Tag Archives: 30×30

The Final Weeks!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Last week was another great week being your child’s teacher! I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting about how this year has been so positive for me. I truly feel so lucky to be part of such a great school community ๐Ÿ™‚

-We have competed the sharing of our environmental solutions with each other. It was very interesting to see and hear how differently the class interpreted the task. Some of their minds went to mythical solutions, some went to blasting our problems to space, some had other animals helping us out and some went more practical like creating filters, writing letters, developing new water treatment facilities or working together to clean up. What they all had in common was…the BUT! Every solution had something that wouldn’t make it perfect. Maybe the “but” was that rocket ships were expensive to build and send to space or maybe it was that Justin Trudeau might not listen to what we here in Winnipeg had to say. The beauty of all of this was the creativity, the communication and collaboration between students, the critical thinking, the learning, the sharing, the passion! I really loved doing this project. I think it really helped us to think about our environmental responsibilities as Canadians and as people that rely on this planet to sustain life!

-One of our students has started a Garbage Picker Upper Club! It is easy to join…just go out into the community, pick up garbage, recycle what needs to be recycled and make our world a better place! Hudson and I joined! Another example of how what we learn at school is being brought home and then shared with others. ๐Ÿ™‚

-Math: We have divided and conquered! Students have completed their division books and have learned that to divide means to share equally! We started from sharing objects into equal groups, then talked about the difference between number of sets and number in each set, learned about divisor, dividend and quotient, introduced what to do when you can’t share equally and have leftovers (which we call remainders) and worked on the relationship between multiplication and division with fact families. Grade 4s also dove into long division! Having recall for basic multiplication facts sure helps with division! The grade 3s have reviewed their answers as a group and now the grade 4s will do the same. We really like checking our work together so we can answer questions and do more examples if needed. Please make sure to have our work at school each day so we can either work on it or check the answers. Sometimes students want to work at home or need more time to complete pages which is good with me as long as we remember to bring the work back each day and that they fully understand the work before they go home ๐Ÿ™‚ Next up…fractions!

-Ask Me…Question: A little late on the post but thank you so much for doing the Ask Me question over the weekend. We did an example with how students could research their topic with the topic of plastic straws (after I had read an article on Twitter about the danger of overusing drinking straws). We read through a few websites, found some interesting facts and talked about how to search what we wanted to know. We also talked about how it can be difficult to find facts that you can trust online. This is a skill that we all have to develop as we live in the age of technology! It was important to have the research done so we can plan out the poster that we will hang in the school. We will finish up the poster planning tomorrow so that students are ready to transfer their work to the actual poster board on Thursday and Friday. No facts=no poster ๐Ÿ™

-30×30: We did it!!! Today was our 30th day of our 30 for 30 challenge! We were great! Rain or shine. Hot or cold. We made it outside for at least 30 extra minutes each day. Today we celebrated with a whole day (almost) outside. Thanks so much to our parent volunteers for transforming our ‘garden’ space. Check out the new view we have outside of Room 123!

ย What a great before and after!

We will continue to go out as often as possible and experience the benefits that being outside has to offer!

-Field Trip Update: Reminder that our field trip to Gimli is coming up on Monday (June 12). Please dress for the weather!!! Bring lots of water to drink and we are asking that you bring a litterless lunch. We are going to spend the day outside and enjoy what Gimli has to offer. Throughout the day we will have activities such as: nature sketching, instant challenges, water education (regarding algae, litter, etc.), organized games, free time and a community walk. I am away on Thursday/Friday so please email me if you have an questions. We are leaving right at 9:00 on Monday so arrive at school on time!! Can’t wait!

Have a great rest of the week! I’ll try to post some pictures of my trip to Seattle to watch the Blue Jays!!

Until next time,


May it really be the long weekend?!

Hi Everyone!

Here are some Friday evening thoughts as we head into the long weekend!

Women In Science & Engineering: We had a great time with Alex from W.I.S.E. and her program on the Science of Music! She talked to us about sound waves and about the connection between sound and the States of Matter (ask your kids about the domino experiment-videos are below!). She also introduced us to gramophones…which we googled and was invented in 1877! Pretty amazing!

*The “Solid” domino fall was so quick that I missed it!




A World of Water: On Thursday afternoon we learned a lot about water, Lake Winnipeg, algae blooms and ways to fix our problems from Jay. He shared information and had us up and moving with some hands on learning!

Lake Winnipeg Foundation: Today (Friday) we heard from Ainslie who works at the Lake Winnipeg Foundation. She was very pleased with how much we know about algae blooms and thought we asked some great questions. Ainslie also talked to us about Zebra Mussels and how we need to be careful not to transport Zebra Mussels into our lakes. We are doing some writing about some of the environmental problems we’ve learned about and are trying to come up with creative solutions…then think of what kinds of problems our solutions have!

Upcomingย Field Trip:ย On June 12, we are headed to Gimli for a field trip! During our time in Gimli we will be having different stations for the kids to go through. Our goal is to have the students take some water samples, do some sketching, make nature art with twigs/rocks we see on the ground, have some free play and do a walk around the community. We’ve been learning so much about Lake Winnipeg we would like to go and visit! This field trip will NOT be for swimming! The only time we will be going near the water is to possibly to take water samples where students will be supervised at all times. We are also asking that students bring a “litterless” lunch to follow our environmental mindset! Permission slips will be sent home soon ๐Ÿ™‚

30×30: Our 30 for 30 challenge is still going strong! We just completed Day 19! Day 30 lands on Tuesday, June 6 (I believe). Maybe we should be spending the day outside to celebrate?! On that note…the last day of the at home 30×30 challenge is on Monday. I hope you have enjoyed your time outside and continue to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors! This also means that my own challenge (and the kids who have also made a bonus challenge) also ends on Monday. I am having a grande latte on Tuesday morning! Don’t worry…I’ll still be using my reusable cup!

