Tag Archives: makers

Week 5!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Everyone!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with your families and take that extra moment to share something you’re grateful for. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family at our cabin, which is one of the places I am most grateful for. It has allowed for 35 years of amazing memories. It’s also the place where I get to practice my best hygge (the Danish word for creating cozy experiences and enjoying the things you like most, especially when with friends and family)! I’m grateful for a career that I am passionate about. I am grateful for kindness in those I know and those I will never meet. I am grateful for this Earth and will do my best to make choices to promote sustainability. This list could go on and on! What are you grateful for?!

This week in 123!

-I was able to snap a few photos of the Zentangle art covers before I left school (the first five I saw!) so you could get an idea of what we worked on. Maybe the students will take a picture of their own and post it to Seesaw for your enjoyment!

-Today (Friday) was a paint day! I’m excited to see what everyone has created. A big thank you to Kristi Marie and Mrs. Duncan for their help. I hope everyone remembered to thank them for their help and also remembered to take care of the library by cleaning up after themselves.

-We’ve made it page 205 in The Problim Children! My voice was a bit rough for a few days, so listen to reading wasn’t actually possible. I think if we try really hard we can finish by next Friday!

-We have 2 more sessions in our “Common Learning Time” with 122 &126. On Friday we will do a final assessment to see how much we’ve learned. I’m really enjoying my time with my two groups. I hope the kids are enjoying these common learning times as well!

-The kids were so excited to see the snow! Me on the other hand…not quite ready for it! I will admit it was beautiful to play and make yesterday during Friluftsliv because the snow was perfectly sticky and it was warm and sunny out! We also have a few friends in the school who are new to Canada and watching them experience snow for the first time is quite special!

-We started writing some poems this week! So far we’ve written a free verse, a rhyming poem and a haiku. Once we write a few more we will share via Seesaw! Writing poems is a nice way to work on word choice and adding some beautiful and exciting words into our writing!

-We met author Annie Barrows! She was pretty funny. It was so neat how her stories came from her own memories and experiences, then she added her own twists to them!! Thanks for coming to Montrose Annie!!

-We finished our Storybook Engineering projects with Murray! We read After The Fall (a story about Humpty Dumpty) and designed some ways to help poor Humpty back up that wall and conquer his fear of heights!

This definitely helps us learn to make a design plan and then implement the plan, making changes as the piece requires. It’s also great practice of the 4Cs (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking).

Whats happening next week?!

-No school on Monday!

-Picture Day on Tuesday!!

-WALK-tober “school bus” starts on Tuesday! Who is joining us?! See your Ask Me question on Seesaw for more details!

-The Montrose School Create-a-Thon assembly is happening next week. It’s the kick off to our school fundraiser. Students will receive their pledge forms and then they will be ready to fundraise! Stay tuned for more details! Murray is asking for some help from families. Please read the message below (which has also been emailed to families earlier this week)

On Thursday, October 18 Montrose School will be having our annual fundraiser to support all the exciting events and field trips that your children will be participating in this year. This year the students will create many exciting projects using a variety of objects, props and household items to help invigorate their creativity. Could you please send all your empty tissue boxes and any other boxes about that size to the library?
Murray Mandzuk
Inquiry and Innovation Support Teacher/Yoga Teacher
Montrose School

I think that’s it for now!

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

Until next time,


Be Prepared (aka Track 7)!!


The theme of this week’s blog post is to be prepared (which is also track #7 on the Circle of Life song list 🙂 ). Next week is a busy week and I just want us to all be in the loop! Reading this week’s blog IS the Ask Me question for the weekend. No other action is required (which was well received by the kiddos!).

So…here we go!

