City Hall Thoughts

After their City Hall experience on Monday, students wrote an entry in their Reflection Books. I thought I would share a few of the comments that I found honest, humorous, and perceptive.

“A lot of the presenters were really confusing, except for ours. I found that they listened to us more than the adults.”

“I had a great time because we got to take pictures in the Hamilton sign.”

“Awesome. That’s what it was, awesome!

“I really was amazed that two of the councilors were not even paying attention to any of the presenters. They were just talking to each other and they were on their phones. How did they even get a job?”

“During the meeting, some parts were interesting and I think we did influence most of the people,  but, I think that some of the councilors were not listening to us and didn’t care.”

“I was timid during the practice run but once we were back in the chamber, I was pretty confident. My favourite part was how we could dress up.

If I had the opportunity to go back to City Hall, I would take it in a heartbeat!”

“I was scared at first, but then we did a run through and then it was fine. When I was reading my part in the actual City Hall presentation, I said to myself, in my head – Are those butterflies? Nope, I’m just hungry. So, I got a doughnut after it!”

6B at City Hall

Today, interested students from our class traveled to City Hall to address councilors at a Board of Health meeting in the City Chambers. Presenting as a cohesive group in their shirts and ties, the students impressed the crowd with their poise. Follow the link below to our school website for more a photo and video link.

In the end, the vote was in favour of moving the motion forward to be ratified. (The motion includes limiting sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks, and eliminating the sale of bottled water in favour of municipal water at city run facilities). I received an email from Councillor Johnson’s office thanking us for our contribution. “The students were seriously impressive. A beautifully choreographed and articulate presentation.”

Thank you to all the parents who were able to drive today.

Greenleaf Goes to City Hall


Getting the Message Out

In addition to our slide show presentation at the Earth Day assembly, we created a display for the showcase in the front foyer featuring one of our slogans – Don’t Let Water Down. Sorry, picture is not great- kept getting a reflection. (I’m sure there is some way to avoid that, but when in a hurry, no time for a photography lesson!). We are working on creating the audio for our slide show, so we can put it online, but it’s tough getting a quiet time in the lab to record. It’s a happening place!!

And lastly, we also got our letter to the editor published in the Flamborough Review and are preparing ourselves in case the letter gets any kind of feedback from other readers 🙂 

Playing Catch Up, Again!

Wow- I’m not sure how time has slipped away so fast since our last post, but we’ll try to catch you up.

In the class…

Math: As part of our data management, we have looked at representative and bias samples, the difference between mean, median and mode, and, discreet vs.continuous data.

Reading and Writing- We have been looking at sample EQAO questions, and reviewing how we can ‘bump up’ our work. EQAO will start next week. We recorded exact dates in our agenda.

Oral Language – We are in the middle of yet another round of speeches and it’s great to see how our skills have progressed over the year. As one student remarked, “We have done so many, I don’t even get nervous anymore.”

Media and Science: Students are currently designing a brochure meant to persuade audiences to travel to a destination in space. Several students are getting creative with fictional planets but are also making sure to include factual information about the existing bodies in space.

Social Studies: To supplement the work we have done in class, Mrs. W is having the students present information about global communities during Learning Commons.

Outside the Classroom

Over the last little while, many activities have been taking place. We have had Health presentations about concussions and vaping, Jump Rope for Heart, a successful trip to the planetarium at McMaster, and Open House (nice to see so many people come out).

On the ‘activism front’, we have also made some progress.  Look for a separate post coming soon. Like tonight!


Student Activism at Work

Call to City Hall

In response to a project I was involved with last year at Ancaster Meadow, I received a call from the office of City Councillor Aidan Johnson. They offered me an opportunity to bring the students to City Hall to speak on behalf of the environmental impact of water bottles. I explained I am no longer at Ancaster Meadow but could probably round up some interested students.

Several students from our class expressed interest and took home a note last week. On Friday I reminded them to please get back to me ASAP (regarding transportation), so I can  confirm numbers. We will be collaborating with a few of my last year students for a short presentation on May 14th. What a great opportunity!

G7 Summit

On Friday, we took the opportunity to send an email to a government site looking for feedback on issues discussed at this year’s G7 Summit in Quebec. After our research on plastic pollution, we felt we wanted to express our support for talks and action on environmental issues.

Tomorrow, we will be sharing our work through a slide show presentation at the school’s Earth Day Assembly. 

Happy Earth Day!


Congrats! and More

So to start, we want to congratulate our classmate S.M. for her success at the Oral Communications Festival at AM Cunningham School today! She came in second place and will be moving on to the next level of competition at the Board Office. We`re very proud of her.

