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 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.

DAY 4 – Sept. 5, 2014



LITERACY – Read Aloud
All ready to record metaphors and similes for our “Stargirl” read aloud!





Yesterday, we used the “teaser” preview on the back of the book to make our own predictions of what the character “Stargirl” will be like (please ignore the grade 4 song lyrics on the bottom — oops!!)



We recorded some of the metaphors and similes from the book on our Anchor Chart. Students can access this anchor chart on a device near their desk when writing their own stories. We will use Stargirl as a mentor text and have LOTS of metaphors and similes to borrow or model ourselves on.


Genius Hour/Passion Projects
We finished brainstorming our “wonderings” and posted some on our bulletin board outside the classroom. We will refine them in conversation with our parents, teacher and each other and practice identifying DEEP questions for our first Passion Projects!












Grade 6 Girls’ 3 Pitch
Eleven grade 6 girls signed up for this year’s 3 Pitch team. The schedule is below:


DAY 2 – Wed., Sept. 3rd, 2014


We stayed together for PhysEd today (normally physical education will be taught by Miss Rankin). One of our new students, Dea, had a great way to describe “Peanut Crusher”. She said, “It looks like a monkey fight!” Hilarious!



GENIUS HOUR – Our Passion Projects! (with 6R)
Have you read about 20% time? Genius Hour? In a nutshell, students are afforded about an hour a week (or cycle — in our case, a 5 day cycle) to pursue learning about something that they are passionate about, something that they choose to research (not necessarily grade 5 or 6 curriculum related – any topic approved by me). A couple of primary classes at Rousseau ran these “Passion Projects” last year, and students all over the region, country, and world are experiencing this opportunity in their classrooms, too. Today, we followed the “Generating Ideas” for Passion Projects template created by fantastic educator and blogger @RundesRoom Students are very excited and will be bringing home their template to discuss with parents & guardians tomorrow. I will conference with students on Monday in order to finalize the topic/questions for our first projects. We are aiming to be completed in five weeks (= five one hour sessions, plus time spent at home – if and only if students choose to spend time on their passion project at home). We will be learning and refining our research/inquiry/questioning, reading, communication and presentation skills, while also exploring different technology, and developing our Learning Skills (which includes refining our use of the Rousseau Simple Six routines).

LITERACY – Read Aloud (with 6R)
We read “Stargirl” for the second day. Students are developing, or refining, their understanding of metaphors and similes, while also developing vocabulary. More to come! It is a fantastic book and I am shocked that it has not been made into a movie yet!

Look forward to student descriptions and reflections soon in our upcoming daily blogposts!
Ms Fawcett