DAY 120 – Wed., April 6, 2016 -Inferring Characterization; Flight Inquiry; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Point of View



SCIENCE – Flight Inquiry

Last week, we generated a ton of questions about flight! 🙂 We worked last week on removing duplicates, and grouping similar question topics together.

We put our questions into larger categories. We will at some point touch on our questions about helicopters and hot air balloon’s, but for now our biggest focus is airplanes.


We compared our questions to the specific Ontario curriculum expectations, and underlined or circled parts of the curriculum that matched our questions.


Today we identified our big, main question: How is it even possible for a very heavy objects to fly? 

Clustered around our main question How does heavy object fly, were smaller questions such as  How heavy is too heavy? How can a plane lift off the ground? What parts of the airplane make it fly? What factors of physics are required to cause the airplane to fly and why?

ALL OF THESE are versions of our main question…. And they will be answered as we research the subtopics. We organized the questions into subtopics, and they are:

  • Aerodynamic shape (body & wings)
  • Process of a flight (take off, laintaining flight, landing)
  • Engines
  • Wings (flaps, positions)
  • Weather (effects of weather)




LITERACY – Media, Point of View

We continued to watch the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” as an opportunity to infer the elements of a story

  • Characterization
  • Setting
  • Rising Action
  • Complication

We are still watching the first two thirds of the story, where there is Rising Action. (no climax yet……)

We also discovered the Main Theme (according to the Dad, Caratacus Potts): There is always hope.

Curricular links

We had many opportunities to discuss high level, deep, questions & ideas, especially related to Point of View, but also related to other topics:

LITERACY/Media, Point of View

  • The country where the “evil” King/Queen live is called “Vulgaria”
    • it is similar to the real country called, “Bulgaria”, but
      • the writers/film makers could not use the name “Bulgaria” because it would be insulting to the real country, “Bulgaria”
      • the writers called the country, “Vulgaria” — related to the word “vulgar”, which means rude
  • The story takes place in 1910 – we could infer that Caratacus Potts has lost his wife, due to the “traditional” families that existed at that time. In 2015, Caratacus Pott’s missing partner could have been a husband & the children.
  • Vulgaria reminds us of Germany, where people were terrorized by the Nazis
    • the King/Queen have a “Child Catcher” and they take away the children

the people are afraid of the soldiers and hide in their homes (reminds us of Nazi Germany and European countries during World War II that were taken over by the Nazi’s)


SCIENCE – Flight, Aerodynamics

 How aerodynamic is the flying car??? Not very!!


Questions for Students to Answer:

  • What other “point of view” questions or situations have you been thinking about while watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?
  • Would the car in the movie actually be able to fly? How would you change the car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to make it more “Aerodynamic”?
  • What other curriculum links have you noticed while viewing the film?


April 6th Reminders

  1. read 20 min

  2. Read blog —- answer the question

  3. Pizza day tomorrow

  4. Today is last day to order Hotdogs

online for FRIDAY





DAY 171 – June 9/2015 – Writing feedback (Stargirl)

LITERACY – Writing

Our most recent writing assignment was to write an alternate epilogue to the end of this book, “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli. there’s also an oral language component to the assessment, as we experienced the book as a read aloud – and we needed to be able to understand the book as an oral text (a text that we listened to).

Today, while some students finished the assignment and others finished a recent health assignment, some members of the class sat on the carpet in a circle. They took turns reading the alternate ending that they wrote from the point of view of Stargirl.

Students gave feedbackreceived feedback and responded to feedback, and we captured a lot of rich discussion in video. The discussion was incredibly deep! I am so proud of all of our grade 5 and six students. Grade 5 students definitely held their own even when receiving critique from there all the grade 6 class makes. Thank you to our classroom volunteer Miss Rasmussen also helped and Fawcett facilitate the session (Miss Rasmussen is a Rousseau alumna and former member of @FawcettsClass. She is a recent teachers college graduate.)

Brady’s Feedback

Dea’s Feedback

Callie’s Feedback

Elise’s Feedback

Owen’s Feedback

Caleb’s Feedback

Ben’s Feedback



DAY 161 – Mon., May 25/2015 – Writing/Point of View, Volume of a Prism (Rectangular Prism – Grade5; Triangular Prism – Grade 6)


Grade 6 – Writing

This is our second day of working on our alternate epilogue for the book “Stargirl”. The original epilogue is written –– just like the rest of the book –– from the point of view of Leo. Our assignment is to write a new epilogue, from the point of view of Stargirl herself!     

Grade 5 Math – 3D Geometry & Measurement  

Grade 5 students creating rectangular prism’s and making strategies for calculating how many centimeter cubes are used in each prism. We also created a regular shapes and calculated how many centimeter cubes were in each of those periods for both, the final number of cubes is the volume in cubic centimeters       

We worked on practice questions from the textbook (#1, #2, #5) 

   We will share strategies and solutions for questions number two and five tomorrow 🙂

Grade 6 – Volume of a Triangular Prism, Algebra 

We threw on our knowledge from terminal one, where we learned that the area of a triangle is half the area of a rectangle with the same base and height. 

