Nov. 27- 30, 2012

Earlier in the week: ( be sure to check out the Nov. 26th posting, too)

In Health, we have been learning for the past 2 weeks about Healthy Eating, using the Canada Food Guide. At home, we recorded our meals in a day in order to get an idea about what our daily food choices are and what factors contribute to what we eat (the media, restaurant choices, parent choices, options at friends homes, etc.) To show our knowledge of balanced meal planning, we created designed a day’s worth of meals and organized the meals on a foldable : breakfast, lunch (nutrition breaks 1 & 2 together), dinner and snacks (for the day). We planned it out so that our meals should have the recommended total number of servings of each of fruits/vegetables, grains, milk/milk alternatives and meat/meat alternatives.

Closed healthy eating foldable

Partly opened healthy eating foldable

All meal and snack information revealed!

In Literacy, we are building on our paragraph writing and writing longer pieces. Our current theme looking into the holiday season is “Gratitude”. We brainstormed different areas of our lives as a whole class.

As a class, we brainstormed all the different parts of our lives. We branched out from the centre for sub-topics and even branched out sub-topics into “sub sub topics”.

Some students are planning their writing with a list; others are drafting right away because they have demonstrated that this works effectively for them and yet others are using a Board provided planning program called SMART Ideas. SMART ideas is interactive and colourful if students wish (for organization) and the best part is that it can also “export” all the organized information from Word Web format to a point-form outline.

SMART Ideas converts a Word Web to an outline in Microsoft Word that helps us organize our ideas into paragraphs


Grade 6 students increased their knowledge of Physical, Structural and Behavioural Characteristics and applied their knowledge to new organisms: polar bears, walrus and seals.

Grade 6 Science – Physical, Structural & Behaviour Adaptations


Friday   by Lauren & Ella

Today we started with  math. In grade 5 we corrected our review work from yesterday about decimals .Both grades have a decimal test on Monday.  We used hundreds grids and we took up our review,  colouring grids on the SMART board to show (represent) decimals. Then we took another look at rounding decimals to the nearest whole number and nearest tenth. We think it’s easier to share our work on the SMARTboard because it’s more interactive. Even if students think they got a right answer, they can easily see strategies with colour and moving things around. Colour helps students organize their thinking better because you can see the separate steps. On the SMARTboard it takes less time because there are copies of grids and things that you can use right away like cloning number as moving them around. We showed our thinking by putting an arrow under the number that we were rounding to and a circle around the number to the right that helped us to decide whether to round up or not. We showed whether the number was > or = 5. e.g. Three is less than five, so you would not round up the digit you are rounding. But 8 is greater than five, so you WOULD round up the digit you are rounding to.



[EDITOR’S NOTE: Grade 6 students completed rounding (to the thousandths column) before today and also multiplying decimal numbers by 10, 100, 1 000 and 10 000 and worked today on taking up their review. The grade 6 SMARTboard work from earlier in the week looks alot like the Grade 5 work (above) — but grade 6 student decimal numbers go up to the thousandths column. Grade 6 students also worked on adding decimal numbers and previewed dividing numbers by the decimal numbers 0.1, 0.01, 0.001, etc.]


Block 2: Junior Elecctives was a great idea! Junior students got a break from their regular class groups. Students learned new things with many students from all 3 grades (grade 4, 5, 6) in their group and each workshop was connected to the curriculum. [Editor’s note: Cooking with Mrs. Bosher  involved math and health expectations (Canada Food guide); Bucket Drumming  with Ms Fawcett involved music and math expectations (counting and patterning)– thanks to the Home Depot for agreeing to donate a class set of 5L buckets to Ms Fawcett for the school!; Plasticene Art with Mrs. Raymond included art expectations; Electric Cars and also Trains  included science expectations as well as problem solving; iMovie included language expectations (creating media works) and also technology; Zumba included Physical Education and Dance expectations]

Here is some feedback, and then pictures of 5/6F students having fun and learning!


“Too many cooks in the kitchen”!

Bucket Drumming!




3-D plasticene art in the style of Barbara Reid




Plasticene Art



Day 56 – Mon., Nov. 26th, 2012


Welcome back to our blog! After two intensely busy weeks, we are back sharing our daily activities 🙂

We have a new seating plan! Our grade 6 students are sitting in their own large, cooperative group and grade 5 students are in four smaller groups. Students were extremely excited and motivated!

We spent time reading this morning and perfecting our new seating plan. Seating plans are a delicate balance of facilitating learning styles and learning needs as well as social needs. We will likely rearrange student combinations, but the overall grade 5 and 6 layout is a really excellent one that will stay for a while.

Thanks to a family donation, we were able to add 3 more sets of sound-blocking head sets to our class….for a total of 5 sets. Here is an industrious group of readers enjoying both the new seating plan and class head sets.



Grade 6 students are in a large group on an angle.



During Science today, Grade 5 students worked on studying the effects of the heart. We measured and recorded our resting heart rates, and measured and recorded them after exercise. Then we answered questions about our general fitness level and the importance of having a healthy heart that can pump oxygen rich blood to all our organ systems.



Grade 6 students used Ms Fawcett’s laptop and two iPads as well as our classroom iPad to front load information about the difference between cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals. We shared parts of what we learned online and Ms Fawcett put it into Grade 6 context with a lesson. We learned new vocabulary like “thermo-regulation” and some students shared new vocabulary that we will learn more about in later grades (ectotherm vs endotherm). We learned that both cold-blooded animals and warm-blooded animals have Physical, Structural and Behavioural Adaptations that help regulate their temperatures.




We rounded out our lesson by watching part of a documentary showing adaptations of polar bears, and also seals and sea lions…..we’ll share them tomorrow and view video that shows adaptations of invertebrates.


