Monthly Archives: January 2017

It Will Cost Ya!

This week’s math plan is to wrap up our unit on money. Next Monday we will do a #MentalMathMonday focus on money. Here are some ways to practice at home if your child needs some extra support or just so you know what we are working on at school.

How much money? Grab some change and have your child a)count it out coin by coin as needed, then b) when they are ready ask them to add it in their head before telling you how much. a)$2.00+$1.00+$0.25=$3.25 b)$3.25

Try it again. This time your child could a)move the coins into amounts that are easier for them to add together (put the quarter alone, then add 2 dimes and a nickel, then the other 2 dimes and count it as $0.25+$0.25+$0.20=$0.70) b) start from different points and add coins as they are near (this could be counted as dime, dime, quarter nickel, dime, dime) c)group all like coins together then add it up (one quarter, one nickel and 4 dimes). Counting the coins in different ways just helps to solidify their understanding

Add the value of the coins and think about how much more they would need to equal a certain amount (in this example: $1.00). This one starts at $0.45 so kids could add on dimes (55,65,75,85,95) then a nickel to make $1.00 (the answer being 5 dimes and 1 nickel which is $0.55) or know that $0.50 would being them to $0.95 and $0.05 more would be a $1.00 (the answer being $0.50+$0.05=$0.55) or knowing compatible numbers to 100 is a great tool (if 45+55=100 then $0.45 +$0.55=$1.00)

Start with an amount (in this example $1.00 and see what they would need to subtract to end up with a known amount of change (in this example $0.30). $1.00-$0.30 is the same thinking as 100-30. Knowing those compatible numbers to 100 comes in handy again! (Compatible numbers are number pairs that add to a certain number…we’ve already done a lot of practice with 10,20 and 50…now would be a great time to really know the 100 facts!)

Counting money and writing it in different ways…using dollars or cents

Money is similar to time for some kids because we don’t necessarily use actual coins and bills asa often as we might use debit and credit. Give your child real life opportunities to use money to pay for things when you are out, set up a store at home, use real or pretend coins (or you can make your own pretend money if you wanted). If your child isn’t used to telling time or using money these skills won’t happen overnight. Have fun and practice a little each day. Choose one skill to work on at a time.

*There are some students who still need a little support with recognizing coins and knowing their value. Please review toonies, loonies, quarters, dimes, nickels and even pennies at home…I know we don’t use pennies anymore, but they come in handy for math skills! Knowing how many pennies you need to equal the value of a toonie for example is also a nice review of place value understanding.

*You can also do things like how many nickels would you need to make $0.25 or $0.75, etc. Or what is the fewest amount of coins you could need to make $0.60 (and have them draw it out). OR show you all the ways they can think of to make $1.00.

Happy Practice!


Have Time for Another Post?!

Today we did some practice with telling time. Yesterday our Mental Math Monday (or Tuesday since there was no school on Monday 😉)focus was time. I read a time and the students wrote the time down on paper. For example: when I said half past 10. They would write 10:30. Quarter after 6 would be 6:15. Quarter to 8 would be 7:45. 20 to 4 would be 3:40. 5 to 12 would be 11:55, etc. Then we switched to the 24 hour clock. I would say 13:00 and the would write 1:00 p.m., etc. Overall, we found that about 1/3 of the class felt confident with the task and were pleased with their score /30. This means that we wanted to do some practice and boost those feelings of confidence and understanding of the other 2/3 of the class. Students who needed extra practice partnered up with students who felt like they could support their peers. Students who felt okay-ish partnered with others who felt okay-ish. Afterward we did a sharing circle about the process and found…students enjoyed being learning leaders, students enjoyed learning from other their peers, students liked hearing ideas of how to practice telling time and either choosing one of those or developing their own activity, students realized that they knew more than they thought they did!

Time to learn!

Check in with your kids to see how they feel about telling time. Students are welcome to borrow some mini clocks to use at home for a few days to practice. You could also make flashcards, say a time and have them draw a clock or write the time to match what you’ve said, practice the 24 hour clock (which comes in so handy for travelling!), give a time and ask how many minutes until the next hour. Don’t forget to practice times like 3:37 or 10:18 when reading time, drawing clocks and telling you how many minutes to the next hour (which is like a compatible number to 60) can be a little trickier. I realize that most places have digital clocks, but learning to read an analog clock is a skill that everyone should know.

We will do another round of time for MentalMathMonday (January 30).

Time to go (lol)


It’s Cool To Be Kind!

Upon review of our “Kindness” vs “Unkindness” challenge we have discovered…

25 kind messages and 8 unkind messages! Good job 123!

Next steps:

-Consider what the unkind examples were and how we can change those types of behaviours into kindness examples

-Inspire more people to write a note about something they experienced

-Remind ourselves that we are tracking kindness that we experience NOT the kindness she show to others (not focussing on the “I” messages like “I helped clean up”. It helps us to take notice of others. Let someone write _____ was kind when s/he cleaned up my table spot)

-Keep the acts of kindness genuine…we aren’t telling people to notice something so we can write it on a ticket

-Continue to write acts of unkindness…don’t ignore them to make us feel like we have fewer acts of unkindness just because they aren’t being written down and put in the box

-Save all the notes and see what they look like for a predetermined amount of time (which has not been decided yet)

-Spread kindness like confetti!

