DAY 60 – Multiplication, budgeting, Living Wage, Hamilton rountable for Poverty Reduction


MATH – Numbers Sense, Budgeting, #LivingWage & the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

We were delighted to welcome Tom Cooper @TomCoopster from the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction today. We learned about meeting our basic needs & budgeting. Using a single person paying rent and travelling with a bus pass, we calculated average monthly expenses. We discussed what we could “give up”…and we admitted that it is very hard to give up needs like food, shelter, laundry, medicine, hygiene, transportation & communication!! Be sure to follow this long post to the end where we can be seen practising & applying our multiplication strategies.


Mr. Gris came to visit as well and ask questions! Students are deep in thought!
EXTENSION: Participating in Society: As an extension, some students also calculated monthly needs based on more than just “basic” needs. This list was presented to us as including items that help people participate fully in communities & families….Recreation….Gift giving to friends and family….School fees (trips, milk, pizza, special events)….Going out with our families.


Everyone completed a diagnostic for the standard algorithm for multiplication. Some people practised the strategy after some re-teaching, and those who had already mastered the standard algorithm worked on applying it.


DAY 58 – Nov. 29, 2016 – Comprehensions Strategies, Canadian Communities, Media, Multiplication



LITERACY/SOCIAL STUDIES  (Canadian Communities, Past & Present)

We continued showing what we have learned about communities in Canada: First Nations groups (whose way of life was changed by Europeans) and groups that immigrated into Canada (who needed to adapt to a life in new country)


MATH – Multiplication/3 Part Lesson Plan

Grade 6 Multiplication Learning Goal  – use a variety of mental strategies to solve… multiplication problems involving whole numbers (e.g., use the commutative property: 4 x 16 x 5 = 4 x 5 x 16, which gives 20 x 16 = 320; use the distributive property: 110 x 15 = (110 x 10) + (110 x 5), which gives 1100 + 550 = 1650)


(Getting Started ~~ Working on It ~~ Considation/Practice)

  1. Getting Started


2. Working On It

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3. Consolidaton  (Practice tomorrow)

We shared our group work with the whole class. Ms Fawcett facilitated by asking leading questions and identifying names of strategies.

  • standard algorithm
  • expanded form & partial products (in a list)
  • expanded form & partial products (in an array)

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Laiken introduced us to the idea of breaking 4 930 into smaller parts. By doing so, she is finding the product in smaller “chunks”….finding separate products and then adding them up.



Laiken’s strategy requires dividing the number 4 930 into expanded form (previous learning from September)


We can break the 48 into 40 + 8 so that we can avoid the standard algorithm altogether and use mental math.


Another visual strategy is to arrange the partial products into an array.


FOR HOMEWORK, everyone was given a Mental Math practice activity.



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.

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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).

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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 62 – Dec. 17, 2015 – Literacy (Characterization, Inferring), Multiplication

This blog post is a work in progress – please be sure to check back later, too! 🙂


LITERACY – Media/Writing

Today we worked on Characterization (character development). When we can recognize how an author develops a character (today, through media/film), we can then transfer characterization skills to our own writing. After independently reading for a bit, we were introduced to a Graphic Organizer for Characterization — FAST Characterization (Feelings, Actions, Saying, Thinking)



We watched a Christmas season classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”. We focused on the Grinch character and worked in groups to brainstorm his Feelings, Actions, what he was Saying, and what he was Thinking. (This will work very well for our next writing activity after the break, Suspense writing (grade 6 expectation — we will use the story to also map out the plot — see the Mountain organizer from Grade 5….)


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MATH – Multiplication (Standard Algorithm practice)

We played a Grinch-themed board game 🙂 🙂 🙂  Students start with 3 chips…….if they’re lucky, they proceed through the game board and get to GIVE AWAY chips. The person who gives all their chips away first wins. (Thanks to     for this idea —— it can be used with any level of math or other question).


The trick is…………….students had to answer a 3 digit x 2 digit multiplication question in their notebook in order to roll the die!!!!   (using Standard Algorithm ONLY, as this is the method we need most practice with). Students had a lot of fun, although you can see they were very competitive and concentrated very well 🙂





DAY 60 – Dec. 15, 2015 Multiplication, Music, & Mayhem (not really…just some decorating)


Hey! Our Hour of Code activity last week made it onto the HWDSB Website! Check it out!

Schools Tap Away at Hour of Code –


LITERACY – Independent Reading

Almost half way into the year, and we have some really awesome reading habits in our classroom! Students are getting into reading right away and persisting with reading like never before. Congratulations to students who have shown excellent reading habits all year long (so far), and to those who have improved their reading behaviours. Bravo!

MATH – Multiplication

We continue to review and practise the strategies taught in Grade 5. Today, a few students attempted to explain the steps of the Standard Algorithm aloud. Everyone should practice this skill! It really helps to focus students’ thinking and solidify their memory of the steps. The Standard Algorithm is the preferred method of most adults, as this is the method they learned in school. It is, however, the most difficulty strategy, as it requires students to hold multiple pieces of information in their heads, while also doing computation. Very tricky. The curriculum states that students need to be able to perform a variety of strategies for multiplication, to achieve a Level 3.

Notice how the method with Expanded Form uses colour coding to help us keep track of the number of required zeroes. Once the zeroes have been accounted for, it’s just a matter of doing 1 digit x 1 digit multiplication. Students had multiplication charts to help with this.

Some excellent examples of finished work:


We have learned this song  in Music class with Ms Fawcett, in order to perform in tomorrow’s Drama presentation with Mrs. Crocker. Families are welcome to attend the whole-school event, starting at 2:00pm. Students should practice tonight!



We’ve decorated our door – hope you like what we’ve done with the place! 🙂 We started yesterday, and finished today!


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