Day 9 – Sept. 18/2015



This is our last “Fawcett’s Class” Blog update until further notice. Students will continue to use their established  “Reminder Tools”  (Rousseau Agenda, paper calendar, electronic device/app) to communicate their learning and other information between school and home. 

Students are reminded that their personal electronic devices are a great tool for taking photographs of our SMARTboard lessons and our various Anchor Charts around the classroom. Students will also be receiving black-and-white photocopies for their 1-inch binders for any information learned in class. The binders will, of course, also include their personal work & practice in Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health & Music and other appropriate “hand outs”. Binders will come home from school at least every Friday so that students can share their work with their caregivers at home. Students must bring their binders/work back to school every Monday


LITERACY – Writing: Word Choice

We continued to use last week’s read aloud, “The Sweetest Fig” as a mentor text. We are currently focusing on the Writing Trait called “Word Choice”. The words in purple are effective & descriptive words that we found in the text with our table groups. The words on the right are “boring” versions of these words — versions that are used often and are sometimes ineffective. We will always strive to use a good does of “strong words” in our writing.

After we completed our list (purple words), we completed a writing assignment: Use each of the list words in an original story (or part of a story). (Length: one page handwritten; 1/3 page typed). Some of us choose to write on paper, and others show their writing by keyboarding.



Checking the list of words we are practising today.

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We have been learning a “round” called “Fish & Chips”. We also reviewed note values — the review will aappear on an organized Anchor Chart next week 🙂

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Term 1 curriculum: Here is a brief outline of our Term 1 curriculum (hyperlinks lead to the curriculum expectations). All plans are subject to change, as we endeavour in education these days to respond to the needs and interests of students (as well as changing world events, community happenings, etc.) as we choose topics and activities for the classroom related to curriculum (e.g. through inquiry, project-based learning, etc.).



  • Reading: Reading Strategies (inferring, questioning, connecting, determining importance, responding emotionally, visualizing, etc.), including Open Response reading comprehension activities.  FEATURE TEXT (read aloud) : “Fish” by L.S. Matthews  as part of the “Global Read Aloud Project”, where we will connect with students at other schools around the world and discuss the book. The book, which was chosen last spring for this global project, has a setting that involves a Refugee family.  Very timely.
  • Writing: Word choice (strong words; similes & metaphors), generating & developing ideas, organization, conventions; Suspense Writing (We will be working with Rousseau’s new Instructional Coach, Ms Baturin on this unit).
  • Oral Communication: Listening strategies & oral comprehension
  • Media:  Advertising (related to advertising campaigns, including ELECTIONS — we will tie this into our upcoming Student Council election campaigns — students will have more information

MATH (I have attached the “Suggested Delivery Plan” of Math Strands)

  • Patterning
  • Number Sense (Place Value)
  • Biodiversity
  • Heritage and Identity: Communities in Canada, Past and Present   (this strand will have significant opportunity to students to share their family background — Please consider being a visitor to our class to present any interesting experiences/photos/stories about your families country(ies) or origin
  • Healthy Eating
  • Personal Safety and Injury Prevention
  • Creating and Performing (includes reading music notation/theory)
  • Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing
  • Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts


Day 8 – Sept. 17/2015

LITERACY – Writing, Media

We worked in the hub today, using technology, magazines, scissors and glue to complete our “I Am” collages. Each sector includes different ways to finish the sentence, “I am……”. Our names won’t be on our collages —- so it will be interesting to see if other students, as well as adults, can identify which collage belongs to which student.

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MATH – Patterning

So far, we have been investigating a variety of geometric patterns that we created with math maniupulatives (See here).

Yesterday, we creating Learning Goals (an Ontario Curriculum expectation re-worded into student-friendly words) and Success Criteria (a list of skills necessary to meet that learning goal).


LEARNING GOAL: I will….identify geometric patterns by investigating them using manipulatives (e.g. shapes) and drawings. I will represent those patterns in numbers.


