Love You

Thursday, 10 January 2019

All about a bear....

This week Frank Asch's bear has been keeping us entertained.  This bear does not understand how many science ideas work, so his adventures lead to giggles in the silly way he interacts with the moon, with echoes and with shadows.
In Happy Birthday Moon Bear climbs a tree and puts a hat in the branches.
As the moon travels across the night sky, Bear thinks that the moon is coming to get his birthday gift, the hat.
The students used their imagination to decide what birthday gift they might choose to give the moon, if they were the Bear.   I appreciated the variety of ideas!!

Bear wants to get rid of his shadow in Bear Shadow. He tries a variety of methods including trying to nail it to the ground and bury it in a hole.  The discussion of how a shadow is created showed the students' understanding.  It was impressive to hear that they understood that a shadow can be created in the night!  They used a sun to determine which side the shadow should be on.  Not all of them understood that the shadow  should be feet to feet with Bear, but we will revisit this when the weather warms up and we can try to make our own shadows outside.

The students are just starting to take two large numbers and put them together.  Today, the students were using manipulatives, the base ten blocks to put two parts to create the whole.  For example, they might be putting 17 together with 12 to create the sum of 29.  At this early stage of understanding, most are putting the groups of 10s together first and then putting the ones together.  They will be working with this for a while, so eventually we will discover that when putting larger numbers together, it might be easier to start with the ones first.  They won't be using paper and pencil or the usually accepted algorithm for quite a while, so don't be concern that they will be learning 'the wrong way'.  Right now it is exploration time, and understanding of the concept that is most important.

Monday, 24 December 2018

This past week...

One of our classroom ways of counting the days until Jesus' birth was to move Mary and Joseph closer to Jesus everyday.  We started with 25 stones and were down to 4 on Friday.  Christmas is so close!
Thanks to the artist at Deep Space Sparkle for the step by step instructions to assist my little artists on this multi-step, multi-medium project.
The students learned how to draw three different types of trees and worked on their placement to show perspective....which ones looked closer and which looked further into the background.
The students used a variety of shades of blue paint to add colour and then white to add details to the trees.  While the paint was drying, the students chose one of the main characters: Maria, the Nutcracker, the Mouse King or the Sugarplum Fairy, and added details to the barebones outline.
The characters were coloured with felt pens, cut out and then pasted in whichever area of the background the students choose.  The results were quite stunning!
These are some of the Grade Two students at our Advent Mass.  They sang so beautifully.  I am blessed to hear their voices raised in song and praise!

Friday, 21 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

May your family know only the blessings of this Christmas season.
Enjoy the warmth of family and the joy of being a believer!

Sunday, 16 December 2018

THe Nutcracker

The students are trying out a new reading format,Reader's Theatre.
They worked in small groups to read the story of The Nutcracker, an adaptation of the original story by E.T.A. Hoffman
This new type of reading had them focus on which of their peers was reading their pArt and when it would be their turn to read.
As well, it gave the students the opportunity to give 'voice' to a character.  
What would the Mouse King sound like as he ordered his mouse army to attack?
What would Papa Drosselmeier sound like as he comforted Maria after her brother broke the Nutcracker?
The students will be working on this Christmas classic until the break.

We will see many, many versions of a Nutcracker over the next few days!
Friday was the long awaited opportunity to help those without, in a very fun and active manner.
Grade Two students seldom get the opportunity to go upstairs in our school, but with socks in hand, they climbed up and....
looked down below, where a merry groups of elves (or Student Leadership kids)
we're waiting to see how many socks would rain down upon them!

It is all in the name of charity....the spirit of giving....and Valieda House, Jesse's Walk and Hope Mission/Bissell Centre will all be grateful to receive these socks for those in need.
Thanks Holy Spirit families for sharing and teaching your children it is important to give, as well.
Here are some of the completed directed drawings of Nutcrackers that the students worked on.
They are beautiful!  I love how each one shows a bit of the artists' personality in them.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Magnet Exploration

We spent the day being scientists. We looked at the scientific process
-ask questions
-make a hypothesis
-test the hypothesis
-record observations
-come to a conclusion 

We thought of what we already know about MAGNETS, which included whatever the students thought was true.  We then made a list of questions we thought of about what we would like to learn about magnets.
There were eight different areas for small groups of students to explore. Each station had a focus that when completed, helped the students learn something new about magnets.
The students were focused and we're learning that our partners have important things to say that can assist in our learning.  We are better when we work together!
The students even tried to turn a pin into a magnet!
The students also got the opportunity to read from a variety of books. Books can teach us so much!
Hands-on activities help build our knowledge.
In the end the students also got to make a game that uses a magnet. We are becoming experts about magnets.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Reindeer Reports

I am so proud of my little writers!  They have worked very hard on preparing a report on reindeer.
They learned how to share what they know on a subject and then ask questions to lead an inquiry into their new learning.  They worked on using what they read on a subject to answer questions.

They practised making jot notes.  They wrote at least two sentences about the six areas that they, as a class, decided would be important to share about reindeer.
They used the information that they knew about reindeer and wrote a rough draft.
With a peer, they edited their writing.  They worked with the teacher on ensuring that their work made sense and followed the writing conventions, until finally they completed their book and added illustrations, including labelling a reindeer.
What I was most happy to hear was one young lad who said "I'm pretty proud of how my report turned out!"
That's the best....when the student's own motivation leads to their own self satisfaction!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Contraction Surgery

This is what greeted each student (I mean surgeon) as they walked into the classroom (OOPS! operating theatre) on Tuesday morning.
The head of the trauma unit thanked the surgeons for coming in to help save the many patients that were on the list for surgery today.
Here are the list of patients who will need to be taken care of.
Do you recognize any of them?  Many were on this week's spelling list.

The surgeons used their scalpels, worn their masks and gloves to ensure that no germs could be passed around and began the long morning of surgery.
Each patient had one or two letters that needed to be removed.
Once the letters were removed, the surgeons needed to add the special bandaid to show where the letters were taken away.  Each bandaid needed to be marked with an apostrophe.
This may have looked easy, but it really was a specialized skill that only trained professionals can perform.
The head of the hospital showed up and made sure that all the surgeons were on the right track.
A lot of lives were saved this day!!
Each surgeon took one of the many patients and completed the special orders to ensure that the patient would be able to recover fully.
It was a job well done!
Thank you to Catherine Reed for sharing this wonderful interactive and memorable activity with me. I think the students had a great time learning how two words are used to make a contraction.

The students have been focusing on what they already knew about reindeer, what information they would like to know more about, and then worked in pairs to search for information.
Here are the questions that guided their search.
The questions had numbers and the cards placed around the room had a corresponding number.
They could read the question on the white cards and then search for the answers on the reading cards.
They practised writing jot notes on their recording sheet....again on the correct numbered section.
They were great little workers who helped each other find and record the information needed.
When they work together they are using co-operative conversation skills, learning to take turns, listen to other's points of view and sharing the reading and writing.

Here is the next math strategy that we are focusing on.  We introduced the 'how to' yesterday and today we worked on many examples together as a practise.  They seemed to catch on and were very quick in adding the number to ten to complete the equation.

Ask your little to explain their thinking.  They are becoming comfortable with telling what their brain does as they try out the many strategies that they are being introduced to.