and combine ideas so everyone contributes. It was nice to circulate the classroom and see the students being respectful and collaborating their ideas.
Sound Creations is in the house. Students will be learning a hip-hop routine over the next 2 weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product! Think this may be the high light of the day.
We continued with some math work with less than and difference before dissecting a poem. Today Mr. Welechuk challenged the students to create a boarder around their poem and stylize it. When we get to the step of building our totem poles students will need to stylize their totem to make it look authentic. Having this practice will be beneficial to our art work.
We hopped on the bus and finished exploring the Yukon. In Dawson Creek and investigated what life must have been like during the Gold Rush. Panning for gold takes time but the reward of the labor seemed worth it. Now-a-days mining for gold uses machines to make the job easier. We stopped at Tombstone Park. The jagged mountains resembled tombstones from a distance. The vistas in this park are magnificent. We took a look at some of the local foods. Arctic Char is abundant, while the morel mushroom is delicacy that people eat, it kind of looks like a brain. It was also interesting to learn that honey is very popular in the Yukon. We will next drive the bus to the Northwest Territories. I’ve never been farther north that Fort McMurray and have been curious to learn about the Canadian Territories!
To end the day we started our next science unit. We are going to be discovering lots of interesting facts on liquids. Today we looked at what we already know about liquids, investigated why water is so important and looked at the what a molecule of water looks like.
It was a great day in room 72. The students were continually on task. Welebucks came in to the bank and welebucks were paid out. Tomorrow I will have 4 students that will have to pay 5 welebucks to get their shoes back. We don't leave them scattered at the back on the classroom for Mr. Welechuk to pick up! Looking forward to another great day of learning.
Friday, January 11
Friday was kind of a catch up day in room 72. We started off our day with either Quiet Silent Reading or finishing up Math Message 8.2. Welebucks were in play so the students settled quickly.
We transitioned into Math Message 8.3. Using 10 frames we did some math around the the concepts of "less than" and "difference." We took our time today and discussed ways in which we could organize our data. After looking at the work from 8.1 and 8.2 it was clear we needed help on data organization. After deciding on the best way to organize the data the students preceded to figure out what was two less than the number on the ten frame. The challenge question was to take two of your answers and find the difference.
We then continued our Totem Pole work. Students assembled in groups and finished their drawings of the their totems. They then had to decided on a story using their totems. They had to communicate and collaborate as a team. Their totems were glued onto a story board to help remind them of the sequence of totems in their story.
Mr. Welechuk finally scheduled in some time for Author's Chair. During this time students can share pieces of their writing with the class. As we haven't done this in awhile there was lots to share. Afterwards students were given time to work on their next piece of writing. During our Quiet 10 students could either work quietly on their story organizer (plot, characters, setting, problem and solution) or write in their journals. After the Quiet 10 students had the option to continue with individual writing or get together inter totem group to write their totem story.
The morning was finished off by some gym time before our 11:50 dismissal.
Thanks to Mrs. Shannon our fossil art has been posted in the hallway. Mrs. Broomfield commented on how "authentic" or art work looked. It's pretty cool looking stuff. We are fortunate to have Drumheller in our province to inspire us with this piece of art work.
Have a great weekend! We'll see the troop Monday morning at 8:30!
Thursday, January 10, 2019
The power of the welebuck!
Today the class was introduced to welebucks. What is a welebuck you may ask? It’s classroom currency. Each student was given sixty welebucks.
Mr. Welechuk gave each student a bag of welebucks. He didn’t say how many welebucks were in the bag. The first task was to count the welebucks. We discovered that each student had 60 welebucks. The rules are pretty simple follow the class contract keep your welebucks, break the class forfeit some welebucks. We will have an auction before spring break to buy some cool things. Welebucks can be earned by doing acts of kindness, random jobs around the classroom, and good behavior. The best part is we get to do math (without really knowing we are doing it)!
After counting our welebucks students had to show Mr. Welechuk how many different ways they could make the 5 welechuks. We discovered with the bucks we had their were 4 different ways to make 5. Before the lesson was over the students had to pay Mr. Welechuk 2 welebucks for teaching them.
In the morning we looked at the story element, setting. It not only tells us the where of the story it can tell us the when (night time, winter, in the future). Setting can also tell us about the mood of the story. For example, we looked at a picture of a swampy forest. This setting set a mood that was scary and spooky. Someone used the word cautious to describe how it made them feel.
In the afternoon we investigated totems that are used in First nations culture. A totem is a person or thing regarded as being symbolic or representative of a particular quality or concept. Pacific First Nation culture uses totems to build a totem pole to tell a story. We learned from a book called Totem Tale that each spot on the totem pole is important. There is a perfect fit to each totem pole and totem plays an important part. We also watch a short video called Totem. We learned how a young First Nations boy built a totem pole to honor the passing of his grandfather. It told a story of the first memories to his last memories.
Students were divided into groups and had to each pick a totem. We started the process of creating a totem pole. Students are the process of drawing their chosen totem. When totems are complete they will go through the process of creating a storyboard as a group. They will then write the story before building a totem pole. The engagement was outstanding. You could hear a pin drop. With that… two welebucks were awarded!
A quick note, report card envelopes need to be returned. Envelopes will be reused when report cards go home at the completion of the school year. Please send the folder back with your child.
Looks like the weather has warmed up and the weekend is just around the corner. Room 72 is looking like a solid group of learners poised for new knowledge and understanding.
Wednesday, January 9... Estimating, character traits, sharks, Yukon, less than and difference…
Among other things room 72 tackled the above lessons today.
Mrs. Roworth stopped by and we practiced estimating. We looked at marbles in a glass bowl and used our observations and brains to try and figure out the quantity. Using the same glass bowl and what we learned from our first estimation we tried to figure out other quantities. It was nice having a reference point to work from. When we revealed the actual amount we calculated the difference between that amount and our estimation.
We have been investigating the elements of a story in Writer’s Club. Today we took a look at characters. A character is who is in the story, who the story about. The things that make up a character are called character traits. How the character looks is called a physical trait. Things like blue eyes, tall and brown hair are physical traits. Things like helpful, sad, happy and rude are personality traits. Personality traits are discovered as we learn more about the character as we write. We use adjectives to describe our characters.
Mrs. Broomfield led the students through their Sharkology research. The students have gathered lots of information and have begun to organize and manage their data. The next phase of this project the students will begin the design of the actual book. Lauryn, Kerena and Yerin spent some extra time this afternoon helping Mrs. B get organized.
We investigated the Yukon in the afternoon. We stopped at in the capital city, Whitehorse. While Whitehorse would be considered an urban center it was very different than Calgary. We took a look at similarities and differences. One similarity is both cities are connected to a river. Did you know back around 1900 the Yukon River was the only way to get to Dawson City from the Yukon? I boat known as the SS Klondike had a crew of 23 that carried supplies and passengers between the 2 towns. Lots of great questions on how the boat operated mechanically. There might be a few future engineers in the classroom. The SS Klondike stopped transportation in 1955 when the road to Dawson City was complete. It’s way more economical to pay 1 driver in a semi to transport things than it is to pay a crew of 23. We stopped at Miles Canyon and took in the breath taking views. We imagined what it would be like to be back in the Klondike Gold Rush and using this water way as we travelled north in search of gold. We noted that the Yukon would be a great place to live, especially if we enjoy exploring the great outdoors. Lots of untouched wilderness.
We finished the day with a math exercise. We looked at some dominoes and calculated what two less was than the domino number. Building on our difference exercise from the morning our next step was to pick 2 dominoes and calculate the difference between them.
Students were well behaved today. They were focused on the tasks and quickly got back on track with a gentle reminder from Mr. Welechuk. By the end of the day I had some tired little people.
Hope everyone has a nice relaxing evening and gets some rest. Tomorrow is Thursday, January 10 and there’s more learning to do!
Tuesday, January 8
First I would like to send out a big thank you for the nice gifts I received before the holiday break. I appreciate the kindness and generosity. I did miss the students of room 72. I’m looking forward to some great learning as we start 2019.
Students arrived this morning to find a slight change to the classroom. Mr. Welechuk added some more desktop computers to the room and moved his desk to the other side. Students have shown a huge interest in typing out their journal entries. I was able to find some extra computers to accommodate the increase in demand for this part of our writing process. Students know how to create a goggle doc and share it with Mr. W. It allows for on the fly editing. It is still important to practice our printing skills before moving onto typing.
Today we completed our “Out My Window” writing. All students completed their typing and have a finished product ready for publishing. Our work will be posted on our Writer’s Board, complete with picture and descriptive writing. There were some outstanding similes that were used. Thanks to Mrs. Shannon for helping publish the final products!
We also discussed New Year’s Resolutions today. Resolutionsshould be something you want to do! Not something you don't want to do. This will give you the will power to do it! It should be positive and focus on the progress and not the outcome! The students came up with some great resolutions. We recorded our resolutions on the back of a New Year’s Resolution poem. We will review these throughout the semester and monitor our progress.
Our journey across Canada continued as we entered our first territory, Yukon. As we started to explore the northern part on the country it was evident that there is a lot of open space to explore. Only some roads are paved and the architecture is different. The buildings resemble something we might see in a western movie. We discovered that the Yukon is known for it’s gold. Many settlers, back in the day, moved to the Yukon in search of this valuable mineral. Still lots more to explore tomorrow.
Despite having some sleepy heads this morning the students did a great job with their day. We finished off the day completing our fossil art. I think they were happy to be back to their school routine. I’m thinking they (as well as me) will sleep well tonight.
Thursday, December 20
Tomorrow is school wide pajama day. Students are welcome to wear their PJ’s to school.
Janny was messing around with the motion detector last night. She likes playing with those darn bells.
Today was a pretty busy day in room 72. One of the things that impressed me this week was how quickly the students responded to queues when they were drifting off task. I’ve been told that the holiday break is a turning point for grade 2. They come back rested, already know the routines, and you can accomplish more things and a quicker pace. Time will tell. Regardless, I’m happy to be working with such a great group of kids.
Quick summary of the day and what we need to finish tomorrow:
We spent most of the day trying to finish up a few projects we have on the go.
- Out the Window
- Part 1: Draw picture, color, write 5 sentences that describe what you see (use at least 1 simile) - DONE
- Part 2: Have Mr. W edit your work – DONE
- Part 3: Create a goggle doc on the computer, share it with Mr. W, type your work, print it out – ONGOING
- Part 4: Add window bars to drawing, post work on Writer’s Board – NOT STARTED
- Fossil Art
- Part 1: Add plasticine to fossil outline – Almost done (few more students to complete.
- Part 2: Add tissue paper with water & glue to make it look really cool, like we just did an excavation – Friday’s Task.
