Inferring With Chris Van Allsburg

Last week we went down to the bookroom, turned off all the lights and explored a variety of pictures with flashlights. Students were very quiet and respectful while moving around the room to examine each of the 15 pictures laid out for them to explore. We had spent the last few weeks focusing on inferring from a variety of stories. The books of Chris Van Allsburg were the focus of our unit. He writes stories that are mysterious and unique, he has a way of providing readers with his stories by not telling his stories. He intentionally wants to leak the story slowly and carefully onto the page through both his words and his illustrations.

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In the coming week, we will be using these pictures to develop short stories. We will keep you posted on our final products and hope to share them on Portfolio Night!

Math Competition

This past week, our class was registered in a Sumdog Math Competition against 15 other classes from the Region. Students had to answer 1,000 questions in the matter of a few days. Some of the students in our class completed all 1,000 questions which helped us place 2nd overall in the competition. Congrats to Jack & Scott, who placed in the top 10 leaderboard of all the whole competition! Great job boys!

We will enter another contest in the Spring and hopefully enter a National contest as well. Ask you son or daughter to show you what Sumdog is all about. This game allows students to practice math skills while playing games and earning prizes.

Dance!!

Tonight, Thursday, January 26th from 6-9 is the Mother-Son night out hosted by the Gr. 5’s at GLC. This event is a fundraiser for the Gr.5’s Festival trip to Winnipeg. This is a night for mother figures and their boys, all ages, and everyone is welcome. There will be snacks, drinks, an auction table, photo booth and many fun activities planned, and of course dancing! Tickets are on sale for $10.00 and can be purchased at the door.

We hope to see you all there!!

We LOVE Math

Over the past few months, we have had a lot of amazing learning happening during our Math Blocks. Students are challenging their minds and participating in many different learning opportunities that revolve around math. They are learning to think critically, use creative thinking, learn to problem solve independently & with their peers, and learning through real-world problems.

On most days in our math classroom, the students are working together and challenging each other during math talks and discussions. We often begin our mornings with some drill practice, a few questions to activate our thinking or some math games to practice skills. We then move into problems that are related to the focus of that week and students have the opportunity to solve problems that are designed to challenge all students. Students are encouraged to use manipulatives and technology to help them solve problems.

I have had the opportunity to grow as an educator over the past few years while working on earning my Math Specialist courses online. I have learned that math classrooms and math learning is changing and I am on board with this NEW MATH! I want to encourage my students to take risks, make mistakes and share their thinking towards math. They can learn a great deal from each other’s ideas and strategies, much more than from a textbook.

These pictures are from a few different math periods. Students are using technology and other tools (manipulatives) to help them with their math learning. There is a lot of peer work and discussion happening and even some student teaching! 🙂

Learning Through Code

Last week we took a little afternoon trip to Red Lake District High School. Ms. McIntyre’s Grade 9 Computer Science class created computer programs using an online tool called Scratch that were based on areas of the Grade 5/6 curriculum. The programs were very interactive and the Grade 5/6 class were very impressed! They were able to practice skills in Mathematics (division, multiplication, measuring and identifying angles), Language (Making Inferences) Science (Human body & Space) and Social Studies (Interactions between European Explorers & First Nations) were just some of the areas the programs focused on.

In our classroom we have been working with the website Code.org, which helps students learn from the very basics of Code. Over the past month students have been enjoying learning to code. We are hoping that within the next coming weeks we will be able to begin to use Scratch to create their own interactive stories, games and animations! We will keep you updated on our journey with learning through Code!

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Take Flight

Last week the class got to take a trip to the Red Lake Area Airport. The Grade 6 students recently completed a Science unit on Flight. They learned about the properties of air, impacts of a variety of flying devices and about the main principles of flight. Mr. Macumber with Northstar Air invited us to check out planes used to fly to northern communities. Students had the opportunity to learn about why these planes are designed the way they are (size, wings, motors) to carry loads and be able to land on very small runways. The Grade 6 students were able to get some clarification on things we learned about flight during the unit from a pilot Northstar. We also got to check out the flight radar and see where planes were currently flying to which airports all over Northern Ontario.

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Reading Buddies

Our class has recently taken on the leadership opportunity to read with the Kindergarten students. We chose a good selection of good fit books that we felt would be interested for our younger listeners. On our first visit we helped the students walk up to the library to show them where and how we sit nicely during library times. We listened to a story from Mrs. Williamson and then got right to reading. Ms. Skedgel was beyond impressed with the leadership the class displayed while reading quietly to their buddies. Reading aloud to others helps students build their fluency, develop expression in reading and build their confidence in oral reading.

Since then, we’ve had a second visit in the classroom. It was great to see the kindergarten student’s excitement of seeing their reading buddy again. We can’t wait till our next visit with our new little buddies!

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