Monthly Archives: February 2019

Last Week of February!

Hello Everyone!

And just like that it’s the end of February!! Here is to hoping that March brings warmer weather and a lot less snow!

Even though last week was a short week…it seems like it was just as busy as a full week!! Here is a little recap and what to expect for next week!

-Our second round of our Targeted Learning Cycle is now complete! The students are really looking forward to hearing about their growth. Thanks so much for taking some extra time at home to help with basic math facts. Areas to continue working on are: doubles (16 through 19), compatible numbers to 50 and 100 and solving equations with an unknown that is not asking for the answer. The students’ writing has improved tremendously! They are much more knowledgeable of introducing the topic, creating paragraphs and using a conclusion to end their work. Great job grade 3/4s!!

-As our study of Ancient Civilizations is coming to an end we are busy creating structures that represent something of significance for each student. Thank you for sending in some extra supplies for us. As of now it looks like we have what we need to complete our task! We have enjoyed tying in what we have learned about Ancient Civilizations with structures and materials. There has been planning, designing, testing of materials, changing of materials, asking each other for advice about durability and strength, etc.. In the end we are going to have some great representations of some important historical structures! *On Tuesday Murray will be taking the class to the library where they will have more space to paint and work. If you are concerned about paint getting onto clothing, check with your child to see if they plan on painting on Tuesday!

-Murray will be doing Genius Hour with the class on Tuesday as well 🙂

-We have been working on a narrative piece that is based on our Ancient Civilization as well. Students will have a fiction and a non fiction piece of writing to go with their projects. We can’t wait to share everything with you…at Student Led Conference time!!!!

-Multiplication has been going quite well! Sometimes arrays can seem ‘tricky’ but with a bit more practice we will have it all figured out!! If you are wanting to work on facts at home a good place to start is…0, 1, 2, 10 and 5 facts!

Multiplication Mash Up Song (YouTube)

-On Friday afternoon we had an amazing contemporary dance performance. I hope the kids had lots to say about that experience!! They made me exhausted just watching! I can’t imagine putting in 8 hour days at a school of dance!! Those dancers have extraordinary stamina and talents.

-This is our last week of Flossing February!! How has your flossing been going?! I like being held accountable and I’ve been excellent at remembering to floss daily! We are having a special guest come to talk to us about dental health on March 4!!

-Also-March is Nutrition Month and we look forward to talking about the impact of the choices we make!!

-We are still enjoying A Snicker of Magic! Now we know more about the Beedle, the history of Stone and Berry Weatherly and are looking forward to learning more about the magic within the town of Midnight Gulch!

-Reminder: There is NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY!


Have a great Sunday!


Until next time,




Happy Long Weekend!!

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick note to share a bit about our week and the week ahead…

-Thank you for the Valentine’s Day treats! The class really enjoyed snacking and exchanging cards with each other 🙂

-We’ve completed round 2 of our Targeted Learning Cycle-one more to go then we will check in on the growth the students made. This gives you another week to practice math facts at home! In my opinion, the facts the students are most “stuck” on are:

-doubles to 20+20 (the facts in the teens: 16+16, 17+17, 18+18 and 19+19). How can you help?! Say “Name the double of 16” or create a few flashcards. Remind them that if they know 6+6=12, then 16+16 will also end in a “2” and that all doubles are even numbers!

-doubles +/-1 to 20+20 (the facts in the teens: 16+17, 17+18, 18+19). How can you help?! Say “What is 17+18?” If they can’t-ask what 17 doubled is and then add one more, or 18 doubled then subtract one. Make flashcards for the ones that they don’t know. Remind them that all “near doubles” are odd numbers. Mix up the order in the questions you ask: 17+____=35 instead of always asking 17+18=+____!

-compatible numbers to 50 & to 100 (using a benchmark will help. For example: if you know that 20+30=50 then you can use that to help you with the compatible for 18. 18 is two less than twenty so its compatible is two more than thirty: 18+32). How can you help?! Give them the total (either all the 50s or all the 100s). Say “Compatible numbers to 50. If I have 35, you have what?” They can answer you and then ask you the next one!

-solving the fact when the ‘unknown’ is not simply the ‘answer’ (we are most comfortable with solving the equation and having the answer (sum or difference) be what is asked of us). For example: _____-8=3. The ‘unknown’ is actually the “whole”. Many students are solving this as 5 (because they are thinking of it as 8-3), but that is not what the question is asking. To find the ‘unknown’ students can think of this as something minus 8 equals 3 OR what does 8+3 equal? Understanding fact families will really help with these questions.

Fact Family: 3 numbers that can provide you with 2 addition statements and 2 subtraction statements!






This is based on the part, part, whole way of thinking. P+P=W (2 addition statements) and

W-P=P (2 subtraction statements). 11 is the whole in the above example because it is the total, 3 is one part and 8 is the other part!

How can you help?! Ask your child about what part, part whole means. Ask them what a fact family is. Create a fact family with one unknown (we usually use the shape of a triangle and have the whole on top and the parts in each corner). Switch up where the unknown is and ask what the question would be!

