Mystery Number Skype


Posted by kholden | Posted in Collaboration, Math, Technology | Posted on May 23, 2013

On Monday our class had a Mystery Number Skype with Keephills School.  It’s like trying to guess a favorite food but it’s a number.  You Skype with someone and guess their number. The rules were it had to be a yes or no question and the number had to have meaning. They had AMAZING questions. It was a fun and challenging activity.  We could feel the energy surging in the air.

First we did a warm-up round to practise, so the number was between 0-100.  It’s really easy to keep track if it’s 0-100 because you can use a hundreds chart.  It gets harder when it’s over 100 because you have to use a number line. Eventually we guessed it. It was 47 because they have 47 students in their school. It was shocking when they were getting closer to our number!  Ethan picked 560 because that is the number of students in Millgrove, so our number was meaningful.

Our advice is to start off practising with 1-100.  Hundreds are quite easy, when you are done practicing you can go to 1-1000.

The better the questions are, the closer you’ll get to the number.  A good question dominates a lot of numbers so we can get the number faster.  Just for a heads up, here are some good questions to ask:

  • Is it even/odd?
  • Can you divide it by 5? That’s a good question because it narrows it down to the number ending in either a 5 or a 0.
  • Is it greater than ?? You should pick the number that is half and in the middle.  For example, if you are working with 0-100, you would select 50.

We learned

  • it is not so good to guess the number right away
  • it is better to ask questions that take out more numbers
  • to ask half so it wipes away half the numbers
  • how to use the number line
  • there is always a way to figure things out even if it is frustrating sometimes

The hardest part was keeping track of the questions we had already asked and figuring out their number.  We used the 100 chart on the SMARTBoard at first, and then a number line.  All the questions we heard were useful. The good part was when both of us found the right answer, and everyone says “Yay”, and gets so excited.

Everyone had a job.  We all had to draw a number line and take out numbers on the number line on every guess. Some people had other jobs, like people took pictures, some were the askers, two wrote down the questions, and one did the number line. We had two people at one SMARTBoard keeping track on the hundreds chart of what number it could and couldn’t be.  We are still figuring out more jobs for everyone.

I know our class and Keephills were inspired by other classes and now inspired other classes to try.  You should play this game! We would totally want to do it again because it helps us grow better in math.  It is exciting and fun because you get to talk to and meet other people.  We would love to do it again!  If you would like to play with our class, you can contact Mrs. Holden on Twitter at @KelliHolden.

The students in 4GH are Millgrovers and math masters. We know that Math is awesome and we find it everywhere! We love to learn new things every day. We like a challenge, and trying to solve everything. It’s great to learn from other classes and other people. Skype is a blast!  You can find us on Twitter at @millgrove4gh

Commander Hadfield Returns to Earth


Posted by kholden | Posted in Science, Social Studies, Technology | Posted on May 17, 2013

Did you know that Commander Hadfield returned to Earth this week? When he returned home he had to sit in a special chair because he couldn’t walk.  His legs and bones probably felt like jello! He was the first Canadian Space Commander, and he was on the International Space Station for a five month mission.

Singing with Commander Hadfield on Music Monday

Commander Hadfield is the very first astronaut to do a song that connected to Earth and he helped with music education for kids.  I loved singing on Music Monday.  Our class filled the skies with music!

If you search up “Commander Hadfield returns home” you will be able to see pictures and videos.  He took beautiful pictures of the Earth from space. We got to see almost all of the Earth. It was a special point of view. I learned that you can cry in space but the tears won’t fall. Instead they will just make a blob. It is really cool how surface tension turns water and tears into a glob like Jello. Because there is no gravity the water balls up and stays on your cheek and eye. Hygiene is the most important thing.  I learned that all of the waste burns in the atmosphere and they dehydrate it so it doesn’t smell.

It is very important that they use their water wisely. You know that’s really hard, not using very much water.   It reminds us to think about it too. Did you know that when you brush your teeth in space you have to eat the toothpaste and water? They had to do lots of planning.  If they hadn’t thought about how to go to the bathroom they would have needed to pack lots of pants!

Watching left us with some questions – I wonder if a dog could live in the Space Station? I wonder if your head would explode if you went in space with no helmet?

Would you like to go to space? Here’s some of our thoughts:

  • I would like to go to space but not for five months, because I don’t want to be coming back not being able to walk.  It might be a little embarrassing.
  • I would like to go because I would like to see how space is like.
  • One day I would like to be the Commander of the International Space Station!
  • I would love to go to space because I love to do experiments, research and learn about the senses.

Commander Hadfield is my role model because he is a Canadian astronaut.  He is a cool and funny man and his partners probably had a blast with him!


Our Blog Featured on Global News!


Posted by kholden | Posted in Collaboration, Technology | Posted on March 19, 2013

We were all excited to hear that 4GH was featured on Global News again!  Emily Mertz enjoyed our reflections about having her and Charles visit our classroom, and highlighted some of the comments during the early news.  You can see it here (our piece comes at the end).




