Love You

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Looking into the past and seeing where we came from!

Late in June our class will be visiting the Fort Heritage Precinct, one of the best field trip opportunities, in my opinion, with it's connection to the past and the hands on child entered activities.
With a connection to Social Studies, the students and I looked into why the name of our community is Fort Saskatchewan.  The students were amazed to learn that the RCMP (back then known as the NWMP) had actually built a fort along the river, and that lead to the community that exists today.
We read books, watched a few little movie clips, brainstormed, created lists and were ready to write!
What a fine job the students did!  They wrote about our own Canadian police force,
demonstrating their knowledge
and pride in being part of Canada.  You must read them!

What else were the students proud of? They were proud to get to bring home candles in a teacup, which they chose especially for their moms!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Small Crawling and Flying Animals

Thanks again to the parents (and grandparents) who were able to join us and make this in school field trip a success again. Our leader, Bugsy, put the students onto a real dilemma, in which they had to become Crime Scene Investigators to solve the mystery of who stole the honey from the hive.
Each station allowed the students to learn about different aspects of insects, as they tried to figure out which of the six suspects was the real criminal.  

At this station, the CSI explored the different types of mouths that these creatures have.
At this station, body parts were looked at ....very closely!

The students worked their way through 5 different stations one of which allowed them to decorated a bug catcher house.  It was a lovely Friday afternoon full of learning and fun!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Working with large numbers and with dragons!!

This past week the students continued to work with adding and subtracting large numbers using some other strategies.  In this one, which I call 'the pull down method', the students are again recognizing the value of the digits based on the place that they occupy in the number.  The idea is to understand that when adding or subtracting, the tens work together and the ones work together.  On the first day of introduction, the students struggled but,
on the next day, I had them work in pairs so that they could talk about their thinking, and help each other.  There was much more success!

The students understand that they are practising these strategies but that in the long run, they will be able to use the one that they understand best....which one their brain likes :)
By the end of the week, the students were ready to work on this strategy which is often called the 'break apart' strategy.  It should look familiar, because the students are taking the two digit number and writing it in expanded form and then again seeing that they will add or subtract the tens together and the ones together.  After a couple days practise, the students will be ready to be introduced to the traditional algorithm that most students in North America are familiar with.  Fingers crossed that they  will not find it too complicated.  In the end, they will still be allowed to choose which strategy works for them this year, as they need to understand the values of the numbers and the reason for working with tens and ones in the correct way.

It's hard to believe that this wonderful story is now 37 years old!  We are using it to really recognize different aspects of reading.
This lesson went so well.  The students used sticky notes to share what Elizabeth was like on the 'inside', her character traits and then created a poster about her.  They each also made their own 'Elizabeth' paper doll.  I think each has it's own unique style!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Let's Go, Oilers!

Here's a photo of a most enthusiatic group of students who were so happy to hear that the Oilers would be moving onto Round 2 in their quest for the Stanley Cup! 

Here's a couple of smart kiddos who could easily explain how to use an open number line to add of subtract numbers in the hundreds.  Hooray!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Christ is Risen!

In the Ukrainian tradition, today we greet those we meet with the words "Christ is Risen" and they will respond with "He is Risen Indeed!"

May you know this, Jesus is Our Saviour!
Have a Blessed Easter!

Monday, 10 April 2017

A VERY Busy Week Back After Spring Break!

After our Spring Break, the students were introduced to our 'No Excuses' set of expectations for independent work.  These are a set of "rules" for writing that we have discussed and practised since the first day of Grade Two.  With only one term left in this school year, there are No Excuses for not putting these into effect!

As we move into work that focuses on really thinking about what we read at a higher level, the stories we are using to practise these new skills on, are those written by a beloved Canadian author, Robert Munsch.
For the story of "Smelly Socks" the students made a text to self connection,  which means that they thought of something in their own life (self) that related to the story (text).  In this story, Tina wants a new pair of socks.  The students had no difficulty with relating to a time when they wanted something and the ease or difficulty that the faced in getting the item.

The students have learned about using adjectives to help the reader 'see' the story in their mind.  After reading Mr. Munsch's story of "Mmmmmm, Cookies!" the students wrote their own description of their favourite cookie.  A couple of examples are included below.

Which one of these two examples demonstrates a great effort and a willingness to try and create sentences following our 'No Excuses' criteria?
The students laughed and laughed as Aaron's Hair ran away and landed in silly places on other people.  This time the students wrote the problem on one comb and the solution on the other that they added onto Aaron's unruly hair.
Thanks for Amy Lemons for sharing so many great ideas about bringing learning alive using books by Robert Munsch.
On Wednesday afternoon, the students at the school got their first opportunity to visit another classroom and participate in Junior Options.  The activity in my classroom was based on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Using the materials above, the students were given the challenge to make a contraption that would launch the little plastic man and propel him through the air, the furthest distance from the starting line.  Here's some of the building projects that the students tried and modified:

It was lovely to 'see' their brains spinning with ideas!
All week long we have been looking at some strategies for adding (and subtracting) large numbers.  We focused on using manipulatives, like those above.
The next set of photos show the students working in pairs to try another strategy, which is using an open number line.  There will be a set of pages coming home tomorrow which tell a bit more about why we explore strategies BEFORE the algorithm used in North America is introduced.  If you are interested in learning a bit more about the theories behind this different way to ensure students are successful, I am more than willing to show you as a parent the 'whats' and 'whys' of our math world in Grade Two.  In the end, we all still want our students to be successful and this was has proven to be better at having students understand what the question means and how to arrive at an answer that makes sense.

Here's an example of how we worked through some of the equations as we were talking as a class.  Bet you can figure it out! Hint: I used more than one colour to demonstrate which part I was talking about!