Today, we focused on growing patterns. We described what we saw, and then we attempted to describe the pattern numerically, just as the Learning Goal and Success Criteria require us to do. We tried to replace words (e.g. “add an L-shape” ) with numbers, and we also worked on being more specific with our descriptions (e.g. “add one more each time” — add what one more time???)



**  Try drawing a geometric growing pattern at home, and bring it to share with us tomorrow 🙂

We  then tried using a T-Table to find our pattern rule.

Once we filled out the frame #  and   # of squares in each frame, we found the “gap numbers” to see if that would help us find our pattern rule.

In the end, we decided that the pattern rule was “multiply the frame # by itself” (see the stars???)



SCIENCE – Learning Skills (Collaboration Skills/Teamwork)

We worked our our collaboration skills by attempting “The Marshmallow Challenge”, a structural engineering challenge. We were placed in random groups and had a chance to work with lots of students we might not have worked with this year! 🙂 Here are the materials & criteria for the challenge:


  • 1 metre of string
  • 1 metre of tape
  • 20 pieces of dried spaghetti
  • 1 marshmallow


Create the tallest free-standing structure that you can

with the materials provided. The marshmallow must be on top.    

We will share our reflections tomorrow!

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Day 7 – Sept. 16/2015




We continue to use Van Allsberg’s book The Sweetest Fig  as a mentor text while we create a list of strong words for our own writing.






We had a very deep discussion about the appropriate time to use certain words.  Congratulations to the students in 6F for having such a deep discussion!  The details of a story gives  The details of a story (setting, characters, plot) create the context  of the story.  The context determines what words are most appropriate or most effective. In “The Sweetest Fig” for example, the author writes that Bibot looked at his reflection in the café window “in horror” ( this is included in the anchor chart above). We wondered why the author didn’t simply say that Bibot looked at his reflection and was embarrassed???  In the context of this book, we know that Bibot is a very fussy man who is overly concerned with  his appearance. Bibot would be very horrified to be in public in his underwear. A different character in a different book  might be simply embarrassed, but not horrified.  The Bibot looks on “in horror” and that is a fitting phrase to use because it that matches his personality.


In the comment section  on this blog post, write two sentences of your own — use five (5) of the words from our list! 🙂


A second anchor chart we are making includes strong/effective words that we can use in our writing instead of simply using the word “said”.




MATH – Patterning

We reviewed today how to use Google to search for the Ontario curriculum. We found the overall expectations for our patterning work,  read the first expectation, and put that expectation into our own words (= Learning Goal).  We connected this learning goal to what we have been investigating and patterning the last few days. Next, we listed the things that we need to be able to do in order to meet at learning goal – these are called our Success Criteria.





In visual art with Mr. Obermeyer, we are finishing creating the backgrounds for our “I am” collage.  Here are some examples of student work that followed the instructions very well











Day 6 – Sept. 15/2015 – Patterning, Writing (Word Choice)


MATH – Patterning

We collaborated in groups to discuss our math practice — could we identify patterns in the formations created by groups the other day?

As a whole group, we shared all of our ideas about what patterns we saw. We reviewed concepts like:

  • the core of a geometric pattern
  • attributes that can be used to identify a geometric pattern (e.g. colour of pieces, number of pieces, orientation of pieces)
  • number patterns (they don’t have a core)
  • pattern rules for number patterns (e.g. “Start at 1, and increase by 1 each time”)



Writing (Word Choice) — We continued to use “The Sweetest Fig” as a mentor text. By focussing on the strong words in this book by Chris Van Allsburgh, we can improve our own writing. We began two anchor charts: one to show alternate words to use instead of “said”  &  one to show the strong vocabulary from the book and how the words can be used instead of other, commons words (e.g. use “fussy” instead of “picky”; use “pulled sharply” instead of simply “pulled”)  (Pictures to come tomorrow)

Media — We continued brainstorming “I Am” statements for our media artwork, and when devices were available, we created typed documents. We will cut them out & paste on our artwork.



Vegetation is very handy when hiding from those “it” during a class game of “manhunt” 😉 

Practising for boys 3-pitch during DPA

We made yet another “Birthday Book” today!