Just a heads up… A bunch of artwork and some writing went home today. While the fossil art is really cool going to keep that at school for some writing inspiration after the break.
Reminder that report cards will be going home tomorrow. I’ll send out another reminder tomorrow.
Have a great evening.
Wednesday, December 19
Janny was was messing around with our holiday bells least night! We came in to find her in the air vent ready to swing across the classroom!
Yet another great day in room 72!
First thing this morning we worked on our Social Studies journal. Students continued to add their three favorite things about BC as well as a memory. We have been doing lots of peer feedback and revising our work. Pictures are looking pretty good.
Today in math we investigated the concept of estimation. It’s not a guess. A guess involves no thinking. It’s prediction where we use our brains to determine approximately what we think the answer is. We do this by observing and comparing. After looking at several examples we started calculating the difference between our estimated amount and the actual amount. Did you know that you could use estimation to determine how much paint you need to paint all the rooms in your house. “If you buy one can of paint, you can see how many walls you can paint with that one can, then estimate how many more cans you will need.” Said one smart student in room 72. Real world application, have to love it when that connection is made.
Students finished their shark research with Mrs. Broomfield this morning. When we come back from holidays we will start the second phase of the project, deciding what information we want to include in our Sharkology book and how we are going to organize our findings.
We worked on some writing today. We imagined what it would be like to be on the Polar Express looking out the window as we travel towards the North Pole. We brainstormed ideas and then drew a picture. We provide each other with feedback, revised and edited our work, before writing about it. Mr. Welechuk asked for a minimum of 5 sentences. There had to be at least 1 simile and students needed to use lots of descriptive writing.
We finished off the day with some work on our fossil art.
With the break quickly approaching, Thursday will be a busy day to complete our projects we have on the go.
Have a wonderful evening! Only two more sleeps till the holiday break.
Tuesday, December 18… Another great day in room 72!
Today we entered the room to find Janny scrunched above the clock in our room. Wonder where we will find her tomorrow.
Who knew that macramé would be such a great hit! Of the 5 options given to start the day macramé was the choice by many. The focus and concentration during this time was amazing!
We worked on our final math message of year. We took a look at some abacuses, determined the value that was represented by creating a math sentence. Once we figured that out we had to figure out what 1 less than that number was. After we completed all 4 abacuses we had to take two of our answers and find the difference between those answers. Once again the engagement and focus in the classroom was commendable.
We then took a trip to the learning commons. Mr. Welechuk read the story “Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One.” We agreed that room 72 love to write but now we have to do a better job at organizing our details and making sure we have all the elements that make up a good story (Plot, Character, Setting, Problem and Solution). As we read the story we stopped and reflected on our writing to see what elements, if any, were missing from any of the pieces we had written.
After snack we had book club. Mrs V. and Mrs. Schmidt were able to assist the different groups. The students are showing improvement in their ability to read with expression. I like seeing the support they have for one another as they read out loud. As we increase the difficulty of the books they read they are decoding the stories and demonstrating they understand what they have read!
We finished exploring Vancouver Island. We went to Port Renfrew. There are some amazing old growth forests around here. We investigated a big tree standing all by itself. They call it Big Lonely Doug. It’s 4m (13ft) wide and 69m (230 ft) tall. We took a look the provincial flag, flower (Pacific Dogwood) and bird (Stellar Jay). We drove the bus to Port Hardy and got on the ferry. The ferry ride is a 16 hour trip that will take us to Prince Rupert. Then we’re headed north towards the Yukon. Territories, here we come!
Our enthusiasm of Drumheller leads us to create some fossil art. We became paleontologists! We pretended that we were out on a fossil dig and began our work on uncovering dinosaur bones. Students selected a dinosaur outline of their choice. We began creating our bones by using plasticine. Just like a real paleontologist this process requires patience and takes time.
With that, room 72 completed a great day of learning. Enjoy your evening and the nice weather.
COOKIE DOUGH PICK UP
Tuesday December 18th between 5pm and 6pm. Please ensure all products are collected. Send someone on your behalf if you are unable to make it. The delivery will arrive just before 5pm and will be dropped at the front of the school. School Council does not have the ability to transport or store any remaining products. Thank you for supporting our fundraiser!
Monday, December 17… A well behaved Room 72!
Mr. Welechuk received an Elf on the Shelf this weekend. Janny made an appearance in room 72. I don’t know if that set the tone but the students were listening and staying on task.
We started the morning off with QSR/Catch Up. Students worked quietly and were focused on their chosen task. I heard how much they loved giving their loved ones a Holiday Card. I was away on Friday and Mrs. Peers texted me and told me that the class said not to post anything on the Blog so it could be a surprise.
The students were well behaved during our library time, working independently on a winter word search or quietly looking at books. Mrs. Shuman did comment on how quiet they were this morning. It was a very pleasant group of students to work with.
For math we investigated ODD and EVEN numbers. This was a review for most. If we look at the numbers below ten we were able to determine that even numbers will always have a pair (a group of 2) while odd numbers there will always be 1 left out. We recognized that ODD and Even form a pattern 1 (odd), 2 (even), 3 (odd), 4 (even), 5 (odd), 6 (even), 7 (odd), 8 (even), 9 (odd) 10 (even). Did you know if we look at numbers greater than 10 we can look at the last number a determine if the number is ODD or EVEN, 1001 is ODD. “It’s so easy!” said everyone in room 72.
We spent some time on the bus investigating BC. We made a stop at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Gardens and strolled around Capilano Suspension Bridge before we took the ferry to Vancouver Island. The ferry dropped us off in Victoria the capital city of British Columbia. As we investigated the Island we took note of the marine life. We went on a whale watching tour that took us into the Pacific ocean. We saw Humpback and Killer whales, along with sea lions and sea otters! We also noted that it rained lots here and despite not being in a tropical climate Vacouver Island has rain forests. The troops were getting a bit restless so we stopped the bus for the day to get some lunch. We are almost done with this province just a few more things to investigate before we explore the countries territories.
The afternoon we learned how to macramé. Each student was given a holiday bell with some yarn. We watched Mr. Welechuk tie a few of the knots, then worked as a group to get started. When the students started working independently you could hear a pin drop. Most students took there bell home this evening. A decoration, a gift or even a book mark are some practical uses.
Food bank dive ends Wednesday. Room 72 is holding steady at 94 items. It’s still not to late to donate any items if you are cleaning out your pantry.
Have a great evening!
Wednesday, December 12…. On With the Snow Day 2!
After a successful evening performance the students were buzzing with excitement. We had to wait till 2 pm to perform, however, we had the opportunity to watch the other classes perform in the morning. Great big thank you to Ms. Bell and all the hard work she did, it was an amazing show. Are there some future actors and singers in this group? Maybe one day…
Today was a pretty relaxed day on room 72. We did some math working on calculating difference between 2 numbers. Students are getting comfortable with the word and Mr. Welechuk has been using the word “difference” in our end of the day Popsicle Stick Game.
We finished up our work on our travel journals for Alberta. We’ve been using lots of peer feedback to help us revise and edit out work. I am proud of how the students engage with one another and offer advice on how to make things better. Listening to the conversations that take place is uplifting. The advice is received well and I love watching students eagerly head back to their workspace to make improvements.
We first looked at the Province of British Columbia as a whole getting a feel for what this Western province has to offer. Our first stop was Yoho National Park. When British Columbia joined Canada, the railroad needed to get through the Rocky Mountains. They decided to go through Kicking Horse Pass, but it was so steep they had to come up with a special way to prevent the trains from going down the hill too fast. They made spiral tunnels. We stopped and took a look at these amazing features. We also stopped and looked at the many beautiful views the mountains have to offer.
We stopped the bus at Roderick Haig-Brown National Park. In the fall, Salmon fill the river as they go upstream to lay eggs where they were born. It’s called a Salmon Run. They are funny fish, especially when they sit there opening and closing their mouths. It was sad to learn that after they make this long journey upstream they die.
Our bus trip took us into the Okanagan Valley. So many things to explore. The mountains on either side of Lake Okanagan create a majestic valley. Not to mention the warm weather that allows the locals to grow tasty fruit! We also learned about the local legend of the Ogopogo. Is this real? A dinosaur from the Jurassic period trapped in the lake? There are stories from First Nation people that tell of the legend. Some people have claimed to see this creature but there is really no evidence to prove that it exists. We talked about what a reliable resource was and if we should believe everything we see on the Internet. It was fun to use our imagination and perhaps this legend could inspire our writing.
That is a brief glimpse into the learning in room 72 on Wednesday, December 12th. Have a wonderful evening.
If you have any more food items that you would like to contribute they are welcome.
Tuesday, December 11…. On With the Snow!
It’s concert night. Students are excited to perform. Our concert starts at 7:00 pm, come early to get a good seat.
Today we expanded our knowledge on verbs. Our previous knowledge had us recognizing a verb as an action word that ended in “ing.” Today we learned that a verb could also represent an action we did in the past. These action words end in “ed.” We discussed how we could incorporate a past tense verb into our story writing. Our next steps will be to investigate the irregular verbs that will not in in “ed” when they are past tense. Words such as ran, swam and ate.
We got cracking on our travel journals today. Students were eagerly recording their favorite things from our trip across Alberta. We did a review of the province this morning and the students were able to recall lots of interesting facts.
Thanks for all the food bank items! We have completed the mission and our food tally sits at 93! The rumble in the staff room was that Mrs. Byciuk’s room is in the lead with 134 items. It’s awesome to see the support our school has for this cause… maybe Mr. Wilcox taking a pie in the face is a good motivator but Evergreen has done an awesome job bringing in items!
We’ll see the kids back this evening for the winter musical.
Monday, December 10… Winter Musical Week!!!!
Didn’t take long for room 72 to settle back into a school routine today. Sometimes after a 3 day break Mr. Welechuk can find himself having lots of discussion on proper classroom behavior. Not today the troop was pleasantly on task! Ms. Bell has scheduled in some extra rehearsals this week as well so our daily routine was slightly different than normal but it didn’t faze the learning group in Room 72.
After our Quiet Silent Reading we almost completed our task of coming up with A 100 Ways to Make 100!Only 4 more ways left to come up with. Since we have been focusing on the word “difference” in math there were some subtraction number sentence that made it to posting.
We also continued with our work on our Polar Express storyboards. After a quick recall of the major events the students engaged in their work. Mr. Welechuk provided the class with an exemplar and we talked about getting feedback from our classmates. We discussed how to give feedback to someone. It needs to be constructive and help the person improve the quality of their work. Taking that information you need to edit your work to make it better. This could involve drawing neater drawings to illustrate the picture more clearly. Adding color to brighten up the picture. Adding more descriptive words\sentences to provide the reader with more details. It’s also important to be a good listener and apply the feedback. This was a great lesson on how to collaborate with our peers.
