Preparing: For a Report and a Painting Challenge

Yesterday, we read a book called No Monkeys, No Chocolate which demonstrated the relationship between members of a community, in this case, the cocoa tree community. Today, we used the book to model the planning stage of our reports. We discussed the importance of identifying a big idea before we began, and, of organizing a way to collect data that will support that big idea. 

We also did some more painting exploration today in preparation for a future painting challenge. Students explored a variety of brush techniques with a variety of brush sizes. They also looked at paintings from other artists trying to identify the elements that were used in an effort to create a message of peace. 

Mathematical Fitness Break

Our fitness break today involved selecting 2 exercises that would elevate our heart rates, identifying a numeric pattern, and then extending it for 20 terms. E.g. 1 3 4 6 7 9… We then alternated our exercises to match the numbers in each term. E.g. 1 sit up, 3 knee ups, 4 sit ups, 6 knee ups etc. 

CCAT–  a note was sent home a couple days ago to explain the CCAT testing that will take place next week. CCAT = Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test 

Report Writing: Over the next few weeks we’ll be working to develop our report writing skills. Students were to choose a topic from 3 possible categories, all with some reference to habitats. Their homework is to gather information to support their topic and bring any information (with the source name) to school to use to plan and draft. (Please note- some students have needed several reminders that they are not researching about the characteristics of one animal. The category that involves a specific animal is the one where they choose a species that is at risk. But, the focus is on why they are at risk and what can be done to help.)

Virtues on our Bulldog Outing

A big thank you to Ms. Marion for organizing our fun outing to the Bulldog Game today, to Mrs. W for organizing schedules for students who chose to stay at school, and, to the many volunteers who helped supervise.

Upon our return, we reflected on the virtues we saw being used through the day, and the students identified many. “The players used perseverance to not give up when they were behind. The teams showed unity by working together. We were thankful for the opportunity and we used courtesy by thanking the bus driver. The crowd showed enthusiasm by cheering REALLY LOUD, dressing up, and making signs. We showed patience when our bus arrived after many others. The volunteers showed organization by directing us to the right place. Students who stayed at school showed cooperation ad flexibility as their schedule was changed.”

I also am thankful for our parent volunteer sharing photos with me since I forgot my phone at school!!


In other news…We came back to find out that our class won the pumpkin carving contest during the Halloween Fun Raiser, which means, we have earned a pizza lunch which will take place on Friday November 23, at 2nd Break. Thank you School Council!

Following a Detour

While we continue to get our heads around equivalent fractions (boy, I’m glad we started the conversation early in the year), we took some time today to look at some measurement words and ended up taking a slight detour from the original plan.

When asked which words they felt belonged together, students discussed and agreed that they could sort the words based on: measuring length, measuring mass, and measuring capacity. The word ‘area’, however, caused some confusion/discussion. While they were confident that area did not measure mass or capacity, there were mixed thoughts about its connection to length. This is where I decided to take a detour (basically, following the path of the wonders). Students were invited to investigate. As I watched, listened, and asked questions, I forgot to take a ‘bunch’ of photos, but, I did gain some good insight into skills around problem solving, critical thinking, and ruler use! A detour worth taking! (In the end, we decided, for Gr. 4 purposes, that area measures area, not length, so it would have its own category.) 


Reminder: Bulldog’s Game tomorrow. Buses are leaving at 9:15 sharp.   

Media on a Monday

Building upon Friday’s talk about the Gr. 7’s Eco Display, we used their video for a media lesson today. We first reviewed how the acronym T.A.P. can help guide us to identify Topic, Audience, and Purpose of different media texts. The acronym P.I.E.can help narrow down the purpose: Persuade, Inform or Entertain.

For the video/slide show, we determined:

T= plastic straws, A= Greenleaf community, P= to persuade people not to use plastic straws.

Students then offered their own opinion about how persuasive the slide show was and identified features that made the message effective. 

This is the video/slide show we watched:

Reminder: Tomorrow is Photo Retakes (Please let your child know if you wish for them to go) 

A Week End Summary

Much of this week was spent drafting, revising, and publishing our peace poetry. Publishing style was at the discretion of the poet. Here a few examples, chosen because they have been shared with the class already.

We also continued work on equivalent fractions, and prepared a wreath for our Remembrance Day assembly. Unfortunately, I missed the ceremony, as I was attending a Youth Eco Summit with a group of Gr. 7’s. I was happy to hear the class was VERY respectful and attentive during the ceremony.

Yesterday, I shared with our class the display the Gr. 7’s presented the day before at Mohawk college.

From the information, we investigated a math problem.

If it takes a quarter of a bottle of oil to make one water bottle, how much oil would be needed to produce the bottles on display?

