Monthly Archives: October 2017

And Then It Was Hallowe’en!!!

Happy Weekend Everyone!!!

I hope you all had a lovely and productive week…I know we sure did!!

Here is a little recap of what happened this week at school!

-We were Makers!!! Global Maker Day was a total success! Thanks to Murray, Anna (our student teacher) and Tamara for helping us out. We can do so much more with some extra hands! The kids came up with some awesome ideas, designs and creations. They also worked through the 4Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity!! We LOVE the 4Cs in Room 123…but check out this sketchnote by Sylvia Duckworth that I found on Twitter!

It adds Character Education and Citizenship which I think are super important skills to teach and learn 🙂

Anyway…the afternoon was amazing and we are amazing Makers!!!

This is a glimpse of what the library looks like when 48 kids show up ready to create!

-What is a Maker?! We brainstormed many ideas of what it means to be a Maker and who makers are in our society. The class had so many fantastic ideas. We started making connections between these Makers and how one may rely on another. We stopped after a 40 minute discussion but I think we could have gone on for hours!

It turns out that many students are creating and making at home. We’d love for them to share programs/resource ideas kids are using at home, as well as the creations they think are worth sharing to the class. This week we had a student share a video he created at home…and the class was super pumped about it. It is so inspiring and motivating for the kids to learn from each other from these types of opportunities.

-Take Me Outside!: We spent our extra time outside just before the snow came! Phew!!! It was great to be outside with our friends from 122. We did a BINGO/Scavenger hunt with a partner from 122. The kids worked cooperatively and had lots of fun. We spent even more time outside reading to our buddies. There are so many benefits from learning outdoors. I hope we are ALL motivated to go out even as the weather changes!

-Mindfulness Update: This week we focussed on breathing. We learned the 1:1 style of breathing. This is where you breathe in for the same amount of time as you breathe out! Try counting to 4 on an inhalation and back from 4 on the exhalation. You can lay in Savasana (legs wide, arms wide with palms faced up or hands gently on your belly, eyes closed if that feels comfortable for you) and breathe to relax. You can trying breathing in and out to a count of 5 or even 6 if you’d like. After only a few minutes you’ll feel calm and relaxed. You might even feel ready to face something you’re worried about, less anxious or upset or even ready for sleep. The response from the kids was very positive!!! Give this tool a try at home! I’ve included a link on tips for doing Savasana with kids if you are finding that the above suggestion for Savasana isn’t working for your child. You also might want to check out this beautiful Yoga story called       I Am Yoga

-Remembrance Day: Thanks to Angela for coming in and helping us create our Remembrance Day piece for the upcoming Remembrance Day assembly. I love that we were able to represent something so meaningful to us. Each student has cut out their handprint on a magazine picture that represents Peace to them. The hands are surrounding a Poppy. The Poppy represents Peace and the hands represent that we are united. This “Peace piece” will be on display at our assembly on November 10

-Belong-A-Thon: Today (Friday) was the big day! The prizes were revealed and a few of our classmates won prizes (congratulations to you!). None of us won any of the family prizes and our class wasn’t in the top 3 BUT we tried our best and I’m proud of us for raising over $800 as a class and $9 700+ as a school! Way to go Montrosians!!!! #BAM

News: Ms V has let us know some amazing news this week…our 3/4 choir is doing a special job at an upcoming school division production of The Lion King . More details to follow!!

Ask Me…: This week’s question says “Ask me about “Maker Monday” We didn’t get to the “Making” that represents our learning from the Rocks and Minerals books we read last week. From our experience at Global Maker Day we learned that it is helpful to really work through a plan to help us be prepared for making. So…we spent Thursday planning and now we are ready to make on Monday instead! Your child should share the following details with you: who they are working with, what their plan is and what they need to complete this task. Talking about how the 4Cs can impact their experience would be also be helpful. Write and or draw something on the Ask Me page so I know you have had a conversation at home! On that note…if anyone would like to help out on Monday please send me an email! We could use some extra hands from 11:15-12:00 or 2:30-3:30!!

Whats happening next week?!

-Maker Monday: See ☝️for details! I can’t wait to see these plans spring into action! I’ll be out and about picking up the required supplies BUT there is a group who is needing toilet paper or paper towel rolls! If you have an empty roll on the weekend please send it in with your child for Monday!!