We’d love to hear your Random Act of Kindness stories from home…let us know by commenting on this post!



Weekend Thoughts…

Over the past two weeks we have been talking about BAM (Being Awesome Montrosians)…well the title is new, but I’m thinking that it makes a pretty fun hashtag! #BAM (love it!). The foundation of Being Awesome Montrosians has three main pillars: Kindness, Generosity and Belonging. Over the next few weeks as a school we will continue to have discussions about what makes us awesome. As a class we have decided to track kindness. When we feel that something kind has happened to us we write it on a green slip and put it in the kind box and when something has happened that we feel is unkind we write in on a red slip and put it in the unkind box. At the beginning of the next week (this week it will be Tuesday) we will compare the two boxes to see if more kind or unkind things have happened at school throughout the week. Of course…our hopes is that the kind will heavily outweigh the unkind! We also can talk about what kind and unkind things have happened. Can we continue to make choices that others see as kind? Can we make changes to the unkind choices we’ve made and turn them into kind moments? Seeing and hearing what some people view as unkind will make us more aware of people’s kindness needs!

What I’ve noticed so far is…

We talked about how greeting people is a simple way to show kindness that can really help people have a great day! Before we talked about this I had a handful of students say good morning and have a nice evening or weekend to me on a regular basis. After a few days I’d say that number is up to about 3/4 of the class! I was away at training for a few days. Upon my return I was greeted by EVERYONE who walked in the door. It put an instant smile on my face!

My hopes…

I hope that we participate in random acts of kindness that range from greetings, to compliments, to helping without being asked, to helping anyone who needs it (not just our closest friends). Just wanting to be kind because we want to, not because we think someone is watching or to be able to say we filled up our kindness bucket is my main goal for the students in Room 123!

When we show kindness, we also show generosity and feel like we belong…all of that combined is pretty AWESOME!

I shared a story with the class about the feeling of belonging. When I taught at Montrose before I fell in love with the school and the community. It was sad for me when I had to leave (which is the life of a teacher on a term contract). I went to new schools and loved to teach there too, but I always knew that I wanted to come back to Montrose School one day because I felt like I belonged there. We are so lucky to have such a strong community of support. It is nice to remind ourselves of that so we never forget just how AWESOME we are 🙂

Image result for kindness                            Image result for kindness                         Image result for kindness

I can’t wait to share some kindness stories on Tuesday BECAUSE it’s cool to be kind!



New Pages!

I think I’ve learned something new…I’ve added some new pages at the top of the blog. They are: Important Reminders, Home Reading and Need an Extra? So far I’ve been able to update the reminders and the home reading pages. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to work on the need an extra function. The reason for these new pages is to help keep you informed. I will do my best to keep them up to date. The need an extra page will have home reading pages, ask me question sheets, etc. Things that you may need and can print off from home. Let’s see if I can figure this part out!


First Week Back at School!

Happy Saturday! Well…I hope none of you are suffering with the cold I have. At least I feel up to updating the blog (which is an improvement from yesterday)!

Here is a little about what we did last week and what is coming up this week!

It was so nice to see all the smiling faces welcome me back to school! I always feel so happy to hear the friendly “Good Mornings” and all the students were to interested to hear about my trip. We started  Monday off with some sharing about our holiday and then turned that into a writing assignment. It was a narrative piece about some aspect of the holidays that I really enjoyed reading! We also worked on persuasive writing and informational writing this week. These were meant to guide me in my teaching and see how we have progressed since the last time we took a sample of these 3 types of writing. The persuasive piece was about each student trying to convince me to read their choice for our next read aloud. Let me tell you…it is very difficult to choose! It’s narrowed down to three…Matilda, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief. I’ve got some decisions to make! I think Listen to Reading is one of my favourite times of the day. I love meeting as a group, then reading for 20ish minutes. It is how we start our day and I love that routine. It isn’t just me reading a story. It is a discussion about vocabulary, making predictions, finding connections, discussing plot and characters, etc. I often get persuaded to read just one more chapter or find an extra few minutes throughout the day to read!

Matilda  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Our informational piece was “How To” writing of their choice. We will be working more on organization in writing (starting with an exciting lead sentence (the appetizer), forming paragraphs (the main course), and ways to end our work that make it feel finished (the dessert).

We also worked on Time and Money in math, and are hoping to finish those two units up soon. We will do some graphing and then jump into a big unit on multiplication! We will have an exciting piece to show you about multiplication one day…it’s is quite the representation of how talented and capable these students are! (Just a teaser…stay tuned!). Note: the Ask Me.. question this week is about drawing ways to make $5.00 using coins. Can you fill that box?!? I’m interested to see if anyone does some really ‘non standard’ ways to make $5.00! Again-I remind all students and families that Home Reading folders need to come to school each day. Please fill out the reading tracking sheet at the end of each week and the Ask Me… question on the weekend. I’ve asked that any student who didn’t fill in their monthly reading graph for December to please do it at home. *Reading sheets for the holidays as well as last week are in the folders 🙂

Something new for us was…DRAMA! We started to work on some tableaus which will lead into doing a whole class mannequin challenge! The kids are so excited about that!!! Check out the link below for an example of another’s class’ mannequin challenge!