Monday: Day 2

-Today is a pretty normal day! It is Genius Hour from 2:30-3:30! Please be prepared to work on your project and check in with me to talk about what your next steps are. That way I can update any information that I need to about projects, offer suggestions if students need that and also get materials that we might be lacking in the room

-We are also sending home the shirt that students need to wear for the WSD production of the Circle of Life. It is super important that ALL students wear this shirt to school on Tuesday (for more information on the Circle of Life read the “Tuesday” section of this post 😉

Tuesday: Day 3

-Students must arrive to school at 8:40 because we are being picked up for the Concert Hall at 9:00

-What to wear: dark bottoms, black Circle of Life/Wildebeest shirt (provided by the school and sent home on Monday), dark shoes. *Girls are asked to wear their hair in a high ponytail so we can see the back of the shirt during the “Stampede” song. Please use some sort of hair product that helps keep the hair up all day

-Students will be at the Concert Hall all day and will return to Montrose to be dismissed at 3:30 as per usual

-Please send a lunch that your child can easily eat while at the Concert Hall. There is NO access to a microwave nor will there be extra cutlery, etc. Students all need to bring a refillable water container as well. (*Students will bring their backpacks with them to hold lunch bags *Litterless lunches are best)

-There are NO tickets available for the dress rehearsal and afternoon performance. The audience will consist of students from schools around the division

-There are NO extra tickets for the evening performance. Each student has been given 2 tickets to be used as you choose, but everyone in the audience needs their own ticket (no holding small children in your lap, etc.). It is rush seating (doors open at 6:30). Please refer to the map you received in your info packet when dropping your child off at 6:15. It is a stop, drop and go zone! Teacher volunteers (like myself) will be wearing orange shirts and will guide the students into the building and to where they need to be. Outfits are the same as the earlier shows

-The kids have been practicing for months and are ready for the show! I can’t wait to see how it has all come together 🙂

Wednesday: Happy Valentine’s Day! (Day 4)


-We are going to be tired today! The plan is to keep the day pretty low key!

-We will do a mini maker activity in the morning where students can create their own Valentine card holder. Please bring your own supplies (including a box if you need one) to make the holder. We have the “standard” supplies like glue, tape, paper, markers, etc. But we do NOT have any boxes collected or special Valentine themed decorations. I’d like students to work from a plan, so at some point between now and Wednesday please create a plan. I know I said you don’t have to write anything for the Ask Me question, but it’s an option to sketch there if you’d like. There may be some time on Monday to plan, but if you want to get that done this weekend I think that would be a great idea! CARDHOLDER “MUST HAVES” 1) an opening for cards 2) your name that is easily noticed

-Yoga and Music are happening as per usual

-We will also each make a “kindness card” for someone in the class (like we did in December). It makes us feel so good to be kind!!! On Monday each student will choose a random name and make a card for that person which they will give on Wednesday

-We’ve talked about using random supplies and making cards or using all the random leftover cards from throughout the years as valentine cards this year. This is NOT a requirement, but an alternative to purchasing new cards. It’s up to you! I’m just always up for promoting ways of reducing and reusing!

-We’ve also talked about making sure we know all the kids names in our class. All students have assured me that they a) still have the name sheet a student sent home to each student with their name in Hawaiian or b) can remember each student and will not forget that we have 25 students in the class. 3 students are going to be absent but I’m sure they’d love a card when they return!

-I’ve suggested that students sign their name in handwriting/cursive if they are able to. We’ve started to do some handwriting in class and doing a signature 24+ times is great practice! This is NOT mandatory…just a suggestion

-Some students have asked if they HAVE to hand out cards. The answer is no, but if you decide to hand out cards then you must to ALL students

-We will hand out cards in the afternoon and watch some Planet Earth videos to see what we can learn about animals and their habitats!

-Treats…we are keeping things really simple, so if you’d like to bring something please let it be healthy and easy. I’d appreciate knowing if you are planning on sending a snack so I can see what is coming in. Thanks in advance!

-We are also going to be doing some writing about our favourite foods THEN using that for something fun with that with Murray on Friday. Start thinking about your favourite food AND how you could describe it in a way to make someone else want to eat it!!!

Thursday: Day 5

-Art with 122 in the morning (FYI: Grade 4s will be painting)

-Winter Fun Day in the afternoon (as far as I know and will confirm this later on next week)

Friday: Day 6

-Phew…at this point we might be exhausted! Today will be pretty “normal” except our surprise fun activity with Murray 😉 Then you’ll get a long weekend to recover!

