DAY 45 & 46 – Nov. 10th & Nov. 11th – Remembrance Day, Place Value, Leadership, Student Council campaigns



We all played a role in recognizing Veterans this Week of Remembrance. Some students collected Poppy Fund donations, others sang in the choir, some of us prepared music sheets, our 8 student council candidates hosted the school assembly, and all of us performed a moving rendition of Dr. John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” set to music by Canadian composer Alexander Tilley. Thank you to volunteer & music educator Mrs. Janice Courtemanche for accompanying us.  Lest We Forget. 


LITERACY – Media Literacy (Elections presentations = how to vote + our candidates)

Student Council Candidates continued working to finish their first posters with our student teacher Miss Colmer. Second posters will be easier once these are done 🙂

The rest of the class worked collaboratively with Ms Fawcett to make Anchor Charts for their Google slides presentation (“how to vote….”). We started with our own brainstorming in groups the other day… 8821


Our whole-group collaboration & learning:



screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-12-17-41-am After groups shared their “best practices” in media literacy and we had our list, groups went to work discussing the revisions they needed to make to their presentations.



MATH – Place Value


Working collaboratively on expanded form



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We learning that we can also talk about & use base 3!!!!!!!! (not just base 10). Some students applied our base 10 knowledge to this new situation:










Today’s new seating plan resulted in some spontaneous fun & competition — making boats! What a fun collaboration, totally led by students. Creative!!

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Extra DPA at the end of the day/week — whole Junior end capture the flag!

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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 61 – Dec. 16, 2015 – Music

tree of music notesMUSIC

We made up for quite a few Music classes that have been missed lately 🙂 Some days become all literacy, and some days become all math, due to necessity – today it was mostly music 🙂 While a third of the class attended a Drama rehearsal with Mrs. Crocker for today’s play, “The Best Gift Ever”, the remainder of the class engaged in Independent Reading, and then began to practice our song, “Grown-Up Christmas List”.

Then, the rest of the class returned to us, and we had an excellent rehearsal of our song! We worked especially on sustaining notes, making an open sound with our head-voices, clearing up issues with pitch, and then posture (in the gym). It was amazing how the accoustics of the larger gym area enhanced our sound! The look of pleasure on students faces during this rehearsal was wonderful to see 🙂 More on our performance further down……


Mrs. Crocker had a turn teaching us Gym today – we enjoyed some much needed outside time!!



Mrs. Laws took us to the Hub — we had a choice of creating Christmas decorations or playing boardgames. We had a blast!



Several students were involved on stage in lead roles for this whole-school performance, led by Mrs. Crocker. More pictures to come soon, on the Rousseau website. Here is a photo of us, and a video of us singing our song, “Grown-Up Christmas List” 🙂



No homework today 🙂

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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