We completed our trip in Alberta. We toured through Banff National Park taking in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. We are very fortunate to live so close to such majestic terrain. We got off the bus and looked at the vibrant blue waters of Lake Louise before stopping at Athabasca Glacier, a favorite spot for Mr. Welechuk. I love exploring all things geological! I’m glad I’m still able to use my Geology degree in some capacity. I find it fascinating how the ice carves away the rock and shapes the landscape. Have to love when social studies and science come together in one lesson. We cruised on up to Edmonton and took a look at West Edmonton Mall, Fort Edmonton and the Legislator buildings. We had a brief overview on the legislator process and how laws are made.
We looked at some Polar Express word problems for math before Ms. Bell lead the school through their Winter Musical rehearsal. When our trip across Canada is complete we will be doing a project that requires us to use the information we recorded. Quality work for memory recall is essential.
Lots of learning today in room 72, I’m hoping that we have some tired brains from all our thinking today. Have a great evening, get some rest, we’ll grow those brains again tomorrow.
Thursday, December 6… All Aboard!
Simply put… “If fun gets in the way of learning, we’re not going to do it!”
With that simple rule we filled our mugs with hot chocolate, boarded the train, had our tickets punched and we set off for the North Pole. There were only a couple of spills of hot chocolate but nothing to disastrous. The lids on our mugs saved us from having a chocolate swimming pool in our classroom. The narrative of the Polar Express began!
Your children were well behaved on the train. When we returned from the North Pole we discussed the events of the story. All good stories have a beginning middle and end. The students did a fantastic job verbally recalling the events.
With the main events discussed the students got into table groups. They were given 8 pictures of the events in the story. As a group they had to organize the pictures in the correct order. They had to work as a team to figure out what each picture represented and sequence they occurred. By this time the hot chocolate was well into our systems and we went outside to burn off some energy. We did a game of follow the leader and ended up in the snow fort in the middle of the field. It was nice to get outside and get some fresh air!
The students were then tasked with a writing assignment. Using the events from the Polar Express they had to create a storyboard. Lots of interesting pictures and details were recorded. We will require some time next week to put on the finishing touches.
The students have been practicing for Winter Musical. I’ve wanted to post a video of our rehearsals but don’t want to spoil the surprise! The kids are excited to perform for you. Ms. Bell wanted me to send out a reminder that students are to wear blue, white or black outfits to the concert. You can wear dress clothes but they are not necessary. Avoid wearing clothing with big logos. I have yet to see the actors perform their parts but from what Ms. Bell says they are doing a fantastic job!
We spent part of the afternoon on the bus in Alberta. I tell you, this grade 2 class is well traveled this semester… the North Pole in the morning, Calgary Stampede, 1988 Winter Olympics (Jamaican Bobsled Team & Eddie the Eagle), Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and Crowsnest Pass (Frank Slide) were places we visted in the afternoon. I don’t think I had this much travelling when I was in grade 2. Mr. Welechuk (a geologist in a former life) enjoyed talking about the geology involved with the Frank Slide. I wonder if anyone can remember what contributed to all that rock sliding off the mountain?
We spotted Mrs. Roworth and she hopped on the bus while we were visiting the Crowsnest Pass. When we got off the bus Mrs. Roworth challenged us to calculate the DIFFERENCE in years between the year the Frank Slide happened (1903) and 2018.We did this as a group before the students were given another math puzzle.
Enjoy your extra day off this weekend! Stay warm.
Wednesday, December 5
Reminder that tomorrow is our Polar Express Pajama Party! Ok to wear pajamas to school and wear them all day if you like. You don’t have to change at school. Might want to have a change of clothes just in case you want to change.
On to the highlights of the day…
The difference…. Here’s the question:
What is the difference between Mr. Welechuk and Mrs. Roworth?
- Mr. W is a boy, Mrs. R is a girl.
- Mrs. R has a pink jacket, Mr. W has a black jacket.
Hmmm…. Can we find the difference between numbers? Let’s investigate this…. If Reza is 7 and Mrs. Rowoth is 46 what’s the difference in their age? Lots of interesting strategies observed. Coming up with answer of 39 and not being able to explain how you got that number is probably an indication that you borrowed the answer from somebody else…. You need to be able to explain “How do you know?”
Let’s try this puzzle:
Ms. Jones stopped by and we continued our Sharkology project. Students are organizing facts into categories. I’m thinking we are going to have a great product when things are finished!
We arrived in Alberta. Being born and raised in Alberta my knowledge of this province is vast. Had to limit our stops but the things we explored are pretty cool. We happened to see Mr. Wilcox as we crossed the border. We stopped the bus and hopped on for the first part of our trip Mountains, prairies, urban life, rural life, First Nations culture are all interesting thing to investigate but Drumheller offers a unique experience. This area is known as the Badlands of Canada. Take a look around at the scenery– see why it’s called that? The ground is hard, dry and really eroded- you can’t really grow much here. BUT…. what you can get here are dinosaurs! We got off the bus and investigated Dinosaur Provincial Park. I think this is stop will be one of the most remembered on our cross Canada trip!
Hope everyone has a great night. Remember that the Polar Express trip happens tomorrow!
Thanks to the added food items today. Room 72 now has 64 items! Our classroom mission is almost complete. Things still needed:
- 1 Peanut Butter
- 1 Baby Food
- 1 Cereal
- 2 Canned Vegetables
Tuesday, December 4… Announcements!
** I noticed that Monday's Blog didn't post... please read below Tuesday to get the scoop! **
Thanks for the food donations that have been coming in. We are at 41 items and getting close to completing our mission. Items we still need:
4 Peanut Butter
2 Baby Food
1 Pancake mix
3 Canned Vegetable
Not sure about the other grades but for the grade 2’s Ms. McNabb’s class has jumped out to an early lead with 103 items! And, for the record, it’s Mr Wilcox that will be taking the pie in the face… Not Mr. Welecox, lol.
This Thursday, December 6this Room 72’s Polar Express Pajama Party. Students are invited to wear pajamas to school. Our bus will be converted into a train. We will load the train at 9 am and make the journey to the North Pole as we read the story, The Polar Express. There will be hot chocolate! Please have your child bring a mug with a sealed lid if they wish to have some. Mr. Welechuk will have the hot chocolate and marshmallows ready to go!
Today was a great day in room 72!
We continued to explore the word difference in math. The strategy when finding the difference between two numbers is to subtract the lower number from the higher number. For example the difference between 2 and 8… 8 – 2 = 6. The difference is 6. Difference is the answer to a subtraction math sentence.
We cruised through the rest of Saskatchewan today. We visited Batoche today. This is the site where the last stand of the Northwest Rebellion was held. Remember we went to Louis Riel’s house? Here is where he was at the time he was arrested. This was the Metis people fighting for their rights. We visited the National Historic site.
We also visited Grey Owl’s Cabin. While out hunting he killed a mother beaver. Feeling remorse he decided to care for her young. He built a cabin over the beaver lodge and help raise the young beavers. He became a world famous conservationist.
We also visited the Athabasca Sand Dunes. Mr. W was fascinated by this natural phenomenon. There are huge sand dunes in this province that resemble the dunes in the Sahara Desert. Who new!?!
What’s a trip to Saskatchewan without picking some Saskatoon berries? Saskatchewan is known for it’s wild berries, which include chokecherries and blue berries… Mmmmm I think we should use these berries to bake a pie.
Tomorrow we will finish up with our journal entries and start to investigate our home province of Alberta.
May the force be with you!
Monday, December 3… What!?! When did December get here?
It’s hard to believe that December has arrived and we are a few short weeks away from our winter break. Where did the time go?
We started off the day in good form. All students were present and accounted for. Students were following instructions and staying on task. There was only one moment in the morning where Mr. Welechuk had to stop the lesson and remind a few students of appropriate classroom behavior. When you talk out loud and do silly things it not only affects the teacher’s ability to teach the lesson it also interferes with other students learning.
With that, we continued our lesson on descriptive writing. We learned what a simile is and how it can be used to make our writing more descriptive and interesting. Using “like” or “as” to compare two things that are unlike helps the reader visualize in their head. This past weekend Mr. W. was a busy as a bee lesson planning. We were challenged with the task of incorporating a simile into our writing.
We started with a Quiet 15. Fifteen minutes of writing… no questions, no talking…. Just write! When the timer went off 15 minutes later, lots of us jumped as high as the Calgary Tower. We were so focused on our writing we lost track of the time… this is a good thing! Students were eager to share what they had written. The disappointment of having to stop leads us to a Quiet 10 after gym. Mr. W has a pile of editing to do tonight, it’s as high as a mountain. Everyone wants to present at author’s chair!
In math today we investigated the word “difference.” It’s new vocabulary and is taking a bit of getting use to. Making the connection to “minus” was helpful. We’ll see how many students remember this at the end of the day when we play the “Popsicle Stick Quiz” game.
We crossed over the border and into Saskatchewan this afternoon. This province is flat but has many beautiful features. It is known as the Land of the Living Skies! We took a drive through the capital city Regina. We learned a little bit about the RCMP and the role the played in the late 1800’s. We even watched the RCMP Musical Ride. We headed over to Moose Jaw and investigated the underground tunnels where Chinese immigrants lived. The worked in the town during the day and lived in the tunnels at night. They were trying to raise enough money to bring their families to Canada. In the southern section of Saskatchewan is an area known as the Badlands, or Big Muddy. We investigated the magic of Castle Butte in this area. It was nice to see this big structure in a province that is known to be flat. Our day ended with a stop at Fort Carlton and fir trading post of the Hudson Bay Company. We are beginning to recognize the importance of this company and how it still exists today.
We spent the remainder of the day working on getting comfortable with the laptops. Most students were able to logon and open their goggle doc. Mr. W. had left a question for them “Can you write a sentence that has a simile?” It’s fun when you can go cross curricular with the learning. Having a shared doc is great to be able to assess student work.
All in all it was a great day in room 72. Have yourselves a great evening and I’ll see the troop in the morning.
Thursday, November 29 …Square Numbers, Winnipeg and Sharkology!
4 is a square number… 2 square by 2 squares (2 x 2)
9 is a square number… 3 squares by 3 squares (3 x 3). It increased by 5 squares.
16 is a square number… 4 squares by 4 squares (4 x 4). It increased by 7 squares.
Hmmmmm…. Could this be a growing pattern? How many more squares numbers can you find? What’s the pattern growing by? Do we have to count each square 1 at a time? Or is there an easier way to find out the total number?
