Thursday, 29 November 2012

Act 2 Scene 1 and 2

Yesterday was our second day of our drama workshop.   We learned how to use only our bodies and not our voices to act out different situations.  We used masks so that we wouldn't be tempted to talk.  We loved putting the masks on!  The were white and made us all look the same.  We laughed when we first put them on but we quickly got focused again.  The masks made us really focus on our actions rather than using words to get our message across. 

Some of the things we had to act out were:  washing a dog, shopping, feeding animals, walking through a swamp, building a sandcastle, doing laundry, making a snowman and so much more!  The last thing we did was create a group scene.  This was LOTS of fun.  Mrs. Betts thought we did an amazing job!  Some of us pretended we were on a roller coaster, some of us were filming a movie, some of us were stranded in a desert and were looking for water and some of us were watching a TV show.  It was hard not to talk during the scenes but having the masks on really helped us.

Today was our final drama workshop!  It was another fantastic experience. It was all about improv -making stories and scenes up on the spot!  Some of us were very good at this!  

Thank you to our PAC for giving us the opportunity to take part in such a rich experience. 

An Unexpected Visitor

Today we had an unexpected visitor come to our school.  It was an owl on our school roof!  Most of us saw it at recess time.  After recess we shared what we knew about owls.  We talked about the difference between snow owls and barn owls.  We connected that to our knowledge about habitats and that different types of owls live in different habitats.

Have you ever seen an owl in its natural habitat?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Calling All Actors

Today we were so lucky to have the first of three drama presentations.  We were so excited.  First we  learned that acting requires lots of focus - paying attention to one thing only!  We practiced how to do this by doing a variety of activities.  We also learned that acting requires us to use our imagination and our creativity to make others believe that something that is imaginary is real.  Our first task was to find as  many different ways to sit in a chair as possible.  Mike, our teacher, put 3 chairs out and chose 3 people at a time to sit in the chair.  Each time 3 new people sat in the chair they had to think of a different way to sit!  It got harder and harder to think creatively but Mike said we did a great job!

Next we practiced being different things (a snowman, a sunflower) and doing different things.  One thing we had to pretend to do was eat a whole pack of bubble gum and blow a big bubble that explodes and covers our face!  We also had to pretend to walk like a toddler, a kindergarten student, a teenager, a mom or dad going to work and finally an old person!   We loved using our bodies, different actions and facial expressions and our voices to do this. Then we had to use only our bodies to pretend we were walking on different types of surfaces.  We were  in two groups, one group acted and one group had to guess.  This was harder than we thought!

The last thing we did was to work in a small group and act out a scene.  Each group had exactly the same lines but different scenes.  The scenes were finding a big sister's diary, launching an attack on an army, entering into a haunted house, meeting aliens, jumping out of a plane for the first time.  It was interesting to use the same lines but change the scene!

Mike comes again tomorrow!  I wonder what we'll learn?
Have you ever done any acting?  Did you like it?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Invitation to a Thinking Party

This week we talked about the connection between reading and writing.  We reviewed what good readers do when they are reading . . . . we remembered that they make connections, they visualize or make pictures in their minds and they ask questions while they are reading.  We then tried to answer the question of why writers write.  After much conversation we realized writers write to share information.  Sometimes they want to tell us about something they know, sometimes they want to share information about a place they have traveled to and sometimes they want to take us on an imaginary adventure!  Good writers make us THINK!  Their writing invites us to make connections, ask questions and make pictures in our minds.  Today we made invitations inviting others to read our Journals, our class blog and our individual student blogs!  We invite anyone to read any of our writing.
When you read our writing we are hoping that it will encourage you to make connections to events in your life, help you make pictures in your head and ask questions.  We are working at making our writing more "inviting" to the reader! Don't forget to leave us comments on our blog!  We love to read them.

Our Day!

Wow! What a busy day of learning we had today.  It started off with stations in the gym.  Many of us like practicing our balancing on the bosu balls and others like to practice our ball skills with the basketballs.  After gym we looked at our blog and discovered a message from Mrs. Betts' daughter.  We found out she is living in Yellowknife which is just below the Arctic Circle.  We connected her writing to our learning about animal habitats.  She told us about the ptarmigan which is a bird that changes colour in the winter to match the snow!

Next we learned about how to choose a "just right" book for our independent reading times.  If we need a reminder we can always look at the chart hanging in our classroom. 

After recess we had Buddies which is one of our favourite activities.  Mrs. Betts reviewed how to make a good comment on a post - first you need to restate or echo back what the person said, then you need to make a connection, and finally you ask a question so that you keep the conversation going.  After reviewing the criteria for commenting on a blog post our job was to go back to a comment we had made and revise it to make it better.  Mrs. Betts said we did a much better job with our comments! 

In the afternoon we used the iPad app "Draw and Tell" to record equations for adding "10" and then to explain our thinking.  We ended our day with some center activities - lego building, Kid Picks, iPad exploration and so much more!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Animals and their Habitats

Over the past week we have been learning about animal habitats. We looked at our animal pictures again and this time our job was to look at where they were living and what was in their environment.  We were able to name many of the habitats that animals live in: oceans, grasslands, forests, mountains, rainforest, Arctic, and deserts. We listed all the things that animals had in their environment.  . . . . . rocks, sand, dirt, water, trees, etc.  When we did this we realized that every habitat had similar things in it.   We discovered that many animals can live in different habitats.  Mammals can live in the water, the grasslands, the forest . . . . and even in the Arctic!  This is a picture of our learning.

