Day 66 & 67 – Jan. 6 & 7, 2016 – Multiplication, Health (emotions), Read Aloud

MATH – Jan. 6

Students shared Tuesday evening’s homework: a 3-digit x 2-digit multiplication question, with the instruction to solve the question using the three strategies we learned in Grade 5 (and worked on before the December holiday). Here some students are showing the 3 strategies

  • standard algorithm
  • decomposition in an array
  • decomposition by multiplying with expanded form

This student also labelled her strategies using subtitles for organization to increase the effectiveness of her communication.

math 5

This student used colour coding to keep track of what digits were being used to multiply (first multiply the 7 by 5, 2, and 3….then multiply 4 by 5, 2, and 3).

math 4

Students conferenced with their table-mates to compare their strategies & answers.math 1 math 2 math 3


MATH – Jan. 7

Many students struggle with organization of place value columns when working on a blank paper. Today, we used grid paper for organization and focused on the decomposition/expanded form strategy for multiplication. We started by only working on the organization, without finding the multiplication answers. This is a very important step to perfect! Many students prefer this strategy to the standard algorithm (which is basically the same — but does not make obvious the values of the digits, leading to potential mix-ups).

Some students worked better on a larger grid.

math 7 math 8

We then tried imagining the grid and working on questions on blank paper. Students used a ruler to draw vertical lines for columns where necessary — everyone is different and is in charge of their own strategies. 🙂

math 6

LITERACY – Read Aloud

We returned to our read aloud, Fish! We were able to use our newly developed schema for describing the interplay of emotions people experience.

In the book, Tiger has a shut-down of her emotions after being separated from her parents & the guide. Students made text-to-text connections to the book we are reading, as well as to the movie “Inside Out”. This new vocabulary & schema are allowing students to make deeper inferences about the characters in our book.

  • Tiger saw bad things happen which I don’t think Tiger liked seeing – Noah
  • It’s like sadness and fear are both holding onto the controls of Tigers brain – Kaeira and Owen S
  • Tiger might be having a mixed emotion of happy and sad – Blake
  • It’s like tigers emotions don’t know what to do – and without the emotions it’s like a state of shock – Ben
  • It’s like all of her emotions are fighting over being in control, so she doesn’t know what to feel or what to do – Katherine
  • It’s like in the movie inside out when Joy got lost – Owen S
  • I imagine that all of Tiger’s emotions are fighting over the control center and maybe the control board glitched out with a power surge created by too much emotion, and so she’s not feeling any emotions. Then tiger kind of shutdown – Carson
  • It’s like earlier in the book when tiger talked about the refugee children in the village who had seen people die – they didn’t talk. They would just stare – GregTiger’s father had a flurry of emotions, too, and students used their inferring skills to try to figure out why he cried.I think the dad is crying because he’s just so happy they’re together again – Callie

    I think it’s like the time when Tigers mom was holding the pull-up to keep their hut from collapsing. Tiger’s dad wants to be the person to solve everything and not feel useless – Connor C

    It’s like earlier when Tigers dad was talking and acting like he was responsible for everyone else’s safety – Dea

    I think the dad feels apologetic that he has led them into this mess – Brady



We worked towards finishing our “Control Centres”, based on the Pixar/Disney movie, “Inside Out”. Students have developed some excellent vocabulary to describe the interplay of emotions that people experience.

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Day 3 – Sept. 10, 2015


FEEDBACK – Peer to Peer

Sharing our work with each other & giving feedback to each another about our work is very important. It helps us to improve our work and feel proud about our work.

What does peer feedback look like in a classroom? What would we SEE if a room of students was sharing work & giving feedback? We brainstormed ideas as a whole class.

We decided to us the “Two Stars and a Wish” format for giving feedback. After listening to our partner’s work, we can think about their work, then share two positives and one possible next step:

We practised right away as a whole class —- students read the ending that they wrote yesterday for the Read Aloud “The Sweetest Fig”, and then were offered feedback by their partner.

HERE IS A VIDEO OF OUR SHARING & FEEDBACK! 🙂 How did we do? Using our brainstormed list, what do you notice about students’ body language, facial expression, and eye contact?




We created an Anchor Chart with examples of Descriptive Feedback (will post tomorrow!). General statements like “Good work” aren’t effective feedback. We need specific comments about our work to know what exactly is effective and what specifically could be improved. Here are two students sharing & listening to feedback:


  • “I think you copied the style of the writer very well.”
  • “You caught my attention well.”
  • “I   [noticed]   that you added the woman in the end because I thought that two people wasn’t enough”
  • “My only   [next step]   would be that the first paragraph wasn’t very accurate.” (proceeds to then recap the facts of the story)
  • “I thought it was a really exceptional idea to add the moral at the end.”
  • “It was easy to catch on to and to understand what you’re trying to get at.”  (in other words: clear, organized)
  • “You could maybe make it longer”

Photo 1


DAY 124 March 23, 3015 Read Aloud/Inferring (Stargirl), Division, Music



I couldn’t resist brightening up our classroom today with new centre pieces on our new tables — the centre pieces have a spot for a few pencils and pens and some bright flowers!


