Feb. 28, 2017 – Writing for an Oral Presentation; Fractions & problem solving (rich tasks – 3 Act Math)



We are having a very busy time in the classroom these days! There is a lot of teacher/student conferencing going on as I work with all students on their current writing assignment (oral presentations — both competitive speeches and non-competitive oral presentations). It has been difficult for me to document our day with pictures, etc. as each moment is spent intensely conferencing with individuals; however, these are some of the most rewarding days for me as a teacher since many students are pushing themselves to expand their writing skills. This blog post includes pictures from the past week.

The classroom is currently the busiest it has been (translation: everyone is working at their own pace on a different oral presentation topic!). We have competitive speech writers working independently at various stages of the writing process or practising oral delivery. We have non-competitive writers working independently on the writing process and also working with my help. It is great to see many students showing initiative & passion for their topics.  I like learning new things from them, too! Some students are specifically requesting extra work time at nutrition breaks (especially if they are missing school for illness or team trips) and I’m accommodating that student desire.

For most students, this is their third oral presentation at Rousseau, so many writing skills have been taught previously. However, as I see individual needs (or trends with several students’ needs), students are invited to pause with me for mini lessons and instructions (one on one, or in a small group as need be).

For example, students may need:

  • a refresher of writing basics:
    • sentence structure
    • strong nouns, verbs and adjectives
    • paragraph structure (topic sentence, supporting sentences & conclusion)
    • writing an effective opening or closing
    • developing ideas further
    • presenting ideas in an engaging way — so the audience has a chance to visualize, infer, question, connect, etc. as they listen (listening comprehension strategies)
  • encouragement to go deeper into their topic or their personal reflections on their topic
  • redirection to help students focus on our revising checklist
  • redirection & encouragement to help them persist with the task
  • redirection to the task if they are distracted, socializing, day dreaming, etc. 😊



We completed a fractions diagnostic yesterday (Leaps & Bounds resource by Nelson publishing), which will help me design guided math instruction groups for our fractions/decimals/percents learning in our current unit. We jumped into fraction thinking today with a rich task based on Dan Meyer’s “3 Act Math” (similar to the 3-Part Lesson Plan teachers have been using for several years). “3 Act Math” includes:

  • a provocation (open ended math problem presented in writing or video presentation format) (Act 1)
  • discussing/recording responses to the provocation (e.g. questions, wonderings)…planning to solve the problem (what is needed: information, math materials, etc.) (Act 2)
  • working on the problem (Act 3)



We’re also taking the opportunity to have extra DPA these days (hard to wait for Gym at the end of the day on Day 3’s and 5’s!).


Every Day 1, we continue to spend quality time with our buddies in Mr. Lees or Mrs. Knights classes



We have been working on drawing skills in Art class with Mr. Obermeyer on Days 1 & 3


We continue to devote 15 minutes of class time each morning to cursive writing practice. Two thirds of the class has nightly home practice….

Feb. 16 & 17 – Non-competitive non-fiction writing, Speech Writing

LITERACY – Writing

Non-Competitive Oral Presentation    vs    Competitive Speech Writing

Students and their families received information a week ago about how we are approaching the writing required for an Oral Communication presentation. Students were given two options in our Grade 6 class, in order to provide differentiation for student needs and student choice:

Guidelines for our class (emailed, paper copy sent home):




Students worked last week to show what they know with respect to interpreting graphs. We’ll continue with Data Management the next week, with statistical analysis (mean, median, mode).

In order to have enough devices for research, while competitive speech writers used devices, non-competitive oral presenters worked on Math…and then we switched the group activities in the next block. What a great, productive group of learners!!

Here are some photos — it was a very busy week & not many people (teacher included) had free time/hands to take more photos.



Enjoying our icy playground and some warmer temperatures on Friday — hopefully the ice is all gone Tuesday!