Mrs Cauldell’s Mannequin Challenge on youtube

We also worked with Cathy on our Ancient Civilization tube people green screen pics! I think we’ve decided to print these out in colour and turn them into post cards for our student portfolios. As soon as we are all finished I will post some pictures. They are turning out awesome!!! or Awesomely Epic as the kids would say!

It felt nice to get back into a routine this week. Murray is no longer doing Inquiry with us, but that does not mean that we are no longer doing Inquiry! Our next theme is countries from around the world, with a special focus on materials and structures. I’m not 100% sure what this will look like because I want ideas and input from the class. All I know is that there will be student voice, hands on activities, research, sharing, the 4Cs and helpfully some special guests. If you would like to come and share something with us about a destination you have travelled, or a country that is part of your heritage please, please, please let me know. It would be fantastic to have family come in and do some cooking with us, or show pictures, or share a slideshow, or teach us a craft or part of language. Since I love to travel this really is the most exciting unit for me to do with the class! Also-an at home project will be coming soon. More details to come!

This is an example of the tube people on location! Cathy did this for us…so fun!


Apologies for the long post…but now you are in the loop!



Now that I’m home I was able to upload my pictures easily. Here are the pictures of Leiden I was talking about before!

Lovely evening walk along the canal!

Ate outside…on December 30th! Behind me is an outdoor skating rink that was on a barge on the canal. It was very cool.

This is the outside of the ‘hotel’. It is the oldest building in back to the 1500s! They restored the building and turned it into a small hotel.

Did a tour of a windmill. It was so interesting to learn about the history of the windmill and their importance to the Netherlands!

Immmm….the stairs were steep. I had to go down sideways because my feet wouldn’t fit on each step! That part was not my favourite!

Leiden, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Reykjavik!

Hi again!

I’m back…well kind of! I’m back in North America and will be back in Manitoba tomorrow! Would you like to see what I’ve been up to for the past week?!

Our first stop in the Netherlands was a small city called Leiden. For some reason these pictures won’t upload…I’ll see what happens once I get home. I really loved Leiden. Something strange did happen though! EVERYTHING was closed in the early evening on December 31, which means that there was NO place to get any food. The hotel was also just a small building that had been restored from the 1500s with no restaurant! I didn’t get any supper that night 🙁 Thank goodness for Starbucks at the train station the next day! Also-there were firecrackers going off every few seconds ALL day on the 31. It seemed strange to hear them constantly. Then at midnight fireworks went off all over the city. After an hour and a half I finally fell asleep. I have no idea how long they went on for. Crazy!


This is Rotterdam, Netherlands. It is very modern here because WWII destroyed most of the city and they have reconstructed almost everything using modern architecture. The bottom picture is of a bridge near the hotel that totally looks like the Provencher Bridge in Winnipeg!

These pictures are from Antwerp, Belgium. We did a super neat walking tour in Antwerp (which is about an hour train ride from Rotterdam). There is a lot of history here and I’ve realized that I’d like to go back to Belgium one day. Walking tours are a great way to learn more about a city and see things from a local person’s perspective. They usually offer good advice about places to eat and things that as a tourist you don’t usually know! I was so excited to eat Belgian waffles…it turns out that local Belgians don’t really eat waffles! Our guide told us that it is the tourists who eat the waffles-and he isn’t sure why people associate waffles with Belgium! Oh well…they still tasted delicious 🙂 Belgium is however known for their chocolate. I thought the chocolate frog was pretty cool and worth taking a picture of. This is what I brought home as a souvenir for my family! (chocolate…not a giant chocolate frog lol).

These pictures are from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam is famous for their canals. There are constantly tour boats on the canals. The view of the amazing buildings along the canals never gets old. I love, love, love looking at the buildings and thinking about how they were built and how long they’ve been there. It’s so fascinating to me! We did a tour on the canal at night as part of the Amsterdam Light Festival. This festival happens every year for a few weeks and is something that locals and tourists enjoy. I love the tulip picture because tulips are a huge symbol of Holland! Then there is the giant wooden shoe! I have a similar picture of me in that shoe from 2002 (way before you  were born!). It felt like I needed to take another picture of me sitting the shoe. I think it is a popular photo opportunity for tourists!

Reykjavk, Iceland at 9:30 a.m.!

10:30 a.m.

11:30 a.m.

12:00 p.m

That is about as light as it gets in Reykjavik in January! By the time we left for the airport at 2:00 it was already feeling dark! It is strange because you feel like you want to sleep all the time! I guess you just get used to it…since it happens for months at a time every year! I’d like to go back during the summer when it is daylight for almost 24 hours!

Now it is time to pick Hudson up from my mom’s. I’m so excited to see her. I hope you all have enjoyed your holiday. Can’t wait to hear about your time off and to see you at school in a few days 🙂