Canada150: Brochures and Big Nickel Wonders

Last week (or was it two?!), when asking questions about the Canada 150 poster, we also wondered what the information might look like as a brochure. We had already experimented with creating a brochure, so we thought this could be a good way to demonstrate improved skills. In particular, our goal was to be both persuasive and informative, by using strong verbs and adjectives while including facts from researching. As we get short on time, several students took the opportunity to show intiiative, and have brought their brochures home to fine tune. They are reminded to have them back at school by Thursday.

In connectrion with Canada 150, I came across a Math150 Challenge online. For the month of June, Canadian inspired math questions are posted. We decided to generate our own questions from the site’s provocation (The Big Nickel in Sudbury), and then identified the question as ‘quick to answer’ or ‘not so quick’ (usually deeper thinking). Students then investigated the question that interested them, and presented their strategies, challenges, and/or solutions to the group. I’m realizing now I didn’t take as many photos as I thought, but here are some of our wonders…

Quick: How old, tall, wide, heavy, and thick is it? What is its perimeter? What is the geometric name of its shape?

Not So Quick: How tall is it compared to other structures, objects, or people? How many real nickels would be needed to cover it? How many Big Nickels would be needed to line up from Sudbury  to Ancaster?

Try asking your child what they investigated and discovered. Do you have a mathematical wonder about the Big Nickel to share with them?


“Using the map’s chart was actually quicker than looking up the dispance on the ipad!”

“We multipled the number of nickels in 1m by 9 siince the Big Nickel is 9m wide”

Phew…Busy Day

After our last morning of EQAO (yeah!), and the start of intramural soccer (yeah!), we worked on some researching skills: How do we select key words to narrow our choices when using a device to search? After generating some questions about a Canada 150 poster last week, we decided to zoom-in on one of those questions today: Do the pictures in the middle of the numbers mean anything? (Variations: Why did the artist choose those pictures in particular? Are the pictures important/significant?).

Some of the search words were easier to select because we knew the name of the object in the picture (beaver, loon, CN Tower etc.). It was a bit trickier when we were not sure  what name to use (Canadarm, Parliament Buildings, inukshuk). We had to look for pertinent clues, as our goal was to enter only a select few words. Once we made our discoveries, we added them to our board. We ran out of time to share with other groups, so, we’ll put it on our TO DO list tomorrow. 

We ate a bit early, left for the pool, and enjoyed an afternoon of swimming at Westmount Recreation Centre. Everyone had a great time, the instructors were lovely, and all went along smoothly until…. the bus arrived late to pick us up. Apologies for all the phone calls and pick ups. We appreciate your understanding. A big thank you to the office staff and Mrs. B who were busy taking my texts and ensuring everyone got home safely! Round 2 next Wednesday.



‘Self-Directed’ Artists

A few weeks ago, students were asked what they wanted to learn/work on next in art. Once they set a goal for themselves, we discussed what they would need to meet their goals (materials, strategies, tools etc.).

Sample Goals: “I would like to improve the way I draw cars”, “I want to get better at painting landscapes”. “I want to learn how to draw people better.” “I would like to practice drawing animals so they look more realistic.” “I would like to learn how to blend pastels better.”

The students are motivated, enjoying the time to practice/improve a specific skill, and are using the virtue of perseverance. As they explore and experiment, they are also being asked to reflect on their experiences. What are they doing well? What do they need to work on? What strategies have been helpful? We are working to express our thoughts with more details and art vocabulary.

Tomorrow- Last day of EQAO, First day of swimming

A Visit From The Mayor!

How do you make up for the disappointment of missing gym class to write EQAO? You give the news that the mayor is coming for a visit! 

Mayor Eisenberger, a few city representatives, and Trustee Alex Johnstone came this afternoon to present the students with stainless steel reusable bottles, and to tour our now ‘famous’ Rethink Your Drink display. Students presented information about their designated areas, and once again, impressed the visitors. City photographer, Mo, was back with his drone, this time including several other classes from the school. The mayor listened to our hopes for Hamilton’s environmental future, was gracious enough to sign ‘autographs’ at the students’ request, and left the students feeling pretty special. Trustee Johnstone asked if we would send her a letter with suggestions on how to make sustaianble change across the board, and the mayor’s support staff left us with contact information so we could consult them on how to proceed with our petition to Flying Squirrel. We hope to have made some progress on that issue before the year is done. 

Several students have commented that they feel sad about taking the display down soon. One even requested, “Don’t do this with anyone else okay? This was our special project!” It sure has been special! And to think, it all started by picking up a few bottles off the ground!


Quick Update

Have your cups at home become rhythm instruments? Blame Mr Mitchinson!         Students have been learning to play the cups during music class. 

EQAO continues this week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Tomorrow we will be showing our display to two special guests. More info. to come.