So many questions from this interesting problem!
We arrived in Manitoba! Everyone is safe and having a great time on the bus. When watching a video it’s important to remain seated with our voices off. Oooo’s and Ah’s can distract other’s on the bus causing us to miss some important information. The Forks is a place in Winnipeg where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. These rivers were used to transport beaver pelts to the Hudson Bay Trading Post. In addition to French and English they also speak Cree in Winnipeg. Along the River Walk, signs can be found in all three languages. We also got a brief introduction to the town of Churchill. Did you know this is the polar bear capital of the world?
The students continued their shark research in the afternoon. Lot’s more facts were being added to the charts. Investigating books provided the students with useful information. Just like the Internet we have to be mindful of the source of information, not all books or sites are the same. The students did an excellent job researching. Lots of interesting facts were shared at the end.
Thanks for the great start with the food drive! We’ve collected 18 items so far. The students are really excited to win the pie competition!
Enjoy your evening.
Wednesday, November 28… Important Announcements!
Movie Night is coming to Evergreen!
Be sure to secure your spot and purchase tickets at www.healthyhunger.ca by Thursday, November 29th. To make this night a success, we are looking for volunteers to help out. If you can spare 30 minutes, please sign up at www.volunteersignup.org/8MHCW.
Cookie Dough Fundraiser:
Cookie dough orders need to be in by Tuesday December 4th. Also ordered through your Healthy Hunger account.
Calgary Food Bank
Evergreen School will be collecting items for the Calgary Food Bank this year. Our goal is to have each class donate 50 items from the Food Bank wish list. If we fill the 10 food bank boxes, the teacher of the class with the most amount of items donated, gets to throw the pie in Mr. Wilcox’s face!!! Let’s start collecting Food Bank items! The Food Bank boxes will be collected Dec. 20th.
Our Class Mission:
- 5 Peanut Butter
- 1 Package of Diapers
- 10 Pasta
- 10 Canned Soup
- 2 Baby Food
- 5 Cereal Boxes
- 2 Pancake Mix
- 5 Canned Fruit
- 5 Canned Fish/Meat
- 5 Canned Vegetables
Mrs. Broomfield stopped by this morning and the class continued work on the Sharkologybook. Today we watched some videos on sharks and jotted down things we learned. Our findings were organized into 4 categories:
- Interesting Facts
Room 72 did an excellent job filling up our chart paper. Lots more room on the pages to fill! Our next step is to look at some books and add more facts. Mrs. B is going to stop by again tomorrow to work with our class. Mrs. B was impressed at the focus and engagement of our room and offered to spend some extra time with us this week.
We continued our journey across Ontario in the afternoon. This is a big province with lots to see. The students did a great job paying attention to our surroundings and we made up some time… to the point were we are now crossing the border into Manitoba. We learned about the “Sleeping Giant” in Thunder Bay and learned a little science when we stopped in Niagara and took a look at the world famous falls. Why are the falls horseshoe shaped? What happens to water when freezes? What is erosion? …Just a few dinner table questions for tonight.
We also worked on our 100 ways to make a 100 project. We added another 27 representations, ending the day with a total of 71. The class is eager to get to 100. It’s a bit trickier now as some of the submissions are repeating.
We ended off the day doing some computer work. Students all know the routine of logging on and know how to create a goggle doc and share it with Mr. Welechuk. We will need a bit more practice with the process but I think we are ready to start typing our stories.
It was a great day in room 72! Have an awesome evening.
Tuesday, November 27
Somber day in room 72... Energy seemed to be lower today in the room. Don’t get me wrong there were peaks where the noise and distractions would start to deviate from the task at hand. However, a simple reminder refocused the room.
When we hopped on the bus this afternoon and started our drive through Ontario the students were tired. The disruptions on the bus were way down as we learned about the capital of Canada (Ottawa) and the capital of Ontario (Toronto). We also got to see the beauty of Thousand Islands. We stopped at Upper Canada Village and got to see what like was like back in the 1860’s. We made comparison to some of the forts and villages in other provinces we have explored thus far. Lots of similarities! Upper Canada Village also celebrates Pumpkininfero every October. It was neat to see the village decorated and lit up with pumpkin carvings.
We also had time to add to our 100 ways to make a 100 poster. Mr. Welechuk had to limit the answers to either adding or subtracting two numbers to represent 100. Some of the answers were getting silly (1000-1000+900-900+100) and not demonstrating skills we have learned. Clever answers but they need to be a little deeper.
Book Club is becoming a favorite for the class. The students like reading with their peers. We are learning how to be patient readers and letting the person reading try to decode first before indicating what the words is. It’s also good to hear other people’s thoughts and pick up on something you may have missed.
Have a great evening, get some rest and we’ll see you tomorrow morning for another day of learning.
Monday, November 26…. Finally we got through Quebec!
Highlights from the day include but not limited to:
- Learning how to identify verbs
- Logging onto a computer, changing our password and creating a goggle doc
- Saying “Au revior!” to Quebec
Today we reviewed verbs. These are the action words we find in sentences. We previously discussed how verbs usually end in ‘ing.” Today we discussed how such words as walks and swims can be verbs as well. If there’s time asked your child if they can come up with a verb that does not end in “ing.” They already had the opportunity to create a sentence using the word “eats.” Can they come up with something new?
We also spent some time learning how to log on to the school laptops. Mr. Welechuk provided each student with a card that had all the important information to make this process successful. Technology is always a tricky thing. For the first kick at the can this was successful. Thanks to Mrs. V and Mr. Wilcox for helping troubleshoot the problems during the computer class. Most students were able to log on, change their password and log into goggle docs. Lots of hiccups along the way but we learned a bunch of new things. Tomorrow…. Creating a goggle doc and sharing it with Mr. Welechuk!
Most of the afternoon we spent on the bus in Quebec. We finished investigating Carnival, we visited Montreal, and examined some of the foods we would find in this province. We also took some time and investigated the Wendeke First Nation tribe. There were some great discussion on why it is important to recognize and celebrate other cultures and traditions. We talked a little bit about Canadian history and how First Nation peoples were sent away to school to learning about traditions and cultures that were not their own. While learning other traditions in cultures is a good thing being told that your traditions and cultures were no longer important is a very bad thing. We agreed that this behavior was not acceptable and made the connection to Orange Shirt Day we celebrated earlier in the year.
We are putting the finishing touches on our pictures in our travel journal. There are some unique memories being shared of our time in Quebec. Kids are drawing our bus in front of some of the landmarks we visited. Tomorrow we will start investigating the province of Ontario.
Have a wonderful evening!
November 23...The week that was.
It's Friday morning and I'm waiting on a conferences... Thanks to the parents that stopped in Thursday night. It's always good to meet face to face and provide you with feedback. Room 72 does have a great group of students that has been fun to teach. It's not without it's challenges but which classroom is challenge free. I've enjoyed getting to know your children and look forward to helping them learn for the rest of the school year.
Room 72 was hit hard this week with illness. Monday 3 students went home not feeling well. We've been down a minimum of 6 students all week. Mr. Welechuk had to take a day off to go see the doctor as well. Hoping everyone has a nice relaxing weekend and we'll be back to a full class on Monday.
The home reading program has been a tremendous help. Thanks for continuing to be committed. Students are leveling up and I've seen improvement with fluency and comprehension. Students are demonstrating solid decoding skills when they encounter challenging words. Big thanks Mrs. MacDonald and Mrs. Engelking for their reading support for some of the students in room 72.
Enjoy your weekend!
Tuesday, November 20… Mr. Wilcox in the Grade 2 Hallway!
We started off the morning with a bang. After Quiet Silent Reading we jumped right into our Math Task. Today we expanded on number representation to include math sentences. After some group work on the Smart Board students were tasked with the question “Using a number sentence, how many different ways can we represent the number 7?” Mr. Wilcox was working in the hall outside of room 72. During our Smart Board discussion he came into the room to reminded those students talking out of turn, not listen and disrupting Mr. Welechuk that they could easily be working in the hall with him. This changed the tone quite quickly.
Room 72 had an extremely focused work period!
When we transitioned to Writer’s Club some of the students took this opportunity to be silly and distract others. Mr. Welechuk had a talk with the class on appropriate classroom behavior. The consequence was a trip to Mr. Wilcox’s office to finish your work. During our Smart Board discussion there were a few reminders and I’m sorry to report that a few students had to visit Mr. Wilcox. Mr. Welechuk was following through with the consequence and as a result the behavior for the rest of the morning was solid. I was optimistic about the afternoon but the classroom behavior was good.
After lunch we practiced our songs for the Winter Musical. The Shovelingsong is sounding pretty good and the actions are looking pretty rad. Ms. Bell has given the students an awesome routine!
The afternoon was heavy on the math as students looked at a series of abacuses to create math sentences and we did another Math Task creating math sentences using a 2 digit number. This time the number was 18.
Mr. Welechuk decided to skip our bus trip to Quebec and work on art. We are creating a beautiful piece of art from paint spills\splashes. Some students are having trouble coming up with an idea, while others have let their imagination run wild. These creations will be on display Thursday on one of the bulletin boards outside of room 75. It was a nice break between the 2 math exercises.
I had the opportunity as well to read with a few groups during Book Club this morning. Students are doing a great job of supporting their group members and being good listeners. I can attribute this to the continued practice with home reading.
Thanks for your continued efforts to help your child learn! For those students still away due to illness I hope you have a speedy recovery and return to school soon.
November 19... Dropping like flies!
This morning room 72 started the day off down with 4 absent students. Three were due to illness. The mood was kind of somber as as we started our morning routine. Students were engaged in their reading and there were only a few reminders from Mr. Welechuk to stay on task.
Before moving to the Learning Commons to exchange library books, we had a talk about appropriate behavior. Kindergarten has been overlapping with us during this time and we need to set a good example. After Mrs. Shuman read us a story several students had to have a time out away from the library for being way off task and affecting other students learning. With a lot of effort we did manage to establish appropriate behavior and be model students.
Before starting Writer's Club we had a lesson on verbs. To re-inforce what we learned asked your child what a verb is. We are looking for them to identify it is an action word and as Henry pointed out the words usually end in ing. After completing a short assessment on verbs, the students got started on their writing. I have to say that the students are really engaged in their work. I have students reading books and reporting on what they have read. I have students creating stories and using quotation marks... I've read some dragon slaying comic strips, there are so many interesting topics. The best part, it is hard to pull them away from their writing. Mr. Welechuk is also having a hard time keeping up with all the editing as well. Our Writer's Board is full of published work!
