Monday, March 31, 2014

Teacher ATCs

 We recently made ATC's (Artist Trading Cards)

I am part of a group of artists who get together regularly to exchange Artist Trading Cards. The students were intrigued by this and asked if they could make some too to trade. So we did!

ATCs are the same size as sports trading cards - 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches.I gave them each a piece of lined paper (our theme was "School Days") and asked them to draw a teacher. They had to decide what a teacher looked like. Funny, many of them wear glasses.... and were wearing the same thing that I was wearing that day. But I asked them to close their eyes and visualize what a teacher looks like (we close our eyes and visualize fairly often).
This is what the class came up with!

We will do more trading cards in the future. We are hoping to trade some with some other classes in Toronto!

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

We are AWESOME writers!

We have been learning how to write short fiction stories. I am so proud of all of the authors in Room 15!

We have learned that stories (usually) start by introducing the CHARACTERS and the SETTING (more characters might come in later though).
Then comes the ACTION -- this is where a problem happens
Then comes the CONCLUSION  -- this is where the problem is solved. Then the story has an ending. The reader shouldn't be "left hanging" at the end of a story!

Here is an example of *someone* in Room 15 reading his story. Watch for more to come!

(don't you just love how the shark is handsome and dangerous?)

We are already moving from our simple stories, to stories that have more interesting words -- more description and detail.
 We read a book called Suddenly by Colin McNaughton. They really liked the simple "plot twists".

I expect the word suddenly to feature in many of our upcoming stories :) I had to add it to our word wall.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I think that I have the blog fixed! As you might know, I have been having trouble posting pictures to the blog -- and sometimes the blog posts don't post at all. (although they appear to be published when I look at them on my computer!)

Lately we have been "Germ Detectives" and have been discussing how we can stay healthy. We have learned about washing our hands :)

I pretended to "sneeze" red germs over my hands (paint) and then washed my hands. We were VERY surprised to see that even though I washed my hands with soap, the "germs" didn't come off. So we learned that we need to very carefully wash between our fingers -- and the backs of our hands.

These are my hands after I washed them for -- what the students said - was a long time! We counted to 20, AND said the alphabet while I washed with soap!  Yuck!

The students also did an experiment about germ transmission and washing your hands with Ms. Mattar (on a day that I was away). We used glitter to represent the germs. Ask your child what he/she learned during the sparkle experiment!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Muddy Puddle

The Muddy Puddle
By Dennis Lee

I am sitting
In the middle
Of a rather Muddy Puddle,
With my bottom
Full of bubbles
And my rubbers
Full of Mud.

While my jacket
And my sweater
Go on slowly
Getting wetter
As I very
Slowly settle
To the Bottom
Of the Mud.

And I find that
What a person
With a puddle
Round his middle
Thinks of mostly
In the muddle
Is the Muddiness of Mud.

Words of the Week

Grade 1+2
Focus: double letters before an ending like er, ing, y on root words (the double consonant helps the vowel before it stay "short")

*bonus word: muddiness
(The class asked me for harder words this week!)

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Favourite Word

My Favourite Word
Lucia and James L. Hymes, Jr.

There is one word—
My favourite—
The very, very best.
It isn’t No or Maybe,
It’s Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, YES !
“Yes, yes, you may,” and
“Yes, of course,” and
“Yes, please help yourself.”
And when I want a piece of cake,
“Why, yes. It’s on the shelf.”
Some candy? “Yes.”
A cookie? “Yes.”
A movie? “Yes, we’ll go.”
I love it when they say my word:
Yes, Yes, YES ! (Not No.)

Words of the Week
Grade 1 + Grade 2
bonus word: quest

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Creative Family Home

 As most of you know -- parents and students alike -- Ms. Brown LOVES books. I love children's books, adult fiction, books about maps, books about decorating, books about art -- almost all books :)

Sometimes I like to do a little book review on the blog. Books that aren't really teaching books -- but are family books.....

A favourite lately is Creative Family Home by Ashlyn Gibson (2013). Photographs by Rachel Whiting. You can find it at !ndigo, or at the Toronto Public Library . Or likely at independent booksellers around Toronto.

Ashlyn Gibson explores 13 homes that encourage creativity in the children who live there.
I would love to live in any of the homes featured in this book! (Well, my home does look like many in the book). The decor is kid-friendly, practical and creative. It's all about using space imaginatively and allowing for children to be creative and be able to express themselves. Creative minds lead to creative problem solvers!

The children in the homes talk about what they love most about their homes and their rooms. Olive says " I love collecting. I have my badge collection on the big lampshade. It's covered with souvenirs my dad brings back for me when he has been on tour."

A lampshade IS a perfect place for one's button collection!

There are also many creative storage ideas. We all need more storage, don't we? You might see some of these ideas pop up in Room 15.

 (a greeting card rack as a bookshelf/ art display area)

And really, don't we all want a room with a swing? :)

Enjoy your March Break! Curl up with a good book :) I am!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014



 by Shel Silverstein
If you add sicle to your pop,
Will he become a popsicle?
Will a mop become a mopsicle?
Will a cop become a copsicle
Will a chop become a chopcicle?
Will a drop become a dropsicle?
Will a hop become a hopsicle?
I guess it is time to stopsicle,
Or is it timesicle to stopsicle?
Heysicle, I can’t stopsicle.
Ohsicle mysicle willsicle Isicle
Havesicle tosicle talksicle
Likesicle thissicle foreversicle –

Words of the Week
(we will focus on short o and initial blends and the Grade 2's will continue to learn more compound words)

Grade 1 and Grade 2
Bonus word: forgot

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