Archive for the “Reading and Writing Workshop” Category

Dear 4 Terry,

I hope you’re all safe and well. It’s a pity that school was cancelled unexpectedly today, and I’m truly sorry that we can’t all say goodbye to Nicolas today. Nicolas will be back next year for Grade 5, so you’ll all get a chance to catch up with him then.

Here’s some work to keep you on track today:

* Math- We are continuing to work on multiplication.

Cluster Problems- Math activity book pg 9

Activity sheet to practice multiplication strategies: Solving a Multiplication Problem in Two Ways

There is also another assignment to complete by Monday on Ten Marks.

* Reading- Please make sure you keep your reading log up to date. Today, read for at least 30 minutes. Choose a just right book to read for 30 minutes and record it in your reading log. You can also choose to read Our Little Earth or Dogo News which are online current events websites. You can also use online books from the ES Hub website. Remember to read as much as you can over the weekend too!

* Writing- Please begin drafting your opinion editorial in Google docs. Use your school email and password to log in from home. Use the same topic and ideas you have been planning and elaborating over the last few days in class. I know that you won’t have your planning sheet, but try to write an introduction, 3 reasons with supporting evidence, and a conclusion. We will continue to work on it when you’re back at school. You should have the basic draft with 5 paragraphs completed by Monday.

* Social Studies- Read this article on Malala Yousafzai and watch the interview with Jon Stewart.


Now write a blog post or a journal entry to discuss what you think is not fair in the world.

What are the things that you feel most strongly about?

We’re looking forward to seeing you all back at school next week. 

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Lina and Doon have discovered that the city of Ember is starting to fall apart and they need to find a solution fast! The lights are flickering, there are rumors that light bulbs will soon disappear altogether and the black outs are getting longer and longer.

Doon wants to help his city but doesn’t understand how the huge generator in the Pipeworks works. Whenever there is a blackout no-one in the city can move as there are no portable lights. Lina wants to explore the Unknown Regions, but how can she without a light?

How can Doon and Lina help rescue their city from this crisis?

Your Task:

  • Help Lina and Doon to survive in the city of Ember. Find a way to solve the electrical problems in their city.
  • Find a way to help the people of the city of Ember solve their electricity crisis.

Some ideas include:

  • Make a model of a generator and explain how it produces electricity.
  • Make a model to show how the water from the river can produce electricity.
  • Make a model showing how electricity is transferred from the generator to the city.
  • Make a model house with electrical circuits to power model electrical appliances such as lights.
  • Create a portable light to help Lina and Doon explore the Pipeworks and Unknown Regions.
  • Other ideas can be checked with Ms. Terry.

Take a look at some of the photos from our Saving the City of Ember presentations last year and project sharing:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Your model should include:

  • Clear labels of the main parts
  • A title
  • An explanation of how it works

Due Date:     Thursday June 5

Standards and Criteria for Success

Your display should:

  • Explain the important points of how your model works
  • Include clear captions
  • Show creativity
  • Help the people of City of Ember to survive

Download the task sheet and checkpoints below:

Saving the City of Ember Project

What are you planning to create to save the City of Ember?

Leave a comment to tell us your plans.

This is how your project and presentation will be assessed:


Explanation of model




Very clear and well set out explanation and visuals.

Very precise and accurate explanation of how your model works.

Very clear and detailed captions that accurately point out all parts of the model.

Very creative.

Use of original ideas or resources.


Clear and well set out explanation and visuals.

Clear and accurate explanation of how your model works.

Clear captions that accurately point out the main parts of the model.

Creative use of standard ideas or resources.


Fairly clear explanation and visuals. Information could be more neatly presented.

Basic explanation of how your model works.  Explanation could be more precise and accurate.

Captions point out some of the parts of the model. Could be more detailed or clear.

Use of standard ideas or resources.


Unclear explanation and visuals.

Imprecise, inaccurate or missing explanation of how your model works.

Captions are unclear or no captions included.

Use of simple ideas or resources.





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Our year is quickly coming to a close, but there’s still a lot of learning going on in 4 Terry. Here’s a brief overview of what we will be going on in 4 Terry over the last few weeks of school.