-It’s Hallowe’en on Tuesday!!!!!!…

Thanks so much for offering to bring in supplies for our party! Within a few hours I had enough volunteers to bring in everything we have asked for! We are keeping it simple with snacks this year. Thank you in advance for keeping to our snack “menu”!

The Plan: Morning as usual except music will most likely be changed to the morning. We still have Yoga with Murray. Afternoon will start off with a “Costume Catwalk” where we can show each other our costumes! Then have a bit of a dance party with some of our favourite Hallowe’en tunes! After that we will have a variety of activities for students to choose from (between 122, 123 and 126). Some activities will include: pumpkin carving, physical games, board games and art. Please feel free to bring in a board game if you’d like! You are welcome to spend the afternoon with us if you’d like…just let me know!

Community Walk: On Wednesday we are going to go on a community walk with our buddies. We will walk to the Waverly underpass project to see the progress and help our buddies to write about the changes they have noticed since they were last there! We will leave around 2 and return within an hour! Please dress for the weather!!

Fitzgerald-Trouts!!:  I’m pretty sure we will finish the book this upcoming week! We have about 90 pages left!! I love the conversations we have before, during and after we read. The students are learning about CAFE (comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expression) as we read together. Questions for students…How do you think the book will end? Where are they going to find that boat?! Will Johnny Trout turn out to be a criminal too? What kind of trouble are the Fitzgerald-Trout children going to get into? Could Leaf actually be an alien or a goddess?!!

The suspense!!!! ahhhh!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Feel free to post a comment for us to read. I’m always happy to hear from you!!!

P.S. I’ll leave you with this…a photo montage of trying to put a ‘costume’ on Hudson! She is supposed to be the grandmother/wolf from Little Red Riding Hood! She wasn’t a fan!

Until next time!



Good Morning Everyone!

I hope you enjoyed the weather yesterday…hard to believe that it was 25 degrees! Even this morning is pretty warm. When I checked at 7:00 it was already 17 degrees! There have been some amazing sunrises and sunsets this past week. I hope you’ve had a chance to take a moment and enjoy the beauty!

However, I think this warmth might be coming to an end soon. I saw an icon for snow on my phone’s forecast!

I get some pretty sweet views from my early morning walks!

We had another great week in Room 123. Here is a little recap:

*We did a guided reading session using non-fiction text. Two groups worked with Murray and two groups worked with me!  During that time the students also worked on using non-fiction books to answer some questions they have about rocks and minerals. It was great to work on such important skills. We will do this type of activity again soon 🙂

*Ask Me…this leads me to chat about the Ask Me question from last week! Thanks for visiting the blog and for the wonderful comments. I’d also like to welcome our new subscribers! Part of last week’s task to visit the blog and leave a comment was to make sure that families know about the blog and the other part is to start the conversation about a responsible digital footprint. Many students are already using social media and spending lots of time in the online world. Instead of trying to stop that from happening we are working on learning how to use social media in a responsible way. Making a comment on the blog is a great way to start. It is something that parents and kids can do together, while having a conversation about what we are doing at school. Please keep those comments coming!!!

*Free Verse Poems: This week we started some work on Free Verse Poems.

Free Verse Poems have NO “rules”! Some students find that exciting, or even relieving and others don’t love this type of poetry for that exact reason. Those students crave rules (such as rhyme scheme and syllables).

Here is an example of a talented poet of Room 123!

*Plastic Bag Drive: You received an email about donating your plastic bags to the school. We’ve collected over 1 000 bags in just 2 days!

Please continue to send in the bags that you will NOT reuse at home. I have heard some kids say that they don’t have bags to donate. That is great! That means that you don’t use plastic bags. Please don’t start using plastic bags just so you can donate them. I don’t have any bags to donate because I don’t use them. The fewer plastic bags in the world…the better. BUT if you are using plastic bags, it is important that they aren’t being blown from landfills and causing harm to the environment.

*In Math we are practicing mathematical language and mental math strategies. Ask your child about the words: addend, sum, fact family, pattern core, increasing pattern, decreasing pattern, repeating pattern 🙂

*Belong-A-Thon: What a great day! It was awesome to see so many kids playing with new kids, making new connections. The Everyone Has The Right group did a fantastic job putting on the event. Thank you Montrose leadership group!

You have until Wednesday, October 25 to hand in your pledges. We have 8 handed in so far! Keep up the fundraising!!