LITERACY – Read Aloud/Inferring

We enjoyed getting back into our class Read Aloud, “Stargirl”, after having spent so much of our Literacy time writing speeches these past weeks. Students made inferences about many things, and I modelled inferring throughout Chapters 22 & 23


MATH – Division

We reviewed the work we did on Division from before the Break — here and here.  ***Students are always welcome & encouraged to review prior information on our class blog!! ****    Today, we began learning and practising the steps for the Standard Algorithm for Division (a standard algorithm is a method where we learn steps or procedures — it does not necessarily illustrate an understanding of what division means or why it works, but the standard algorithm is a strategy that can be used quickly and efficiently. It is the strategy that most parents know well.)

We worked in partners and groups to practice the Standard Algorithm.

Thank you to students who led the taking up of today’s practice, which allowed me time to conference with individual students who needed assistance!

Here are some very accurate answers. Keep in mind that the highest achievement level for these questions would be a 3+. There is no “higher level” thinking involved in applying the Standard Algorithm. We’ll leave the higher level thinking for our upcoming problem solving questions.

Tonight’s practice:   #1   a,b,c,d

MUSIC – “If You Can Dance, You Can Sing”

This song is based on a Zimbabwean Proverb, from the country Zimbabwe, in Africa. We began the song before the break, and are working towards singing it, in two part harmony, with class 6R!  Perhaps someone who is reading this blog post for their nightly review can research and share with us a fact about Zimbabwe tomorrow????


DAY 29 – Oct 14, 2014 – Reading/Inferring/Predicting, Summaries; Transforming Learning Everywhere (TLE)

Today, we had our first lockdown drill of the year. Since 5/6F students were in the Gym with Miss Rankin, steps needed to be taken to ensure safety – students can discuss with their parents what the routine is during lockdown while in the gym.

LITERACY – Reading/Re-Aloud/Inferring & Predicting
In Stargirl, the author suggests that students are now going to imitate Stargirl. Gathering evidence from the text, these are our inferences of how students will imitate Stargirl:

I think that the cheerleaders are going to be more active, like Stargirl – Dia

I think that everyone in Mica high school will start getting more involved like Stargirl – Iris

I think that people will start bringing in their own pets to school just like Stargirl and start setting their own little homes up on their desks – Elise

I think that people will start trying to have their own style of dress like Stargirl – Isabel

When I heard this, I thought it was more of a metaphor — meaning that the people would start being more of a nonconformist – Carson

Everyone will learn how to play the ukulele – Stephanie

(Our inferences/predictions were all confirmed!)

By treating Stargirl well and recognizing her for her accomplishments, Leo (the narrator) suggests that the students have also given something to themselves. We made inferences about what the students have given themselves by recognizing Stargirl:
(Nearly everyone had their hand up to share!)

When they were [acting like ] friends with Stargirl, then they have pride to go to clubs and go to football games – Ryan

They’re giving themselves the courage to go to games and going to see Stargirl compete and cheer her on – Ava

I think being nice to Stargirl made it easier for them to do what they wanted to do. It gives them more confidence by being around Stargirl and seeing how she’s able to do it [be herself] without feeling bad or being criticized – Matt

The students maybe try now to do the stuff that they don’t normally didn’t do. – Caleb

I think what they’re getting themselves is also a bit of danger now and taking a risk. We haven’t heard anything about how Hillari’s responding to this. She may be getting mad and she may not be any aiming her anger anymore at just Stargirl – Elise

They were always scared of what Hillari thought. They weren’t doing what they wanted to be doing. So now they’re forgetting about Hillari and doing what they want. – Dea

They’re showing more spirit. Spirit in themselves, spirit toward Stargirl, spirit in the school – Iris

After our lockdown drill, we had gym instead with 6R. Ms Fawcett & Miss Rankin took us out for a variety of games

LITERACY/Social Studies
We recalled our previous work writing summaries of non-fiction texts. We can use text features such as titles, subtitles and topic sentences to determine the main ideas of each section of a text. We can add supporting details by choosing the most important ideas in each paragraph/section. Here is an example of the previous Grade 5 practice summary:


We worked with a variety of paper or digital tools to create summaries today (Social Studies articles in Nelson Literacy according to our grade/topic):




Several students used paragraphs in their summaries to match the sub-sections in their particular article:



Students are beginning the process of communicating their reading skills through DRA. This diagnostic reading tool has been used in classrooms since the beginning of students’ time at Rousseau. Results will be communicated and students will set goals, which they will celebrate reaching as the year progresses 🙂



Please check out the HWDSB “Transforming Learning Everywhere” initiative
TLE Taking Flight Open House will take place on October 29, 2014 at the Education Center between 10:00 a.m. and noon.
More information is posted at
Featuring keynote speaker Dean Shareski from Discovery Education Canada.
See the impact of TLE through Student demonstrations.