Some artifacts from our week

Rather than me explaining everything, here are some pictures of things that have been a part of the last day or two.  (If you click on them, they should get big).  With your child, have a look at the pictures and see what they can (hopefully) tell you about what the picture represents, what the activity is that connects to the picture, and maybe what understanding or question remains.

As always, your comments are welcome!












What maps are good for…

Cheryl Fischer, a teacher I know who’s on leave, invited me to bring the class to her community garden plot.  Since we are currently discussing “community” and learning about maps, this seemed a good opportunity to combine the two themes and put the kids to work!  After some practice orienting a map, we discussed which routes were possible/preferable to get to our mysterious destination.  I offered up no other information other than the tantalizing clue on the map.

After a short walk, we got to the garden, where I discovered that some (no doubt well-meaning, helpful) person had wiped out the tomato plants that I had checked on only that morning!  Not to worry (much)–there were many, many carrots.  (And yes, also beets, for those that care about those).

As you’ll see below, it was a pretty carrotty afternoon.

This from Brayden:

Explorations, September 13th

Click on picture to see bigger! All these ideas came from our students!

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A few pictures of todays explorations in words and in numbers.

Words:  we are establishing ourselves as “Word Scientists” and as such we will be studying Orthography (instead of “spelling”).  All the things on the list at right are things we will do with words.  We will work from the point of view that English spelling is highly ordered and explainable.  You may not believe this is so–indeed you may have been taught the exact opposite, as I was!  If so, challenge us and yourself and me with questions about words.  Together with your child, or on your own:  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  What doesn’t make sense? (More on this later…much more).

Numbers:  Today we had Courtney Bush, wonderful travelling math teacher, visit to lead an activity.  Students were asked to try and represent their thinking about “how many” using tiles.  We are heading toward a deeper understanding of arrays, skip-counting and multiplication.  (As well as quadrilaterals!)

Also, we went to the woods today and had a lovely time exploring special spots.  I was so impressed with the focus and self-discipline as each child stayed in their spot–looking, listening and recording as they considered What lives in this habitat?  I forgot to bring a camera.

Scholars, launched

Here is the blog!  Welcome!  Hit the “Follow” button and then you’ll get an email notification whenever we post something new.

What a great first week we had!  On the off chance you had a response of “Nothing” to your question “What did you you do at school today?” that’s partly what this blog thing is about.  Please feel free to comment below so I know it is working and you are getting notifications about posts.  This can be a place for sharing your questions.   I–and eventually the kids, if I can figure out how–will share bits about what we’re up to, and this should spark conversation at home.

Your conversations at home are highly useful to our learning!  Why?  They allow for reflection on and reinforcement of concepts we’ve discussed in class.  They often generate great questions that students bring back to school.  And sometimes they are an opportunity for you to communicate to me when your child is struggling with stuff that I’m not aware of.

This year, we’ll explore Canada’s regions, we’ll explore some local issues through the municipal election, and we’ll go on to look at early civilizations and how they saw their world.  We’ll play ukuleles (we already have, a little).  This term in Science, we’ll explore habitats and adaptation.  We’ll do lots of mathematics and we’ll write and read every day!

We’ve already begun a read-aloud book, Because of Winn Dixie, one of my favourites.  I strongly, strongly encourage you to continue reading with your children.  Whether your child loves or struggles with reading, being read aloud to is a wonderful way to gain a love of language, and it’s a great, non-screen way to go to sleep!  They may seem like “big” kids, but they still love this!

The title of this blog is “Who in the World?”, which comes from a quote from Alice in Wonderland.  (Hey, that would make a good read-aloud!).   Wondering “Who in the world am I?” seems to me such a central question for children at this age who begin to leave the world of childhood and take their first steps into an awareness of the adult realm.

Click on this to read it bigger!

This week, we’re creating a base for building a community of learners, a base that has clearly been established by previous teachers.  We began to explore how difference can be supported and celebrated in our community of learners.    Through math, we saw that a simple question–How many?–will be solved mentally in a variety of ways by different people.  We also did several activities to show how each of us may find different things challenging.  In case your child didn’t bring this home to share, here’s a text we read together to simulate an experience of dyslexia.  Recognizing that our different learning styles and challenges can affect our responses and our needs will allow us to better understand and support each other.   It’s a start.


That’s all for now.  Looking forward to a fine year ahead of “noticing” things, and seeing where that noticing takes us!