In math we are working towards a project called a 100 Ways to Make 100! We are doing a series of smaller lessons to help the students with strategies. Today we did some review on different ways we can represent numbers under 10.
We also hopped on the bus and explored Quebec. We made a stop at Percé Rock before traveling South along the St Lawrence seaway to Quebec City, the capital of Quebec. We journeyed around Old Quebec and visited the Chateau Frontenac. We even took a ride on the Funiculaire, a funky escalator that connects the upper and lower parts of Old Quebec. Tomorrow we will end up on the Plains of Abraham where the French and British fought for control of the city.
An unfortunate theme of the day was illness. There seems to be some kind of bug going around as three students went home this afternoon due to illness. I've wiped the tables down to minimize further risk and losing any more students! I'm hoping that they all have a speedy recovery and will return to school bright eyes and ready to go.
Have a great evening!
Friday, November 16
We made it to the weekend!
We had a great start to the morning. The students settled nicely into their reading. Mr. Welechuk was able to edit some writing with a few students and practice reading with a few more. The students were quiet and focused.
On Thursday we started Book Club. The students were organized into groups and given a book to read aloud to their group members. We had a talk about working as a team and listening while someone else is reading aloud. It is important to follow along and be respectful to the reader. For our first try at this routine the students did an excellent job. They are looking forward to Book Club next week.
Our next task of the morning was Math Message. Once again the students were focused. They showed improvement on organizing their data. Yesterday during Math Message students had to stay and finish the task before they could head to gym. Most students finished the task on time; a few had to stay a few minutes longer, while a couple had to return back to the classroom to finish their work. Putting your folder away and saying you are done doesn’t get by Mr. Welechuk.
For art today we did a project called Beautiful Oops. We looked at book that showed us how we can make something beautiful and creative out of an “oops.” A rip in a piece of paper became a crocodile; a few drops of paint became a car for a bunch of bunnies. The students were given a piece of paper with some random marker lines and had to create a Beautiful Oops. The marker lines needed to be part of your art. There were some fantastic ideas! However, there were a few students that missed the point and covered up their lines with construction paper. We will have a do over next week. Part 2 of the project will involve using some paint splotches!
Towards the end of the art work the students started to get silly, loud and off task. After several reminders and not listening, Mr. Welechuk had to shut the work down and regroup the class. Needless to say the students were much better in gym class and did a good job listening. They did set a good example for the other classes.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Wednesday, November 14… Eating my words!
7:30 am - Last night I had the chance to reread my Blog post. I have to say I was disappointed in myself. Here’s why… For Writer’s Club I have been emphasizing the importance of editing and revising your work. I have been talking about the importance of not rushing and publishing work that is free of errors. Well, Mr. Welechuk is eating his words. He has been rushing to get his Blog post finished and not proof reading before his posts. First of all I apologize to the parents: Sorry for having to read my mistakes. I will take my own advice and slow down and edit my work before publishing. Second of all this is a great teaching moment to share with the class and how editing applies in the real world. Grown ups make mistakes, Mr. Welechuk has published work with errors in it. However, recognizing my mistakes and learning from the situation and changing my habit will allow me to learn.
10:05 am – The students are in music. My discussion with the class went well. I think they really listened when I told them about my rushing and lack of editing. They connected to how my teaching character might come across as a bad speller but recognized that I could change it. It’s all about growing and learning from our mistakes! Now I’m accountable, a 7 year old can be ruthless pointing out your mistakes!
12:00 pm – Students are at lunch. Mrs. Broomfield and Ms. Jones were in the class before lunch. Mrs. B and Ms. J are working with the students on a marine expedition. Over the next 5 weeks they will be coming to room 72 to work with the students, investigating various topics that revolve around marine biology. Since September there has been a live webcam set up to an aquarium in the Learning Commons. Mrs. B started with the grade 3’s and has now moved onto the grade 2’s to start this investigation. The plan is to create a Sharkologybook. Today we investigate other ologybooks to figure out what made them interesting.
3:30 pm – The afternoon was mainly a catch up afternoon. We reviewed our What’s Wrong?” from yesterday. The students were tasked with editing the mistakes in a short paragraph. Yesterday’s mistakes all involved finding the words that needed capitals. Surprisingly, most missed the spot where “the” needed a capital at the beginning of the sentence.
Students then spent time finishing up their journal entry on what they learned on magnets. Many students were eager to revise their work. Students then moved onto completing their Travel Journals. As New Brunswick fades off into the distance we leave the Atlantic Provinces behind. The bus treks onward into Quebec.
A reminder to continue with home reading. I have been noticing improvements with fluency and comprehension as I individually read with the students. Thanks for your continued work at home to help them further develop their reading skills.
Tuesday, November 13… Through experience we grow!
Today in room 72 we had a great day of learning. After QSR we had a discussion on best practices for organizing our data in our Math Message books. This became a big theme for the day. The students continued on with their Math Message Task from Monday. Some students even made the choice to restart their work on a new page demonstrate better organization.
Taking pride in our work and presenting an outstanding finished product was something we all agreed upon. We also talked about how it’s ok to be stuck and ask for help to get us started.
Mr. Welechuk provided the class with three journal exemplars in the afternoon:
After watching a video on magnetism the task was to create a journal entry showing what you learned. Students were able to go back and look at previous journals entries and use information they observed in the video. Students were encouraged to check their work against the exemplar and refine or edit their work to achieve an outstanding journal entry. We acknowledge that doing outstanding work takes time, patience and lots of practice.
It was a good day and there was some good learning in room 72.
Have a great evening!
Monday, November 12… Another week and a little bit smarter!
Mr. Welechuk is a little bit smarter this week. He made sure to review the behavior expectations first thing. After our visit to the Learning Commons we had to have a class talk and discuss consequences for being off task and disturbing other students learning.
With the expectations we set off on our learning journey. We reviewed when to capitalize letters:
- Always at the beginning of a sentence
- Proper nouns (Names, books, movies, specific places, celebrations\holidays…)
- Whenever we are talking about ourselves and using “I”
- Months and days of the week
When took this lesson and jumped right into Writer’s Club. Most students were eager to continue with their writing. Bianca shared her 10 page story about a Husky named Buff with the class last week. This provided the class with a peer example. It opened the door to new possibilities. During catch up time today many students asked if the could continue to write in their journal.
We looked at a growing pattern in math. We started off with a group of 2 circles. The next group had 4 circles… then 6 circles… then 8 circles… students were then tasked with figuring our what would come next. The challenge was to figure out what the 10thcase would look like. The super challenge was to figure out what the 30thcase would look like. Some students were even able to extended the lesson figure out they didn’t need to draw the circles anymore and could use a number pattern to solve different cases. Pretty neat stuff!
Our journey through New Brunswick end today. We reviewed what we had seen to and took a look at some of the interesting food the province had to offer. No surprise that seafood monopolized the list. We took a look at the Provincial flag, bird and flower before hopping off the bus to work on our travel journals. Students are working on their 3 favorite things about the province as well as a memory.
After recess we took a look at Rith Racks. I’ll let the students tell you what they are. Hint it’s like an abacus and helps us with our number 1-10. Most students new what they were and were teaching me how to use one. We will be using the Rith Rack’s all week with our Math Message lessons.
Have a great evening! Don’t forget about home reading.
Thursday, November 8th
My apologies for these later Blog posts. I get them started after school but have been getting busy with next day preparations and debriefing with my learning team. Before I know it, it's time for me leave to get the the U of C to coach my swimming group. I'll try and post sooner next week! Pretty hard to talk with your child about the days events when they are in bed.
Tomorrow is our Remembrance Day Assembly. We got our poppies on the wreath, Yerin and Andrew will carry the wreath for room 72 tomorrow. I will have poppies for each student to wear at the assembly. All families are welcome to attend. Please arrive early.
Mrs. Roworth stopped by again during our math time. After we finished our pattern word problem she taught us a new math game with playing cards (face cards are worth 10). A card is flipped over and the goal is to make 5 using that card. If you flip over a 7 the math sentence is seven take away two is five (7-2=5). Quick and fun way to do some math!
We looked at how adjective can be used after a noun today... The dragon in the cave is scary. Fine the adjective what noun does it describe? Writer's club is producing some really great writer's in room 72. We have improved our descriptive writing and learning how it's ok to revise our work to add details. It's no longer "Ah, do I have to..." to "oh, that's a good idea, let me go make that change!"
Our magnetic devices (minus the magnet) went home today. After showing Mr. Welechuk we had a class showcase where the students could check the various devices.
Reminder if you have a student participating with an acting part in Winter Musical please return your commitment form. Have a wonderful evening.
Wednesday, November 7th
As Remembrance Day approaches we will be making poppies for our class wreath. The wreath will be used for our Remembrance Day assembly on Friday. In addition to the poppies we make for our wreath the school will have commemorative poppies for the students. If you wish to donate please send some a money donation.
We are also looking for “actors” for our Winter Musical Celebration. Students have put forward their names. These students will be required to attend the rehearsals with Ms. Bell during noon and be responsible for performing during 1 day and 1 night show:
Tuesday, December 11th(7:00 PM show)
Wednesday, December 12th(2:00 PM show)
Forms will be going out today for parents to sign and acknowledge their child’s participation and commitment. If unable to commit to the performances please let me know ASAP so I can fill the part for Ms. Bell. Students acting will be required to memorize a few lines.
Today we continued to discover more about growing patterns in math. We looked at a pattern of growing blocks that was quite challenging. It got our brains thinking! Mrs. Roworth stopped by and taught us a a fun math game “I Love Math.” This might be a good game to get your child to teach you this evening. It’s like rock, paper, scissors but you show fingers. The first person to add up all the fingers scores a point. There are 6 combinations possible with one hand…. A fist is zero.
We hopped on the bus this afternoon and explored New Brunswick. In Fredericton we stopped in at Kings Landing and learned what life was like in the 1800’s. We learned how water was used to power the saw in the saw mill and how the used milk from a cow to make butter. We also explored Kouchibouguac National Park and saw 1000’s of sea lions hanging out on sand bars. Mr. Wilcox hopped on the bus and gave a us a lesson on why “Rue Queen Street” has the word “Rue” on the sign. New Brunswick has both French and English speaking people in it’s province!
We finished off the day making poppies for our wreath. We created 31 poppies to place on the wreath and we will arrange them tomorrow to determine if more are needed. The classroom was quite a mess after this project but the students did an excellent job with clean up. I think the’ve learned that Mr. Welechuk loves a neat classroom.
Have a great evening!
Tuesday, November 6… Let it Snow!
The snow came yesterday and it looks like it’s going to stick around today. Didn’t seem to bother kids. Mr. Welechuk on the other hand could use another month without snow, although, the ski hills should be opening up shortly.