Reflecting on a Global (TV) Experience


Posted by kholden | Posted in Collaboration, Leadership, Technology | Posted on March 13, 2013

After seeing ourselves on Global News, we had a chance to reflect on the experience.  Here’s a compilation of everyone’s thoughts:

I felt really excited when Emily and Charles walked through the doorway on Monday. It was really cool that they came here to Millgrove.  It meant a lot. We weren’t camera ready, so Charles gave us some tips about not to smile or look at the camera or they will cut you out of the video, most people do so that meant they wouldn’t be on TV.

It felt like I was going to faint when he looked over my shoulder with the camera. It was SO tempting to look at the camera when it was right in my face. I was watching the others, and I could see the expression on their faces.  It looked like they wanted to smile! The back of my head was filmed when Sam got interviewed. It was surprising that Charles leaned over my shoulder and took pictures of my Global News picture that I had made.

When I watched it on TV I almost jumped off my mom’s bed with excitement.  The people on the video did great and they have lots of courage. I felt good about it and a little embarrassed at the same time.  My mom sent it to everyone in my family.  My Nana zipped over to our house like a speeding bullet to ask us if we saw it and me, my mom and my sister said “YES!” Then we all had a big group hug.

I have never been more happy in my life to see my class on TV! While we were watching the video you could see the Cheshire Cat smiles! It made me feel like paparazzi were crowding me.  I was surprised and laughing in my head at the same time. Especially I am proud of everyone in my class.

We learned lots about working in TV.  I sleep in on Saturday and Sundays so I can’t be a person on TV but weekdays I can if I have my teachers’ permission to miss school (because you just can’t miss school!) Being working on weekends, I don’t know if I can handle too much of that.  I learned that cameraman Charles wanted to be in the circus.  We thought that Emily was talking to herself but she was actually rehearsing her lines, so now we believe she’s not strange. She practiced right beside me!

I thought it was really amazing that they were here for 2 hours and it made 2 minutes of film.  I noticed the news is just like maple syrup.  It takes a whole lot of sap to make a little maple syrup, so it takes a lot of footage to make a little actual news. I was surprised that Mr. Couros got in and we never knew because they filmed him in the hallway.

I think it is wonderful to be able to use social media as a kid because our parents and older never got the chance to do that. The adults can watch TV and see what we can do today, and our families get to see what we are doing at school.  They can see how we use Twitter.  They never had the privilege to even have Twitter in school! We don’t only do it at school – we can do it anywhere.

Social media seems to be mostly used for bullying but we use our blog and Twitter for Kindness.  Cyberbullying is when people are rude on Twitter, Facebook and other stuff too.  Social media is so important in our classroom because that is how we meet people from around the world.  I am happy that we got to share what we do best which is using electronics like Twitter, YouTube and blogs. We can show people all around the world how kids can use Twitter and Facebook because people don’t think we can use it for good.  We have been inspired. I’m sure it will inspire other people too. It was a big opportunity.

Our film was short but it said a lot.  Watch it and tell us what you think!


Welcome Global TV!


Posted by kholden | Posted in activities, Technology | Posted on March 10, 2013

We are excited about having Emily Mertz and friends from Global TV visit Millgrove and our classroom on Monday morning. She is interested in the use of social media in schools, and has asked us to show her a little bit about how we have been using it this year. She would like to hear from students about what they are doing online, why and what they like about it, and what they are learning.

I’ve been thinking about her questions this weekend, and thought we’d better make a list, since there are quite a few things we could talk about. So far this year we

  • found out about Dot Day on Twitter, watched a livestream interview with Peter Reynolds (author of The Dot), blogged about it here, and then were tweeted by Peter Reynolds – it was an extraordinary experience you can read about here, and now extraordinary is our special word!
  • discovered Caine’s Arcade on Twitter and used our Caine’s Arcade Projects to learn about Waste and Our World, building and connecting with others around the globe
  • met our friends at Keephills School through Twitter and have continued connecting with them through Skype, Twitter and email
  • registered for a Mystery Skype through Twitter and identified Mrs. Bertram’s Grade 4 class in Manitoba
  • made a new friend Alyssa who lives in Australia and likes Justin Bieber (just like some of us and Mr. Couros)
  • recognized that other students felt that Kindness was so important, and joined in the 12 Days of Kindness activities
  • have connected with our ‘virtual’ student teacher Ms. Leurer who lives in Saskatchewan using our student blogs, Skype, Twitter and email
  • saw “Honk if You Love Someone” on Twitter which inspired our own Honk for Kindness
  • have watched our friends Milly the Millgrove Moose and Albert the Adventurer learn all about Alberta, its landscape, people and stories in our M.O.O.S.E  Project

There are other items to add to this list, Grade 4, so please comment on what’s been missed.  What will you tell Emily Mertz about Twitter, our blogs, Skype, and email?  What do you like about it, and what have you learned this year?


Just What Are They?


Posted by kholden | Posted in Collaboration, Language Arts, M.O.O.S.E Project, Technology | Posted on January 28, 2013

Hmmm….Albert has given us a mystery to solve!  Yesterday he and his friend Julia Drefs sent us this tweet:

Last week, he sent us these pictures .  You might need to click on the picture to see the objects more clearly.

