Day 10, Mon., Sept. 17, 2012

By Carys and Victoria

Today is the tenth day of school, wow! We started off the day with a fun art assignment with Mr. Obermeyer the 4/5 teacher. We all decorated our art portfolios and we had very unique and cool results! I’m pretty sure we all enjoyed it!

After our fun art class, we came back to continue learning about Genres of books and classifying them.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s a starting point; all diagrams created on the SMARTboard today as a whole class activity]:

Genres are different categories of fiction and non-fiction books such as sci-fi, historic fiction, mystery, romance, and biography. There are also interest or topic categories like drama, art, sports, animals, space….anything you can THINK of!


[EDITOR’S NOTE: We attempted to classify our classroom books first by looking at non-fiction]:


And fiction (unfinished diagram!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In addition to being an important Literacy/Reading activity, this activity is connected to developing our understanding of classification systems — for our grade 6 Biodiversity unit, as well as our grade 6 Human Body unit. We discovered several challenges, including: What is the difference between a GENRE and a TOPIC or THEME? Something to explore — an online definition suggests that a genre is “based on distinctive stylistic criteria”. Books about “animals”, for example, could show up in several genres with unique “stylistic criteria” (e.g. realistic fiction book or a biography of a horse breeder or a trade book published by DK about horse breeds, etc) and so “animals” is not a genre. We might use a modified classification system to organize our classroom bookshelf  by including a blend of genres and topics/themes to simplify things.]

After a great Recess, we had math. We did some work in the textbook. In the textbook we had to convert numbers into Standard form and Expanded form, and there were a LOT of numbers but we worked through it!

Then we had French with Miss Rankin and we played 4 corners in French. We also watched a French video about body features, such as eyes, noses and much more.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In the computer lab, students either continued to front load some information related to our science units, interacted with online math games or worked with me or 5/6F student Jordan to recite their “I Am” poems — we have something interesting planned to show you on Meet the Teacher Night related to the poem and technology. We ended our day planning classroom jobs and then on the soccer field!]

Day 9, Fri. Sept. 14, 2012 – “Front Loading”

Front Loading

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are collaborating on our blog post today through a shared writing activity because I would like to model for students how to write a more detailed and deeper thinking blog post…I am providing several guiding questions to direct and inspire our thoughts. Grade 6  has always been an amazing place to stimulate higher level thinking through discussions with students about pedagogy – and now we can blog about it too!]

Today we went to the computer lab to study the human body (grade 5) and biodiversity (grade 6). Ms Fawcett’s instructions were to find information about these science topics. We looked for information about our topics and took notes in our brain books. When we came back from the computer lab, Ms Fawcett told us we were front loading. (Peter)

Students engaged with an Interactive Human Body activity at the BBC website

Interactive “Human Body” website at BBC

What is front loading? Ms Fawcett asked us to infer what “front loading” means:

  •  “front” – it happens before instruction/lessons (Jenny)
  • “loading” – filling up with information (Shaun)

So “front loading” is filling up with information (e.g. independently or in groups) before instruction.

Why front loading? We inferred again:

  • it gives students chance to take control of their own learning (Katelynn)
  • it teaches students how to find information = research (Victoria)
  • we can find as much information as we want (instead of the teacher giving us a handout with one-answer blanks to fill in)and we’re doing our own teaching and learning (Bradley)   [EDITOR’S NOTE: sometimes it is appropriate to have one answer questions]
  • sometimes when we don’t know much about a topic, and the teacher starts teaching we lose interest because it doesn’t always make sense because we don’t understand (Tara)……..we need a full brain first (Victoria)…..then we use our background knowledge (Madeline)
  • if we have the ability to know what we’re going to learn we will also have more choices (e.g. research online, or research in a book (Holly)……or we can ask experts or watch tv programs like History Channel, National Geographic) (Katelynn)

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  We front load at the beginning of a unit to help us activate our background knowledge (involve the knowledge we already have: our “background knowledge”). We also want to add more ideas to our background knowledge before actual lessons start. It will help us understand new material! For example, if we hear or read a new word in a lesson, using what we already know (our background knowledge), we might be able to infer what the word means.

