Category Archives: Blogging

Student Blogging Challenge

We are joining the Student Blogging Challenge.  We’ve been off to a bit of a rocky start with our blogs as our first platform company suddenly decided to charge money so we decided to switch over to Blogger.  Blogger is a better platform anyway though and is part of the whole Google system that we are using in class so it really worked out for the best.  It has just delayed us a bit.


The Challenge is a way for teachers and students from around the world to connect and learn about blogging whilst learning about one another and different cultures.  Blogging gives students a genuine audience for their writing, an audience that can give feedback.  An important part of the challenge is commenting on other blogs thus improving our communication skills.


Every week there are a variety of blogging challenges to choose from.  In the beginning, we write about ourselves, how to leave quality comments and about Copywrite law and proper attribution.  Then we get into deeper issues and ideas.  I am excited about the challenge and we have already connected with a class in New Zealand, Mrs. Hogg’s class which is an International Baccalaureate PYP class.






Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Blogging, Global Citizenship



Back in the Saddle

I haven’t posted at all this school year.  There are many reasons, but the biggest were time and lack of readership from my target audience.  However, I’m back.  I’ve had a big move into grade 8 and the high school and I’m feeling motivated to blog again.

Learning is messy.  Especially project-based & inquiry learning.  It’s hard to switch over from more traditional teaching and learning because we have less control as teachers and students have more control which they are not used to having.  It’s scary.

I’ve been following the blogs of many Canadian teachers for years.  I’ve met many of them at conferences and workshops. They continually inspire me to try new things.  Here are just a few examples:

Shelley Wright

Heidi Siwak  a teacher in Dundas, Ontario whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.  Her work with integrative thinking is truly amazing.

Kristen Wideen – a primary teacher who does the most incredible stuff in her class.  Wow!

Danika Barker Tipping – a high school English teacher who has been an inspiration and great help to me.  We even fought zombies together on the Ontario Northlander train!

Kyle Pearce – Wow!  His site with 4 part math lessons based on Dan Meyer’s are unbelievable.  Talk about motivating!


These are just some of the incredible educator’s who inspire me.  I follow many more on Twitter and you can see my lists if you go to my Twitter page.



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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in Blogging


Welcome to our Class of 2013 / 2014

I am very excited for a new school year with my grade fives in the morning and fours in the afternoon.  Here is a snapshot of our classroom.

Our Classroom Library & REading Area

Our Classroom Library & REading Area

Genres of Literature Board

Genres of Literature Board

Guided Reading Table & CRAFT bulletin board

Guided Reading Table & CRAFT bulletin board

CRAFT is an acronym for Comprehension, Response to Text, Accuracy, Fluency, and Text Elements.  We will be posting reading strategies under these titles as the year progresses.  More details to follow here on the blog.

We all have a goal to read 40 books this year.  The students will be branching out to read different genres of books to meet their goals.  A record of books read and responses to text will be written in our reading logs:


We’ve started off math looking at place value, which is the foundation for all mathematics.  This is our first note in our interactive math journal.  The left side of the page is for student reflection.

Our First Note in our Interactive Math Journals

Our First Note in our Interactive Math Journals

Welcome to our class, we hope you enjoy our blog.  Student blogs will be posted in a tab at the top of this page within the next few weeks.

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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Blogging


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More Water Crisis Media

Here are some more of our media projects.

GLOGS (please click on link to see them.


We Walk 4 Water – Water Campaign Launch

After a lot of fun and a lot of work we are ready to launch our water campaign.  

The grade 5/6 students have been working with Mme Moar’s class to create a campaign to raise awareness about the water crisis.  The students learned together about how difficult it is to access clean water in some developing countries.  We also learned about how buying disposable water bottles here at home has many negative impacts on the environment.  Even in Canada, the land of water, we need to conserve. 

On Thursday, May 16th we will be walking to the Lake to collect water.  We will carry large jugs to fill up and carry back to emulate the conditions for women and girls in developing countries.  Except our walk is shorter and our load will be lighter.  We are hoping the radio will play our ad and the local paper will turn up.  Our walk is on the same day that Spencer West’s walk ends.  He has been walking from Edmonton to Calgary to raise money for Free the Children’s campaign for clean water.  His walk is called We Walk 4 Water and can be found here.  Spencer is very inspiring and our classes watched his talk from We Day last year. 

For the next few days I will be posting the students work.  Some photos of poster, some videos, a radio ad, GLOGS and stop-motion animation.


Decimals & Our Persuasive Pieces are Live on the Blogs

Please head over to the students’ individual blogs by clicking on Our Class Blogs to the right.  You will have to click on the link and then you will be there!  I know the students would love to have you chime in with your opinion on the topics they have chosen to write about.  Let them know if they have been persuasive and try to persuade them of your opinion.


Here are some videos of students solving decimal riddles.  Following that will be an explantion of some of  the concepts we are studying. 

We have been learning about decimals for about a week now.    We have worked on the following decimal principles (from Marion Small, Big Ideas from Dr. Small):

  1. Using decimals extends the place value system to represent poarts of a whole. 

2.  The base ten place value system is built on symmetry around the ones place.

3.  Decimals can represent parts of a whole, as well as whole numbers or mixed numbers. 

4.  Decimals can be interpreted and read in more than one way.  For example, students should be comfortable reading 3.2 as  32 tenths AND 32 hundredths.  We try to avoid using the terms 3 point 2 or 3 decimal 2.    Decimals can be modeled with money, base ten blocks, ten-frames and more. 

ten frame

represent many ways

5.  Decimals can be renamed as other decimals or fractions. 

decimal fraction

More to come this week – estimating – VERY IMPORTANT!


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Inquiry Based Learning and Technology


Ms. Little’s 5/6 class and Mme. Moar’s 1/2 class are working together on a two tiered water campaign. We are looking at water usage and conservation here in Canada and will be creating multi-media projects encouraging kids to use less water and to keep our water clean.

We will also create a campaign to raise awareness around issues of clean water in developing countries. One billion people do not have access to clean water!

Watch the blog for some of our projects. We will be using social media, regular media, and other media to spread the word.

Right now our inquiry is around awareness here in our school. On Friday we worked in groups to design surveys and we went around to ask questions in the classrooms. Afterwards we gathered to discuss our findings. We soon discovered there were several problems with our data. First, each group asked slightly different questions so we couldn’t compile the data together. Secondly, some classes had three or more groups come to survey and some had no groups come. Oh, no! We learned from our mistakes though and collectively designed a survey that we would all use. Today we assigned specific classes to groups so that we wouldn’t double up. The students came up with the solutions to our problems themselves, this is the beauty of inquiry based learning, it’s wonderful thing!

After we collected our data the students worked on creating little videos using apps like Sock Puppets and Draw and Tell. I will post some of these tomorrow (I have to sync all the iPads first).

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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Blogging, Technology


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