Other FYIs:

-No WTW tests this week since we actually won’t be even meeting in our WTW groups! Tests will take place the following week

-Some students have chosen to bring their animal/habitat inquiry projects home to work on. This is okay with me, but please bring in the information recording booklet on Monday. I am asking students to write point form notes that we will use to write an informational piece after we complete our research. I am also asking that they write down the name of the websites they are using so we know who to give credit to. Today was our first research day! There was a buzz of excitement in the air for sure. One thing to note is that if a student chose an animal like “bear”, they need to decide what kind of “bear” they are going to research because there are many types of “bears” and they have different types of habitats. I tried to check in with everyone, but if you notice that your child’s topic is not specific, please continue that conversation at home 🙂

-The February book order has been sent in and should arrive next week!

-Olympic themed bulletin board!

It’s a blank canvas! Students have volunteered to do some work on the bulletin board from home! The vision so far is…the sport symbols in Olympic colours, the mascots, the rings, a podium, gold, silver and bronze medals (to keep track of our medal count). Some things that no one has volunteered to make are: a big Canadian flag, flags from countries who are competing, any info on athletes, a schedule of events, the torch or info on Pyeongchang! If you’d like to create something for the board…please do!!

-I hope there were excited kids after Global School Play Day on Wednesday. We are working through getting all our reflections posted on Seesaw! If you get a chance to comment on your child’s Seesaw posts please do! We all love to hear what parents have to say about what we do and learn at school. It’s a great way to build that home/school connection

I think that’s it!! If not…we’ll be in touch!

Enjoy your weekend….Go Jets Go!

Until next time,


November News!

Another weekend already?! This week went by even more quickly that last week!!

Let’s recap!

*Maker Monday!: It just happened to be Monday when we had Maker time with Murray and the kids coined it Maker Monday (which was fitting and awesome!) Well…it turns out that we love baking AND being able to connect what we’ve learned about rocks and minerals in a new and exciting way! We also enjoyed creating with plasticine of course (which is always a crowd favourite)!

*Hallowe’en 2017!:

We had a really great day on Hallowe’en. Thanks again for bringing in the supplies and for not bringing in any extras at this time. It was our goal to really limit the amount of sugar intake for the kids! If you weren’t able to send in any items this time…don’t worry, there will be more opportunities! Thanks to our parent volunteers for helping out and making sure we had a fun time!

*”Witch” One Doesn’t Belong?!:

We all created a “Which” One Doesn’t Belong (W.O.D.B.) Hallowe’en version (hence…the Witch/Which switch!!)

Can you find at least 3 different reasons why one of the pictures doesn’t belong? The task is to name a square that doesn’t belong (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right) and state why. If one of the squares has a difference…the other 3 have a commonality. For example: the bottom left doesn’t belong because it has been coloured (and the other 3 are not). The top left doesn’t belong because it is the only character that is wearing a hat (the other 3 are not). The bottom right doesn’t belong because it is facing a different direction than the other 3 (they are all facing forward). There may be more…what do you notice? WODB are a fun way to look for patterns. You can use pictures, objects, drawings, numbers, etc. They are great because there are multiple correct answers and you need to use reasoning skills. Try one at home!

*Plastic Bags Galore!: This is just a snapshot of the bags that an anonymous person dropped off for us last week! Basically…they doubled the amount of bags that we had already collected! This was a great math activity! As a class we helped to count the remaining bags. It was important to label the “bags of bags” and try to keep the number of “bags within the bags” a ‘friendly’ number so we could find the total more easily. A great mental math strategy lesson in a real life situation! We collected over 6 600 bags! That is 6 600+ fewer bags in our landfills, blowing in our communities and killing our animals. Way to go Montrosians!! Our plastic bag drive is over…but are there still ways we, as Manitobans, can make an impact on our environment? It is a great chance to practice environmental stewardship and become difference makers!

We read a book called…

It is about the journey of a plastic bag. That bag travelled so far, so quickly. The book had some astonishing facts about plastic bags. We also looked at a website that had even more facts that had our heads spinning. Take a look…

Discussion is to be continued…for a LONG time. We CAN and WILL make a difference!


This leads me to…

*Ask Me Question: This week’s question says “Ask me about the plastic bag project”. It is my hope that students and parents have a conversation about the book we read, facts we’ve learned, plastic bag collection we did for the past few weeks, etc. If this inspires kids to do more research…even better! Kids come back to school ready to talk about continuing our efforts in environmental stewardship…I’m ready! I am super excited to read what they have to say!!!

Getting ready for next week!