Why is it important to have background knowledge, activate or involve the background knowledge we have and create even more background knowledge?

  • if you know about the topic, you will be more excited about it (Luke)
    [EDITOR’S NOTE: We call that being engaged in our learning!]
  • if you connect with the topic (e.g. “I remember that!”), then you can make inferences. So you are sharing ideas and getting involved (Jenny)

We look forward to front loading lots of topics in the future!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  • read 20 minutes
  • Science: have 10 – 15 pieces of information about Human Body (gr5) or Biodiversity (gr6) (If you can’t remember, go online and google “Student Link” for links)

Day 7, Thurs. Sept. 13, 2013 – Place Value & Kick Baseball

This morning when we came in we went on this awesome field trip…Just kidding we read. [Editor’s note: We went on a field trip in our imaginations!]

Then we learned about classroom objects in French. I was hoping to learn about Mickey Mouse, but we didn’t, sadly. Then we went out for break and the boys had their 3 pitch practice. I can’t believe they didn’t do the girls first. Like Ladies First. [Editors note: This sounds like an excellent teachable moment about stereotypes and equality…..]

After break we went to the computer lab to work on math. In math we are doing place value.

Working on fun Place Value activities in the lab

When we got back from the lab we started correcting our last night math homework. That was a blast. Grade 6 students took the lead in sharing answers on the SMARTboard and Grade 5 students projected work samples with the overhead projector.


~ Madeline and Jenny

[Editor’s notes: After break we played kickball again for DPA by a nearly unanimous democratic vote. Favorite quote?

“What was the score?”

“I have no idea, but it was fun!”

Congratulating each other on a game well played!

Safe at first base, complete with “jazz hands”

Next we created KWL charts for science: the Human Body for grade 5 and Biodiversity for grade 6…then the grade 6 students joined 6G for a short presentation from former Rousseau students about what life is like at ASPS!]


Day 6, Tues. Sept. 11, 2012

Funny Kickball Phrases

Today for Daliy Physical Activity 5/6 F played Kickball on Rousseau’s beutiful field.

 After we played Ms.Fawcett asked us to write in our blog books about some funny actions or phrases that happend during kickball. Tara and Victoria came up with alot of funny actions that they excperienced.

It all started off with this, there was a fast ball coming right towards Tara she yelled, “I GOT, I GOT IT.” And right behind her was Victoria doing her daily yoga. Tara Jumped to get it and of course it landed right under Victoria as she did her bridge. But finally Victoria recieved the ball and the runner got out. Next the girls came up with A cheer to get the crowd up on there feet and dancing along with them, but unforrtunatley they did not succeed! “Time to switch side’s”Ms.Fawcett called. But before they  switched sides, the whole class posed for a group picture at the bench . CLICK.

“Batter up” While Tara and Victoria wait for their turn, they broke out into a  hilarious dance  to Boyfriend by Justin Bieber. 

We had a lot of fun today, and we hope to have more fun excperiences next time we play kick ball!!!

Bye for now,

Tara and Victoria


  • “Let’s cheer for the other team!”      “Okay!!”
  • “I need a hug!”
  • “That’s okay – try again Ms Fawcett!”


Our Day…    by Spencer & Katelynn

In the morning we went to school at eight in the morning instead of at 8:45 for cross country. When walked inside the classroom we saw Gym for second period. We played kickball. It was a close call considering that one team one 11 to 2. At fitrst break there was a girls’ softball practice. They started off with passing then positioning. The boys also had their first softball practice. They started off with passing then positioning. Then they had a scrimmage. They were hitting the softball like crazy.My friend Ben hit one so far that he almost hit a group of girls.

 In math we worked on place value. We did a lot of sorting activities. We used base ten blocks for sorting numbers into a place value chart which made the concept make more sense. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Sort of. In the back of the classroom there was a group of people that needed a little more time to sort the numbers so we took pictures of the base ten representations on the iPad and they were able to scroll through the pictures and finish their work while others did another sorting activity.

