Monthly Archives: January 2020

See You Later January…Hello February!

Hello Everyone!

It seems like so much has happened in 123 since my last post! Care for a recap?!

-We are soooooo close to finishing Shout Out To The Fitzgerald-Trouts! My prediction is we will finish by Thursday! Today we learned about Kimo’s disappointing pole vaulting attempt and now Toby and baby Penny are MISSING! This would be a great time for a conversation with your child about their thoughts about today’s chapters and predictions for how the story will soon end!

-We are over half way through our current Common Learning Cycle with 122 and 126! So far the students have rotated through two writing crafts and done one session with their third. We are aiming to finish this cycle on February 11! Ask your child about what they’ve been learning in their writing groups!

-We are learning a lot about fractions! Here are some things we have covered and will cover again over the next two weeks! You may want to give them a try at home too!

  • Where we see fractions in the real world
  • That fractions are equal parts of a whole and that being equal is very important!
  • Referring to the numerator (when referring to the number of pieces eaten/shaded/lost etc.) and denominator (when referring to the number of parts of the whole)
  • When an objet or set is shared in two it is called halves, shared in three is called thirds, in four is called quarters or fourths, etc.
  • Naming compatible fractions…if I ate 1/3 of the chocolate bar then what fraction is left?
  • Counting by 1/2 and 1/4s

Next week we have some fun…and tasty fractions to experience 😉

Mathantics-Fractions are Parts

-Students who have some “Add’Em” books to complete have brought them home today (Thursday) and I’d be happy to have them back on Monday. We’ve been working on these for awhile and it’s time to finish up!

-We’ve had two “Mindful Mondays” and two “Thankful Thursdays” so far this month! We are pretty used to mindfulness in 123 because we try to take time to practice mindfulness on a daily basis. Taking the time to be in the moment, focus on our breathing, sitting with our thoughts and feelings and slowing down are great tools to have in our toolbox as we live in a fast paced world. We learned about #BellLetsTalk day on January 29th and the impact that talking about Mental Health has on ending the stigma around Mental Health Illness.

Other classes have been inspired to talk about Mental Health and have found some wise words to share with us all…Thanks 125 for these inspirational and beautiful words 🙂

Today for #ThankfulThursday the focus was on people we are thankful for. 

The students have been sent home with a blank card. Their task is to create a thank you card for someone they are thankful for and give it to them. Maybe they’ll see them in person or need to pop it in the mail. Maybe it’s for someone they see everyday and maybe it’s for someone who they don’t see very often. Maybe it’s for someone that they don’t even know well such as the mail carrier, the dentist or the local barista at Starbucks (that’s who I should bring a card for!). It feels good to get a card, but it also feels good to give one! Let’s spread kindness and gratitude 🙂

-We’ve finished all of our Canadian art AND take a look at this amazing bulletin board display!! There are nearly 100 piece of art up on display!!!


-We had an amazing trip to the zoo to learn about animal adaptations and how human impact affects animals and their habitats


Now we are working within a small group to go through the design process to: empathize with an animal from the zoo, define a question to a problem we have discovered, ideate ways to solve this problem (one we could do on our own which would be a small impact, one we could do as a society which would have a greater impact and one that is “out of this world” which might be completely impossible, but sometimes those impossible ideas become actual ideas), create a prototype of the solution an then test our our prototype and find ways to be critical thinkers! We are right in the middle of this…so stay tuned for photos!

-We had an incredible visit from Allie this week! She taught us so much about animals of the North, how people of the North live and how they use and respect animals and about how human impact affects how animals live and prosper. She had some pretty fascinating artifacts. I’m sure you’ve already heard all about Allie’s presentation 🙂 Thanks for visiting us in 123!

-Two of our grade 5 friends (Room 123 alumni!) have initiated a school bake sale to help the animals affected by the wildfires in Australia. If you are able to send in some baked goods please fill in the green sheet that was sent home yesterday (unless it has been left in your child’s mailbox. In which case you can let me know if you would like to make a donation and what you would like to send in as that donation!).

-This week’s Ask Me question has been posted and ready for business! This will be a great checkin to see the growth in your child’s reading. Check the Seesaw post for more details! I’ll be participating as well 🙂

What’s Coming Up in the Next Two Weeks-ish

-Next week is the Jack Frost Challenge! We will be trying to spend a little extra time outdoors. Maybe this is a good motivator for you as a family too! What can you do outside from February 2-8?! Wednesday is the day the Jack Frost Challenge encourages students to walk to school. Anyone interested? We will also be doing some activities as a school on Wednesday. Stay tuned for more details from Mr. Strachan and Erin!

-We will finish up our Ecosystem Book Clubs next week and come up with some displays to share our learning with each other and with you too!

-Wednesday is Global School Play Day!! A few weeks ago the students of grade 3/4 wrote letters to us teachers trying to convince us to let them participate in GSPD! Persuasive writing sure can be a great way to convince people to do something you want to do! We will be having a day of learning through play and figuring out what our play has taught us! I’m hoping someone is wanting to play boardgames with me!!!!