Next we worked with a partner and used the iPads to investigate further what each habitat looked like and what types of animals live there. We shared our knowledge with others and made charts to show our learning.

Then we watched a video on the smartboard about animal habitats.  Our job was to confirm our knowledge about habitats and to look closely at what animals live there and what the environment looks like. 

Finally, we are going to create posters to show our learning about habitats.  We get to work in groups! Stay tuned for pictures of our finished products!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Reading Power

 During the fall term we have been talking about what good readers do when reading.  We have learned that good readers "connect" to the story, make "pictures" in their head (or visualize) and think about what they already know and how that connects to what they are reading.   Today during Book Club we had to "make pictures" in our head while Mrs. Betts read us a story.  The book was called "The Giant Pumpkin" by Joy Cowley.  It was a short story about a giant pumpkin that grew too big so the people decided to use it for other things.  First they made it into a baby's cradle, then into a bathtub, next into a double bed, then a truck,  and finally  it became a house.  Before we started we closed our eyes and pictured what a giant pumpkin looked like.  After reading the book we listed the five things that the pumpkin became on the board.  Then we had to draw four of the pictures that we saw in our head.  We had a lot of fun making pictures in our head.  Some of the comments Mrs. Betts heard were:  "oh man, this is so fun," "oh no now its a bed!"  "oh I can't believe they made a cradle out of it."  Here are some of the pictures we made in our head!

 Do you ever make pictures in your head when you read to help you understand what you are reading?

Best Big Buddy Time Ever!

Wednesdays is Buddy day in our class!  Today was so much fun.  Our mission was to explore our class blog, download it to our desk top on our iPads and then read some of our posts and comments.  Mrs. Chapman (the grade 7 big buddy teacher) made a comment on our Math post.  We had to find and read what she said.  Then we went to our own student blog and learned how to log in.  Some of us were even able to make our first post.  Please take the time to read our blogs and if you want, try writing one from home!  Remember a good post makes a comment, makes a connection and asks a question.  It was so heartwarming to see the engagement of each and every learner in the class.  At one point one grade 2 student raised his hand and asked if he could blog from home!!!!!  Mrs. Chapman and Mrs. Betts definitely did the happy dance after that comment.  Imagine a student asking if they can spend extra time writing at home! 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A Time to Remember

Last week our focus was on peace and what it means to be able to live in a peaceful country.  We talked about what peace looks like, feels like and sounds like.  We read a book called "What a Wonderful Life" which was based on the song by Louis Armstrong.  We then listened to his music while watching images of beautiful things.  Next we made some hanging decorations for our Remembrance Day assembly.  Mrs Betts was so proud of the thought we put into our pictures and words and the care we took do our best work.

Last Wednesday at lunch we read a book called One Love by Cedilia Marley who is Bob Marley's daughter.  The book was based on his song One Love.  We listened to the music on you tube and some of us even got up and danced!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        What makes you feel peaceful? Where do you find peace in your life?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Reading Fun!

Today we continued to work on our research of elephants.  We finished reading the book Elephants Close Up.  As Mrs. Betts was reading we had to remember one fact that we learned about elephants.  We then recorded our ideas on the smart board.  Next we had to choose two facts to record on our sheet and then illustrate our facts.  Some of use used the iPad to learn how to draw an elephant.  We talked about our pictures being representations of our knowledge so they had to be coloured correctly (no cartoon elephants!)

Word Scramble

This morning for our Big 4 activity we learned some strategies for solving word scrambles.  Once Mrs. Betts introduced the challenge we were off!  All the words related to Remembrance Day.  If we finished early we were challenged to make our own "Word Scrambles" on the back of our page. 

Math Fun!

We have been learning many number strategies over the past few weeks.  Some of the ones we have learned include:
  • counting on (start with the biggest number and count on when adding).  We also learned you don't have to recount the first number, you can just add on!
  • fact families
  • if you know that 2+3=5 then you also know that 3+2=5 and 5-3=2 and 5-2=3we know that if you are subtracting you have to start with the biggest number.
  • doubles and doubles +1; that means if I know that 6+6=12 then 6+7 must be one more (13)
  • doubles are really easy for us to remember so we try to "look for doubles" whenever possible 
  •  see 10
Yesterday we learned how to "see 10" using 10 frames and to think of numbers as 10 + ___.  For examples 13 = 10+3 more


Today we played a game called Five Towers.  We rolled took turns rolling dice to make 5 towers.  We each of us had 5 towers we recorded the numbers in our math books.  Then we had to regroup each tower so they had 10 and then record how many groups of 10 we had and how many leftovers.  We had lots of fun!

Do you use any number strategies when you are working with numbers?

Friday, 2 November 2012

Is Your Bucket Overflowing?

Today at lunch we read a follow-up story to the story we read last week about filling  people's buckets  with good thoughts and compliments.  This story was called, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?"  It is written by Carol McCloud and illustrated by David Messing.  The book teaches children how to be bucket fillers.  Children who learn how to express kindness and love to others lead happier lives.  Each day we try and encourage the students to give at least one compliment to another student.  Have you filled someone's bucket today?