Monthly Archives: January 2018

All that AND a trip to the zoo!!

Happy Weekend Everyone!!!

Whew! That week zipped right by! We didn’t even have time to post on Seesaw!! Next week we better get on that!

Here is your weekly recap!

-No school on Monday meant teacher learning time! If you’ve seen our Instagram posts you may have noticed some Chatter Pix photos. We figured out how to use that app as well as a green screen app. Fun things to come!

-We have been working away on our Northern artists project. Each student has learned about two artists and their style of work. On Tuesday we will produce an art piece inspired by what we’ve learned so far!

-We have finished our research on the white-tailed deer and have decided on some categories for our own personal inquiry. These kids are excited to get started on that! Choosing their animal is part of this week’s Ask Me question. The kids were asked to name their Top 5 choices and say why they’ve chosen those animals. The Ask Me question was posted on Seesaw as a general post to all students and should be answered in the Home Reading folders.

-Zoo field trip!!!! What a great day! I know it’s lots of walking (I heard some chatter about that) BUT how lucky are we to have a gorgeous day to be outside…in January…in Winnipeg?!! I really loved doing the program. Our guide, Bran, was very knowledgeable and gave us great tips, facts and inside scoops about the Arctic animals at the zoo. I’m glad we decided to change it up and allow the kids to choose the program that was most interesting to them. It gave them voice and choice and now we have ‘experts’ from all 3 programs in each class!

What are your favourite animals to learn about?!

-Circle of Life Performance: Notes/Tickets went home on Thursday and we are asking that permission slips are returned on Monday. Please read the note thoroughly as there is a lot of information! Our rehearsals have been going well and it is going to be a spectacular event!

-We are almost done reading Pax! There is a lot to talk about and I am really proud of the connections that the kids have been making between the book and world around them.

I loved hearing the kids calling the fox from the zoo Pax! (I was doing it too!!!)

-We heard from Esta Spalding!!!!

We are starting to read our sneak peek on Monday!!!! Seriously…this is THE coolest!

Looking ahead…

-Read aloud, read a lot….because we CANNOT wait to finish Pax and our special sneak peek of the Fitzgerald-Trouts!

-Subtraction city! That is our focus for the next few weeks before we move to multiplication.! We’ve done lots of hands on practice and are ready to put those skills into practice. Don’t forget to practice those basic facts (for addition and subtraction) if you need to! Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference! I am marking the rest of the addition practice this weekend. IF your child needs more practice I will indicate that on their booklet so you know and there will be more practice pages for them to do at home.

-Tuesday afternoon is ART day! The grade 3s will be doing some painting, so please wear clothing that is “art appropriate”!

-We are writing letters to Austin (a former student who shared his passion for “making” with us). It was so motivating to have a talented, young student share his ‘inventions’ with us! I’m sure he will be excited to hear our responses!

-Wednesday is Bell Let’s Talk Day and we will be doing some extra mindfulness practices together. It also Outdoor Education day so please dress for the weather!

-On Thursday we will do Genius Hour (because there is no school on Friday, which is our regular Genius Hour time). If your child is bringing anything from home that I should hold onto for them please talk to them about it about making sure that I have that for safe keeping.

-We will try our best to get our monthly Seesaw posts in! It’s nice to have the reading and writing samples each month to set goals and see our progress throughout the year 🙂

-Mr. Stefaniuk wanted to know if we were doing Global School Play Day! The answer is Y.E.S!!! I’ve registered our class and we will make a plan sometime next week. February 7th is a Day 5 in the school cycle. The kids should start thinking about the things they’d like to so on that day (outside? Genius Hour? games? choice time? I’m open to suggestions!)

Have a great weekend!

Until next time,


January or July?!?

Well, well, well…isn’t this mild temperature a nice break? How long can it last? I am hoping until Thursday, January 25 at least (to allow for a great day at the Zoo!).

This week’s Ask Me question was posted on See Saw and is to be answered in the Home Reading folders. The reason I started posting the Ask Me question on See Saw is because I can go into more detail than before when the kids were writing one sentence. It is also convenient for you to contact me with any questions. It’s too bad that we cannot post an activity and have you answer using See Saw…but this is the best we can do…for now at least!

The Ask Me question is about students naming their “Top 3 moments of last week”. I’d also like the students to go into some detail as to why those are their top moments and what they have learned.

Here is a recap of last week!

-We read a lot of Pax! I know that it is kind of a heavy book, with content that is allowing for a lot of conversation, but the class is doing great with it! It is really helping to spark some questions, wonderings and thoughts about habitats and the impact of humans and natural disasters have on animals.