Reading: We have just wrapped up our Non-Fiction reading unit and we will be meeting again in book clubs to discuss Social Issues. The main goal of this unit is for students to gain a deeper understanding and sympathy for people in our world who deal with a variety of social problems. Students will be introduced to various social issues primarily through reading and discussing fiction stories.

Writing: We have just finished up our unit on List Articles and will use our understanding of supporting ideas with examples as we write Opinion Editorials (Op-Eds). This unit links with our reading unit as students often choose to write persuasively about how to right the wrongs faced by people in our world.

Math: We have just finished our study of Fractions and Decimals. This week, we will begin our study of basic algebra. We will then focus on more complex multiplication and division strategies in our final math unit for the year.

Science: This week we will be finishing our study of Magnetism and Electricity. Students are currently testing ideas and exploring a topic of interest in their Independent Science Projects. We will be presenting our findings in a Science Fair next week. See below for more details.

Social Studies: We will end our year with a unit entitled, “Is It Fair?” during which we will explore issues of equality, freedom, prejudice, and justice. This unit also supports the learning we will be doing in reading and writing.


Science Fair- Tuesday 20th May at 1:15-1:45

Parents are invited  to join us for a Grade 4 Science Fair  on  May 20th from 1:15-1:45pm.

4th grade students will be displaying their knowledge of Magnetism and Electricity in the afternoon of May 20th. You’ll have a chance to see your child’s independent project as well as explore what other students in our class and throughout 4th grade have been investigating.

The main ideas behind the independent science project and science fair are to:

  • conduct an investigation based on a question or hypothesis
  • design a clear experiment to conduct a fair test
  • determine variables and change one variable at a time
  • clearly record results
  • effectively present results and the process of the experiment

You child will be given a poster board this week and will be responsible for preparing their display, along with their science partner/s, in time for the Science Fair on May 20. They should display all the steps of the scientific process, and should use their science investigation booklet to guide their presentation. A template is available for those students who would like one to guide their presentation.

We hope you can join us at our Science Fair on Tuesday May 20 at 1.15pm!

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Eve Bunting
Photo from Kids Reads

Author Wonderings

As we discover more about the authors we’re studying and their author’s craft, we’re starting to ask a lot of questions. Here are some biographies, interviews and websites on our favorite authors.

Author websites

You’ll find a lot of information and even writing tips on these sites:

Eve Bunting

Mary Amato


Dan Gutman

Lois Lowry

Dav Pilkey

Beverly Cleary

Barbara Park

Reading sites

Kids’ Reads  (Lois Lowry, Dan Gutman, Dav Pilkey)

EduPlace by Houghton Mifflin Reading (AviBeverly Cleary, Dav Pilkey, Patricia Polacco)


Interviews of our favorite authors on Reading Rockets  (Avi, Patricia Polacco, Eve Bunting, Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary), Eve Bunting on Scholastic News and Barbara Park.

If you’d like to use pictures of book covers, you can use and Scholastic for Kids to find the books. You are allowed to use the pictures as it helps to promote the books, but you should always give credit to your source (say which website you used).

Have fun finding out more about your author and answering your questions!

What did you find out?

Leave a comment to let us know what you discovered.


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Contributing Our Ideas in Book Clubs

Take a look at some of our videos from our Book Clubs unit in reading. We’ve really worked on contributing our ideas, agreeing and disagreeing with others and supporting our ideas with evidence from the text. As we read, we prepared notes on the books, noticing character traits, character development and the theme of the book. We also shared some of our reactions and connections.

Here’s our first ever class discussion on ‘Shoeshine Girl’ by Clyde Robert Bulla


Here are some great examples of our book clubs:

‘Poppy’ by Avi


‘Dexter the Tough’ by Margaret Peterson Haddix


What did you think of our book club discussions?

What did we do well?

What could we work on to improve our discussions?

Leave a comment to let us know what you thought.


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Take a look at our first class book club discussion!

Our class had a book discussion about a book called ‘Shoeshine Girl’ by Clyde Robert Bulla.


