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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

February Recap

I know I haven't written in awhile.  It has been a busy February for me! 
1. I had some sort of cold/flu hybrid that knocked me down for the first two weeks!  We've had gorgeous weather, I had to miss two weekends stuck inside in bed with no voice and no energy :(  Happily, I am feeling much better now and got to enjoy some excellent west coast Canadian winter weather!   

Can you believe these were taken on February 24th?  In Canada?
2. I reached 350 Likes on Facebook and 400 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers.  To celebrate, I had a sale and giveaway that was a lot of fun!
3. I've been slogging through report cards for both my classes.  I created a new format this term and it required a lot of set up.  I'm used to writing middle school reports - very few comments accompanied by a letter grade.  Elementary reports are SO much work!  Thankfully, I have completed my reports and am really happy with how they turned out.
4. I've been planning for parent-teacher interviews and student-led conferences (which will be happening tomorrow night).  I've never done a student-led open house before, but my partner teacher and I decided it would be a better way to see more parents in a shorter amount of time.  We have 27 students, and only 3 hours for interviews.  My partner created a scavenger hunt for students to take their parents through that should be a lot of fun!
5. Our art focus this week was Burton Morris inspired pop art.  The kids had an amazing time creating their own pop art!  They turned out so well!

6. Our school doesn't have a traditional computer lab.  We have a room with 11 computers, but it's tough to use them with a class of 27!  Over the winter break, we received 20 laptops from the district to use in connection with the "lab," and today the class used them for the first time.  It was great to see them all working on math games today.  They were focused and engaged in the math and I was a hero because I let them play!
 It was also pink shirt day, as you can see in the picture!

And I think that brings me to now.  I think I'll put the computer away and do something completely non-school related!  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

400 Follower Sale and Giveaway

It's happened!  I've reached 400 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers!  I am so thankful for all your support!  To celebrate, my entire store is on sale until Saturday night.  if you've been waiting to pick up a wish listed item, now is a great time to do it :)

I'm also hosting a giveaway for a $25 TpT gift certificate and a $25 One Teacher's Adventures shopping spree!  You can enter below.  The giveaway will end on Saturday night at 11:59pm.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Water Cycle Foldable

My Grade 4's are learning about weather in science.  To help them understand the water cycle better, we created foldable water cycles.

On each of the four flaps, we wrote the processes of the water cycle, and under the flaps, gave definitions of the process or information about that part of the water cycle.


My students enjoyed making the foldables, and now have a better understanding of the water cycle. 

This activity was a great supplement to the weather pack I created.  The class is working through that pack, but when we came to the water cycle section, a significant group of them were still confused about the processes.  Instead of simply memorizing the water cycle, they were able to engage with it.  This activity was a good, interactive piece that helped to cement the ideas into their memories. 

After they created the foldable, almost every student earned 100% on the water cycle quiz in the weather pack!

To view the weather pack we are using, click on the picture below.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

One Point Perspective Art Project - Grade 4

My Grade 4's have been learning about perspective in our art lessons.  Last week, we completed a project looking at one-point perspective.  This is a project that I've done before, and the class next door was working on at the same time (coincidentally).  I think it stands up as an art lesson because it is simple, but effective. 

Students start with a vanishing point in the middle of their page and draw straight lines out from that point to the 4 corners of the page.  As the images get closer to the middle of the page, they get smaller, creating the illusion that they are getting further away.

I let my students decide which media to use.  Some used markers, others used paint, and some used pastels.  I think they turned out beautifully.

All about Canada!

I'm in the middle of my "Symbols of Canada" unit with my Grade 1's.  It has been a learning experience for me, as I haven't taught Grade 1 since I was a student teacher, but it has been really fun!  I'm enjoying bringing in resources for my kids all about Canada and British Columbia.

Last week, I showed them "O Canada" from Ted Harrison, a Canadian painter who recently passed away.  

I love Harrison's paintings.  They are full of colour and his style is so distinctive.  As a class, we discussed the images in the book and pointed out Canadian landscapes and symbols.

This week, I brought is "S is for Spirit Bear" by G. Gregory Roberts and Bob Doucet.  While Ted Harrison's book has a lot of images of Northern Canada, "S is for Spirit Bear" focusses on British Columbia. 

It is an Alphabet Book of B.C. with beautiful illustrations by Bob Doucet.

We live in B.C. and my students could relate to a lot of the images in the book.  Anyone who lives on Vancouver Island will recognize the next image of the BC Ferries.  I live in Victoria - B.C.'s capital city.  We are on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada.  My kids were very excited to tell us all about their experiences taking the ferry to Vancouver, to visit family, and to other destinations.

We've also been working our way through a Canada booklet I created (that you can download for free here).


The booklet has 8 pages altogether, with information about the RCMP, Canadian coins, totem poles, and other symbols.

This week, we completed the following page.


We discussed the maple leaf and the beaver as important Canadian symbols.  We also talked about where we could find these symbols (on money, on the flag, etc.).  When the students were finished their page, we made beavers for a class display.  I made one as a demo, using heart shapes for the face, nose, and teeth.  



Their beavers turned out adorable!  This is how the display looked when it was finished.

I have to say, I was nervous to go down to primary, but it has been a lot of fun.  I'm only with this class on Fridays, and I'm sad that we only have 14 Fridays left until the end of the school year.  It doesn't seem like much time at all!