-I’ve been finding some great material on Twitter about nature and animals. Each day we’ve been looking at these tweets, reading the articles and watching video clips that go along with them. Why have we never done this before?! The sharing we have during and after this time of day is very impressive. If you find anything worth sharing while you read the paper, surf the net or peruse Twitter please let me know. It’s teaching us about things that are happening on our planet RIGHT now!

Discovery of Canada’s Deepest Cave Found in B.C.

Caribou Rescue

Octopus Colour Change


We also looked at areas such as the oil spill of the coast of China and the impacts on the environment, animals and the world and a new underwater cave found in Mexico that is believed to be the biggest flooded cave ever that might link back to the Maya Civilization AND Helen shared a video about the most disgusting pile of garbage that is just lying in the ocean.

This is powerful stuff and a great conversation starter for home too!

-We did some more research on the White-tailed Deer. This is our starting point for our next inquiry. We are going through some of the research together to help learn the process of how to take notes, scanning websites to make sure they are credible and what we are looking for and taking down the website names to give credit to those who wrote the material that we are borrowing from

Facts about deer

Facts about deer

-We are pretty much done with addition and have started subtraction. Over the past weeks we have been meeting in Grade groups and really focussing on math concepts. We are slowing things down, using lots of manipulatives, playing games, doing mental math to build recall of basic facts, etc. Back in Room 123 we will do one more day of addition practice and send that work home! I will keep families informed of students who can benefit with more practice with 3 and 4 digit addition and basic facts. If you have flashcards at home…use them, even just a few minutes per day. *See last week’s post for some of the ideas we came up with as a class to practice math at home.

-We did all 3 writing samples that we said we would be doing last week! Narrative, Informational and Persuasive! Check out what the very persuasive writers of Room 123 convinced me to do…

Global School Play Day

After reading through everyone’s work it is clear that we have great ideas and have been working hard on choosing exciting words instead of always using common words. Some of the students are really able to demonstrate a sense of voice and their writing really sounds like ‘them’. There was a lot of evidence of titles and an attempt at opening and closing sentences. This is something we will continue to work on. Editing skills are going to be a real focus. It seems that the students can tell me all the ‘rules’ but are not always transferring these skills into their everyday writing.

-Circle of Life choir: we’ve been practicing all of the songs for the divisional musical! Ms V says a note will be sent home early next week.

-Zoo field trip! The kids have ranked the 3 choices for the programs we have set up for the zoo (field trip on Thursday, January 25).


Discover what it means to be an Arctic ecologist. Students will discover the growing field of Arctic ecology through an active exploration of the Journey to Churchill exhibit.


How do animals survive the heat and rain of the tropics or the cold winters in the Arctic tundra? Students will learn how animals survive in their habitat and study specific characteristics of animals here at the Zoo through age appropriate activities! Choose from Arctic or Tropical Adaptations.


Tropical rainforests are considered the lungs of the planet. Through a variety of activities, you will discover how rain forests provide valuable resources like medicine, habitat, and oxygen. Their location, geography and climate provide an essential support system to an immense variety of animals, plants, and people.

The 3/4 classes will be mixed and put into groups based on interest. We will do our best to give everyone their first choice of program BUT the group size has a maximum and each teacher should be bringing the same amount of students.

After the programs we will have lunch and explore the zoo. I’m able to take one volunteer. If you are interested…please let me know!

-AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) Awareness Day on Wednesday, January 17. If you saw our Instagram post you would’ve seen the name of each of the 6 stations. It was a great day to educate the students about different methods of communication. Lori (from Room 113) came to talk to us yesterday about her job in the Autism Centre. She showed us this amazing video which helped us to learn more about Autism.

Amazing Things Happen


I hope that helps give you some ideas to write about!

As for next week…

-No school on Monday, January 22

-The book order has been sent in! Books should arrive next week 🙂

-I am still missing a few field trip notes. If you haven’t signed and returned the note please do so right away

-Tuesday is Outdoor Education day. Let’s cross our fingers the weather cooperates and we can get outside and play!

-My goal is to read another 50-60 pages of Pax. I think we will finish by the end of the month!

-I’m going to try and create an editing activity for See Saw that the kids can do from the computer lab. No idea if it will work, but if it does I think it can really help with editing practice and show you, as parents, where your child can benefit from more practice

-We are going to be learning about Canada’s North in the next few weeks. We are going to look at our North through the Arts

-I’m hoping by the end of the week the students will have an idea of what animal they would like to learn more about. They will be studying their habitat and the impact things like weather, natural disasters, human activity, etc. have on that animal and their habitat.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy the weather!

Until next time,


Welcome 2018!

First post of 2018!

I hope you all had a fantastic break and a great first week back to the routine of school! As much as I love the extra time to spend with my family and getting refreshed, I also enjoy getting back to those routines!

