DAY 54 – Nov. 19, 2014 – Adding decimal numbers, narrative writing, Canadian Government

We had another great wintry, blustery day! 🙂

Grade 6 –


Grade 5 –





We can use success criteria to determine the level of an answer (BITH grades)


How would you level this answer?


LITERACY/Social Studies

Grade 6 – We continued working on our fiction stories.

Grade 5 – We reviewed the 3 levels of government (municipal, provincial/territorial, federal) and we learned examples of services and other topics that each level of government is in charge of.


Homework: Grade 5 students will identify something that they would like changed that can be changed by government. It should be an issue that students feel connected to in some way (e.g. “I would like the Provincial Government of Ontario to make November 11th a holiday for Remembrance Day.” It should be a change that will affect students directly, or affect a person or a group of people that students care about, etc..

Tomorrow, Grade 5 students will write a letter to the level of government that can make the change OR an opinion piece that could be published on the editorial page if the newspaper. With parent permission, we will mail the letters to a member of government or the Hamilton Spectator’s Editorial board.

DAY 53 – Nov. 18, 2014 – Adding decimal numbers, narrative writing


We have been working on brainstorming and writing rough drafts for our fiction stories. We used the mountain organizer story map and we are working on developing our ideas. Students are working at various stages – some are revising their brainstorming, some are writing their rough drafts (by hand or with a form of technology) and some are revising their drafts with a focus on organization and word choice. Looking for strong elements of story structure:

Orientation (including setting, characters, beginning of the plot)

Rising Action (which will build suspense, interest or anticipation)

Complication (the problem or conflict that will need to be resolved)

Climax (exciting or suspenseful moment when the complication/problem/conflict reaches its peak)

Resolution (when the story winds down & the complication is resolved in some way)

We shared our most recent work in adding decimal numbers (grade 5 to the hundredths column, grade 6 to the thousandths column)

We enjoyed a little read aloud of our book*girl, and we continue to share examples of metaphors, similes, and other interesting word choices that can make a story more interesting. We can use all of these types of words and phrases in our own stories that we are currently writing! Hint hint hint!

Grade 5:





Grade 6


Both grades worked in a small group to show their best thinking for a word problem that requires higher level thinking. We’ll share those tomorrow!






We have brought our progress reports home today! 🙂 students are encouraged to share them and discuss with their parents and talk about next steps for improving achievement and learning skills. parents can respond to the Google doc, email or paper handout/schedule in order to book interviews this week.

DAY 50 – Nov. 13, 2014

Thanks to Isabel, who will be taking over our daily quote door for a little while 🙂



There are snow flurries!!


we are working on developing our ideas in writing. We’re pretty good at coming up with main ideas but we need to add supporting details like explaining our ideas in another way, adding a personal opinion, giving examples, giving research or fax, and adding personal connections.

We can use words like respect in our writing to Mr. Frank Taylor, the 93-year-old veteran in Guelph who was stolen from last week. But we need to be able to develop our ideas like respect. This requires knowing what respect is.

I know that I respect someone when I greet them. I wouldn’t just say “Hi Frank. I would say hello Mr. Taylor and I might even shake his hand. Brady

Respect needs to be earned. A veteran who risked their life in wartime (even a cook on a ship feeding the troops) deserves the same amount of respect as a combat soldier on the battlefield. – Elise

Students who were not finished continued to work on developing their ideas. Ms. Fawcett can make comments and highlight different parts of the Google doc so that students can see feedback right on the document


we enjoyed a friendly volleyball game against 6R


Grade 6 students share their factor tree skills and expressing a number as a factor of its prime numbers.


We showed how combining and multiplying different prime factors can help us see all of the different factor pairs for a number.


In grade 5, we looked at our answers from last night’s homework. One reminder to students is that they need to check the blog to look at example answers (reading the blog is part of every night’s reminders………)

We looked at a correct example of rounding the number to the temps column. We created an anchor chart to show for criteria that are necessary for a correct explanation of how to round to the tenths column.


Next, we shared last nights homework with a partner and we wrote feedback on their work, using the items we put on our anchor chart. We discovered that again, we really need to look at anchor charts in order to follow instructions.

Here are some simple answers and sample feedback…… Including feedback on the feedback! 🙂 If we can write effective feedback on around in question, then we are more likely to be able to write a level three or four answer when we do the questions.




DAY 49 – Nov. 12, 2014

This blog post is a work in progress – please check back later too



We began today with some focused independent reading. Some students are working on maintaining concentration and reading for longer periods of time (30 min.), some students are working on picking just-right books, others are working on practising reading strategies, and other students are reading while enjoying a free flow of strategies that come naturally.

We continued the writing projects that were started yesterday — all with a Remberance or respect theme.

Some of us conferenced with the teacher.


One trend that emerged:

most students can generate ideas, but are challenged to develop their ideas


Using feedback, some of us began developing our ideas more fully. Later, we generated an Anchor Chart as a whole class for us to post and refer to when the feedback we receive is: “You need to develop your ideas”.


One way to develop ideas is to include connections. If we include a personal connection in a letter to a veteran,  we can show how we empathize with his experience, rather than simply state that we feel empathy. One student decided to research whether their country of heritage was affected by WWII, and discovered that it was! It was occupied by Germany during WWII and many citizens suffered. This connection is used to develop ideas in the final letter.

Another way to develop ideas is to do additional research and add additional information. If we include our   new learning about a veteran’s unit during WWII in  a letter to that veteran, we can show that the veteran inspired us to learn more. We can add our personal thoughts and opinions which can support our idea that we respect the veteran.

Another way to develop ideas is to give examples. We can say that the music at Rousseau’s Remembrance Day Assembly had a special message. If we include examples of the music and how it affected us personally, we can show that the music’s message had an impact and a purpose.


Researching Canadian Veteran Frank Taylor’s  regiment: Royal Canadian Army Service Corps




Learning about German Occupation in Latvia









Isabel & Elise finished and recited their Remembrance Day poem:





Grade 6 students have compiled lists of Prime Numbers & their factors as well as Composite Numbers & their factors. Today they learned to express a Prime Number or Composite Number as a “product of it’s prime numbers”, using a Factor Tree as a strategy.






We looked at a real life example of a number sentence that has more than two factors:





Grade 5 students practised rounding to the tenths column. This has become important since the penny is no longer part of our Canadian currency (Thanks to our Instructional Coach, Mrs. Johnston for inspiring this idea!).


One trend that emerged:

most students can round, but are challenged to explain their thinking

We had a focused sharing time to look at the wording of a well-explained answer.



We have a homework question to practice. ALL STUDENTS WERE ASKED TO SHARE THEIR ANSWER/EXPLANATION WITH A PARENT, even if the question was completed in school.