DAY 90 – Feb. 10, 2016 – Speech Writing,


Literacy – Reading, Writing Speeches

After independent reading practice, we worked on our speeches. Students are at various points in the writing process. All timelines, rubric, and checklists for revising and for editing are in student binders. Students need to use the provided resources independently in order to publish their  final speech.


Love how lots of students like to work while standing. Ms Fawcett has had a standing desk in the classroom for five years! Standing can feel really good 🙂


MATH – Area of Triangle





Consider this question — Carson constructs a triangle with an area of 12 cm2 and Greg creates a triangle with an area of 36 cm2. The base of each triangle is 4 cm. How high is Carson’s triangle? How high is Greg’s triangle?



We have a tradition of creating a page for each other on birthdays….same as every year in @FawcettsClass 🙂 Love seeing how students express themselves through art & words.



DAY 89 – Tues., Feb. 9, 2016 – Speeches, Writing, Music – Dust in the Wind, Area of Parallelogram

LITERACY – Speech Writing

All students worked on their rough draft Google docs. Most students have put their point form into sentences. Other students have rough drafts finished, and others still are working on revising, and then editing.

We had a mini-lesson about how to write a speech that is engaging for people to listen to. Any thing an audience reads or listens to needs to be so well written that the audience can use Comprehension Strategies (below). When people hear our speeches, they need to see pictures of what we are describing, think about familiar experience is her information, ask themselves questions in their mind about the topic as we go along, make inferences by putting together bits of information we share, predict, decide what the main points are that they should remember, and have an emotional response to what we say (feel empathy toward someone, feel anger indignation regarding an injustice, if you’re curious about something new and unfamiliar, etc.). This is how we know that reading skills are connected to writing – if we do these reading comprehension strategies as we read, we are aware of the types of ideas and organization of ideas that result in people thinking in their heads while they listen to our speech (or read our writing).

Again, here is the revising checklist and the editing checklist we are using for our speeches. They’re in students’ binders.

We had a mini lesson about organizing a speech into separate paragraphs and organizing an individual paragraph. This is a review from earlier in the year, as well as writing notes lessons from grade 5, great 4, and probably grade 3 as well (to an extent). 

Our rubric. Students asked why details are not included for level two and level one – the simple answer is that I don’t want them to achieve level two or level one 🙂

MATH – Area of Parallelogram

Here are examples of Level 4 thinking & communication in math. After two days of alternating groups, all students should now be finished pg. 153-153, questions #1-8. Any unfinished work is homework.

We discovered the firmula for area of a parallelogram by looking at rectangles/area of a rectangle and realizing that every parallelogram can be cut/rearranged/pasted back together to make a rectangle with the exact same area.

How can we use what we know about the area of a rectangle to figure out the formula for the area of a triangle???? Id love for students to think about this at home independently, and comment in the comment section below. 


DAY 88 – Mon., Feb. 7, 2016 – Poetry – reading, inferring; Area of Parallelogram, Music

LITERACY – Reading (inferring)

We read an untitled poem and made inferences about its meaning.

Level 3 answers included

    • an ability to title the poem based on a reasonable observation (e.g. what words or phrases are featured in the poem)
    • identifies implied messages within the text (“reading between the lines”)
    • identification of metaphors and other symbols while explaining what the text means


Level 4 answers

  • same as above
  • plus something more with INFERRING/REFLECTION….e.g. showed a connection between the meaning of the poem, and another similar concept (shows solid understanding of the meaning because the student can explain  the meaning of the text by applying it to another context)

You could almost hear a pin drop while students worked on reading comprehension! 🙂

Level 3+






Two fun half-court basketball games!

MATH – Area of Parallelogram


Students were reminded to use criteria from last week:

  • Formula
  • Numbers for Base & Height (line at right angle to base)
  • Equal signs lined up 
  • Units in final answer



After examining the poem this morning (a.k.a., the lyrics to the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas!), we discussed how the mood of the poem changed once it was set to music.