-We will be doing more design thinking when we plan out what to create for our Valentine’s Day holders! Once we set the criteria and draw out a design with our list of materials, we will let you know what supplies we may need from home! Students are welcome to bring in cards for their classmates for Valentine’s Day, but are required to bring in one for ALL 23 other students in room. As always I encourage people to use up the leftover cards from years past or make simple cards that can later be recycled. Ginny has a craft up her sleeve for us to do as her gift to 123 🙂 We will also be talking about healthy habits a bit more over the next two weeks, so we are going to plan out a really healthy Valentine’s Day…so hold off on those treats! P.. If you have any nutritional labels from food packages that you would like to send in we will gladly take those off your hands for a mini-inquiry project!

-During the week on February 10-14 we will have many guests at Montrose! We will be celebrating the Arts through storytelling, drama and dance!

It’s pretty awesome being part of the Montrose community! #BAM!!

That’s it for now…but at things come up I will send you a Seesaw announcement complete with all the details you need to be “in the know”!

Until next time,



Settling into 2020!

Hi Everyone,

Well we’ve been back in school for two weeks after our winter break and it hasn’t taken long to get back into the swing of things! Here is a little about what we’ve been up to and what we have planned for the next few weeks!

-We have done lots of writing practice including our mid year narrative, persuasive and information samples. Our focus is about organization-making sure we have a beginning, middle and end as well as inserting some voice-to make our writing sound like us! To help with this task we will be doing another Common Learning session with 122 & 126. Starting on Monday we will have the students rotate between 4 writing crafts (Beginnings, Endings, List vs Layer & TAP into voice). The students will be in the same groups they were in for our September rotations and will get two 60 minute sessions with their teacher leader before moving onto the next writing craft. Once we have finished the 8 lessons we will rewrite the information sample we have already written and see how the students were able to make improvements to their own writing.

-We are about 1/3 of the way through the final Fitzgerald-Trouts novel! There have been many good inferences and predictions happening as we read as well as stopping to learn new vocabulary and have discussions about word choice. There are so many benefits and teaching moments that take place during read aloud time. I already can’t wait to read our next book…The Wild Robot!

-We started a new Friday tradition! I came across another teacher who does “First Chapter Fridays”. This is where you read the first chapter of a novel and talk about whether or not the author has “hooked” you or not and if you are interested in continuing the book on your own. I think this will be the theme of our Ask Me question for a bit. Make sure to share your thoughts via our weekly Seesaw question! I’m hoping this activity will help the students to be inspired to make connections from what they read to what they write and how grabbing the reader’s attention right from the beginning can be a great tool to use as a writer. I’m also hoping it will help students who are stuck with choosing books to read.

-Our Canadian artist study has been going well. So far the students have completed 3 works of art and will finish their fourth this week! I haven’t been great at taking photos lately…but here are a few samples from similar work from a few years ago!

-Our inquiry focus for the next while is Habitats and Communities. To help springboard our inquiry we are going to the zoo (on Thursday, January 23). I sent a Seesaw message earlier in the week and the blue field trip note has been put in your child’s mailbox. Please make sure they are dressed for the weather as a large portion of the day will be spent outside.

-This is also helping to inspire us for our class Genius Hour project. We are going to be working through the Genius Hour process by working together and learning more about the impacts of the wildfires in Australia. The koalas have been of particular interest to us and we are looking for a way to help after they have been injured and their habitat has been lost.

-We have just begun a unit on fractions and will be doing some lessons about fractions and decimals over the next few weeks. If you would like to extend this practice to something you can work on at home some of the things we are noticing are: some students are challenged by sharing ways we use fractions in our everyday lives (for example-sharing food in equal parts, when baking, etc.), naming fractions of sets (if I have a set of 12 cookies and I ate 6 what fraction did I eat?), counting by 1/2s (1/2, 1, 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, 3…), counting by 1/4s (1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4, 1 2/4…), naming compatible fractions (If I shaded 1/2 of the shape what fraction of the shape would need to be shaded to make 1 whole?). Some of these concepts are new for the students and for some of them it is a review. I simply wanted to share what we are working on in case you wanted to practice at home too!

-Other things to note! During this week’s practice of sentence editing and contractions I added in some extra details in the instructions section! Following instructions, both written and oral, seems to be an area we require extra practice with. To make sure students were reading the instructions, I had asked them to write their first and last name at the top of the page. Several students were asked to go back and read the instructions again as it was clear that they had only written their first name. We will continue to work on the importance of reading and listening to instructions and how that is connected with knowing what is expected of us. However…the other thing that surfaced is that many students were not able to spell their last name and did not know they needed to use an uppercase letter to begin the last name too. Take a minute and see if your child is able to spell their last name on their own (with an uppercase letter)!

*Book orders were due yesterday, but as I only had one order I will leave it open until Tuesday, January 21.

*Monday is a library day…please bring in any books you have at home. There are many overdue books that should be returned ASAP 🙂

I think that’s it for now. I’ll be back in a few weeks with more updates from 123!

Until next time,