What’s Coming Up?!?

-Monday: we are making criteria for what it means to be a “Maker” and get ready for Global Maker Day! (which is happening on Tuesday!!!)

Tuesday: Now…we make! We tinker! We explore! We create! Today there are no ‘rules” (meaning there is not a specific thing to make). It is student choice. I’m sure that whatever you come up with…will be amazing!

This is what students have brought in so far! If you have things to donate please send them our way!!

Wednesday: Take Me Outside!

We are spending a little extra time outside today! After recess, the kids will stay outside from 10:45-12:00. We will be doing some activities with Room 122!!!

Thursday: More Making! Today we will have more of a focus with our making. The criteria is to make something with the members of the guided reading group that demonstrates the learning that happened from the book! We will think, plan, create and present as groups to teach the other groups about we learned.

Friday: Let’s leave some time for “ketchup” today! I think we might need it!

We are also going to have W.T.W as per usual, continue working on poetry and the Letter to Danielle, as well as starting a Pattern book in math, doing another Number Talk and Number Puzzle. Quite the busy week!

***This week would be a great time to come and volunteer if you’d like. Let me know if you’d like to come in during the following times:

Tuesday: 1:00-3:30

Wednesday: 10:45-12:00

Thursday: 11:15-12:00, 1:35-3:30

Hope to see you soon!

*If you are in Helen’s WTW ‘salmon’ group please remember that you have an assessment on Tuesday 🙂

*Ask Me…this week’s Ask Me question is to write about some of the features of non-fiction books. We have spent a lot of time working on informational text, so be sure to check in with your child and see what they’ve learned!

Enjoy your weekend!

Until next time,


Snowy Saturday?!?!

I couldn’t believe it…they said chance of rain or snow AND I wake up to…

Guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since we do live in Winnipeg!

Here is a little recap from last week!

-I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I heard many stories of visiting cottages, turkey dinners, etc. Thank you for the warm wishes for my own Thanksgiving too. We closed up the cabin and ended a great season at the lake!

-This week we continued to work on some poetry…this time Haiku! The pattern of syllables (5,7,5) is challenging, but in a super fun way! We have some natural poets in 123!

Here are a few examples!

Red Fox

The red fox has struck

look out for the animal

if you dare to seek!


The crisp leaves fall down

Into the great big leaf pile

I jumped into it!

-We used each other as elements of patterns! Students were asked to look around at their classmates and see how they could come up with repeating patterns! They would call up the people who were needed to represent the pattern and the rest of the class guessed what the core was (using labels such as AB, ABC, ABB, etc.) and also said why that was their guess. They really liked this so I think we will do it again!!

-I was away at a workshop on Thursday and the kids had a great day with the substitute teacher. She had many positive things to say about our class and would love to come back again! At the workshop Murray and I learned  more about Genius Hour and how we can implement this at Montrose. Your child may have talked to you about Genius Hour and how this is something we will be working on this year. It’s a year long process so students will have a chance to really learn more about a topic or skill that they are really interested in. We will be looking for parents to share their expertise with us throughout this process, so letting us know your skill set and if you’d be willing to share that with us would be awesome! I know that someone is already talking a lot about sewing and someone else is interested in hair and makeup. I believe that this is a great opportunity to make some home-school connections!

-We have new helpers in 123! Anna is a 3rd year student teacher with us on Thursday afternoons (until April) and now we have Victoria with us all day on Fridays until January. She is a student from Red River College and is working with us is part of her placement!!

-Ask Me…Last week’s Ask Me question was pretty well done. Thanks for your participation. This is something we will do from time to time to help with editing and printing skills 🙂

What’s happening this week?!

-On Monday we are starting our Guided Reading groups for Rocks and Minerals. Murray is helping us do we can have 4 groups going each day. Our intentions are to teach the features of non fiction books, how to get the information we need from them and to differentiate between the purposes of fiction and non fiction reading materials. We will also be adding a Maker component to this process after we’ve read the books!

-This week will continue to focus on Place Value, Patterns and Mental Math by doing work on our whiteboards, with manipulatives, on the interactive whiteboard, paper and pencil work and using discussions!

-The Belong-a-Thon is happening on Wednesday! I hope you are able to get some pledges this weekend!!! Reminder: you are able to collect pledges until October 25!!!! Go Team 123!!!!