Here is a little glimpse of what we did during this past week of school…

-We started a new book! It is called Pax by Sarah Pennypacker. It is about a boy, Peter and his fox, Pax. I read this book over the summer and knew that I wanted to read it to the class. We are about 70 pages into the book and it seems that the class is pretty interested so far. Ask your child their first impressions of Pax!

-We started a new round of Words Their Way (WTW).  We meet with Room 122 and 126 three times a cycle to work on sorting words following particular spelling patterns. After we have finished with the words they will be sent home to practice before having an assessment. *The exception is Ginny’s group. She runs her group a little differently and uses ongoing assessments.

-We’ve been doing some guided meditations during mindfulness time. Ask your child how they are liking that so far! I have used a mixture of mediations I’ve found online and also ones from an app I have called Insight Timer. Anyone use anything different and had success with it?

-In Math we continued working with Room 122 in our grade groups. We also spent some time reviewing basic facts for addition and subtraction as well as reviewing regrouping in addition and subtraction. We did another Number Talk with a focus on using ‘landmark’ or ‘friendly’ numbers.

For example: 38+55

We can think of this as 40+53 instead. We gave 2 from the 55 to the 38 making the new sentence 40+53. This is a lot easier to add using mental math. The landmark or friendly number in this example is 40. This kind of activity is easy to try at home!

Other things to do at home…(we brainstormed some ideas together at school)

*Basic facts for addition and subtraction are all the combinations of 1 digit numbers (2+2, 6+9, 7+3, etc.) and the corresponding subtraction facts.

-Use flashcards to build instant recall of basic facts (for addition, subtraction then move into multiplication and division when ready). Can you answer the questions in 3 seconds or less? The ones you can do using recall can be taken out of the package and then you can leave the ones you still need to practice

-Turn to two different pages in a book you’re reading and first add them to find the sum then subtract them to find the difference *Remember to start with the ‘whole’ (largest number) when doing subtraction

-Ask what time it is then ask how many minutes until the next hour (like doing compatible number to 60)

-Grab some coins and count them to find the value

-Use a deck of cards to create a game that helps with basic facts

-Play board games where you need to use your math skills

-Borrow some dice from a game you have and make up your own game! You could add two dice together and see if your sum is larger than your partner’s or you can roll the dice to make a 2,3,4 digit number and roll again to find another addend or a subtrahend to create your own math equation


-Have any other ideas? Let us know!!!

-We finished up our unit on Rocks and Minerals. We shared the reports we had written before the holidays and the kids were so impressed with each other. The list of “Things we learned about rocks and minerals” was crazy long! Next on the agenda for us is Habitats! We are going to begin by doing a group project on the white-tailed deer, then students can choose their own animal. We have an exciting plan to kickstart this inquiry…stay tuned for more details (to be sent home ASAP!)

-The library is looking BEAUTIFUL! Murray did Yoga in there on Thursday and the kids really loved it. If you haven’t had a chance to see how it looks make sure you take a peek when you can! Soon we can return to book exchange!

-We did 2 working periods for Genius Hour! This is what the “Ask Me” question was about this week. I sent you all a See Saw message about what you can talk to you kids about and what they can do for me. Please chat about their project and have them write me their next steps. If you haven’t already done so please total the minutes read for December and graph that data in the front of the Home Reading folder 🙂

What’s Up For This Week?!

-Another week…another 50-70 pages of Pax to read!

-We will be doing another round of writing samples to see where we go next as far as lessons go. We do a narrative, persuasive and informational sample each term and look for patterns in what students can do independently and what we can work on in either a whole class, small group or individual setting.

-We have outdoor education tomorrow (Monday, January 15)…weather permitting! If it’s too cold we will either use the gym or do some dance activities in the classroom. We will continue to go outside during the winter months when we are able, so please send your kids with the proper clothing!

-It is also Circle of Life choir day tomorrow! We will meet with Ms V twice tomorrow to continue working on the songs we are performing for the WSD Divisional Musical. A note will be sent home ASAP to fill you in on everything you need to know about this upcoming event.

-On Wednesday, January 17 the grades 1-6 will be participating in AAC Awareness week! AAC stands for Augmented and Alternative Communication. We will be participating in stations in the gym that help us learn more about how people in our school, community and life communicate in different ways.

-Our next Genius Hour session is on Wednesday as well. We will work on our projects from 2:30-3:30. Please make sure that your child has what they need to work on their project. There are many materials to use at school, however certain materials may need to come from home. If anyone would like to help out on Wednesday we could always use an extra set of hands during this busy time of day! Just let me know!

-The January Book Order has been sent out and is due on Friday, January 19!

-There is no school on Monday, January 22 🙂

Have a great week!!!

Until Next Time,