While Grade 6 students worked on science, Grade 5 students moved ahead with decimals. We discovered that math can be a little confusing! Here is an important explanation that will help students in tomorrow’s work & homework (and also help their parents support the math work, if necessary)

We began looking at equivalent decimals and equivalent fractions. First, we reviewed the tenths and hundredths columns. In this sketch, a 10 x 10 x 10 Base Ten Cube represents “one whole”. A 10 x 10 “flat” (as it’s called) represents “one tenth”. A 10 x 1 “rod” (as it’s called) represents “one hundredth”. [In Grade 6, we look at the tiny, single 1 x 1 cube and it represents “one thousandth”.]



We looked at the shaded part of a Base Ten 10 x 10 “flat” (which represents “one tenth”). If this tenth of a whole has 10 rows, we notice that 4 of those rows are shaded… we noticed that the shaded part in this example = 4/100



HOWEVER, in our text book, we saw that a 10 x 10 grid can also represent “a whole”. This is different from the 10 x 10 “flat” in Base Ten. This different 10 x 10 grid is called a “Hundreds Chart” and is meant to represent “a whole”. Each row is a tenth. Each individual square is a hundredth (1/100). In the case of the Hundreds Chart, four shaded rows = 4/10.


Please note that it is important for a students to know from the start of a question whether “a whole” is represented by a 3-D 10 x 10 x 10 cube or whether “a whole” is represented by a 10 x 10 Hundreds Chart.

All questions in class or on an assessment will be very clear — students will either be asked to consider “Base Ten Representations” or “Hundreds Chart Representations”. I hope that this helps!

[For those of you who are musicians, it might be helpful to compare this to something analogous in music: Time Signatures: In 2/4, 3/4 or 4/4 etc. time, a quarter note gets “one count”; however, in 2/2 or 3/2 time, a quarter note gets “half a count”; and in 1/8, 2/8, 3/8 etc time, a quarter note gets “two counts”]

We ended our day with Gym…and then our Literacy period with Miss Rankin, where students continued to finish their letters to Members of Parliament regarding poverty.

Day 44 – Nov. 7 – Human Body, Biodiversity, Money (Math),Decimals (to Thousandths)


Grade 6 Science: We reviewed Classification and added to our knowledge by learning about three types of characteristics: structural characteristics, physical characteristics and behavioural characteristics. We looked at examples of physical characteristics and behavioural characteristics and discovered why they are NOT used for classification! Can students explain this to their parents or siblings?

Students received a PDF copy of the SMARTboard document we created and they will list structural characteristics of the three (3) remaining animals….bear…dolphin….clownfish.

Can students see an additional organism in one of the pictures that we didn’t name? I wonder if someone will bring it up tomorrow and tell us about its classification?????


















Grade 5 students – We reviewed the Digestive System and talked about using text features to make important science vocabulary stand out (e.g. underlining, bold and or colour). Ms Fawcett verbally modeled making a summary. Next time we eat, we are going to practise chewing carbohydrates slowly (e.g. pasta, crackers, grains, potatoes) and paying attention to how sweet they get once our saliva starts to break them down in our mouth.

Then while Ms Fawcett taught the grade 6 students, we worked independently at our desks on reading and writing a summary about the Respiratory System….hopefully using text features to communicate important ideas!



Grade 6 – students are working on representing decimal numbers (to the thousandths column) with base ten, written decimals and mixed numbers. It was challenging! Thank goodness for math manipulatives like base ten — we grouped together several times for extra mini-lessons. Tomorrow, some students will extend their understanding and most others will continue with today’s work.


Grade 5 – We are using “play money” (another math manipulative) to learn about…! Students report that they can work easily with bigger, complex numbers because it is a money topic and they have a lot of background knowledge about using bills and coins in their daily life. Money is also a good topic for practising using big friendly numbers (e.g. combining 75 and 25 to make 100, because we are working with groups of quarters. Math manipulatives like play money are really helpful for many students!

Day 42 – Mon., Nov. 5th

by Victoria and Brendan

In the morning, when we arived at school we had indepented reading. After that we had french. In French the grade 6's started a new daily routine, for the first 10-15 minutes each day we write in our note books. We are starting to write about our day, such as what we are wearing that day, what it is like outside, the wether and what we are doing that day and more. the gr5's are writeing postcards about being in an area on earth, what the weather is and what is fun to do there. After that the grade 5's and the grade 6's are starting a new unit together on Pizza. We learned about toppings. We received sheets of paper with all of the toppings on it so we can study them.

Then we had literacy. A small group worked on our new class iPad to research information about why poppies are sold by Veterans around Remembrance Day. This group will advertise fundraising for veterans and their dependents in each class. All students will wear a poppy to Friday's Remembrance Day Assembly on Friday. Another group is working on a video of interviews with 5/6F students that we have been invited to submit to a special event this Friday hosted by the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction. Our video will be seen by hundreds of adults on Friday at the Convention Centre, including 5 Members of Parliament from all political parties in Ontario. The are gathering with community leaders to problem solve about poverty. They invited us to include our voice through our video message. We are also working on our letters to MP David Sweet about poverty, we finished our rough copy.We typed up our letters to Mr.Sweet about poverty. We are sending one letter to an MP or MPP for every article of clothing Rousseau receives in the Winter Clothing Drive.

When we got back, the gr, 6 's worked on Common Multiples. In grade 5, we worked on finishing up multiplication. Students in a group modeled answers and worked on leveling each others work and bumping up level 3 answers to level 4.

In Heath, we worked on Healthy Eating.

Then we had DPA outside until the bell rang. Then it was home time!