Monthly Archives: September 2017

Bye Bye September…Hello October!!


I’m not sure about you…but I feel like this week has flown by! However, it might just be because we did a ton of great things!!!!

Let’s start with that! The “Ask Me” question for this weekend is to parents to “Ask me about my busy week!” Have a conversation about some of things we did this week, then students are asked to “Write the top 3 things I learned”. We talked about how this does not mean writing things like “math”, but instead writing something more specific about the math like: a strategy they might have learned or a concept or a tool. That shows more about what they “learned” versus something that they “did.” Need some conversation starters? Read on to get some reminders of what we did this week at school!!

*As a class we talked about tallying up the September minutes for Home Reading. Please take some time to help your child add up all the minutes he/she has read this month and then graph it in the front of the home reading folder. Reminder: September ends on Saturday, so don’t add Sunday’s minutes into that! If we keep up with recording the minutes read each day it makes this monthly job A LOT easier! Can your child try this task? Can you support them? Try to turn it into a learning opportunity rather than just doing it for them. Just like the recording process. Allow it to be part of their routine to record the title, amount of minutes read and weekly questions. It helps them take ownership of the task.

*Your child may have brought home word cards in their Home Reading Folder. These are Words Their Way sorts. Students in my group AND Helen’s group are having their spelling assessments on Tuesday. The other groups will send their words home once they are ready to move onto the next sort. Please take the time to have your child sort the words and tell why they are sorted that way and also review the spelling pattern to help them be prepared for the assessment.

-Field Trip to Mariash Quarry: Monday’s field trip to the quarry was super fun! It was a little chilly, but the sun came around as we were searching for fossils 🙂 We learned some facts about the quarry and what once existed there, we learned facts about rocks and minerals, did some investigations, went on a scavenger hunt and of course…went fossil hunting!

These are some of the fossils we saw!

-Meet the Teacher: Thank you to all the parents who were able to make it to Meet the Teacher on Monday night. It was a great turnout! I hope you enjoyed the mini tours that your child took you on…they were so excited to show you where they spend so much of their time and some of the work they’ve been busy doing so far. Please come visit again! We are always excited to have parents come and help out 🙂

-Nature Art: On Wednesday we used the rocks and fossils that we found at the quarry as well as some other pieces of nature to create some really beautiful artwork. We were inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. I’m so happy with how all of them turned out. I think that doing this each season will turn into an amazing year long project!

-Terry Fox Run: Thursday was the Terry Fox Run at school. We learned some facts about Terry’s life, his sickness, his idea to make a difference, his determination, his success, his legacy.

Terry Fox Heritage Minute

Some of the amazing facts we learned are: that Terry was born in Winnipeg and has family that still lives here! He was diagnosed with cancer when he was only 18 years old. Terry started his journey and the Marathon of Hope in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. He ran 42 km each day (a full marathon). Terry’s journey ended in Thunder Bay after 143 days and 5 373km…his cancer had spread into his lungs and he passed away just before turning 23. The first annual “Terry Fox Run” started in 1981. in 1992 the Terry Fox run became a worldwide event. As of 2016 $715 million has been raised for cancer research in Terry’s name. Want more facts? Check out the Terry Fox Foundation for more information!

-Orange Shirt Day: Orange Shirt Day takes place each year on September 30. Today we all wore orange at school. We had 100% participation which is AMAZING! New to the idea of Orange Shirt Day? This Orange Shirt Day video is a great introduction to why we are wearing orange. We also read the story called When I Was 8, which is an adapted version of the story Fatty Legs. From the story and the video we were able to generate some really important conversations. These kids really understand that #everychildmatters. We talked about the importance of language and culture and how Canadians are on the path to truth and reconciliation. Residential Schools are part of our history and we need to know what happened in order for something like that to never happen again. I was really impressed with the class today 🙂

-Math: This week we continued to work on some number concepts and the idea of place value. We are talking about the difference between standard and non-standard form and how you can change a number from standard to non standard but the value of the original number remains the same! To prove that it is still the same value you can write it out in expanded form.  Need more? See examples below.

