Archive for September, 2010

Sep 29 2010

Character TimeLines

Published by under Reading Workshop

Grade 5s,

As you know, we’ve been looking more closely at how a character can often change over time.  We’ve spent some time as a class, examining Sahara in the book Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell and how she does indeed change throughout the book.

For Monday, be sure to come prepared to discuss with your reading partner some evidence of how you think your character changes in your book.  Later in the week, we will spend some time putting together our own timelines in class.

Have a great LONG weekend!

Miss B.

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Sep 29 2010

Science Reflection: Planes

Published by under Science

Dear Gr.5s,
We have wrapped up our investigation with planes! Please take some time to reflect in the following ways in your science journal:
– What would you say were your group’s successes? What worked well for you?
– What were your group’s challenges?
– What were the results of your group’s experiment?
– Looking at your graph, were the results surprising, or predictable?
– any other comments

I look forward to reading your reflections next week!
Miss B.

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Sep 17 2010

Health & Fitness Week at I.S.B.

Published by under Teacher Talk

How do you prevent gum disease?

How should you wash your hands so that all the germs are off?

What does a balanced meal consist of?

How much sugar is in the cereal you eat?

Exactly how much fat are in chicken nuggets?

All these questions and more were explored at the annual Health and Fitness Week at our school. Our class had A LOT of fun visiting the different stations that answered many of the questions posed above.  Check out our photos Miss B. took of us.  Doesn’t it look like fun?  Thanks to all the wonderful organizers of the event. We can’t wait for next year!

One thing I’d like to say is that we don’t need to wait for Health & Fitness Week to think about how to eat healthy and stay fit.  It’s something we should think about every day!  See our previous post about breakfast foods!

One response so far

Sep 17 2010

The Write Stuff!

Published by under Writer's Workshop

It’s celebration time!

Our first published personal narratives (say that 5 times fast!) are ready for your wonderful comments. They are published on each students’ own individual blog.  Where can you find these student blogs? Click on a student name on the right hand side of this blog. Just scroll down until you see names.

I am so proud of the level of care and engagement with this first writing assignment. But, just as my friend Lucy says, “Just when you think you’re done, you’ve just begun.”  This is so true!  We will continue to raise the quality of our narrative writing with your feedback and by learning more from mentor authors and mini-lessons.

One of the ways we can improve is to give others the chance to give us helpful, constructive feedback.  So bloggers, please leave a comment on some of those narratives. We’ve jump-started this process by having the students look closely at 2-3 of their own classmates’ work.  We called this a ‘Gallery Walk’ where the students were partnered with 2-3 other classmates and had to write ‘two stars and a wish’ for that students’ writing.  A ‘star’ is considered something that person particularly liked about the piece, something they noted as done well.  A ‘wish’ is a piece of constructive criticism–how can that student improve for next time?

Check out the photos below of this ‘Gallery Walk’ in action. Thanks to Ms.McAloon for the idea! Click on an individual photo for a larger view.

Thanks in advance for commenting!

Miss B. and the Gr.5s of Room 230

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Sep 16 2010

Where Did Blogs Come From?

Published by under Blogging Reminders

Still wondering what a blog really is? Where did they come from? A blog is a web log! Check out the video below that explains these very questions.

Thanks to Mrs. Kolbert for posting this video on your class blog. I liked it so much that I put it on our class blog, too!

The video shows us where blogs came from and their purpose.  Enjoy!


3 responses so far

Sep 14 2010

We’ve Signed Up for the Blogging Challenge!

I’ve taken the liberty of signing up our class for the 2010 Blogging Challenge with the intention of having each and everyone one of us to become better bloggers this year.

Blogging Challenge Click Here

Never heard of the challenge, click here to read all about it!


How are you improving your blogging skills? What do you like best about blogging so far?

7 responses so far

Sep 12 2010

Spelling vs. Word Study: What’s the Difference?

Published by under Teacher Talk

As a teacher fairly ‘green’ to Word Study in my class, I need to get into the habit of NOT calling it “Spelling”. In our class, we either refer to it as Words Their Way (which is the actual name of the program adopted by our school), or simply ‘Word Study’.

What is Words Their Way?

Words Their Way is a developmental spelling, phonics, and vocabulary program.  It was developed by Invernizzi, Johnston, Bear, and Templeton.  Words Their Way is intended to be a part of a balanced literacy plan that includes fluency, comprehension and writing.  Word study is implemented as a small component of the literacy plan but it is also interwoven in actual reading and writing texts.

Words Their Way is an open-ended individual process. An assessment is given to determine where to begin instruction. Based on assessment results students are given words to study in order to discover the common attributes.  In this manner students are actively constructing their own knowledge of spelling patterns.  Students learn features by completing activities such as word sorting, word hunts, games and drawing and labeling.  Students work individually, with partners, and in small groups to encourage cooperative learning and individual responsibility.

Some of the students in the class have previous experience with this program because some of the Gr.4 teachers implemented it last year.  The students in our class currently fall into one of 3 categories: Within Word Pattern, Syllables and Affixes or Derivational Relations, and students can either be in the early, middle or late stages within those categories.   When I was growing up, the teacher often gave us a list of words that may or may not have been connected or related in any way, and typically it was on Fridays that we were given a test.  We didn’t really study word patterns or meanings of parts of words, so I became really good at memorizing.  This program called Words Their Way, I believe, is a better way at getting students to learn about these patterns and meanings so that when they do encounter unfamiliar words, they are able to apply their knowledge and understandings to decipher what that word might mean.

Take a look at some recent photos of the students practicing using their word sorts.

17 responses so far

Sep 09 2010

Puzzling Math

Published by under Investigations Math

Hi Blog Visitors! We are so happy you are visiting (and hopefully commenting!) on our class blog.
We’d like to share our learning with you as often as we can…at least we’ll try! Here is a picture our teacher took of some number puzzles we were asked to solve.  We started off the unit with only being given two clues, then three, then 4. We learned about the importance of deciding which clue we should use first to help eliminate as many numbers as possible in order to lead us closer to the real answer. We’ve been gaining a better understanding of prime numbers, composite numbers, multiples, factors, and so on. Check it out!

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Sep 08 2010

Science Videos–Lifeboat Inquiry

Published by under Science

These class videos show us investigating how many passengers (Thai baht) will fit into our “lifeboats” (paper cups cut to different sizes). This is part of our Science unit on variables.

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Sep 08 2010

September Newsletter

Published by under Teacher Talk


5 responses so far