*Ask your children which questions they are ‘stuck’ on and go from there. If they already have developed instant recall for facts, just work on the those facts that still require extra practice!

-We are multiplying! Grade 3s and 4s always seem to be very excited about multiplication. So far we know that “Factor X factor = the Product”, that when either factor is 0 then the product is also 0, any factor that is 1 will have a product of the ‘other factor’, and any factor of 2 is just asking you what the double of the other factor is! We know that repeated addition and arrays are two strategies for multiplication and soon we will have a giant array example in the room!!!

Multiplication Song!

-We have completed our final dance rehearsal! We will perform, record and upload to Seesaw on Tuesday! Some of the groups wanted to dress similar to each other-if your child mentions they have to wear something in particular…that’s why! I’m very excited for the sharing…you should be too because they are great!!

-We’ve worked a bit on some homophones that we always seem to mix up! For example: there, their and they’re, it’s and its and to, too and two. Do a check in at home to see how your child is doing! Example:Say “I’m looking over there!” and ask how to spell there! They quite like this ‘game’. Next on our list is which and witch!

-All of our Ancient Civilization writing is done!! I think we will have the kids read their work on Seesaw for you. They did a great job and are really putting what they’ve learned about introductions, paragraphs and conclusions into use!!

-We’ve only got about 1/3 of the Love Letter to My Favourite Books uploaded to Seesaw. More filing and posting to come this week!

-So far A Snicker of Magic is a hit! What will happen to “Flea” and “the Beedle” in Midnight Gulch?!


Enjoy your long weekend! I ended up getting away to Duluth…it’s like -7 here and actually feels very, very warm!!

See you on Tuesday!

Until next time,


100 Days Already?!

Hello Everyone!

This upcoming week marks the 100th day of school! Can you believe that we are already half way though the year?! It’s hard to accept that, but also at the same time there has been so much growth that it totally makes sense that we’ve been in school for 100 fabulous days!

Here’s a look at what we did this week at school!

-We finished Crenshaw!! Ask your child how they enjoyed it, what they learned from it and who else they think would enjoy it. Next week we will write a book recommendation for Crenshaw!

-Our Subtraction Action books have been finished and corrected!! We also did a little review assessment to make sure all that we’ve learned has been transferred over. Most of the students did okay on that. Common errors were: not copying the question from the whiteboard accurately, not lining the question up according to the place values in the question, not paint attention to the operation symbol (adding when it asked them to subtract and vice versa) and questions that require a lot of regrouping when there are zeros present (example: 10000-3458). This is something that you can easily do at home if you would like to check in with your child!

-We’ve started some work on fractions! Ask your child what a fraction is! If they need a refresher feel free to watch this Mathantics video

-The targeted lessons on basic facts and writing crafts have been going really well! We have completed one rotation with the writing. Your child has either completed 3 lessons on a) Introductions b) Paragraphs or c) Conclusions. The students have been hard at work putting this knowledge into practice with their Ancient Civilization writing!

-The Ask Me question this week tells you about the basic facts we are working on and provides you with a few ideas to try out at home

-We’ve done an assessment on the first 100 words on the Fry’s word list. Earlier in the week I sent home words students needed to practice and will send the next note home on Monday. These are now part of our “No Excuse” words and will be expected to be spelled correctly each time they are used. If anyone would like a copy of the words to use at home, please let me know

-We talked about flossing…I hope it’s been going well at home!!! I haven’t missed a day yet!

-We FINALLY got to go outside for recess on Friday afternoon! Let’s hope the weather will cooperate this week so we can get outside more regularly!!

What’s happening next week?!

-Book orders are due!

-We are doing some Valentine’s Day writing combined with I Love to Read month…called “A Love Letter to My Favourite Book!” This is a spinoff of what we did last year (A Love Letter to My Favourite Food). Look for the finished product on Seesaw later in the week!

-Speaking of Valentine’s Day…On Thursday we will be making card holders in the morning, then exchanging cards (for those who want to) in the afternoon. It is also our day to have learning buddies and Mrs. Au and I thought it might be nice to exchange a card with each other! So please have your child make or write out a card for the grade 1/2 buddy. If your child is going to exchange cards with others we ask that they have a card for each student, if they do not want to participate in a card exchange that is fine too. Reminder: there are 22 students in the class. If you would like to send in a small treat to share with the class please let me know (reminder about the peanut allergy in the class). We are nothing a “party” per se, but will make time for a snack if someone wants to send something in. *Please send in any materials required for the Valentine holder that we don’t have at the school. The only stipulations for the holders are 1) Name must be clearly visible and 2) There needs to be an opening for the cards. If you have extra boxes at home and want to send one for someone who may not have one please feel free!