This is something you can definitely practice at home. Give a number (could start at a 2 digit, 3 digit or 4 digit), have your child write the standard form then challenge them to see how many different non standard forms they can come up with and prove the value is the same by showing the expanded form!

What’s Happening Next Week?

-More place value! It is necessary to understand place value for so many other parts of math so please practice at home if you are able to 🙂

-We are doing our first Number Talk…stay tuned for more information on what that looks like!

-We will do another Letter to Danielle. This is where students write to me about their weekend, something they are looking forward to, questions they have, a book they are reading or just something they’d like to share with me. I read them, correct for spelling and grammar then write them back!

-We will continue our Rocks and Minerals Inquiry and gather more wonderings and questions to help guide where the inquiry will lead us!

-We will finish our first Read Aloud book and jump right into the second one! Note-my intention is not to read the second book about the Fitzgerald-Trouts, but to start a new book. I have been known to be swayed by the students to continue a series…so we will see!

-We are going to be looking at some wordless picture books and starting some poetry writing

-AND we are going to brainstorm some Manitoba animals and choose one to study throughout the entire year to compare where and how it lives throughout the changing of the seasons!

Have a fantastic weekend. I hope you get a chance to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

Until next time,


Busy Busy Busy

Happy Weekend Everyone!!!

Here is our  Sept 18-22 week at a glance!

The kids got a little extra time off last Monday while we were hard at work learning more about blogging and the power of being connected with families!

Throughout the rest of the week we:

-did a Number Puzzle together to go through another example of what it means to show your thinking for each style of question. Then we did another puzzle in our own and while more students are showing how they got the answer in a way that I can follow their thought process, we still need reminders and practice. This is a good opportunity for the students to try one at home and see if the parents can follow their thinking by looking at their “work”!

-watched our first Mathantics video to help remind us/teach us more about Place Value. We also started to work on our Number Concepts books as part of our Place Value practice

-finished typing The Best Part of Me write ups, put up the collaborative dots and did some self reflections using water colour paint…ALL of which are ready for you to see on Monday at Meet the Teacher!!! Please come see us, even if you didn’t order pizza. I’ll be in the room at 6 and would love to see you!!

-spent some time outside with Room 122 during Outdoor Ed/Move It time AND with our buddies from 124! We really needed to take advantage of the beautiful weather and sunshine while we could!! There are so many benefits to being outside and I’m so glad to work in a school that encourages us to spent time outdoors 🙂

-we did our first 2 sessions in our Words Their Way groups. Once we are done with these words they will be sent home for you to continue to use at home. You can have your child show you how they are sorted any why they are sorted that way. You can use them to write sentences or even do a spelling quiz!

-we also had our first session with Murray! From now until the Winter Break we will have “Inquiry Murray” time on Days 1, 3, 5 from 2:30-3:30

*Ask Me…: the Ask Me question for this weekend is to write/draw some wonderings for our field trip on Monday. This field trip is going to be what shapes our Inquiry…which is why we haven’t talked much about Rocks and Minerals yet!

Looking Ahead!

-Field Trip to Mariash Quarry on Monday, September 25!! We will be leaving at 9:30 and returning at 3:15. Please bring a litterless lunch. Thank you for 25/25 permission slips and thank you to our parent volunteers! It’s going to be a great day! My weather app says 10 degrees and cloudy. Please dress for the weather!

-Meet the Teacher! Monday evening!!! Your children are looking forward to showing you the class and I’m there to chat and answer questions you may have. Can’t make it?? Let me know if you’d like to swing by after school one day!!

-Thursday: Terry Fox Run.

Join us at school for the run if you can! You can also send a donation to the Terry Fox Foundation if you’ like. As a school we will do a collection and send in our donation.

-Friday is Orange Shirt Day. Please wear orange to show support for Residential School Survivors.

Enjoy your weekend!!! See you next week 🙂

Until next time,



International Dot Day & More!

Hello Everyone!