Feb. 15/2017 – Data Management, Food Drive, Oral Presentations


Thank you families for donations of money, cheques, grocery cards & food items! We could tinue to accept donations until Feb. 24th. What a difference Rousseau families are making for families in need in a Ancaster & Hamilton! <3

What an industrious group of grade 6 organizers – our whole class is excited to collect & track donations. We could really use some medium sized boxes with lid flaps – thanks for any box donations.






Students involved in researching/writing competitive speeches had a session with Ms Fawcett to go over expectations and strategies for research collection, etc.

All other students worked on finishing g their Food Drive posters to encourage donations and apply what we’ve learned in media.


We continued our data management activities. Connecting to the Future Goals math/hickey theme, we made factual observations about data and also interpreted the data (inferences, drawing conclusions).

We worked on deepening our ability to smdistinguish between factual observations and the inferences we make from those facts. We connected this to the Scientific Method –where we worked hard to differentiate between observations during our experiments (what we saw, heard, smelled, felt) and conclusions. In both Math and Science there is a tendency to make inferences right away and think they are factual observations. We showed our skills  independently and received additional practice (below)

please nit that this activity is a JUMP Math page that I have modified to include the higher level interpretation skill that is included in our curriculum.


Feb. 13/2017 – Math! #STEM activities with “Future Goals” hockey


LITERACY – Writing

We continued our 15 minute cursive practice. Many students finish rather quickly. Our practice page from today is homework. Students with blue and brown books will practice every night at home (words of their choice).


FOOD DRIVE – Feb. 14th to 24th

Rousseau Food Drive (part of the 25th Annual Ancaster Community Food Drive). Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to kick off Rousseau’s Annual Food Drive!   Class 6F will be collecting donations daily. Please consider sending in any LIDDED BOXES in good shape – we will be storing any food items (boxed up) on the gym stage.

From February 14th – 24th, please consider donating:

  • cheques (made to Rousseau School)
  • grocery store gift cards
  • money
  • and/or non-perishable food items

Cheques, grocery gift cards and money will be distributed to local Ancaster families and seniors in need. Most food items will be donated to Hamilton Food Share.Students are also encouraged to wear pink/red and/or white tomorrow for Valentine’s Day and to kick off our Food Drive!

MATH & SCIENCE – “Future Goals” Hockey Scholar activities

Alessandra from EverFi Technology company introduced us to a new free online program called “Future Goals: Hockey Scholars”. We will be learning some STEM topics for the rest of the year (science, technology, engineering, math) topics through the lens of hockey! This does not replace our current math or science program, rather it complements our math and science work. Students were 100% engaged throughout the session. We have individual usernames and logins. We are also able to access another EverFi free program to teach us more about digital citizenship (how to be appropriate and productive online citizens).


MATH – Data Management

We focussed on our “Future Goals” experience to learn about making effective Survey Questions.

Feb. 6/2017 – Reading – Summary; Data Management – Stem & Leaf Plots


We started our morning with about 15 minutes of daily cursive writing practice. 

Reading (Summary)

We continued work started yesterday – summarizing a non-fiction text. Each section consisted of 3 shot paragraphs. The sections are short enough that choosing 5 main ideas (with supporting details) creates an effective summary



Summary writing is hard work 😉










MATH – Data Management

After reviewing grade 5 data management recently, we focused in on Stem & Leaf Plots today.


DPA – on an otherwise indoor day (rain!!), we ventured out in the “mist” and drizzle to get out some extra energy



We enjoyed a period of reading/drawing or crafts with our buddies from either Mr. Lees class or Mrs. Knights class. We still had lots of extra energy from our indoor nutrition breaks….walking down the hall required some Monty Python-style silly walks!

February 7th Reminders

  1. read 20 min (5 out loud)
  2. Math – Stem & Leaf Plot practice questions
  3. Literacy – summary for 3 sections
  4. Cursive practice – finish today’s work; extra practice for blue/brown books
  5. Popcorn day tomorrow
  6. Tissue box donations if possible