-We will do another rotation with our writing crafts and 3 more targeted lessons for basic facts

-We will start our next read aloud book….another Natalie Lloyd selection! This one is called “A Snicker of Magic”

-Hopefully by the end of Monday our final drafts of the Ancient Civilization writing will be complete. If your child hadn’t finished their first draft(s) at school it has been sent home for them to finish. We worked on this for many hours this week and I think it’s fair to have the first draft ready to edit together.

-Once we are done with that we will move into making some structures! Students will look for structures from their Ancient Civilization and start to recreate!! This is always a crowd pleaser!!

-You have a few more days to drop of peanut butter, other nut butter or “WoW” butter for the Destination Imagination group’s food drive for Winnipeg Harvest. We are competing with 122 and 126 for top prize, but in the end those in need of food in our city are the real winners 🙂 If you are inspired by a good competition though…we are in need of more donations to ‘catch up’ to the frontrunner….Room 122!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Until next time,



February Challenge…

Happy Friday, February First!!

In honour of a new month, our attempt to use alliteration in the class and the importance of dental health I have decided that we should have a challenge called…”Flossing February”! At first the kids were pretty pumped! Then they realized I meant dental health and not popular dance move! How does this work you ask?! On Monday the students will receive a calendar which we will fill in with important upcoming events (like we do at the beginning of each month). This will be where they can track their flossing habit. Of course they will need to remember if they floss today, tomorrow and Sunday so they can fill in their calendar with a check or an “F” or some symbol that makes sense for them! At the end of the month we will see how many days included flossing! *It is very important for students to bring in their purple communication folder on Monday., otherwise these loose sheets seem to go missing.

As a group we have maybe 3-4 students who bring in this communication folder each day and use it as it is intended. It is wise to use this folder as a tool to keep yourself organized, but at the same time I am not going to continuously check in with each student to ask where their missing folder is and why notes from school aren’t being put in it. I offer reminders at the end of the day, but this is ultimately the responsibility of the students. The same is to be said with the home reading tracking sheets. I recommend that students track what they are reading, but I am not able to keep track each day of who is and who is not, who really should track the amount of time reading to become more accountable for daily reading or who has already developed daily habits without logging. This is a family decision. I have plenty of tracking sheets that I would love to send for you but am not willing to waste paper each week if they will not be used. Also, please get back in the habit of writing a book recommendation for our binder as students do use that to help guide their reading selection.

Here is a recap of this week at school!

-We are now on Part 3 of Crenshaw! 140 pages read so far! We’ve paused reading many times to talk about what is happening in the book and have developed a sense of empathy for Jackson and his family.

-Subtraction books are complete…or nearly. If your child has taken their book home to finish, please ensure it is sent back on Monday so we can correct the answers together.

-We did a basic facts assessment for addition and subtraction and added a few multiplication facts in there to see what the grade 4s remembered and what the grade 3s might already know. More to come about basic facts…

-We are VERY close to finishing the research of our Ancient Civilization projects. I think one more chunk of time ought to do it!

-We’ve completed our Ancient Civilization book clubs and soon we will be doing some “making” to show what we’ve learned.

-#BellLetsTalkDay created great conversations about mental health and wellness. Together with Room 122 we put up a fabulous display to share our messages with others.

-Murray also did Genius Hour with the kids on Day 6!

-We’ve had another day to practice our dance choreography. I am hoping that after another time to two we will be ready to share our moves with each other!

What’s Up Next?!

-We are starting our next targeted instruction cycle for ELA and Math. In ELA the students are working on organization for informational writing. The grade 3/4 s in all three classes kids will learn about writing a strong beginning, a strong ending and using paragraphs. In Math the students are working building instant recall for basic facts for addition and subtraction. Then those who are ready will move on to multiplication and division. As a grade group we will be sending home some information and tools for you to use at home to help your child practice his or her basic facts.

Addition Chart (yellow=grade 1, green=grade 2, blue=grade 3) Multiplication Chart (yellow=grade 4, blue=grade 5)


-We have completed the individualized spelling tests and are now going to work our way through the Fry’s word lists. I will send words home with students as they make errors and need more practice. I will start with the first 100 words and move on from there. We will use our personal dictionary to highlight the “No Excuse” words and really emphasize how these words need to be spelled correctly each time they are used. Please let me know if you would like a copy of these word lists.

-We have one more day of research and by the end of this stretch of time the students should all be at least starting to write their final piece for Ancient Civilizations.

-Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Details on any events that will take place on February 14 will come soon. Each year I like to remind families that making our own cards out of paper, or using the random cards left from year to year, or exchanging something other than cards (even a kind word) are all choices that have less of an impact on our environment. I try my best to cut down on waste, especially during these special days where we often end up acting out of character and creating a lot of waste. Many of the Valentine cards out there cannot be recycled due to the plastic or foil coating on the cards. I am by no means telling people that they cannot purchase or use pre-made cards for Valentine’s Day, but letting you know other options are welcome as well 🙂 Valentine’s Day card writing is also a great opportunity for students to practice their best printing or try out some cursive writing skills!

Have a lovely weekend. Let’s hope it’s warm enough to spend more time outside without risking frostbite!!

Until next time,