*You guessed it…the plastic bag conversation will be happening for sure!

*We are ready to start our third read aloud book of the year! This one is called Frank Einstein. There is a series of at least 4 books. Maybe it will inspire some kids to continue reading if they decide they like the first one! (I already bought the 4 they had at the bookstore!)

*The book order is due on Tuesday! Please get those orders in ASAP 🙂

*We will finish up our study of patterns and do some more work on mental math strategies and estimation.

*We’re also working on creating a new bulletin board featuring…Words You “Moose”-t Try! (Moose-t=Must ;)). One of our goals lately has been replacing some of our commonly used words with more exciting words. This is a good strategy to make our writing more interesting to read, not to mention write!

*Students in Helen’s W.T.W. group will have an assessment on Tuesday! (both Salmon and Lilac groups)

*Friday is our Remembrance Day Assembly. It begins at 2:20 and all are welcome to attend.

Ms. V has asked that all students wear a white top and dark bottoms.

*Our November calendar is up! I am trying to get students to use the monthly calendar to keep themselves organized! It is a great tool to use to create some independence, instead of always asking me when important and exciting events are happening!

*Ever heard of See Saw? Not the playground type…but the digital portfolio version?!? Your child may have been talking about See Saw and you are probably wondering what it is all about! AND possibly why you haven’t heard about it from me!! We are starting to use See Saw in Room 123 as a digital portfolio. Once I wrap my head around it a bit more you will receive more information and will be invited to view your child’s portfolio through an app. For now I have included a link for you to look at. This will give you a glimpse, but you will not be able to sign in. My goal is to have everything ready for you at Parent/Teacher conferences on the 16th/17th. This is another new program for me…but I’m doing my best to embrace the new technology!!! The kids are loving it so far (they want me to send you the information….NOW!). I just need to play around with it a bit more so I can hopefully answer some of your questions!

In the meantime…take a look!

See Saw

We are practicing making meaningful comments because that is a feature of See Saw, so please feel free to make a comment on this post as extra practice!

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,


10. More. Days. Of. School…

Happy Saturday Everyone!!!

Here we are…only a few posts away from the last day of school!!!!

Here is a little recap of last week at school 🙂

*Gimli Field Trip: This was an awesome day. Really…it couldn’t have gone any better. The weather was perfect and the kids had a blast. We were able to build, play and explore…without seeing any algae in the water!




*Montrose Music Makers: Once again Room 123 showed just how creative we are! We are getting soooooo good at being makers and are really contributing to a maker culture in the school. Our instruments were pretty amazing!

*Canada 150: We have completed our final vertical team sessions and now students have rotated through all 4 stations (dance, drumming, drama and language). Mr. Okemaw came to help with the language and culture piece by teaching us some Cree words and a fun game! An email has gone out to all families to invite everyone to our Canada 150 celebration on Wednesday, June 21 from 6:00-8:00. The format is come and go, however there are some components that will be at a scheduled time. The opening will hopefully take place in the field (weather permitting) at 6:00. There will be a hoop dancer, heart garden, drumming/drama interactive piece, guest speakers, treaty display, bannock and lemonade. It will be a great evening. We hope to see you there! *Please note that you are invited to rotate through all stations since our students in Room 123 have only been part of the Language and Culture session and have not seen what the Treaty and Residential School sessions have been learning.

*Ask me…: This weekend’s Ask Me question is about our Canada 150 vertical team sessions. Please write or draw something about at least one of the activities 🙂

*Family Life/Safety will be wrapping up soon *Fractions and decimals are going strong  *Our self portraits are starting to come along and will be amazing! *We are going to do a super fun Which One Doesn’t Belong (I can’t wait to tell the kids!) *Robert Munsch Reader’s Theatre presentations will come up soon. They kids have been having so much fun rehearsing their lines and deciding what props they will need!

Finally…Happy Father’s Day out there to all the Daddios for tomorrow! I hope you enjoy the cards your children have made. They made them with you in mind!

Good luck to all the runners participating in the Manitoba Marathon tomorrow. If you feel like doing some cheering…yours truly will be doing the 3rd section of the relay which will start at Laura Secord School, go down Portage to Assiniboine Park and then onto Wellington Crescent before handing the relay belt to Ms V!

Until next time,