First, I’d like to share a few things we’ve learned from International Dot Day that took place on September 15-ish!

The Dot is an amazing story written by Peter Reynolds. Click on the link below to check the story out!

The Dot

The message in the book is “to make your mark and see where it takes you”. We talked about what that could mean and as a group have decided that it is about taking risks, trying something new, enjoying the journey and not worrying about whether something is ‘perfect’. It’s about leaving our mark in the world somehow. Sometimes we just need to decide to just do something…and go with it and see where it takes us!

We also came across the Dot Day Song and really fell in love with the melody and the lyrics!

Over 10 000 000 people celebrated Dot Day yesterday…in 169 countries! Isn’t that amazing?!?

Part of our celebration included…

-learning the song and creating some music and representations with Ms V

-making marks with chalk to see what we could create

-starting with one mark on a piece of paper and seeing where that would take us. No erasing…just moving forward! Then we wrote about either our picture or how the story of The Dot has inspired us to reflect and grow

-we each created a dot, cut it into 4 pieces, kept one piece and then took 3 other pieces from our classmates to recreate a new dot. This is a way to represent that we are all here to support, inspire and encourage each other to take risks, try new things and see where it takes us!


-then we got to making our mark with some plasticine! These projects went home! I hope you had a chance to talk to your children about why the chose to create what they did!

The theme of The Dot will continue throughout the year because of the important message it represents…for all of us!

*Ask Me…The first Ask Me question of the year came home in the Home Reading Folder yesterday! It reads: Ask Me about International Dot Day! Please have a conversation about Dot Day and then the students can write/draw or do a combination of both about what they’ve shared! Parents-if you have any comments or questions please write them on that page and I will read them when the folders are returned on Tuesday (Reminder: No School On Monday!!). It is very important that students participate in the Ask Me question and that Home Reading folders are brought to school each day.

*What’s Next?

-Book order will be put in on Tuesday. Please send in any September orders on Tuesday!

-Our Words Their Way groups will start on Tuesday. Students have been put into groups with Rooms 122 & 126. Students will work on sorting words and doing activities such as alphabetical order, sentence writing, word definitions, etc. Words Their Way happens on Days 1,3,5 from 10:00-10:30 🙂

-We will be going outside for pays. ed. on Wednesday (Day 6). Please dress for the weather! We will be going outside on most Day 2s and Day 6s!

-In math we are continuing our review of math terminology and examples of patterns and estimation. This week we will focus on reviewing place value and traditional algorithm for addition and subtraction. We will also do another number puzzle…This time as a group to offer another opportunity to review the expectations of how students can show their thinking as they solve questions for the puzzle. I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the “At Home” version of the Number Puzzle book!

-We are loving the adventures of the Fitzgerald-Trout children from our current read aloud! 

We will see how much we can learn about this interesting family this week!

Have a great weekend and upcoming week! Don’t forget that Meet the Teacher is happening on Monday, September 25! Notes regarding dinner will be sent home on Tuesday…along with a special note about an upcoming…what for it…are you ready?!?..FIELD TRIP!!!! Yay!

Until next time,


One Week In!!

Greetings to families from last year and welcome to new families of Room 123!

I’d like to do a little introduction for the new members of the 123 community…apologies to those of you who know most of this already 😉

So…I’m Danielle!!! The author of this blog and the teacher of your children! I wanted to share a bit about myself and how I have used this blog in the past and my intentions for the future of the blog!

This is my third year teaching at Montrose. My first year was in 2010-2011. This is where I was able to have my very first teaching experience!!! After a one year term I went to Laura Secord (a.m.) and Weston (p.m.) to teach Nursery. I spent another 4 years at Weston teaching grades 1-3. I was very excited to return to Montrose last year. I had an amazing year and again felt so much at home in this community. It was always my dream to come back to Montrose and I’m honoured to teach at such an awesome school. Before becoming a teacher I was just a small town girl from Northwestern Ontario! My hometown is called Stratton…don’t bother looking it up on a map because it’s so small it’s hard to find!! I loved growing up in a small town because of the way the community supports each other. This is also one of my favourite things about Montrose School! I just love the community feel. I know that everyone is willing to extend a helping hand and support each other without hesitation!