In music we warmed up with a hilarious camp song (Down By the Bay) and sang Fish and Chips. We divided into four different groups and they all started the song at different times and that created harmoney. It sounded strong and fabulous!

Day 5, Mon. Sept. 10/2012

Today we read part of the  book, “How Full Is Your Bucket” 

Below, please find reflections written by 5/6F students!

How Full Is Your Bucket?

by Carys

Today we read a book called, ‘How Full Is Your Bucket?’, and we had to write something down about the story had to compose something of great literature and refinement for others viewing pleasure, that is related in a way to the story in question. I think it reminded us of karma, a mysterious force meaning that, when you do something good, the universe will reward you. But when you do something BAD, the universe will punish you. The story started with a girl and her brother, and her wanting to help build a structure with her brother. After declining her multiple times, she knocks down his tower. Their grandpa tells them about how the brother took a dip from his sisters bucket. The next morning the brother wakes up with an invisible bucket over his head. He walks downstairs and slips, knocking a box of cereal down. Drip. An invisible drop of water spills from his invisible bucket. He goes through the day and his bucket gets emptier and emptier. When he finally got to his classroom he secretly hoped everyone would trip and fall.

 I think the story meant that when you treat people nice, you’ll feel good about yourself. When you treat people bad other people will treat you bad. You have to remember other people have buckets too, and there’s plenty of good-feeling to go around. Well, I also think it was mean of his sister to push down the tower, but that could just be me. Felix was mean when he declined Anna’s request to build the tower with him and then she didn’t behave appropriately either.  I think the story meant you have to be nice and generous to have a good feeling.  I think the story had a good message, and more people should read it. It was a great story and I liked listening to it.



I understand in the story Felix is having the worst day of his life and the people that are being mean to him are reflecting on him and now he wants other people to get hurt. Earlier in the book  his sister hit down his big tower that he was making and after that he tripped and his cereal went all over the place and he got yelled at by his mom and that made him mad. He went on the bus and some bully made fun of his backpack and said “My younger brother has that”. Then he got to school and he walked by a boy and two girls and they were making fun of his backpack. After first period, then came second period and his bucket was almost empty. He was sitting down and his desk and he wanted all the people around him to trip and fall.


The Bucket Metaphor

 by Katelynn

There are lots of metaphors like, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” or “The noise is music to my ears.” Metaphors have all different kinds of meanings. My class read a book out loud called, How full is your Bucket. In the book, Felix didn’t want his little sister Anna to play with him. He told her “Go play with your baby toys!” Felix had dipped from Anna’s invisible bucket. Felix went to school, and kids were saying things like “Nice backpack Felix! My little sister has one just like that!” Felix’s bucket was almost empty, but school just started! Felix now knew how it felt to have an empty bucket. He wanted the other kids to feel bad about them self too. When someone has an empty bucket, they lose their self-esteem. But when there bucket is full, or even over flowing, they are very confident with their self. The metaphor means that you should always treat others the way you want to be treated. And just because your bucket might be empty, it doesn’t mean you can’t fill up someone else’s bucket.

“How Full Is Your Bucket”

By Shane Jeffrey

 I can see why Felix did not want Anna to help but he should not be so mean. When his grandpa mentioned he was taking water from her bucket, everything changed. The next morning Felix saw the bucket over his head. When he woke up and tried to get cereal out of the top cupboard. His mom was very angry because he didn’t use a stool. After Felix cleaned up the mess he got a muffin and went out to the bus, but on the way his dog stole it. He had bad Moring. When he got on the bus a kid made fun of his back pack. I would have tried to forget about it but his bucket just kept losing water. When he got to school a big kid called him a shrimp and people were talking about him. He was having a bad day but he kept thinking about it. I think that day he may have changed the way he treated other people. He was sort of mean to his sister and he may now try to include more people in the activities he does at home because at school he felt sad and left out and at home, Anna probably felt sad and left out.