Week of Sept. 11 – Reminders

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Here are a few updates for the week ahead:

PLEASE make sure you send in paperwork for the office ASAP and Wanakita payments by Tuesday. Students will be selecting cabin mates this week.

Kleenex request: It is really appreciated if all students contributed one box of kleenex to our classroom so we have a supply to last the year through.

Gym Clothes: Students also need to bring gym clothes to change for gym this week.  Each student should have a timetable for their agenda, their locker, and one to keep at home. We’ve recorded the rotary days for September in the agenda. 6A and 6B have gym together on Day 2, 4, and 5.  Gym shirts and shorts can be ordered at the Meet the Teacher event.

Meet the Teacher: This Thursday 5:30-7 p.m.  There are many events outside during this time, and teachers will be inside in classrooms from 6- 6:30. Our classroom is room 25, (also labelled 209 for the Fire Department’s sake).Hope you can make it!

Only One First Day

We only get that one first day of the new school year! Why not try to make it unexpected? Of course, there are agendas to hand out and lockers to assign, but essentially, I want students going home feeling positive about the upcoming year. So, we didn’t spend our day labeling notebooks, or reading and writing about rules, (we will slip that in throughout the week). Instead, we pulled out the paints and the baking supplies, and focused on collaborating.

First, the students gave a ‘thumbs up’ to our classroom. We are located in Rm. 26 (also known as Rm. 209 for office and fire department reasons), and also referred to as the ‘kitchen room’. The room was intended for Home Economics when the school was built, but then, the program was cancelled! Keeping in mind the importance of the physical space of a classroom (often referred to as the ‘Third Teacher’), we have been able to utilize the space in a unique way that allows for both collaboration and quiet work spaces.  

  • We then rotated through 6 activities over the course of the day, working with a variety of different classmates. Our challenge was to listen/read/observe the contributions of others, and then show respect by adding on to their ideas, rather than changing or omitting the ideas. We practised these skills through:
  • a piece of art, pieces of writing, suggestions and questions, creating an ecosystem, and the one they were most excited about: baking!  
  • Upon reflection, students felt that everyone worked really well together, showed flexibility, patience, and respect. And not surprisingly, our suggestion board filled with requests to utilize the kitchen part of our room again!  

Welcome to 6B !

Welcome to a new school year and to our class blog. It has been a wonderful welcome back to Greenleaf after a few years away, and I’m thrilled to see so many familiar faces in both the hallways and in our very own classroom.

On our blog, we’ll be posting ‘need to know’ information, reminders, and highlights of our learning activities throughout the year. Subscribing on the right hand side is a great way to be notified of our posts.  You may notice unfamiliar posts from my previous class. This is because I’ve decided to just change the name and continue on with the same site.  

In addition to the blog, we will continue to use agendas. Students all received theirs on the first day containing all those fun forms to fill in! Students will travel to each class with their agendas, so all teachers can  use them as a communication tool. Please check the agendas on a regular basis.

Speaking of fun forms! Please return Emergency Contacts and Health information, as well as photo consent, ASAP. Thank you for your help!

You were also sent a paper copy of the school newsletter for September and can subscribe for future newsletters at


Little did I know when I accepted this Gr. 6 position I’d be ‘camping’ in September!!  Ms. Steinberg has been very busy preparing notes for students who are signed up to go to Wanakita AND for Gr. 6  students new to our school. Those forms were sent home today. The trip is coming up VERY SOON! (Tuesday, September 19- Friday, September 22) She has posted the following information on her class blog as well:

I will be sending home this week trip forms for parents to complete. There will also be another copy of a packing list. I will let you know of  balances owed and any forms that still need to be completed.  Remaining balances will include the bus costs, and payments not made in June.  Please return all forms as soon as possible, at the latest by Tuesday, September 12. If you have not done so already, it is extremely important that I am made aware of any food allergies or diet requirements immediately, so that Wanakita is prepared and able to accommodate them.   New students are also welcome to come on the trip; please get in touch with any questions and return forms as soon as possible.   Please note that there will be class and activities planned for students who are staying at school that week.

Sincerely, Ms. Steinberg

I’m looking forward to meeting you at the “Meet the Teacher” night on Thursday, September 14, 5:30-7:00. In addition, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

I look forward to working with you and your children, and, sharing our days with you via our blog.

Ms. R. Urfey

Happy September!

Hello Everybody! I hope you have all had a happy, healthy summer.

This post is just a notice/reminder that this blog will now be geared towards my new Gr. 6 class at Allan A. Greenleaf. If you do not wish to continue getting notifications, don’t forget to unsubscribe. If for whatever reason, the unsubscribing does not work, just send me an email and I can do it for you.

I wish you and your children all the very best. Please tell them I hope they have a very happy year in Grade 4!! 


Rhonda Urfey

A Feature in Hamilton Newsletter

Before moving on to a new position at a new school, I’d like to share the following email which I received yesterday. Be sure to check out the included link:).  

Hi Rhonda,
We haven’t completed our video yet.  BUT, we did launch our very first Our Future Hamilton e-newsletter the other day and we have a short clip from the May 3rd Chase the Future Event.  The clip features one of your students at the water bottle display. 
Thanks again for allowing us the opportunity to engage with your students on this exciting initiative!
Cheers, Cindy
Here’s the link:
Cindy Mutch
Senior Project Manager, Community Special Projects
Neighbourhood and Community Initiatives Division
Community and Emergency Services Department


Our Final Days

In our final days of Grade 3, we were busy…

designing cards for our pen pals

talking about our Canada fashion


selecting Canada related activities

enjoying Play Day with Gr. 7’s in the role of impressive leaders

and singing a song at Mr. Clemen’s Farewell assembly

In our final community circle, we shared favourite moments from our Gr. 3 year. Some of our most popular memories:

Our monarch caterpillar in September, the cooking activities, the mayor’s visit, our rant, our trips (especially Crawford Lake), our water bottle display, and “the whole year was special!”

We have had many special moments this year, and it has been an honour sharing them with your lovely children. I wish you all a healthy, happy summer!!

PS- In the fall, this blog will be geared to a new class at a new school. To avoid receiving posts, just unsubscribe. (If that doesn’t work, you can email me and I can take you off the list). Thanks for reading!!

Bowling Fun

We had a great trip to the bowling alley today!

We enjoyed cheering on our friends,

coaxing the ball to hit those pins,

and, watching all the unique techniques! (I couldn’t safely get near the ‘shot putters’!!)


A Postponed Promise/Coming Up …

With the many unexpected twist and turns of switching portables (and emptying our display!!), our plan to make bread and butter had many postponements. But, after using much patience and flexibility, students got their promised opportunity on Friday.

After selecting an egg free recipe, we noted it would take 3 hours and 40 minutes to make. The previous day, students had to calculate the best starting time, taking into account a number of factors: Phys. Ed. first period, the necessity of being present in the room to remove the bread, and, cooling time. Students also selected a comparison tool (chart/Venn diagram) to compare the source of our ingredients in 2017 to those of 1800’s.

While the room filled with the aroma of baking bread, we took turns using some muscular force to make butter. After sampling the results, students felt it was worth the wait!


We also spent some time last week looking at the phrasing used on boxes to persuade people to play the games inside. Do the games live up to their ‘hype’? 


And though there was no box, we also decided to try out a game called SNAKE that helps us practice our multiplication skills. All you need is paper, pencil, and dice. See if your child can explain the game to you!


Monday Bowling Trip    Tuesday: Canada 150 Day**  Wednesday: Play Day (wear assigned team colour) Thursday: Last Day (Can you believe it?!)

** Canada 150 Day is within our own class – students have decided they should wear Canadiana clothing/colours etc., have a picnic lunch if weather permits, and generated ideas for different Canadian type activities

Sorry Pinterest-No Carbon Copy Gift Giving For Us

Every year the question is asked, “Are we going to make something for Mother’s/Father’s Day?” My response? “Sure, What do you plan to make?”

This question usually takes the students aback. “Aren’t you going to tell us what to make?” So, we discuss that gift giving should be personalized and requires thought. Since they clearly know their parents much better than I do, they should be the ones to decide. So, students are asked to generate their own plan, and to make a list of supplies they will need. I do not check out Pinterest for the latest and greatest ideas. In some ways this is easier, and in other ways more difficult. And yes, sometimes the students’ instinct is to ‘google’ an idea, but, they are reminded to use the work of others as inspiration, not duplication. (This became a non-issue this week, as our internet connection was cut off -another side effect from our unexpected deconstruction this week).

I love seeing the unique results and listening to the reasoning behind each student’s idea. Our gifts are one of a kind creations that may not be featured in a photo shoot, but, are reflective of students’ thoughts, feelings, creativity, and problem solving. And when I asked students for feedback, it was unanimous. They much prefer to individualize their gift giving rather than having the teacher pick the idea and everyone make the same.

I was asked (told) not to post these examples before Father’s Day, so hopefully I’m safe now! (Since we didn’t post Mother’s Day, we’re including samples of those as well).

Our heart felt gifts included: hand painted boxes, jewellery,  framed pictures that involved designing and building, scavenger hunts for seeds, cut out families, personalized diaries, a clay beaker for the scientist dad, flower shaped messages, gifts incorporating photos (students took the initiative to bring in), ‘apps for dad’ card, acrostic poems, rock messages, and of course, for the dad who has to wear a suit every day, you can’t go wrong with a personalized designer tie!



“Can We Buy the Portable?”

Faced with the reality of dismantling our water bottle display, students have been expressing their displeasure.

It was during one of these conversations when one student asked, “Can we use our $250 Eco Challenge money to buy the portable? Then we could keep the display.” Seems logical, but sadly, the price tag is a little steeper than $250. However, the comment did put into motion another idea. How could we use the $ to ‘keep’ our display visible and be used to teach more people?

A few conversations and emails later, and we are now collaborating with Edge Imaging and HWDSB’s Corporate Communications to create a pop up banner, and in a sense, immortalizing our work and message. Of course to add extra drama, the power was cut off in the EcoDisplay portable the day before the photographer came by, but she was gracious and flexible and we managed to pull off the ‘photo shoot’. Not sure how long this whole process will take, but we’ll keep you posted.


One thing we’ve learned this year: From ‘little’ comments can come big ideas!