Day 53 – Dec. 4, 2015 – Reading – summaries, Writing – word choice,

basketball & net

Good luck to our boys volleyball team players today! Thanks to Mr. Peters for making it all possible! We hope to be celebrating later with Greg, Connor K, Stew, Cam, William, Ben and Noah! (Update: congratulations on your 3rd place!)



We finished our summarizing (reading) activity and vocabulary building (interesting words, metaphors, transition words). See yesterday’s Dec. 3/2016 blog for examples/pictures.



We completed the documentary about the plight of the Hudson’s Bay polar bears, related to climate change.



Human impact on biodiversty (current event): We also watched a short clip explaining the plight of people and wildlife in Brazil, where a dam associated with an iron ore mine dam burst last week. It is an ecological disaster, and biodiversity in the area may not recover.


Day 62 – Dec. 3, 2015 – Biodoversity, Royal Botanical Gardens, Reading/Summary

Good luck to the grade 5/6 girls volleyball team today! Thanks to Mr. Peters for making it happen

LITERACY/SCIENCE – Reading, Writing, Biodiversity

The last two days and literacy were focused around a continuation of our summary about invasive species at the RPG, the word study activity where students from strong words, figurative language, and transitional words and phrases in the same article. Then they moved on to finding transitional words and phrases in one of the students biographies – which we are using as a mentor text.

Students who were not finished their summary finished today, moved onto the other activities. Those who were finished all three, moved on to self reflection and peer feedback – making any corrections as necessary and having deep conversations about the nature of language and how we can improve our own writing. 



We built our background knowledge of a global biodiversity issue, viewing and discussing part of a documentary about Hudsons Bay Polar Bears

We then welcomed Ms Karin Davidson-Taylor, education officer from the Royal Botannical Gardens. 


We viewed a variety of beans and discussed biodiversity, the importance of biodiversity, and the interdependence of species on one another.

Here are some cacao seeds — from a seed pod. The cacao plant is pollinated by a midge (tiny, tiny fly that lives in the leaf litter around the base of the plant. Cacao is the source used to make cocoa and chocolate.  

Living things either Move, Adapt, or Die. The ecosystem must have biodiversity to be stable. As the environment changes, life will only continue of there is a diverse number of animals and plants: some will be able to adapt, and life will continue. If there are fewer species, there’s a smaller chance that enough will be there to adapt to the changing environment.

We viewed “cards” showing different species— both native and non-native species. We tried to sort them into native species – “from here” – and non-native species – “from there”.



Non-native species are brought:

  • By accident
  • On purpose – for ornamental purposes


Non-native Species can create issues:

  • Compete for resources
  • Kills other species (eg gypsy moth)
  • Purple loose strife
  • Common Reed (competes with native bulrushes in wetlands



  • Rusty crayfish
  • Emerald ash borer (kills ash trees)
  • Common reed
  • Goldfish
  • Dog strangling vine
  • Sea lamprey
  • Zebra mussels
  • Purple loose strife
  • Garlic mustard
  • Asian beetle (13 spotted “ladybug” brought in to kill aphids)

Emerald ash borer 

You can’t always solve an invasive species issue by introducing a second invasive species.

This is a Red eared slider — from the United States (non-native species). People purchase these as pets and release these aquatic turtles when they realize they can’t take care of them. Red eared sliders should not be in our wetlands — that is not its proper habitat for its health.

Day 41 – Nov. 4, 2015 – Biodiversity – classification, Justin Trudeau swearing in ceremony, 2D Geometry – estimating angles



LITERACY – Science (Biodiversity)





We watched part of the swearing in ceremony of our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau! Students were asked to pay special attention to how Trudeau and his team designed the ceremony to reflect the diversity of people & cultures that make up Canada. This connects with a future social studies unit 🙂

The ceremony also connects to our Rousseau student voice. The swearing in of the Prime Minister is like the introduction of our own Student Council Executive in October.  It is the culmination of the electoral process – which is a an important part of citizenship (participating in the electoral process: running for office/campaigning, voting, respect for leaders & our electoral process).image image image



It was another beautiful day for enjoying the day outside! We had extra time to fit in an additional game of manhunt.image image



MATH – Geometry

When estimating angles, it’s important to put all I thinking on paper.

Success Criteria for Estimating Angles

  • dotted lines showing benchmarks
  • square to show 90°
  • curved lines to indicate angles
  •  Words and numbers to explain how we used the benchmark

We make sure that we rotate the paper as necessary to have one arm of an angle  horizontal.image


This answer for number 1 b) of. 84 shows all these criteria. image

Day 40 – Nov. 3, 2015 Biodiversity, Remembrance Day



Welcome back to our class blog! Caregivers’ primary sources of information are:

  • the school website (
  • their child’s Daily Reminders (paper agenda they fill out OR picture on their device
  • their child’s binder & notes ((brought home every Friday!)
  • occasional class newsletters 
  • phone calls from the teacher

This blog is an optional way for you to receive information, and I hope that it is helpful! I enjoy using it to archive our lessons & reflect on my teaching practice, when I have the time to do so. I may also send emails or respond to emails when possible.

Students are given class time to record their Daily Reminders….and can use the blog daily to

  • review concepts
  • respond to homework questions
  • access lesson material & links posted to refer to during class work at school


Here is our day!

LITERACY – Science ( Biodiversity)

We are understanding that the world is full of a huge variety of living things.

Bio = life                        Diversity = variety

I looooooooove facilitating learning for this unit! My first undergraduate degree/passion is Biology — and students love talking about living things!  We added more information to our tree of life today:



There are still some empty spots! Students background knowledge mostly centered around MAMMALS, but they are learning that there are so many more living things than Mammals….and some of them think that all Animals are Mammals….hmmmmm….








Be sure to ask your child to share about their work in dance and drama – they have been working on a video for several weeks.



We have been enjoying great games of rounders with Mrs. Laws!



we began learning a song called “We’ll Meet Again”, which was written and made popular during the time of the second world war.  We talked about how music can

  •  Bring people together over distances
  •  Give us hope
  • help us express our feelings

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