Enough about me!!! Let’s talk about Room 123! One of our main goals is to develop a sense of community in our room. We take care of each other, ourselves, the class and our environment. We don’t have specific classroom jobs because we can all pitch in to help with what needs to be done. I think it helps develop a sense of ownership and pride 💜 We work hard and have fun!! We are learners who aren’t afraid to be risk takers and are willing to try new things because we know it’s safe to do so. There is no judgement of other people’s skills and we know there is always room to grow our own skills. We are makers. We are kind. We love nature!  We work to the best of our abilities and strive to be proud of the work we do. We are ALL learners!! We. Are. AWESOME! ! #BAM (Be Awesome Montrosians)

I try to update the blog weekly because I use it as a tool to communicate between home and school. It’s a place to share photos of what we have been up to (especially for those of you who aren’t able to come and see us during the day). It’s a place to explain concepts that may require more information. It’s a place to give reminders of important dates and activities. It’s a place to connect. I love hearing comments from you! Blogging is something new-ish to me (I started last year) and I’ve learned to really enjoy it!  As I type…I reflect on what we’ve done at school and through that reflecting process I really think about the needs of the students and how to plan as we move forward.  I hope you enjoy reading the blog. Feel free to share the link with family that would like to feel more connected to your child. I never show faces on the blog as it is a public site that anyone can find online. This year I intend to work more with students to post some of their writing on the blog (for those who are interested!)


-Home Reading folders were sent home Monday. Please send them back to school each day. On Friday we will do our first Ask Me question!!

-Meet the Teacher is on Monday, September 25. I hope to see you there!!! Notes regarding dinner will be going home early next week

-September book orders are due on Tuesday, September 19. If you need help setting up Parent Pay please let me know

-Friday is International Dot Day. Please have your child wear dots to school (if possible)

-We will be doing Instagram again this year…information to be sent home soon!!!!

-We always welcome volunteers in the class. If you are interested please let me know! Some of our topics this year will include habitats, plants, soil, rocks and minerals. If you have an interest or are an expert on any of these topics…we’d love to have you in!!

My nephew/running buddy!!

My family!!!

Hudson…My fur baby!!!

Welcome/Welcome back…it’s as easy as 123 to be part of this amazing community of learners!!

Until next time!


Our Big Day!!!

Tomorrow is our big day….our first day as a new class. I’m excited to see what the 2017-2018 version of Room 123 becomes!! I also wish our alumni students the best of luck in their new classes. If you need anything or just want to stop by and say hello please do…better yet…we expect you to!!! I’d like to share the wise words of one of our friends “Even though we won’t always see each other, we are still all connected to each other like family”

Here’s to inviting our new friends and families to our blog as well. We hope you enjoy being part of our family!

See you tomorrow my friends!


Summer Book Club: Final Thoughts!!

I just wanted to touch base about our Summer Book Club one more time on here before I see you in person!!

I’d love for everyone who has read the book this summer to leave a comment about the book, the experience of being in a book club,about something else you’ve read over the holidays, or about something else you’d like to share!

I’ll go first! I have really enjoyed the book club for a few reasons… I have liked being connected to so many people even though we didn’t see each other! I like that we had an idea and made it work! I have liked watching you connect with each other! I have liked finding out that some of you are going to continue with the series. I have liked being accountable with my reading, knowing you were relying on me to make the blog posts!

I’ve read a few other books this summer…all of which seem to be for “kids”! Helen & I have been pre-reading books for the upcoming year! We are trying to find books that are exciting and hopefully new for most of the classes. There are a few that my “old grade fours” would probably enjoy, so if you are looking for a recommendation come and see me!!!

Thanks again for taking part in the Summer Book Club…anyone interested in doing another one?!

Until next time/See you on Wednesday 😉

Danielle ⚡️