Mental Math: We have continued to review Mental Math strategies. This week we covered lots of ground!

Using Arrays:ย Since we have just finished up multiplication arrays are pretty fresh in our minds.ย An arrangement of objects or pictures in columns and rows is called an array.

Example for Arrays

Skip Counting to Find a Product: We all know how to skip count…we’ve been doing it for years! Now it’s time to use skip counting to solve multiplication problems. For example: if we want to know what 5×5 and we don’t know this fact by instant recall we can count by 5s five times (5,10,15,20,25). Therefore 5×5=25!

Building on a Known Double: We are pretty comfortable with our doubles facts (and if we cannot recall these facts up to 20+20 then this is something to practice), now we need to relate doubles to halves! For example: if we know 10+10=20 then 20-10=10!

Using Doubles +/-1: Now we can use what we know about doubles and apply that to near doubles. Near doubles occur when the two addends only have a difference of one. For example: 8+9 (the difference between 8 and 9 is 1 :)) Now you have a choice…you can think of this question as a) 8+8+1 (16+1=17) (Doubles +1) OR b) 9+9-1 (18-1=17) (Doubles -1).

Using Doubles +/-2: This is very similar to the Doubles +/-1 strategy EXCEPT…you guessed it!!! The difference between the addends is two! For example: 15+17 (the difference between 15 and 17 is 2 :)) Now you have a choice…you can think of this question as a) 15+15+2 (30+2=32) (Doubles +2) OR b) 17=17-2 (34-2=32) (Doubles -2).

Using Addition to Subtract: This is when knowing about Fact Families comes in handy!ย Fact Families are 3 numbers that are related, just like the people in a family are related!! The 3 facts make a set ofย 4 number sentences ๐Ÿ™‚ When you see 11-7=? you can switch that to an addition fact instead. Now this question can be changed to 7+?=11. It might be easier or quicker for you to solve this question by adding instead of subtracting.

Fact Family: Part +Part =Whole & Whole-Part=Part

In the first question the 11 is the whole, and the 7 and 4 are the parts

7+4=11 (part+part=whole)

4+7=11 (part+part=whole)

11-7=4 (whole-part=part)

11-4=7 (whole-part=part)

When we reviewed this strategy we also talked about the ‘unknown’ in a question. There is always an unknown, but the place of the unknown can change. We are used to having the unknown at the end of a question (the sum for addition, difference for subtraction, product for multiplication and quotient for division). However the unknown can be any part of the question. In the above example we changed the ‘unknown’ from being the difference (a part) in a subtraction question to a missing addend (a part) in an addition question.

*Once again…we are practising all these grade appropriate Mental Math strategies and students need to know then exist and how to use them and explain them BUT will have their ‘favourite’ strategies and develop their own strategies as well.

Division: This first week of division has gone fairly well! The students are understanding the concept of division as objects being shared into equal groups. They are also finding the relationship between multiplication and division and using the commutative property and fact families to demonstrate this relationship! If your child is needing more practice try giving them objects (chocolate chips, rocks, paperclips, etc.) and asking them to share equally into X groups then ask how many are in each set. For example: Give them 12 chocolate chips and ask them to share them into 4 groups. One at a time they will put one chocolate chip into each set. 1,2,3,4 then add a second chocolate chip into the first set, then second set, etc. until there are no more chocolate chips. At then end there should be 4 sets of chocolate chips and 3 chocolate chips in each set. *Remember to give them problems that do not have a remainder since we are not at that point yet!

Buzz Math: Today we tried out a new program called Buzz Math! This is an online program similar to Dream Box, but not affiliated with the School Division. Each student has a user name (first name and first two letters of their last name) and they have a password (which they know!). We got logged in and used Buzz Math for about 45 minutes today and it was a hit. You are welcome to use it at home too. Just log on the same way as we did at school. See me if you have questions about logging on. I am learning with the group, so we will see where this takes us!

Buzz Math Homepage

Ask Me…This weekend’s Ask Me question is to do an extra 30 minutes of outdoor fun and let me know what you were up to! I am heading to the lake so I am looking forward to this too! The forecast doesn’t look great, so it also might also be a good time to get some reading in! All students have next week’s tracking sheet in their folder ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve noticed that many students are not reading regularly and not bringing their home reading folders in regularly either. I know everyone is busy but reading is very important and a great daily habit to get into. I’m hoping for 25 completed reading folders and Ask Me questions on Tuesday morning!!!!

I found a list of reasons of why kids need books…take a peek if you have time ๐Ÿ™‚

Why Do Kids Need Books?

Creativity: Earlier in the week I showed the class a video from youtube about the loss of creativity at school and at work. I had seen the short film on Twitter and it made me sad. Then it made me think. Then it reaffirmed what we are trying to create in our class. I thought I’d post the link on here in case any of the kids were talking about it and you wanted to see ๐Ÿ™‚


Have a really great long weekend. I look forward to hearing everyone’s stories during our sharing time on Tuesday morning.

Until next time,


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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚


-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,