Thursday, December 3, 2015

Problem solving with patterns

We have learned many things about patterns. We have learned to recognize and copy patterns, extend patterns, and make our own patterns. We can identify the core of a pattern. We also learned to show patterns in many different ways ( e.g., blue red blue red  OR a b a b OR 1 2 1 2 OR heart circle heart circle -- all are the same 'pattern'). Finally, we used what we know about patterns to solve problems. 

To warm up, we worked individually , and built patterns with longer cores:

Then we worked in groups to solve a problem:

We tried another problem independently, using beads:

The problem was " There are 9 red beads, 3 green beads, and 6 blue beads. Make a pattern -- using ALL of the beads. Draw your pattern and circle the core." 




Sunday, November 22, 2015


Diwali fell on November 11 this year. 

We read a non-fiction Diwali book, and a fiction one.

Diwali is a Hindu holiday. It is a beautiful holiday -- one of my favourites.
Diwali is the festival of light -- it celebrates the victory of light over darkness -- good over evil.
There are many candles lit in small diyas ( candle holders) inside and outside of the home.
There are often fireworks and then a family feast which includes many, many sweets. 
What's not to like about this holiday? 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Remembrance Day

( once again the blog isn't posting properly, sorry) ( the original post disappeared! I will try to recreate it)

We read this book:


It is about a small boy who his asking his grandfather about the war, while they get ready for a Remembrance Day ceremony. It was perfect for our age group. ( I also explained what similies are.... but the concept was a bit confusing) 

We talked about what we would think about during our one ( or two) minute of silence. We spoke of remembering lost loved ones -- or family who we never met. Or of soldiers who helped keep Canada a free country. We talked about what freedom means. 

Our school Remembrance Day ceremony was lovely. One of our teachers ( Mme. Ristick) is a Captain in the reserves! So she accompanied two Kindergarten students up the aisle to lay the wreath. 

Room 15 provided some decorations for the stairwells. 

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Fun in the pool!

Today we had The Equipment Relay Challenge!

Rule #1 - all of your equipment has to be moved over to the other side of the pool, one piece at a time.
Rule #2 - everyone on your team has to touch the piece of equipment while it is being moved.

The first team to bring everything across the pool wins.
( played in the shallow end only :)

It was a great game for cooperative skill building.

This game is awesome!

One student said "This game is awesome!" Some words are French, some are English. We have a new student in Room 15. She speaks French and is learning more English every day! 
The game is called Bananagrams. We aren't playing by the rules. 4 students play. They choose 10 tiles each and the first student to make a word starts the game. The others can add their words at any time. No waiting your turn. We help each other. There is sharing or trading of letters if you need them. We love it! 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Welcome Back!

It has been a busy start to fall in Room 15 -- I hope to get you all caught up with our learning over the next few weeks.

Here is some interesting reading for you while we get this up and running!

Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors (for adults and for children).

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Objects, Materials and Structures

 To complement our science unit about Objects, Materials and Structures, we had a visiting scientist come in to give us some hands-on experience with structures.

Thank you so much to our parents who came in to help, and our two Grade 8 students from Ms. Harrison's class who came to help as well.

We learned that Structures SUPPORT, CONTAIN, or SPAN.


We learned how to fasten objects together:



We sorted different materials. We learned how to describe materials (i.e. that Scott's head is smooth, but Scott's beard is rough)

We learned how engineers make structures stronger by adding triangles to support them:

This was not a very strong structure. I could not support very much weight.

 We added some triangles and it supported more than ten times what it did without the triangles!


 We learned that engineers add below the surface of the ground to make structures more stable. The foundations of our houses make them stable. Here, we saw that the longer pilings made a more stable building in the wind.

 Finally, we rolled up many cylinders from newspaper....

And built some stools!

Scott tested them out for us :)

Scientist in Schools is ALWAYS fun!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Make the World Awesome :)

 Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students:

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Needs of Living Things

In Grade One we study the needs of living things.

After reading many books, and using our prior knowledge, we defined the characteristics of a living thing -- we edited our list so it included ALL living things:

The "make waste" characteristic was the hardest one to come up with. Making waste looks very different in plants and animals. Of course, it reduces the class to giggles now every time I say "waste".

We also came up with "all living things die".

Grade One also has a focus on plants. Over the past weeks we have learned so much about plants. We read many fiction and non-fiction books. These were our favourites:

We explained, in sequence,  how to plant a seed:

We made scientific predictions by guessing (hypothesizing) what the effects of light and water (and lack thereof) are on a plant:



We learned about labeling, and drew plants, then labeled the parts of a plant:

We learned what different parts of the plant do for the plant:

We observed and drew seeds, then discussed why seeds come in different sizes and shapes.

We read Tops and Bottoms, a story about a family of rabbits who outsmart a bear by letting him choose if he wants the tops or the bottoms of the plants that they are harvesting from his land (they are using his land in exchange for a payment of part of the crop)

 (would you rather have the top or the bottom of the carrot plant? How about the lettuce plant? ahhhh, perspective again......
Watch and listen to the story here:

We learned what parts of the plants we eat (and why we should never eat any part of any plant without asking a trusted adult for permission). (we tasted many different parts of many different plants!)
We tried eating:
(Next time you eat a fruit/vegetable, ask your child if they are eating stems, leaves, fruits, roots, or seeds of a plant!) (also, to add to our confusion, many things that we consider vegetables are the fruit of the plant... but "vegetable" isn't really a word that we used when discussing parts of a plant....)

Finally we realized that plants, animals and humans share many of the same needs.

We also realized that if we don't take care of our Earth, then plants and animals (including humans) will not be able to live and grow..... We are learning to be good stewards of the earth :)

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