May Days!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Here is a little recap of what happened at school this week and what’s on the agenda for next week!

30 Day Challenge: Our 30×30 continues to be awesome! This week we did some read to self, spent time with our buddies, had outdoor gym with Mr. Strachan, had a sharing circle, spent loads of time playing after the Emperor’s New Clothes performances, listened to Harry Potter while eating birthday popsicles and did Yoga with Murray. On many days we spend more than 30 minutes outside…the nicer weather makes it being outdoors so enjoyable! This week we are hoping to get to some planting, we will go out with our buddies again and I’m sure Mr. Strachan will continue taking the kids out for pays. ed. too! I hope that you are enjoying the 30×30 at home too. I know a few students have also decided to extend their challenge at home by not playing video games or limiting T.V. I am so proud of everyone!!! My water/tea drinking is still going strong …I am missing my morning coffee though! There is still time to add in another mini challenge…any takers?!

All The Water In The World: Our art display is up and ready to be seen…so here it is!

Isn’t it beautiful?! It depicts the story of the water cycle along with the message that all the water in the world really is ALL the water in the world. We need to take care of it and not waste it or take it for granted. It is for us now and for the future. What are we going to do to make sure our clean water lasts forever?

The Emperor’s New Clothes: It was so great to see so many of you throughout the performances. I hope you enjoyed the show. Much love goes out to all who helped put the show together-from acting to singing to sets to dance to Yoga to makeup to sound to costumes to the small jobs that often go unnoticed AND of course to the kids! They put on quite an amazing show. Well done kiddos!

Math Groups: Now that Literacy Circles are over we are now doing Math Groups 3 x per cycle for an hour with Room 122. Right now the two classes are split into 3 groups. One with Helen, one with Ms Davies and one with myself! Our first focus is on reviewing and learning grade appropriate Mental Math strategies. The goal is to use mathematical language to describe our thinking and demonstrate many different ways to solve the same problem. So far we have reviewed 4 strategies…

  1. Estimate using 10 as a referent: First we need to know what it means to estimate (which many students weren’t sure of). To estimate is to make an educated guess. Not a wild guess, but one that makes sense. An estimate is the guess. One thing that is common is that students make an estimate, then change it after they’ve found the actual amount because they want to be ‘right’. Estimating is about trying to get as close as possible, but changing your estimate doesn’t make you ‘win’! Next we need to know what a referent means. A referent is an item that is used when estimating. It can be physical (like an actual object) or mental (a picture in your mind). So when estimating using 10 as a referent we can see what 10 looks like then compare the rest of the set and think about how many groups of ten we can see in the set. Using this strategy should help with estimation 🙂

Example: If you know that the second pile of bingo chips is 10, then how many could be in the first pile?

Example #2: This is a similar idea…but using 20 as a referent.

2. Taking one addend/subtrahend to the nearest 10: First we need to know what an addend and a subtrahend are. An addend is any number added to another. (addend+addend=sum) *There can be several addends in one number sentence. A subtrahend is the second number in the subtraction number sentence (minuend-subtrahend=difference). By taking an addend or subtrahend to the nearest 10 it makes it easier to do math problems using mental math. We would only use this strategy when the numbers in the problems are close to zero (such as 1,2,8,9). It wouldn’t make sense to use it with a number such as 24+35.

Above are a few examples of how to use this strategy 🙂

3. Using Compensation: This is reformulating a problem (whether it be addition, subtraction, multiplication or division) to one that can be done more easily (using the nearest decade)

In the example at the top we had to ‘take’ one from the 43 and ‘give’ it to the 59 to create a new problem of 42+60. In the example at the bottom we had to ‘give’ one to the 52 and ‘give’ one to the 29 to create a new problem of 53-30. This is very similar to taking one addend or subtrahend to the nearest 10.

4. Adding from left to right using the place value structure: When we do traditional algorithm we always ask students to add from ‘right to left’. This means adding the ones column first and then the tens column. However, in mental math we suggest the opposite! Add from left to right…meaning add the tens first, then the ones.

*Students are not required to use every strategy that they learn. They need to understand how to use the strategies and show that they can use them, but like all of us they will have their ‘favourite’ strategies. We are trying to expose the students to as many strategies as possible to allow them to see that there are many ways to solve problems. In class we have many conversations about how each of us solve problems and there are always a handful of different strategies that come up! It is so exciting to share our ideas and strategies!

Next week we will work on Commutative Property for Addition , Compatible Numbers, Using Arrays and Skip Counting for Multiplication Products 🙂

Wellness & Kindness: It was really lovely to make a compliment card for students in the class. There were so many positive messages shared amongst the class. The students shared about how they felt making a card for someone (excited, nervous because they wanted it to be special, proud, etc.) and how they felt when they received the card (excited, proud, appreciated, etc.). The kids actually suggested that we do this again because it felt so great. May 7-13 is Kindness week and May 10 is Conscious Kindness Day in Manitoba so let’s continue making people feel appreciated, valued, special as a result of being kind. What will you do?!

Ask Me…This week’s question is 3 parts: compliment cards, mental math & 30×30. Please talk about these activities and write or draw a response, make a poem or a song…do something to reflect your ideas or feelings!

*Students were given a new home reading sheet for Monday since there is no school 🙂


-No School on Monday.

-Please dress for the weather when we are outdoors as it gets warmer!

-June book orders are due on May 15.

-Run Club is on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:00 (run first, then eat). *The one exception to this is on May 9 (Tuesday). We are running on May 10 (Wednesday) due to our monthly staff meeting on Tuesday. Only students who have signed permission forms are allowed to join the run club. Murray only has a few volunteers for the Fit Run at Assiniboine Park. If you are able and interested in going to that even please let me know.

Have a great rest of your weekend. See everyone on Tuesday!

Until next time,


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