Students collaborated and used a variety of strategies to calculate their answers. Many students answered the question with bottles as their unit, and some, took on the challenge of calculating the total oil in mL (which they then converted to L). 


The group with the tiles showed their understanding of the results by creating a domino display. It’s hard to see in the photo, but they have a water bottle at the beginning, the tiles representing the oil as dominoes, and a turtle at the end. They explained that the water bottle will cause all the oil to “destroy” the turtle. A great example of deeper thinking ! Not only calculating the answer to a question, but giving thought to what the answer means.

They were very interested in the Gr. 7’s environmental initiative, so we will be taking time to brainstorm how we can contribute as well.

Upcoming Next Week:

Swim Meet (Monday)

Picture Retake Day (Tuesday)

Bulldog Hockey Game (Wednesday)

Monday Moments

Many moments of our Monday centred around further developing our skills with fraction numbers, and, with descriptive word choice.

Through our explorations, students have come to notice that sometimes you can come across different fraction numbers that represent the same amount. So, today we set out to find equivalent fractions using both fraction circles and cuisenaire rods. We discovered the fraction circles were easier because the whole was already decided for us, but the cuisenaire rods were good for our learning because you had to think more deeply.  (Below: 1/5 = 2/10, 3/5 = 6/10, 1/2 = 5/10)

Today we explored a variety of words to describe peace(fulness), the school’s virtue of the month. In addition to looking for synonyms, we discussed peace in terms of the senses as well. What does peace look like? feel like? sound like? etc. We recognized the many ways peace could be perceived/felt and will be using some of our new found vocabulary for a writing activity. 

End of Week Recap

After what most people would describe as very busy week, I’ve put together a few highlights (or basically, activities I remember!!)

First of all, THANK YOU for all the food bank donations. Before adding them to the school’s total, we generated some mathematical wonders to investigate.


One of the questions involved comparing the total number of mL vs the total number of mg. Students embraced the opportunity to use calculators, but soon realized they would still have to strategize, and, learn a bit more about the calculator, before jumping in. For instance: What do you do if  you input a wrong number? Do you have to start all over? What if you use lose your place? If you had to stop part way through the activity, can you get the calculator to save your number? Why is the answer different when I add before I multiply, compared to when I multiply then add? Some further exploration is in our future. 

We also generated some questions about a box of Halloween candy. E.g. Does the candy inside match the number on the box? What about the mass? Is there an equal number of each type of chocolate? Is that possible? if you ate all the coffee crisp, how many calories would you be eating? How much sugar would you be eating? etc. 

We did some Halloween writing to share with one another, enjoyed singing a Halloween song in French, and enjoyed the Grade 3’s and 5’s for a dance.

Thank you to the many parents who were able to meet up with me over the past week. It’s nice to be able to discuss your lovely children without having to worry about using the exact number of characters on a computer screen:)

Have a wonderful weekend.

Oops- Reminder: Halloween candy homework due on Monday.(See previous post)

Homework Clarification

Soooo, this has been a crazy busy week!!!!  My run of doing a daily (or close to daily ) post came to an end, but I’ll try to get back on track with an update, once I get through interviews.

In the meantime, I thought I better put out a little clarification for  a homework task that was sent home today. Students were asked to find ways of representing their Halloween candy mathematically. We DID discuss the possibilities in class, and several industrious learners made notes in their agendas to help remind themselves. But for those who ‘forgot’… students came up with these possibilities: count and record the number in different ways, generate some fractions, graph the candy types, find the mass, create/find patterns, compare amounts etc. It is a pretty open ended task, with the goal of thinking mathematically in fun way. This is NOT meant to be painful!

Enjoy the PA Day tomorrow!

Mixing Up a Batch of Fractions

We put some of our fraction knowledge to the test today to make some waffles.

Students were first asked to identify the fraction of the ingredients that were considered dry ingredients. Then they determined whether they were using more milk or more flour? (one third cup vs. one half cup). This answer varied, of course, because there were 3 different recipes to choose from: buttermilk, gingerbread, or pumpkin. (I never claimed to do things the easy way!!)  

Throughout the day, students collaborated in groups of four, while their classmates worked on finishing a variety of tasks. Everyone seemed pretty impressed with their culinary skills. One classmate explained, “I’m slowing down my eating so I can savour every last bite.”  

Some chefs got to enjoy some ‘dinner theatre’, as their classmates finished up some presentations. A few puppets even inspired some future ‘projects’.   

A Visual Spelling Tip

During a previous art activity, a few students were asking about the spelling and meaning of the words vertical and horizontal – “”Which way do they go again?”  Another error commonly seen is the word excited – often written as exited.

So we put some letters around our door as a reminder. The top one is hard to see, but it says EXIT, with a c and ed added on. “Excited to exit” is what we say as a reminder. However, a few eager learners said, they were excited to enter!!