Saturday, March 31, 2012

How Much Water Do You Use?

As part of our Science Unit, Air and Water in the Environment, we have been discussing how our actions affect the quality of air and water, and our ability to contribute to the conservation of water.  We have been learning about how in some parts of the world, safe drinking water is extremely scarce.  This weekend, we have brought home a recording sheet to track our personal use of water for a day.  We will be thinking of ways that we can reduce our consumption of this precious resource.

Open Number Line

This weekend we have some homework to do.  We are interviewing our family members to find out their ages.  As part of our Addition and Subtraction to 100 Unit in Mathematics, we have been practicing a variety of strategies to find sums and differences.  Last class we read the book El Bisabuelo Gregorio.  The boy in the story, Carlos, is celebrating his eighth birthday.  He becomes very curious about how old his family members were when he was born when his great-grandfather comes for a visit.  Carlos figures out that his great-grandfather is 87 years old!

The latest strategy that we have added to our list of addition and subtraction strategies is 'use an open number line'.  This strategy has been especially helpful to students who are having difficulty with subtraction.  This tool/strategy allows them to use/visualize/record differences between numbers by either 'jumping/hopping' forwards or backwards (adding or subtracting).

Students decide upon the 'jump' - usually to the nearest 'friendly' number, and continue until they 'land' on their target number.  Recording their 'jumps' is very important.  They add up the 'jumps' to find the difference between the two numbers they are investigating.
On Monday, students will use their collected data to find the differences in ages between themselves and their family members.  The numbers collected are important and unique to them and provide a meaningful context to practice this new strategy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Our Latest Writing Endeavour

We are starting to write fictional narratives.  This past week, we read and discussed "walking stories" and "climbing stories".  We also wrote brief, story strip examples of each type of story.  Here are our charts that describe each type of narrative:

Ask us about our story strips!

Today we worked on creating a character for our story.  We read an example of a good physical description of a character.  Then we sketched what we 'visualized'.
After reading and visualizing an example, we created our own sketch and written description of our character.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Roots of Empathy

Baby Anthony visited us yesterday!  Our theme this month was SLEEPING.  We discussed the Sleep Cycle and how younger babies sometimes need to learn how to settle themselves when they wake up during transitions from REM sleep to Non-REM sleep.  We reminisced about our own transitional objects that we had (and some of us still have) that helped comfort us.

We are writing about our transitional objects as well as a dream for our next (SLEEP) book for Anthony.
Anthony is sitting up and crawling (very quickly) on his own now!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I was out today getting a cup of coffee and was informed that my gift card was finally empty.  I wasn't going to charge it back up so I handed it to the cashier to recycle.  She informed me that they don't recycle used gift cards - they just throw them away!  I promptly asked for it back and decided to save it.  I was surfing the net looking for some ideas for reusing materials (for an Earth Day art project) and came upon a nifty idea from one of my favourite blogs.
SO, I am sending this message out to our Cherrywood friends to please save and send in old gift cards or expired credit cards (if you are comfortable doing so).  We will be cutting them up - I promise!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy March Break!

I just want to wish everyone a safe and fun March Break!
We had a great time at the movies today - the movie version of The Lorax was great!
Everyone should keep reading daily throughout the break - we reviewed "check for comprehension" and "back up and reread" as useful strategies this past week.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Procedural / Instructional Writing

We are finishing up our latest work on instructional/procedural writing.
I am posting our anchor chart and an example that we created together at the beginning of our unit.

If you wish to help your child with writing at home, encourage your child to write instructions for activities that she or he can complete by her/himself.