Thursday, August 27, 2015

Media Tech Begins!!!

The wonderful Mr. Shaun came in on Monday for the first media tech class of the year. He brought a fun icebreaker activity using QR codes. Students loved it and I hope to use QR codes more this year in my teaching. Any ideas for ways you have used QR codes in your classroom?


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

All Hands In

As part of the new school year routines, we created our Essential Agreements, or in other words, classroom rules. I have to say that this group is really expert in doing this... yea previous PYP teachers! Our 5 classroom rules are: Follow the Golden Rule, Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Have Fun! I really love the first and last ones and it is amazing that the kids came up with these themselves.

After we had our rules, we created outlines of our hands and designed them to represent us. The instruction was to use drawings, patterns and images so that other people could infer information about you. It was a really fun lesson and it made a beautiful bulletin board.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Team Building Cups Activity

Friday we spent some time outside with a team building activity that I found here at the Science Gal blog. To my surprise the kids figured out the trick rather quick but then used their time to perfect their teamwork and fine motor skills to get the cups moving.

I have never seen a group work so well and cooperate so nicely in all my years teaching. The students were encouraging each other with positive words and were very patient with tumbles.

After all of the groups were successful, I had them create their own challenges to try and they were all creative and took risks with their challenges. Some of the groups attempted cup manipulation beyond what was possible for the windy day, but with positivity and perseverance even those groups succeeded. Not with the cup stacking, but with the team building.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

First Day of School

Yesterday was a wonderful first day of school. The students are knowledgeable, caring, thoughtful, eager to learn and positive. I am lucky to teach Grade 5 to this bunch! Most of the day was focused on getting to know each other and learning class routines. At the end of the day we performed skits to teach the school how to behave for our First Day Assembly. All in all, it was a dream day!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer Reading

For the most part, we have been a class of readers. I read, they read, we read! I can't express how important reading is and try to impart that message to my students. It helps that I read amazing books like The One and Only Ivan, and Wonder.

I hope that over the summer my students continue to read. I know that many of the natural readers will of course read, but the reluctant readers might find something else to do instead of reading. How can I get them to understand the joys of something I hold so near and dear to my heart? Here is a summer reading list from ISL to help students find some good books to read over the summer.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fitness Morning Photos

Fitness Morning has been a wonderful success. The kids are moving, planning and managing! I love it when they bust out our Grade 5 signals and routines to help them teach completely on their own. Skye and I also got to teach them fantastic old school games like Red Light/Green Light, Mother May I? and Red Rover, which they are all loving. Other than the glares we are getting from our colleagues about us coming to school in fitness clothes for 3 mornings a week, all has been good! Thanks kids for doing such an amazing job!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Persuasive Writing Essays

Photo Credit:

I really love teaching writing and seeing how the students grow throughout the year. For our last genre, the students have been introduced to persuasive writing using researching to strengthen their arguments. The first guided lessons were from Lucy Calkins using the "Should chocolate milk be served in schools?" argument. When I grabbed the book I was amazed at the topic because it fits perfectly with our current unit of inquiry, health and wellness.

The kids took the concepts and ran with them using the research skills that they learned during the 1000 word exhibition research report the completed. The essays were really good and the students really included some great facts about nutrition and made wonderful connections to what we have been exploring in class.

Next, students got to choose their own persuasive research question and write an essay based on their interest. A few students knew just what they wanted to research, but others needed some guidance, so with a quick google search, we had 101+ persuasive essay topics. Check out the sites we found!

101 Persuasive EssayTopics
100 Persuasive Essay Topics

Then, once the kids were set with their questions, they began researching and found some great sites for conducting research on a variety of topics. Check those out below too! The Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues

Hope this gets your kids brains flowing and helps you teach persuasive writing essays in your class!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nutrition and Cooking: Making Hummus

As part of our health and wellbeing unit we have been cooking on Fridays. First students learned how to read a recipe and make a grocery list. The day before we did a lesson on knife usage and safety and they cut up vegetables. I was surprised to find out how many students did not have experience with knives and cooking. I can remember when I was a child I would always cook with my mom and sister.

The next day we formed groups and created hummus as our first healthy snack. The kids had a great time and most of them were risk-takers and tried it. We had a wonderful parent volunteer come in to help which made all of the difference. It was so nice to see the kids learning a life skill that is typically not taught in elementary school.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fitness Morning Assignment

In Grade 5 we just started our Health and Wellness unit and the students are very excited. Our central
idea is "personal well being is dependent on a complex balance or inter-connected factors." Our lines of inquiry are: Changes in your body, Building a network of support and Caring for your changing body.

The importance of proper food and exercise is crucial to learn at an early age and it should be a fun unit. One of the activities Ms. Skye and I are having the students complete is researching and leading 10-15 minutes of exercise for our "Fitness Mornings"

Here are some resources that can be used to find activities and games if you want to lead your own Fitness Mornings!

Activity Corner
Family Education
Activity Village
30 Classic Games for Simple Outdoor Play
Inexpensive Indoor and Outdoor Party Games for Kids