  • The song gives it a different tone — it doesn’t sound as depressing, because it has music.
  • Listening to the song isn’t as depressing as reading it
  • The guitar makes it sound kind of happy.
  • I’m pretty sure the song is in a major key – which sounds happier. The notes in the melody go up at the start – going up sounds hopeful – Chloe
  • The music helps me feel differently. When he sings, it makes me think more deeply about the meaning. It has an emotional meaning.
  • The words sound less depressing with music — with just the poem you interpret it just your own way. The music gives a different sound and can change your perspective.
  • I find it it more depressing with the music. The tone of the singers voice was depressing.


Students: Have another listen to the song “Dust in the Wind”

  • Do you prefer “Dust in the Wind” as a poem or song? Give reasons why in the comments below!
  • Use examples of elements of music in the song to prove your point of view.

                             e.g. Mode (major vs minor), rhythm, tempo, melody, harmony, orchestration (= instruments used)










DAY – Jan. 21/2015 – PhysEd, Music, Biodiversity/Human Body, Area & Perimeter


We have been working for the past two weeks on Gymnastics, led by Grade 6 leaders from 6R & 5/6F. Grade 6 students have been enjoying gymnastics all together, and Grade 5 students have participated with Grade 5 students in our class. We began to create our group-work performances, which will continue next week, too!



Grade 5 – We have been exploring instruments of the orchestra! Students are currently working in pairs to explore two of the families of instruments:  Woodwinds & Brass(wind). We are building our Anchor Chart, and partners are collaboratively searching the Canadian National Arts Centre website, viewing instruments demonstrations on YouTube and answering their “wonderings” using various “kid-friendly” websites.

Grade 6 – We have been working with Ms Fawcett and all of the 6R students on learning how the different Elements of Music (e.g. Volume, Tempo, Form, Pitch, Rhythm, Mode) can be manipulated for a particular effect. We have listened to Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna” (O, Fortune), which is very popular as music to accompany scenes in movies and television. Check it out HERE and HERE. Students are making some pretty awesome  conclusions about how to write music to have an effect on the audience! 🙂



Grade 5Human Body – Students are continuing to work in partners to learn about a particular Human Body System.

Grade 6Biodiversity – Students are continuing to work in partners to show their learning about a particular phylum of vertebrate or invertebrate.

Biodiversity Learning Goals Biodiversity - Overall Learning Goal

Partners in both grades were given a choice of various ways to present their learning. For the most part, students seem to have chosen to create a “Google Slides” presentation (similar to PowerPoint), but several are thinking of also making a poster, video or participating in a debate!


MATH – Area & Perimeter (both grades)

Grade 6 – In the past week we have thoroughly investigated the relationship between the areas of several shapes:

  • rectangles
  • parallelograms
  • triangles

We reviewed the formula for Area of a Rectangle (A = l x w  or  A = b x h), and inferred the formula for Area of a Parallelogram (A = b x h) and Area of a Triangle (A = b x h÷ 2   or  A = b÷2   x h). Pictures to follow —- they are on the class ipad!


Grade 5  – in the past week, we have created a formula for Area of a Rectangle (A = l x w) and have learned how to solve word problems related to Perimeter  and Area. The culmination of this can be seen below:

Jan21 2015 Gr5 Area pg1Jan21 2015 Gr5 Area pg2


Jan21 2015 Gr5 Success Criteria - Word Problems




Jan21 2015 Reminders

DAY 83 & 84 – Literacy (reading comprehension), Math (measurement)



We have been working for two days on an assessment to show our Reading Comprehension. Similar to the comprehension section of the diagnostic reading assessments we do each year (DRA), the reading assessment we are working on this week includes many parts:

  • Summary
  • Literacal Comprehension
  • Interpretation
  • Reflection
  • Metacognition (reading strategies)

Grade 5 students are learning about the Human Brain by working with their text. Grade 6 students are solidifying their understanding of fiction texts.



Grade 6 – We have been working on reviewing Grade 5 Area concepts, and practising converting linear measurements (mm, cm, dm, m, km)

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Grade 5 – We are working on understanding Area —– and not just how to simply use a formula to find area. We are learning how to DEVELOP a formula. Formulas can only be applied to tricky math problems if you truly understand how and why they work.

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This rows and columns of  a grid on a rectangle are similar to an array, which we have been using in math since the primary grades.

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