Monday was kind of a rough day in room 72. Following routines and instructions seemed to be a challenge. We had to revisit how to sit quietly and raise our hand if we wanted to talk. We also had to practice lining up quietly. Mr. Welechuk was a bit disappointed with the behavior. However, today was a new day and the students are demonstrating better behaviors today. Just a day in the life of grade 2.
Monday we had a new student join our class. Gary comes from China. Room 72 has done an awesome job welcoming him and making him feel at home in Evergreen.
Probably the highlight of the day was the continuation of building and demonstrating our magnetic devices. Lots of neat ideas were presented. Students are keen to add and modify their devices. We did have to have a talk about what it means to be wasteful. The Maker Space kits that Mr. Welechuk created are not unlimited with their supplies. We need to be resourceful to make the kits last for our next project.
Today we had two math problems. The first one involved 4 racoons heading down to the lake for some water. If two raccoons got their front feet wet and one got it’s back feet wet how many dry feet do we have left? There’s some good dinner talk for tonight. The second problem involved created pattern with the colors of a stoplight. We found we could we could make 6 different patterns. The challenge… how many patterns can you make if we add in the left turn signal.
We also hopped on the bus and continued our adventure around New Brunswick. Today we took a boat ride into the Bay of Fundy and there was a rare sighting of Great White Shark. We went into Fundy National Park and investigated the sights. There was a calming water fall we stopped by, we took a minute to take some deep breaths and relax. We learned about oTENTniks and decided it would be a fun way to spend the night before heading onto Saint John and Fredericton (the capital of New Brunswick).
Hope everyone has a nice evening.
Friday, November 2… Creative Design Day!
Today we started off the day with our magnet devices. The room was a buzz with creative thinking….
“Mr. Welechuk! I did research last night. I know how to make my device better.”
“Hey, you should put a magnet here to attract the paper clip.”
“Thanks, you were a lot of help, helping me tape my device.”
The materials in our Maker Space kits were put to good use. There are lots of creative designs that started on Thursday. The students came in Friday morning eager to get to work on their prototypes. Lots of redesign happening after the initial design stages. I was happy with the intellectual thinking that was happening. I started circulating the room and the students were excited to demonstrate their devices.
The only down fall was clean up… I had trouble getting the students to stop working and put things away. Mr. Welechuk got a little bit grumpy and we had to have a talk about following instructions. We had this talk during snack time. It was one of our quieter snack breaks.
We next moved into an Art project. We looked at some drawings of swimmers floating in the water. We examined what their arms legs and hair looked like as they appeared to be floating. We looked at how the ripples in the water cascaded around their body. Mr. Welechuk decided that he would use verbal instructions to guide the students through this art activity. I thought after our talk earlier in the morning I thought this would be a great chance to see who was listening. The result for not listening and following instructions could result in having to restart the art project.
First step was to draw a picture of you floating in the water. The picture had to be drawn in PENCIL, in the center of your page and had to be big enough to cover most of the paper. There was a visual on the Smart Board to look at:
Mr. Welechuk followed through and we had six re-starts. Only one argument about the consequence but after a quick reminder the student set out to correct the mistakes.
Step two was to use oil pastels and color your body floating in the water. As the pastels were limited students had to share. I was pleased at the teamwork and sharing I observed. More so than the finished product the core competencies of communication, teamwork, managing data and collaboration were being put to good use during this project. I only had two re-starts during this phase of the project. A couple of students decided to add the water ripples without waiting for instructions.
We had to stop with the project as it was time for gym but students are looking forward to picking this back up on Monday. Some are anxious to write about the there swimming adventures during Writer’s Club.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Thursday, November 1... Swimming comes to an end and designing a device with a magnet begins.
This morning we hopped on the bus and saw a bit of New Brunswick. We ventured into the Bay of Fundy and explored the Hopewell Rocks. The Bay of Fundy has some of the worlds highest tides!
He had our morning snack on the bus before departing to Acadia swimming pool for our last swim session. The swimmers looked quite comfortable in the water and the instructors allowed for some play time at the end of session. Room 72 stopped for a photo op before heading back to the school.
In the afternoon we started our final project for our magnetism unit. Students are creating a device of their choice that uses a magnet. Lot's of games using a magnet have been created. We did learn about the engineering process where we test our devices and go back and make improvements. Only downfall was we need some more time to finish up our work. It does provide room 72 with opportunities to think and make adjustments.
Have a great evening!
Wednesday, October 31 Halloween.... Yes, some learning did happen!
Believe it or not there was some learning that happened today in room 72! After settling down the students got to some reading. Mr. Welechuk was able to read with a few students and provide them with reading strategies.
During Writer's Club the students worked quietly. Five students shared there work at Author's Chair and we added 5 new publications to our Writer's Board. I like the enthusiasm and the desire to share. We are learning to take our time when creating a finished product. It is important that our edits make it to the good copy and our letters and word spacing looks neat. We want the audience to be able to read our work.
After lunch we continued our reading of "The BFG." Today the Queen was faced with the problem of where to put nine fifty foot tall giants. If we created a cage that was 60 feet tall, 60 feet wide and 60 feet long they could all fit (just barely). It was decided that because they were mean giants they didn't need to move around a lot. Ask your child what the shape of this cage would be, it's not a square.... the 3D name of this object would be a cube. Have to love it when the story you are reading has ties to the curriculum.
The next part of the afternoon were classroom Halloween Centers. Each grade 2 classroom had an activity the students could do. Students were allowed to circulate and find an activity that interested them. The grade 2 hall way was silent... I know! Who would have thought a 100+ group of 7 year olds excited for Halloween would be so engaged hours before trick or treating.
I even managed to sneak in a number talk at the end of the day!
Have a safe evening evening filled with fun! One more day of swimming. Thanks to the parent volunteers that have been helping!
Oh! Before I forget... reminder that November 5 is the day for picture retakes! I'll try and remember closer to the date and out send another reminder.
Tuesday, October 30… Creating a Compass!
Tomorrow is Halloween. If bringing a costume please use discretion on whether to wear the costume to the pool. I have suggested to the students that if they don’t want their costume to get wet to change into after swimming when we return to school.
Swimming transitions were better today. The students looked more comfortable in the water. The instructors had the students doing more advanced skills. Although we need to work on control the volume of our voices the students were well behaved.
Today in science we created a compass using a magnet. This could create some interesting table talk tonight at dinner. Ask how we used a magnet to transfer a magnetic field to a straighten out paper clip then used a dish of water to see which direction is north.
Monday, October 29... Let's go swimming!
The highlight today was our trip to Acadia swimming pool! It was a nice change to our regular Monday morning routine to head to the pool and get some swimming lessons. The staff at Acadia pool was very welcoming and did a fantastic job organizing the swimmers into groups and keeping them engaged in the lesson. Overall I think our transitions were pretty good. Tomorrow I suspect we will be a bit faster.
Today in Writer's Club we reviewed what adjectives are and talked about how they usually come before a noun. This lead us into a discussion on what a noun is... a person, place or thing. Students had to read some sentences about an alien and circle the adjective and then indicate what word the adjective was describing.
We reviewed number lines in math. We created a number line on our floor and practiced jumping forwards and backwards to solve math sentences. Students were asked to create a number line from 1 - 10 in their Math task book and show how a number sentence could be solved. I was impressed at how some students extended the lesson on their own by showing both an addition and subtraction sentence.
After crossing the Confederation Bridge from PEI we ended up on the East Coast of New Brunswick. We learned that NB is famous for its covered wooden bridges. There are about 65 in all. We went north along the coast an ended up in Shellac, the Lobster Capital of the World. We went to Parlee Beach to test out swimming skills. The water is nice and warm during the summer months and it was nice to get off the bus and enjoy the warm weather and build a sand castle. This beach didn't have the red sand like we saw in PEI. Ask your young learner why that is. (Hint: the answer is lack of iron).
It's been a great day of learning and this school teacher has to become a swim coach and get to the UofC for practice.
Have a wonderful evening!
Friday, October 26
Happy long weekend! If you went to the Halloween Howl last night I hope you had a great time. Mr. Welechuk is looking forward to wearing his costume next Wednesday… all I can say is that I get to have a full head of hair for the day!
Reminder that swimming starts week, our class swim time is 10:45-11:30. We will be leaving the school at 10:15 and be back in time for lunch. On Wednesday, for Halloween, we will be changing into costumes after swimming when we return back to the school. I’ll have a reminder next week.
Yesterday we spent a good chunk of the morning writing and presenting our work. Students are engaged with the writing process. We are learning to take our time and do a good job to create a finished product. We are displaying our work on the bulletin board outside the classroom for other students to see.
During an editing conference on Thursday I had a conversation about how to add quotations to your writing. “I’m looking forward to this student sharing their work during Author’s Chair” said Mr. Welechuk.
We also learned about the poles on magnets. If you hang a magnet from a piece of string one end will point to the north and the other end to the south. When you put two poles that are the same together they REPEL (N-N and S-S). When opposite poles are placed together they ATTRACT (N-S). What things can you find around your house that has a magnet in them?
Enjoy your day off. Mr. Welechuk has to get back to some teacher learning. See y’all on Monday.
Wednesday, October 24... A walk in the park!
This morning we completed our bus ride around Prince Edward island. We discovered Red Sands Beach. The sand is red because it contains a lot of iron. We made a connection to our science unit. Iron is one of the things that will attract to a magnet... Hmmmm I wonder if the sand is magnetic? The students finished off the morning by drawing their 3 favorite thing about Prince Edward Island. Get them to tell what they are this evening... there are lots of interesting things.
In the afternoon we went for a walk in Fish Creek Park. It was nice to get outside and explore. Tomorrow we will talk about how this walk can inspire us to write... either with facts from our walk or using the walk to trigger our imagination.
Thanks to the parents that have sent back their volunteer forms swimming. Our swim time slot is 10:45-11:30 am next. We will be leaving the school at 10:15 and returning around noon. Volunteers are welcome to go on the bus with students or meet us at the swimming pool.
In closing I have been impressed with room 72's writing this week. We have discussed that there is no more "I'm done" with their writing. When they finish a piece of work they can move onto their next topic. Before we spend time writing, Mr. Welechuk provides the class with a writing message that helps strengthen their writing skills. Today the message was how to create or edit sentences instead of using the word and. Whenever we start writing about something different it's usually a good indication a new sentence should start.
Have a great evening! I'll see the young learners tomorrow morning at 8:30.