Wednesday is our first swimming day.


‘Testing’ Our Virtues

What virtue have you been using to write EQAO?

“Perseverance because sometimes the questions are hard but I push through it “

“Perseverance because even if it takes a long time I don’t give up.”

“Respect because I work quietly so I don’t interrupt other people.” 

“Self-control because I am not talking to other people.”

And we all agreed to use courtesy and thankfulness for the ice cream treat Home and School volunteers provided us today.

Note Home: Mrs Hewitt sent a note home today with students regarding the Health Curriculum. There is a portion to be signed and returned to school. Thank You

Last Book Order: We decided to make next Thursday June 1 the due date for the last book order of the year.


Catching Up

After a ‘blogging break’ last week, I’ll try to catch up with a few updates today.

EQAOOur provincial testing for Gr 3 and 6 will begin this week. We were originally scheduled to start tomorrow, but our first day has been changed to Wednesday. The testing will run for 6 days and alternates between the first block of the day (9:00 – 10:40) and the second block (11:20 – 1:00). We’ve discussed that this is only a ‘check in’ to make sure students know how to read, write and do math. Since we know we can do all those things, we are not going to stress or worry about it. Just read questions carefully and do our best.

Trip Forms: Swimming forms are now due so I can organize numbers. Also, apparently there is online payment available for our year end trip. I have not even got the forms to hand out yet and do not get notification of the cash online. Sorry for any confusion, forms will be coming home in the near future.  

Did you hear? As winners of the Eco Challenge by Edge Imaging Photography, last week we were presented with a $250 ‘cheque’ to use towards our next Eco project. We were told we could use the $ to further our water bottle project, so if anyone has any ideas on how we could use the $ to spread our message, feel free to send them our way. We have important decisions to make before the year ends. 


Spreading the Message: I received an email from our pen pals at Allan A. Greenleaf, telling us they enjoyed our Rethink Your Drink videos and have created posters to spread the message around their school. They have also written a letter to Flying Squirrel to help support our request for them to Rethink the water bottles in their birthday packages. We are excited that once again, we have met one of our goals of spreading the message to other schools.

Joining Forces: During Nutrition Breaks, class volunteers have been working to support a project by students at Millgrove School, who we saw at ‘Chase the Future’ at Ancaster Fairgrounds. After investigating food waste at grocery stores, they discovered a program being piloted in Quebec, where food approaching expiry dates gets delivered to food banks instead of getting thrown into dumpsters. They have written a letter petitioning the City of Hamilton to do the same, and we have been helping to spread their message and collect signatures of support, before they meet with the mayor in a week.

Speaking of the mayor… I have not told the students yet, but a certain someone will also be visiting our class next week. City Reps were so impressed during our Week of Tours, they have arranged to have a ‘surprise’ visit. I will likely have to give a heads up that a guest is coming, so we can review our information and be prepared, but please know, you have not heard the end of the water bottle journey….Sorry! 😉


Bits and Pieces/Updates

Time for Some ‘Quick’ Updates:

Assembly – on Monday we had an assembly featuring a motivational speaker/singer who engaged the audience with a message of respect- respecting ourselves and respecting the differences in others.

With two weeks to go until EQAO, we’ve been looking at different types of questions and offering each other advice. The one piece of advice that keeps coming up, “You really have to make sure to read the whole question carefully”. Students were to record EQAO dates in their agenda.

Swimming: This is a Board wide program to ensure each child has had some water safety education. Unfortunately, with some less than grateful comments, we had to have a chat about being thankful for opportunities. Though several classmates have swimming experience, not everyone does, and what a great chance to swim all together!   Please return forms if you have not already.

Friday is the last day for the Pass it On clothing drive, and, is the date of our ever popular Spring Fling.

Pen Pal Challenge: We decided to challenge our pen pals this time around by turning their letter into a polygon puzzle! 

Over the last few weeks, we have been working on our experimentation skills. Students generated their own questions to investigate and are learning how to clearly communicate their investigation (without a handout already designed for them). 

Wellness Day

Although the rain messed with several outdoor plans, we still enjoyed a day of activities to support wellness for both our minds and bodies. As one student pointed out, it was a ‘self-directed learning day’. Earlier in the week, students made choices that interested them and today joined others with the same interest. Making smoothies, playing board games, and skipping were some of our favourites.  

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More Good News

A few weeks ago, our secretary Mrs  Benson told me of an Eco contest sponsored by Edge Imaging (they do our school photos). I am not on Twitter, so I asked Mrs Doyle if she would send some photos of our display. Today she received a tweet saying we had been selected to receive $250 towards another Eco project. The students were both excited and worried, “but we only have two months left!” We will have to wait for further details before we can determine how the $ might be spent, but it’s nice to have been recognized:)