-The book order should be in sometime this week. Last month the order got here in 3 days! However, that is  pretty unusual. I expect it to arrive within the week though!



Just letting the class know that my friends Trevor and Jackie (who are playing as Team Canada in the World Mixed Curling Championship) lost the gold medal match this morning in an extra end. I was able to show the students some live streaming from a game yesterday which was an exciting experience. The class was very interested in how we could be connected to an event happening live in Switzerland! As disappointing as it is to lose, Trevor and Jackie are happy to be bringing a silver medal back to Canada next week!!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Until next time,




Ask Me…

Good afternoon!

Just a quick note…this week’s Ask Me question is so to “Check out the blog”. I’ve asked the class to write something that they notice. BONUS is to: “Leave us a comment :)”

My intent is to get kids and families excited about using the blog. I’d love for you to subscribe if you haven’t yet done so. Some parents have let me know how helpful it is to have this connection piece between home and school, which is my whole reason for updating the blog each week. I will write a new full post later on this weekend, but wanted you to have a little heads up on the Ask Me for the weekend!

Looking forward to your blog visits!

Until next time,


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying this long weekend and have been able to reflect on many things to be grateful for 🙂

I’m spending the weekend at the lake with my family…AND it’s beautiful outside, so I couldn’t be more thankful!

Reminder: There is no school on Monday, October 9. Tuesday will be school day 1!

Last Week At School:

-We finished the Fitzgerald-Trout book AND started our second read aloud book of the year! To help me choose what book to read I asked the class to write me a persuasive letter. The task was to provide reasons to convince me to choose the book that they were most excited about. The writing I received from the kids was A-MAZ-ING!!! Seriously…I couldn’t be more proud! There were strong cases for all 3 book choices but in the end the class was most interested in…

It makes sense to continue with the sequel because we have momentum from the last story! One student said that “the last book ended so abruptly that we need to read the second one!” We are about 30 pages in and so far it hasn’t disappointed us!

-We played a few rounds of Place Value Yahtzee. This is also a hit! Some kids are able to play on their own, some need to work with a partner and some need my support. I was really excited to find this game because I LOVE playing Yahtzee! It reminds me of my childhood at the cabin! For now we’ve modified the rules, but once there are more kids who are able to play without support we can either play as the game was intended OR create a version that works best for us! I will try to include the link when I’m working from a computer (it’s not cooperating from my phone right now)

-We did some provocations with Murray about Rocks and Minerals. There were many great questions that  came from the 6 stations Murray set up. Soon we will be deciding on what projects we want to work on!!

-The Ask Me…question for this weekend is about editing and rewriting a paragraph! Search for all 12 errors that need to be corrected, then copy the whole paragraph using printing that you are proud of. These will be two skills that we will be working on throughout the year. It is very important that writing can be read! On the back of the sheet are some reminders about how to form proper letters.

-Belong-a-Thon: On Friday we had an assembly about what we are calling a Belong-a-Thon! It will be similar to last year’s Traith-a-Thon. Students ask family members and close friends to sponsor them in the Belong-a-Thon, then they will be participating in events at school! There are prizes for the top fundraising class…so go Room 123!!!! Students will be able to win individual prizes too! For every $30 you raise your name will be entered into a draw for a long list of prizes!!! Let me know if you did not get the note on Friday. Happy Fundraising!!!!!!

What’s Happening Next Week?!

-We will continue to work on poetry. We’ve done colour poems and I think we’ll do some Haiku and freestyle poems next!!!

-We are continuing our work with place value in math. We are also looking at patterns…and integrating poetry with patterns too!!!

-We are going to take a look at some guided reading materials with some book about Rocks and Minerals.

-We are still working away in our WTW spelling groups! Reminder: students are doing final assessments at different times, depending on what their particular group is working on and the amount of time it takes them to complete the tasks. Their WTW leader will tell their group when it’s time to take the words home to practice with families and show why they are sorted in that way. Words will then stay at home because a new sort will start at school the next time the group meets!

-We will talk more about Genius Hour and what that will look like for our class. This is a new concept for all of us…including me! I’m excited to try this with the class and really get them doing a project that they are passionate about!

-It’s picture day on Tuesday!!!! Book orders are due on Tuesday too!!!

Have a wonderful weekend. See you on Tuesday.        

Until next time,