What we learned:

We learned to add onto others’ ideas.

We learned from the theme of the book never to give up and always to look on the bright side.

What we did well:

We did really well on not interrupting others and taking turns.

We gave everyone a fair chance and kept our brain in the group.

We spoke clearly and stayed on topic.

We focused on how the main character changed.

What we should work on:

We have to work on using good body language and making eye contact with the speaker.

We should also speak in a reasonable voice and a little louder.

We hope you enjoyed our class discussion and we look forward to posting more later in the year.

So, what did you think?

What did we do well?

What could we work on to improve our next discussion?

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Talking About Our Reading!

In reading over the last two weeks, we’ve launched book clubs. They have been a great success and each group has videoed the discussions about their books. We’ve worked on making contributions, supporting our thinking and preparing for the discussions by making post-it notes while reading. What a difference the book clubs have made to our reading! Now we’ll watch our videos, evaluate our reading discussions and make goals for our next discussion. Keep your eyes out for videos of our first book clubs- Coming soon!

Take a look at the examples of book clubs below.

What did the teachers do well?

How could they improve the second book club that didn’t go so well?



What tips did you learn that can help you have a successful book club?

Leave a comment below to tell us what your group is trying to focus on in their discussion. What did you do well in your first book club?

What can you work on?

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Mr. Whitman, our Librarian in the ES Hub, has shown us more safe search engines. There are a lot of kid friendly search engines linked on the ES Hub website, and in the links on our class blog.

Check out Kids Click!, Ask for Kids and World Book Kids. 

 Happy searching!

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In 4 Terry, we’re working on inquiring into our own questions.
What’s more fascinating than finding out what you’re really interested in?

There is so much information out there that it can just be mind-boggling. So how can we make it easier to find out the answers to our burning questions? Here are some kid-friendly search engines that make it easier for us. This way, the search engines do the hard work for us and help us filter out all the inappropriate sites. Why don’t you try them out!


Our favorite search engine is Boolify.
Boolify helps us to search by visualizing the process and lets students interact with the ideas behind the search process in a hands-on way.

Check out this video on how to get started with Boolify:


Dib Dab Doo & Dilly Too

Another great search engine is Dib Dab Doo & Dilly Too!
The search engine is based on a Google Custom Search. The content aims to be child friendly.

SquirrelNet is a kids only search engine that has a Google SafeSearch activated within it. From the homepage, you can also access a Google directory of websites which are suitable for children.

Kids Click!
A web search site designed for kids by librarians – with kid-friendly results!

Search Engines for Kids
– and what they search –

Remember, no search engine is entirely 100% safe. Custom search helps to keep out a lot of inappropriate links, but it is definitely not foolproof. Most of the search engines for kids also display ads with some undesirable ones sneaking in.

Information adapted from: Make Use Of: 10 Search Engines for Kids with Safe Browsing

Thanks to Chrissy Hellyer for her help in introducing Safe Search Engines.

Which safe search engine do you find easiest to use?
How does it help you to narrow down your searches?

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It’s time to spice up your reading!

Here are some ways to read a greater variety of books and try different kinds of writing.

Our ES HUB has a fabulous blog with lots of links to your favorite learning sites! Click on the @HUB Online Resources tab and you’ll be taken to the Only 2 Clicks page full of fabulous online sites for books, news, searches and videos.

Your home reading is ‘choice’ reading, which means you can read books, magazines and other material of your choice. You can read in English, your native language or even try out books in a language you’re learning in World Languages. How about trying out some online books, such as Tumblebooks, PebbleGo or We Give Books? You can also find out what’s going on in the world by checking out Dogo News or Time for Kids. Not only is this a great way to make your reading fun, but you can also try out different genres of books and read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. Remember, there are links to online books and news sites in the links on right hand side of our class blog.

The passwords and log in details for the sites are on labels at the front of your agenda.

Have you tried out Only 2 Clicks at home?

What’s your favorite site? Why?

Did exploring these sites spice up your reading? Did it help you read a greater variety of books or enjoy reading more?

Leave a message to let us know what you like best about the ES HUB and Only 2 Clicks!


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