DAY 100 (?) – Jan. 231/2017 – Happy Chinese New Year, Electricity

Happy Chinese new year!

We learned today that the Chinese new year it is a 15 day celebration. Grace very kindly brought some homemade treats for us to share and we watched a video explaining the traditions of the Chinese new year and how it follows the lunar cycle.


continued are learning about electricity, and designed our own experiment based on a hypothesis involving negatively charged balloons.

Static Electricity races!


DAY 99 – Jan. 30/2016 – Reading Comprehension, Writing in “Voice”, Mindfulness review


Today was our second catch up day of Literacy/Science activities we have been working on since about Jan. 18th. Some students have moved on to extension science activities when their reading/writing activities are done. [We will be moving on to learning about current electricity tomorrow, so any students with incomplete reading & writing assignments will be spending some time working at break tomorrow and each day until they are finished.]

~ Reading Comprehension ~

We regularly practice reading comprehension throughout the year. Our most recent assessment check-in involved a text called “Nobody Knows the Difference”. Our focus is understanding the events and characters in this fiction text and making inferences by using evidence from the text (“reading between the lines”, given certain facts in the text). Some students had great difficulty comprehending the text, and by being prompted to go back to the reading comprehension strategy “determining importance”, we can summarize the main events in a text to ensure comprehension….and then re-attempt the comprehension question. [Some students were asked, based on their results, to complete another comprehension activity with a non-fiction text in order to determine their reading comprehension.]

~ Writing ~

We spent a lot of time in the last 2 weeks learning about “voice” in writing (modelled reading by the teacher, shared reading as a whole involved class, guided group writing, partner practice and individual practice). Specific word choice can inject excitement and personality into writing. Before we can writing with “voice”, we have spent time analyzing texts that are “flat” (no real voice) and texts that have been improved. The texts we have been using are directly related to our current science unit, Electricity, and come from the Electricity section in our Nelson Literacy textbooks. We compared two paragraphs (“Electrifying a “Flat” Text…about Electricity!”), identifying how the text had been changed specifically, and the effect of those changes on the reader.

Last week, we attempted to improve a text about the inventor of Morse Code, Guglielomo Marconi with a partner. This week, some students are finishing the independent follow up task, which looks at a suggested improvement to the text and asks us to compare & contrast the before and after of the text and explain specifically how certain word changes improved the text (word changes AND sentence changes). This will help us reflect on our own writing revisions.


Last week, we viewed the following video as a refresher to many of the Mindfulness/Brain Science learning activities we have completed. Students are encouraged to watch again. We will do further review in class, followed by an assessment.

DAY 81 – Mon., Jan. 16, 2017 – Electricity, Multiplying by Whole numbers vs. Decimal numbers


LITERACY/Science – Electricity

We started by reviewing an article we read and discussed on Friday. While reading the article, we also generated questions and had an opportunity to think very deeply about the text.


MATH – comparing multiplying by Whole Numbers and multiplying by Decimal Numbers

We are used to just thinking about “adding zeroes” when multiplying by 10, 100, 1 000, 10 000, etc.

Today we started to thinking about “moving decimals”. We started by making sure everyone understood the meaning of the work “equivalent”.

Then we also made sure that everyone recognized that decimals appear TO THE RIGHT of the ones column. We usually do not show the “invisible” decimal to the right of a Whole Number, but we needed to establsh it’s placement for the next activity.

Students are asked to copy THE NEXT PICTURE, exactly as it appears into their notebooks for homework. (Colour pencil crayons are an option). Students should be sure to include:

  • “invisible decimals” on the “10’s”
  • “invisible decimals” on the products
  • a “loop” showing how many places the decimal appears to “move” to the right
  • how many places the decimal appears to “move” (e.g. over 1, over 2, over 3)

We noticed that the number of places the decimals appear to “move” over to the right is THE SAME as the number of zeroes we are multiplying by.


Students should then copy and complete the following list:



DAY 78 – Jan. 11, 2016 – Canadian Communities, Long Division

Today’s first 10 minutes are brought to you by the letter q….   🙂


LITERACY/Social Studies – Canadian Communties

Several more students presented their learning (including inferences and comparisons) of the experiences of immigrants who have contributed to our Canadian society.


MATH – Long Division “speed dating”

We reviewed yesterday’s long division homework question and practised several more questions. The time that students put into listing the multiples of the divisor really pays off! When we begin the actual “dividing”, the hard work has already been done! We can then focus on reasoning to find which number to multiply the divisor by in order to get a number close to the dividend.

Most errors involve the following:

  • errors in listing the multiples (errors in the repeated addition steps)
  • errors in placing the quotient digits in the correct place
  • errors in placing the products in the correct place
  • errors in subtracting the partial quotient from the dividend

We practised today in a collaborative “speed dating” activity. Students sat in two concentric circles, across from a partner. After completing a question, students compared their answers. If the answers differed, they compared their steps and made suggestions to each other where necessary. For the next question, the outer circle rotated one person clockwise so that everyone had a new partner….etc..


in-class practice: