This morning four more students had a chance to tell us about the books they are reading at home. We have been talking a lot about making sure we are reading “Good Fit” books. Good Fit books are books that aren’t too hard or too easy. A book that is too easy won’t give them the chance to practice using reading strategies and a book that is too hard can be frustrating. There should only be one or two tricky words on a page in a shorter book and no more than five on a page in a chapter book. Students can also access their RAZ-Kids accounts from home if they would rather read a digital book (parents, let me know if you need the log-in information).
Sierra-I read Rescue Princesses and I am at the part where Prince Samuel was trying to dig up turtle eggs. The princesses tried to stop him. They have magic rings so they can talk to each other.
Rhys-I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. My favourite part is when he is in the chamber and he has to speak snake to get in to where Riddle is in the chamber with the glowing eyes snake thing.
Cherish- The book I read is called Dogs and it’s about what dogs can do to help.
Eli-I read the Gruffalo. I read in my room and my mom helped me.
Each morning the grade 2/3/4s begin the day by discussing the books they read at home the day before. We also talk about how important it is to read at home for extra practice and for enjoyment. This morning Alexandra, Ava, Mackenzie, and Loden told us about the books they are reading at home. Tomorrow the rest of the students will have a chance to talk about their books.
Alexandra-I read a Barbie book. I read a little bit. It was a good book.
Ava-I read Harry Potter last night and I am at the part where the cat, that is actually a girl, was sitting on Dursley’s wall.
Mackenzie-I read Robert Munch and it was Playhouse. My favourite part was close to the end when she asks her mom if she can have a play daddy or a play mommy. She makes her own out of cardboard. When she went in for breakfast her mom had made a play Rene.
Loden-Last night I read Mathew and the Midnight Pirates. It is a kid’s chapter book. I am on chapter two I think. It’s about a kid who dresses up like pirates and then in the middle of the night pirates come, but they don’t like water so they come in a wagon that looks like a boat.
We would love to hear about the books others are currently enjoying too!
The grade 2/3s tried a new math game today that will help them practice making 10 (an important concept we build on when doing mental math). In this game students have to find a number’s partner to make 10 as quickly as they can. Many of the students wanted to be able to play at home and I let them know we would put the link here on our blog.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome back students and families and those who are new to our school as well.
The first two weeks have been very busy in our classroom! We have been working on building our reading and writing stamina back up. Students in grades 2/3/4 have already reached 12 minutes of Read to Self stamina. They are able to find a good spot, get started reading right away, get into the “zone”, use their reading strategies and pick “good fit” books. The K/1/2/3s have also been enjoying Read to Someone. Here are a few pictures of our fantastic readers in action!
Families, you can support our learning at home by reading “good fit” books with your child every day. 15 to 20 minutes a night goes a long way in building strong and confident readers. Be sure to ask your child to share the reading strategies we have focussed on so far with you (Check for Understanding, Back-up and Re-read, Cross Checking, and Tune into Interesting Words).
Just before Spring Break the students all participated in our school science fair. This is always a wonderful day where we get to share our learning with our friends, families and the community. The students have an opportunity to complete a study or experiment on a topic that they are interested in. Take a look at some of the fantastic projects below:
Today was our final Wild Heart session with Joey Clarkson. We have had a great time singing and some of us have even worked on writing our own songs. Here is a video of us singing the song a group of the intermediate students wrote. There is also a short clip of a second song another group wrote. We hope Joey can come back again next year! Have you ever written a song before?
The K/1/2/3s have been learning all about communities in Social Studies. We started learning about our own community first. We discussed natural and man-made features, traditions and celebrations, services and jobs.
We were curious what other communities in Canada were like. We sent a tweet out on Twitter to ask other primary classes to connect with us.
Our first connection was going to be with Ms. Cassidy’s class from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. To get ready for our call we thought about questions we would like to ask them. We also looked up their community in Google Maps and explored the street view of their downtown area. They sure have a lot of stores!
Today it was time for our Skype call. Here is some of the interesting information we learned:
Ava-They have pigeons. We have pigeons too, but not a lot. Alexandra-They have lakes and a river. We have Big Lake, Little Lake, Duck Lake, Secret Lake, and S Lake. Our lakes aren’t very big. We don’t have a river, but we have a creek. We have lots and lots of water because we are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. They aren’t near the ocean. Sierra-They have beavers. We don’t have beavers. Kaydan-We have eagles and so do they. Mackenzie-They have lots of animals. I learned that they have Moose. I think that might be why it is called Moose Jaw. We don’t have moose. Loden-They have Canada Geese and we have a lot of those too, especially in our field. Caleb-They have deer and so do we. Kaleigh-They have cars, taxis, buses, and trains. We only have cars and a school bus. We have a ferry that takes us across the ocean. Cherish-It snows a lot in Moose Jaw and it hardly ever snows here. Eli-They have 300 kids in their school and we only have 40. They have 30,000 people in their community and we only have about 500. Owen-Their school goes up to grade eight and ours goes to grade seven. Our grade eights have to take the BC Ferry to high school. Rhys-I learned that Moose Jaw has lots of animals and not as many animals that live in the water. They have beavers and we don’t!
We would like to thank Ms. Cassidy and her grade one students for being our first Skype connection. We would also like to thank them for sharing so much information about their community with us. We hope we can take the iPad down to the ocean and show it to them soon!
Next week the grade 2/3/4s will be starting their own blogs. There has been a lot to do to get ready. We started by looking at blog posts and brainstorming what makes a good post. Here is the criteria we came up with:
We will use this criteria as we work on our own blogs to make sure we are writing quality posts.
Next we talked about commenting and constructed criteria for a good comment. We discussed Dead End comments (those that end the conversation, like “I like your post.”) and Highway comments (those that keep the conversation going). Here is the criteria we came up with for a quality comment:
We also spent time discussing internet safety. The students know that they should never share their YAPPY.
Y-your full name A-address P-phone number P-passwords Y-your plans
So that we could practice our blogging skills we started with paper blogging. Each student wrote a blog post on paper and then we used post-it notes to leave “Highway” comments for each other.
Tomorrow we will begin setting up our blogs and you should see posts in the very near future! Do you have a blog?
We used a web 2.0 tool called Storybird to write partner stories. We picked out pictures to match the story we wanted to tell. You can turn the pages just like you would in a book. We hope you like our stories!