Tuesday, October 23
Tomorrow is "Take me outside day"
Tomorrow Wed. Oct. 24th is "Take me outside day". The grade two's will be walking to Fish Creek Park for some outdoor education. This will be in the afternoon after lunch. Please see the link for some information about Take me outside day. Although we do not require volunteers, if you have a current police clearance, you are welcome to join us after lunch. Please ensure your child is dress appropriately.
Thanks to Miss reed and Miss Su the Pre-Service teachers from Werklund School of Education for joining our class today.
Monday, October 22... Home Reading
Home reading books went home today! Each student has a their own folder with a book they picked out. There's a info sheet to help the parents guide their child with reading and a tracking sheet to keep track of the books they read. The tracking sheet also allows for parent comments if you feel there is anything I need to know.
Today students came into the room and noticed a big red line at the front of the classroom. There was lots on inquiry. They came to the conclusion that the line was there too keep students away from the Smart Board. We later discovered that it was used to create a number line. Students were given the numbers 1 to 30 and they had to arrange the numbers in order. After a few iterations the students had the numbers evenly spaced. Mr. Welechuk showed them how a number line could be used to add and subtract numbers.
In the afternoon we experimented with magnets. Building on our knowledge from last week we tested the magnetic force and how it can travel through certain materials. We learned that the magnetic force decreases when objects are thicker.
They day ended with a new game... Quiz-Quiz-Stay. It's a game where Mr. Welechuk asks questions about the things we have learned. To stay in the game answer correctly. Not only is this a fun game for the students it gives Mr. Welechuk a chance to assess some learning!
Tomorrow I will be sending out volunteer forms to those of you that offered to volunteer for swimming next week. You can expect those to appear in back packs.
Have a great evening. Enjoy the nice weather.
Friday, October 19… The Nova Scotia Lobster Fest!
Today in room 72 we had a special treat! Mr. Fred came to our room to talk about lobsters!!!! We learned from exploring Nova Scotia that the lobster is a tasty food that comes from the Atlantic Ocean. Mr. Fred was born and raised in Nova Scotia. He brought a real authentic lobster trap into Room 72! Mr. Fred even wore a fisherman’s hat. He provided the class with lots of interesting facts about lobsters. Did you know that lobsters could be blue?
But…. The fun didn’t stop there….
Using our hands as the claws and our foot as the body we hand and foot painted a lobster of our own. Mr. Welechuk was a bit nervous about how this project would go. Seven year olds with red paint all over their hands and feet… I mean who wouldn’t be nervous!?!? It all worked out it beautifully, the students demonstrated they could follow instructions and clean up after themselves. We will have some great lobsters to help inspire us with our writing when we finish the project next week.
A reminder that reading is still a piece of homework I would like the students to do. Please find time to sit down a read with them this weekend. Over the next week I will be doing more vigorous reading assessments. Level appropriate reading books will start to appear in your child’s backpack. I would like to track the reading. Students will come home with a folder and a level book. Inside the folder will be a sheet for students to write the date and title of the book. There will be a space for you to comment on their reading if you choose. There is also a “How To Help Your Child Read” information sheet. Just a heads up that this is coming.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the nice weather. I’ll see the troop Monday morning.
Wednesday, October 18
It was a great day today in room 72.The class continues to show engagement in Writer's Club. Most students have presented their work on what they did Thanksgiving weekend and have moved onto writing about their Tie Dye Monster. We are working on descriptive writing. The challenge... can someone draw a picture of your monster from the sentences you write!
Richard the Magician provided us with our science lesson of the day. He showed us how magnets are used in magic tricks! He re-inforced things we have experimented with in class. We learned that there are 4 metals that can be attracted to a magnet... Iron, nickel, cobalt, and steel (mixture of metals). This would be a good question to bring up if you get an "I didn't learn anything" answer to the question "what did you learn today?"
We said good bye to Nova Scotia, hopped on a ferry and made our way to PEI. The smart board was acting up and Mr. Welechuk had trouble getting the videos to display so we stopped the bus and read about the adventures of Gran and her grand kids as they tour N.S. Does anyone now the capital city of PEI? Or what the provincial bird is?
On Tuesday we had two preservice teachers in the class from the Werklund School of Education. They were observing a day in the life of a grade 2 teacher. It was nice having Miss Khuu and Miss Johner in the room to assist with the days activities. Room 72 was very welcoming.
Mr, Welechuk is away from the class tomorrow at another teacher workshop. Mrs. Peers will be back in room 72 to guide the students through the days activities. We've already gone over tomorrow's agenda. The burning question for tomorrow's science experiment "Will a magnet (magnetic field) work through water?" We should know this answer by end of day tomorrow.
Monday, October 15
Highlights from inside the inside of of room 72...
Number Talk... adding 9 to any number.
We discussed strategies for adding 9 to any number. We came up with make a 10 and subtract 1 strategy. We discovered how easy it was to add 10 to a number and how easy it was to take 1 away from a number. If we first add ten to the number the we take one away we could get to our answer faster than doing a count on strategy. We'll get more practice this week.
We did an experiment with magnets this afternoon. Were were testing the strength of a magnetic field with different magnets. The students recorded their observations in their visual journal. we had to take frequent breaks to keep us on task. I think the warmer weather was a distraction today.
We also hopped on the bus and started to explore Nova Scotia. We investigated the Fortress of Louisbourg and discussed the French and English rivalry the existed about 300 years ago. Did you know that Canada also had pirates that raided enemy ships with permission of King George III. They gave part of their "booty" to His Majesty and kept the rest. I told the students that I would get parents to ask them what "booty" meant this evening.
A reminder that swim forms need to be handed in. Please get those in as soon as possible.
Have a great evening. The learning continues tomorrow morning... 8 am... Room 72.
Thursday, October 11
Picture day has come and gone! After recess we spent a bit of time making sure we were presentable for pictures. Hair was checked and clothes straightened out. I remember my grade 5 photo where I insisted on on combing my hair in the opposite direction for school photos. My mom reluctantly make that decision... it's the one picture memory from school that we look back on and share a good laugh with. Hope your child's picture creates a memory for you.
Today was a bit of a catch up day for room 72. We continued to work on our writing. Today we explored the importance of our letter shapes and how to be consistent with our printing. Students are learning about the expectations of neat printing to avoid to much editing to achieve an exemplary end product for publishing.
In math today we were working on adding. Most students are finding the concept easy and are working on improving their data organization. I've seen a significant improvement.
I haven't mentioned this in awhile, home reading is still the one piece of homework I would like the students to do. Please continue to read each evening.
I did notice a difference this week with the student's behavior. They are knowledgable of my expectations and classroom routines. The settle more quickly and are more focused on tasks. After lunch there is a little game of hide that the class likes to play. It's amusing watching them work as team to make sure everyone has a good hiding space before the last students enters the room. I find letting have this moment before we begin our next lesson helps them settle into the afternoon.
I am away from the classroom tomorrow for a teachers workshop. Mrs. Peers will be be substituting. Students are familiar with her and it should be a smooth morning as we work on next week's writing inspiration: Time Dye Coffee Filter Monsters!
Have a great evening!
Wednesday, October 10
Reminder that Thursday is picture day!
Swim forms went home today as well. Swimming will take place October 29-31 and November 1. Please ensure forms are filled out and returned to the school. This is also a call for parent volunteers. If interested in helping out please send me an email (email@example.com). A police check will need to be done in order to volunteer.
Well, I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive today. I thought after a 4 day break it would be a day of "Let's focus...", "The noise is to loud...", "Who's talking?", etc... Turns out I had a pretty focused group of students today!
We put the quiet in QSR this morning and kept the ball rolling for most of the day. We finished our bus trip in NFLD. The students are recording their findings in their travel journals. Ask them what their 3 favorite parts of NFLD were tonight.
After a weeks hiatus from our mental math work books we had a go again today. I thought we may be a bit rusty. I discovered however that there was a noticeable improvement across the board. Students are getting through the questions faster. Our math strategies are helping.
Mr. Welechuk also introduced "Writer's Club" today. Students are learning how to dip into their writing pockets for inspiration. We are learning that writing is not finished till we publish our work. Today we discovered the task of editing to help us get to the finished product. We will be evaluating different things each week to prepare our work for editing. When work is published you will be able to present your work in the "Author's Chair" before starting your next piece of work.
Enjoy your evening and ... Remember it's picture day tomorrow.
Friday, October 5th
Reminder that Thursday, October 11th is PICTURE DAY.
Today in Room 72 we completed our brain hats that we started yesterday.
This took a bit more time than Mr. Welechuk had anticipate so we didn't get to our journal writing this morning. The students were engage and did an excellent job coloring, cutting and assembling their hats.
We also started an art project today. After exploring Newfoundland and Labrador this week and learning about the unique architecture. We are designing "Jelly Bean" houses. Maybe a good topic of discussion this weekend could revolve around the similarities and differences between NFLD and Alberta.
Enjoy your extra long weekend! Happy Thanksgiving! I'll see the troop on Wednesday!
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
I’m discovering that it takes a couple of days after the weekend to get some of the students in room 72 to settle into a school routine. Compared to Monday and Tuesday the students had more focus and did an excellent job staying on task and completing work.
On Tuesday we read the story “What Pet Should I Get” by Dr. Suess. The class was then tasked with writing a journal entry telling me about the pet they would like to get. There was lots of opportunity to use descriptive vocabulary in their printing. Students were also able to go into their imaginary writing pocket and create a new and interesting pet.
Our cross Canada journey started in Newfoundland. We hopped on our imaginary bus and started our journey around the province. We learned about the capital city and many interesting things about the province:
We also investigated the strongest parts of a magnet. Using our organization skills we created an experiment page in our journal. The students drew and labeled pictures. They then recorded their observations. We looked at wand, bar, u-shaped and ring\circle magnets.
We talked about having a growth mindset and used this way of thinking to solve a rectangle problem in math. Using no more than 12 squares the task was to see how many rectangles could be created. Congratulations to Dion for showing us how to make a 3 x 4 rectangle.
Enjoy your evening!
Monday, October 1
Setting the tone for the week…
Today Evergreen School recognized Orange Shirt Day. Room 72 learned how “Every Child Matters.” We recognized that everyone’s traditions and customs are important and should be celebrated. We did kindness hands and displayed on our bulletin board.
In math we did a “Number Talk.” We discussed strategies we use when solving a math sentence. See if your child can tell you about these strategies:
- Counting on
- Breaking apart numbers
- Make a 10
In social studies we made up our own version of the Canadian flag. We watched a video and discussed what images come to mind when we think of Canada.
At the end of the day we had a talk about listening. Mr. Welechuk was frustrated with volume of noise in the classroom today and had to raise his voice. I took a moment to explain my feelings. I also wanted to make sure that those students listening and following instructions were not part of my frustration. The students did understand where I was coming from and we planned to be better on Tuesday.