Monday is when the school will be holding its Earth Day Assembly and we have been asked to share our work about straw pollution. (Very timely, if you`ve listened to the news today!) We are preparing a slide show, and each of us will have a speaking part during the presentation.

We have started work on Data Management this week, discussing the differences between reading, interpreting, and drawing conclusions. To go a little deeper with our thinking, we also tried to determine what information or data was NOT provided. We noted that Tetley included an easy to read graph on their tea box with a specific purpose in mind: To persuade people to avoid high levels of caffeine consumption by switching from coffee to tea. However, we also noted (after some discussion), that decaffeinated tea was shown but decaffeinated coffee was not. Suspecting that perhaps the information might not serve their purpose, we did a bit of research and, sure enough. The amount of caffeine in decaf coffee is less than in a regular cup of tea. Not information Tetley might want to highlight. The fact there is caffeine in `decaf anything` was a whole other question!  


Author Visit, Trip Forms, & Homework

Thanks to the support of School Council, we enjoyed a session with author Kenneth Oppel today. Mr Oppel gave us some insight into his writing process and the inspirations for some of his 32 published books. Students had an opportunity to ask questions of him and have books autographed. Teachers enjoyed the, “I told you” moment, when he reinforced the need for planning and revising!! 

We also updated our agendas with many upcoming events, one of which is a trip to McMaster’s Planetarium. Forms were sent home, and we’ll be looking for a volunteer with a Police Check. Thanks again to the support of School Council, transportation costs have been covered.

Homework: Students were given an outline to prepare 2 oral presentations. They will be responsible for booking a time slot, but both presentations should be done by the end of May.  

Research, Reviews, & Read Alouds

Our current media challenge is to design a logo and slogan to accompany our No Straw initiative.  In addition to analyzing logos used by other campaigns, we found some helpful design tips online to guide our ‘creative juices’. 

We have been reviewing what clear communication looks like in regards to describing transformations and have had several opportunities to practice. Some students showed initiative by bringing their homework in early so they could get feedback. 

Over the years, I have come across many great picture books that are clever, entertaining, communicate a meaningful message, and, utilize many of the writing strategies we talk about in our Gr. 6 class. So, as another form of oral communication, we have begun taking turns presenting a read aloud to our classmates. Before reading, each pair of students present an interesting fact about the author and illustrator, strategies used in the writing, and, what they feel the author is trying to communicate (big idea). While listening to see if they agree or not, classmates also use the opportunity to collect and record interesting words, that could be used in their own writing. Having students appreciate a good picture book, practising on their own time, discussing writing strategies, and asking to go next, is a pretty good ‘problem’ to have!!

Homework Reminder

Happy Weekend! Just a friendly reminder that students should be spending some time reading their Kenneth Oppel book. We held our first book talk on Friday, and not everyone had met their agreed upon goal. So….. we will be meeting again this coming Friday, where we will be expected to have half the book read to we can contribute actively.

On Friday we also sent home some geometry practise – transforming polygons and describing their movements. The task is open ended, so students can use regular polygons until they get more confident, or if they are ready for a challenge, select more complex/irregular shapes and movements. The descriptions are to be clear, specific and use appropriate vocabulary. This is due on Thursday.  

‘Straw Inspired’ Learning

From our discovery of the number of drinking straws disposed of each day, to the United Nations’ declaration of the level of plastics in our oceans as a crisis, we generated 2 main questions to explore: What is being done around the world to help keep straws (and other plastics) out of our oceans/waters? How can we use the information to help us take action in Waterdown?

Today we spent time gathering, recording, and sharing pertinent information to help answer our questions. As we find places in the world where governments or non governmental groups have taken some sort of action, we are adding  latitude and longitude points to our map, using colour coding to indicate the type of action being taken. Did you know…  in Kenya you can receive a $40 000 fine or jail time for producing or distributing plastic bags? Seattle is one of the the first major cities to ban plastic straws and utensils? Several communities around the world have stopped using plastic drinking straws at the request of local school children?  We are inspired to take action, but we also know we have to gather enough facts in order to communicate effectively. So, we will continue to track the usage of straws at our school, visit or call restaurants to estimate the use of straws in Waterdown, look at media texts like logos and slogans, read and interpret graphs, and then, plan our next steps. To be continued…  

 Image result for no straw logo


HOMEWORK REMINDER: Students are to be reading their Kenneth Oppel book to be ready for their first book talk on Friday.