Isabel’s solution: 


Matthew suggested we multiply what we could in the equation, i.e. 4 x 2 = 8

After that, we could use guess and  test to find out what number multiplied by 8 will give us 24. Answer is 3! 🙂  

Algebra, cont’d

We can also use a more advanced algebra strategy: use the inverse operation by  turning a  multiplication statement to a division statement.

24 = 8 x w


24÷8 = w……because 24 is the product and 8 and w are the factors.



What we learned about Cystic Fibrosis

We attended an assembly last Friday where we learned about cystic fibrosis. All Rousseau families are encouraged to consider donating to classrooms at Rousseau for Cystic Fibrosis research so a cure can be found.

We learned that it’s really hard to breath. We did this experiment where we had to run and then pinch on our nose and try to breathe only through a straw & our mouth. – Caleb

  • It felt scary,  as if I was drowning – Carson
  • It was difficult to breathe, like when it’s really cold out and it’s hard to draw in a breath – Noah
  • I found it was very difficult, and afterwards people said that my face looked really red – Ava

The problem is that their mucus is not very liquidy. People with cystic fibrosis have mucus that is really thick – Greg

  • The mucus doesn’t really leave the lungs, so when they get a cold the germs really stay in there and they get very sick – Brady
  • People with cystic fibrosis produce more salt in their mucous – Jude
  • They have therapy each day that vibrates the lungs to help loosen the mucus – Noah

People with CF have a difficult time maintaining a healthy body weight. The digestive system has a hard time getting vitamins and nutrients out of their food – Dea

  • They have to take medication to help all this: to deal with all that mucus, to get nutrients in your body and be able to do things without being so tired. – Brady



April 3rd, 2013 – Division, Student Blogs, Open Response, Drama, Our Day in Tweets



APRIL3 2013 Corridor of Voice COMPOSITION 2

April3 2013 Corridor of Voices COMPOSITION 1

April3 2013 Corridor of Voices COMPOSITION 3



All in all, a really great day! With no snow, and lots of sunshine 🙂

April 2, 2013 – Writing a Non-Fiction Summary; Science; Math Test; Drama


Happy Spring! (sort of!) It was a chilly day with some flurry activity outside the classroom window, but students’ energy levels certainly show that spring is in the air. We had a great day!



We started today with a bit of independent reading, and a whole-group lesson on writing Non-Fiction Summaries. Through our class DRA data, it is apparent that a large percentage of students are a little overwhelmed with a blank page titled, “Summary” — so we learned/reviewed as a whole class. Students were reminded that when they write a summary, they are not expected to have the text memorized; rather, they should re-read all parts of the text while writing their summary. They were taught/reminded to use all sorts of text features. They were taught/reminded to use all the paragraphs to some degree, and pay attention to topic sentences and sub-titles of sections (Grade 6 texts often include sub-sub-titles, as with our practice science text.) Here is our co-created Anchor Chart:

April2 2013 Non Fiction Summary ANCHOR CHART

Students practised their summarizing skills using Nelson Literacy, summarizing texts related to our Science units (Grade 5: Forces on Structures; Grade 6: Flight). Students not finished brought their summaries home to complete, and students who finished have brought their summaries (and the original text) home to share with parents. 



Today, students wrote an assessment on fractions/decimals/benchmarks/introduction to division (Grade 5) and fractions/decimals/percent (Grade 6). Students will receive feedback tomorrow about their recent math assessments. After the math test, students worked on their Science summaries — and some students continued to work on finishing the math test.



Today in Drama, we connected our TLCP (Teaching Learning Critical Pathway) about Point of View, “Perception is Reality” to Drama. Students participated with me in a read aloud called, The Composition”I modelled our current reading strategy (Questioning) and students jumped in with their own questions as well, which helped to deepen their understanding of the text. The text also requires students to make deep inferences about the point of view of children living in a dictatorship (we made the connection to an upcoming Grade 5  Social Studies unit on Government). We studied the people in the pictures in the text and discussed body language as being a key component to acting out a role in a drama work. In our follow-up Drama activity, we recreated a pivotal scene from the book and students played the part of……the class of students! (Except for Naomi — thank you for acting as the teacher!) Each person was asked to form their point of view as their character (a student in the class in the story) and share their point of view. Students had EXCELLENT, deep and often emotional responses. In a future activity, we will explore opposing points of view inside the head of another character in the book, using a drama activity/technique called, “Corridor of Voices“. Some students asked where the story, The Composition, takes place. I suggested as an extension activity  at home or at school, students could take the initiative to do some research, using clues from the text, to come up with a short list of countries that might be written about in the book.

We finished our day with DPA with Mr. Obermeyer.

While writing our Agendas, I reminded students that many students could be reading aloud for about 10 minutes as part of their nightly reading, in order to improve their oral fluency.

April2 2013 Agenda