Enjoy your evening!
Friday, September 28
Ah the lovable and exhausting half day. With the weekend looming the energy in classroom was quite high this morning. Our day started with Quiet Silent Reading (QSR). For the most part this was done quietly. I've learned who to separate and assign to a secluded spot. This allowed me to do some individual word assessments.
We finished up printing our observation in our visual journal from our first magnetism experiment. Yesterday the students investigated things in the classroom that magnets are attracted to as well as things they were not attracted to. There was some really great work done. We are learning how to organize our page so the data we collect can be displayed neatly. Organization greatly assists us when printing our observation.
We started an art project this morning. We are creating a name plate for the front of our visual journals. The first step of the process involved creating your name with tape on the paper. We had a talk about using thin pieces of tape to make sure your name could fit (spatial awareness). There were a few restarts... Mr. Welechuk was not going to fix the problem. Most students did a great job at solving their problem.
Continue with nightly reading. Over the next couple of weeks I will be talking lots about organization and being neat. If I could get some emphasis on the home front it would help reinforce these skills.
Have a wonderful weekend. I'll see the troops back on Monday as our journey to higher learning continues.
Wednesday, September 26: From Quiet to Loud!
Afternoon parents… today room 72 started off the day with a bang. I could have sworn I was teaching a well-seasoned bunch of grade 3 students. The class was on task and you could have heard a pin drop during “Math Message” (follow up question for the day: “What did you do in math message this morning?”). A favorite moment of the morning was when I asked the class to line up at the door and was asked if they could spend 5 more minutes to finish.
We started working on “Brain Pockets” today. These are pockets writers use to help them with ideas when they write. There are 3 pockets: Memory, Fact and Imaginary. Get your grade 2 learner to tell you about them tonight.
The afternoon was much louder than the morning. There were several moments throughout the afternoon where the class was reminded to keep the noise level at a minimum. I will work on developing a strategy to help them manage this in the future. Needless to say there was no game of Silent Frog to end the day. The 10 point accumulation in the morning, dwindle to 2 by the end of day. Twelve points gets the class an end of the day game.
In the afternoon we boarded the imaginary bus for a trip around Canada. We are joining Gran and her two grandchildren. They are starting their coast to coast trip in Newfoundland and Labrador. Room 72 is going to tag along… we all couldn’t fit in the car so we are going to follow along in the bus.
Thanks for the money that has come in of the Terry Fox run. Evergreen is about 120 dollars away from reaching its school goal of $1000. The students will do a 20 minute run tomorrow afternoon. Students have pre-run the course today in gym and know to expect slightly cooler and damper conditions tomorrow.
Have a wonderful evening and we’ll see the troops tomorrow for another great day of learning.
Tuesday, September 26
It’s been a busy couple of days in room 72. Yesterday I was away in the afternoon and Mrs. Peers came in to lead the class through the afternoon activities. We continued to work our describing words (adjectives) when we are printing in our journals. Students were also given a paragraph and had to identify the describing words. We reviewed that this morning. In conversation tonight ask them about adjectives and how they help describe a person, place or thing.
The labeling of our Canada maps was also completed. There are 10 provinces and 3 territories… Can you name them all? Can you remember where they are on a map?
Our next activity is going to be a trip across Canada and investigate the provinces and territories more in detail
A couple of highlights from today include but not limited to:
- New math game: “What’s under my cup?”
- A Hero Poem about Terry Fox
Thanks for the forms that continue to come in. It has greatly assisted me in building stronger relationship with your child.
We are continuing to work on our listening skills when the teacher is talking. If this could be re-emphasized at home that could greatly assist in changing the behavior.
Have a wonderful evening!
Thursday, September 20
The students in room 72 did an amazing job this morning with their listening skills. I was extremely proud at how well the paid attention to their math and literacy exercises. With very little reminders the class stayed on task and completed their work.
We continued to work on addition skills by looking at dominoes and completing math sentences. Earlier in the week we began to learn about describing words (adjectives). Today the students had the task of finding the describing words in a paragraph. I was particularly impressed at how they were able to tell me why the word they selected was an adjective.
Toonies for Terry are still be collected. If you wish to donate it is still possible.
Thanks for the Point of View forms that were returned today. They have provided me with some valuable insight that will assist me with teaching your child.
Looking forward to meeting you all all at parent teacher conference this evening and tomorrow morning.
Have a nice weekend!
Wednesday, September 19
Wednesday was a great day in room 72. After a rocky start with our listening skills on Monday. Mr. Welechuk tightened up on his expectations. Today the students did a better job of listening when I was talking. As a result instructions were followed and we got to some great learning.
Today we started looking at the brain. We created a KWL Chart. I was impressed with what the class knew about the brain. They came up with some intelligent questions on what they wanted to know. We read the book "The Fantastic Elastic Brain" and started learning about the different parts of the brain and what they do.
Our math skills are continuing to improve. We worked on a project called "Figure Me Out!" The students had to come up with a a math sentence that provided an answer to a question about themselves. For example what math sentence could you use for your age. Many house numbers are larger than 20 and the strategies used to create these math sentences were impressive.
I sent out Parent Viewpoint forms today. Please look for them to arrive home. They can be returned at Parent Teacher Conference if possible.
Monday, September 17
Today the students were quite chatty. We had to review our class contract several times throughout the day. We had trouble with:
- Talking quietly.
- Listening when the teacher is talking.
At the end of the day we agreed that tomorrow was going to be a better day with our listening skills.
Highlights from the day included learning about how Terry Fox is a Canadian hero. Students created their own superhero and gave them characteristics only a real life person could have. Words like brave, strong, determined, never gave up (perseverance) and inspiration were words we came up with.
Mrs. Broomfield (assistant principal) stopped by in the afternoon to spend some time with room 72. Students were treated to a story and a game of 7 Up.
Today we were also able to sign out books from the Learning Commons under our own name Students now have books they can take home to use for their homework. A few students still had outstanding books from the previous school year that need to be returned before they can sign out a new one. Take a quick look at home to see if they can be found and return them to the school.
Hope you all have a good night. Looking forward to a better day of listening tomorrow.
Friday, September 14
Week 2 is in the books... speaking of books, on Monday we should have our library cards! Students will be able to sign out their own library book to take home. Remember to find a moment this weekend to read.
On Thursday, September 27th Evergreen School will be hosting their annual Terry Fox run. The students have been learning about Terry Fox and the significant of this Canadian Hero.
Video Link: Try The impossible
In support of Terry Evergreen is trying to raise money in support of cancer research. Evergreen School has created a campaign called "A Toonie for Terry." If you would like to participate students can bring in a toonie to support this cause.
Today room 72 was treated to a special math class. Mrs. Roworth stopped by to teach the class a new math game, Get to Ten (game of totals). If you would like to know more about this game ask your student of learning how to play the game.
It has been a pleasure working with your children this week. I am getting to know their unique personalities and develop strategies to assist their learning. There have been lots of positive comments from the students about being in school. One of my favorite comments... " It's time to go home? Ah! I don't want to school to end." Next week I will be sending home a Point of View form. This is a form that will help me gain deeper understanding of your child and assist me with their learning. Just another form to look forward to!
Parent - Teacher conferences are one Thursday evening and Friday morning (non-instructional day) next week. Don't forget to book an appointment. It will be nice to meet you.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Wednesday, September 12
Today was a great day for room 72! After practices routines the are inline with our class contract on Tuesday the students did an outstanding job today. This morning students entered the room quietly, checked the Smart Board for instructions and promptly got their materials ready for Math Message. We investigated which 2 numbers we could add together to equal 10.
We continued looking at patterns today. Today we expanded our vocabulary by looking at Growing Patterns and how they related to numbers. The students did an excellent job creating growing patterns with materials in the room.
In social studies we began to color and label the provinces of Canada. The students were engaged and eager to finish the map. Their ability to identify the provinces and territories has improved. I was proud of their attention to detail as the colored.
Thanks for continue to do your homework. I love hearing about the books they are reading at home.
Monday, September 10
Today the students continued to work on their mental math skills. We started the morning off with some group mental math exercises in the morning using the white boards and we discussed different strategies to get to the answers. In the afternoon we did a ten question mental math challenge working on addition. In just one week students were able to see improvement in their mental math skills by finding the answers faster.
After reading the Golden Rule we discussed strategies we could incorporate into our classroom to make make it a safe and enjoyable learning space. The students came up with many great ideas. We discussed forming our suggestions in a way of things we could do rather than saying what we shouldn't do. A class contract was made and the students signed it agreeing to uphold our suggestions.
In social studies we continued to look at the provinces and territories of Canada. Students are much better at recalling the names of each area. We all should know that our home province is Alberta. Today we looked at a map and started to identify these regions.
This week we will be learning about Terry Fox!
Remember to get forms in by September 14th and practice reading each night.
Friday, September 7
First of all my apologies... I posted on Tuesday but forgot to hit the publish button. Please read September 5 post.
On Thursday we started talking about the provinces and territories in Canada. We now know that Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories. The province we live in is Alberta... not Canada or Calgary. We will be taking a journey through each province as we continue to explore Canada.
As mentioned from the Tuesday Blog homework for the students is to read. At some point this weekend spend a bit of time reading with them. I've also introduced mental math to the class. A couple of times each week a set of 10 math questions is posted on the smart board. Students have to figure out the answer in their mind and write it down inside their Mental Math book. This week we focused on addition. Lots of students are getting all 10 questions correct!
Reminder to return the envelopes back to the school by September 14.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Tuesday, September 5
We got my Blog to work!!!! There were some technical difficulties and I was not able to post yesterday. My apologies but now I'm able to keep you up to date on classroom happenings.
With the second day of grade 2 complete I've begun to develop relationships with all of the students in my class. I'm fortunate to have a great group of students and looking forward to being a part of their learning journey.
Most of this week will be spent on assessing students in math and writing to establish a baseline for each student. We have begun to establish procedures and classroom rules that will be followed throughout the school year. I'm proud at how quickly they listen and follow direction.
School envelopes went home to today. These envelopes contain some forms that need to be filled out and returned by September 14th. There were a couple of envelopes that didn't make it out of the classroom and will be sent home tomorrow... Willem & Jon.
Homework for students and parents: I've told the students that their homework this week is to read with their parents. I told them I wanted them to be responsible for this task and to initiate reading with you. It doesn't have to be a lengthy read. I want them to get in the habit of doing some reading outside of school.
As the school year progresses I will be using the Blog to communicate important information and provide you with classroom feedback.
As mentioned in the welcome letter I can be reached by calling the school (403-777-6288) or sending me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
looking forward to a great year of learning!