So just what/who is Albert hanging out with in Joussard?

Here’s what we know:

there’s some tracks in the snow that looked like truck or snowmobile tracks

They live in the Boreal Forest

Moose live in the Boreal Forest

They are in a big group (moose don’t live in big groups)

Wolves live in the Boreal Forest and travel in big groups

Buffalo travel in big groups (if the ice holds a truck, it could hold a buffalo)

Sometimes people put a bunch of little houses on lakes in the winter for ice fishing

Elk live in the Boreal Forest and travel in big groups

People like to snowmobile on lakes in groups

So, what do you think they are?  Click here to let us know your answer.  We hope to find out from our friends in Joussard this week!



Albert Visits Kinuso


Posted by kholden | Posted in Collaboration, Language Arts, M.O.O.S.E Project, Social Studies, Technology | Posted on January 24, 2013

Today Albert gave us a mystery to solve, and showed us one of his new friends!

Dear Milly,

I just stopped by the grade 4 classroom at Kinuso School in Kinuso, Alberta. Kinuso is located in the Boreal Forest Region of Alberta. In our region, there are lots of trees, making forestry an important industry here. We also have a booming oil and gas industry. We have lots of animals in our area, such as moose, bears, cougars, coyotes, wolves and deer. Our area is beautiful because of our many lakes and rivers, fragrant trees, and recreational opportunities. Our climate is very cold and snowy in the winter. We have had a ton of snow so far this winter. Our summers are usually very warm and rainy at times, but we get a lot of wind off of the lake, which can dry things out and cause wildfires. Thank you for sending Albert to visit us!


Albert with Mrs. Klyne’s Fantastic Fours (Aspen, Keanna, Ebony, Jami, PR, Ethan, Sierra, Parker, Rapunzel, Ms. Gallagher and Mrs. Klyne) 

Albert in Kinuso School with his new friend Rapunzel

Dear Albert,

Let’s get this straight.  Since you left, you have visited High Prairie, Lesser Slave Lake, Slave Lake, and Kinuso!  Our Grade 4GH friends have been looking on the map, and we were fascinated by how humungous Slave Lake and Lesser Slave Lake are, especially when they are put together.  They were wondering if your new Grade 4 friends like to skate on the lake when it’s frozen.  (By the way, we had lots of fun skating today, but I will write about that tomorrow).

We like your new friend Rapunzel, and Chyanne thinks she’s a guinea pig – is she?  But if she is a guinea pig, why is she so hairy?

Kinuso sounds like a great place to visit.  We would like to go there and see the different animals, especially the wolverine in the Kinusayo Museum.

Well, I have to go now.  You aren’t the only one who gets to travel, because our friend Courtney is taking me to Lacombe tomorrow for her ringette tournament.  I will tell you all about it on Monday!

Lots of love,

Your best friend Milly 


Welcome Back to a New Year!


Posted by kholden | Posted in activities, Math, Science, Social Studies, Technology | Posted on January 4, 2013

Our holidays are almost over, which had us feeling a little sad.  It’s been nice to sleep in, read good books, watch movies and connect with family and friends.  But then we started thinking about what’s in store for us at school this January….

Good news!  We’re going on a field trip to Drumheller – without ever leaving the school!  How?  Well, we will be videoconferencing with the Royal Tyrell Museum on January 10.  Remember the fossils the geologist showed us?  We’re going to learn more about how they are discovered and what’s done with them as we explore the “Secrets of the Lost Quarry”.  Once finished with fossils, we will find out who the first people to live in Alberta were, and more about them.  Thanks to our friends on Twitter, we have some amazing resources to work with.  (If you’d like a sneak peek, check this out!)

Our student blogs will be fixed up and ready to go by the end of the first week back.

We have a couple of new additions to our classroom garden…and believe us, you will be amazed by them!  They will not only teach us about growing plants, but will also give us hands on experience with measuring, graphing, fractions and decimals.  Speaking of math, we will also be taking a look at some geometry and different kinds of shapes.  For those of you who love paper folding, I found this hexaflexagon calendar here just in time for the New Year. (Just scroll down to the Flexagon Calendar) If you make one, we would love to see it!

It will be exciting to finish up our Gingerbread Cookie Technotale and share it with our Grade 1 buddies.  It will be our very own Millgrove Movie Premier!

We are looking forward to being at the door Monday morning and hearing all your holiday stories!  Grade 4, what are you looking forward to about 2013 in Grade 4?

The M.O.O.S.E Project


Posted by kholden | Posted in Collaboration, Social Studies, Technology | Posted on January 2, 2013

We need your help! Our M.O.O.S.E Project will be beginning in the new year, and we have some work to do. We have two moose stuffies who are going to help us as we learn about Alberta. One will be a travelling moose who will be passed off to friendly volunteers willing to show off one or more features of their part of Alberta, and send us a picture or two and a few words describing its adventures. The other moose will stay at home and spend time with our students learning about the features of the Parkland Region.

Ready for Adventure!

Our first challenge is to come up with names for our moose partners. Some things you might want to consider as you come up with names….
*There are two – one who will stay at home in the Parkland region, the other who will travel Alberta
*What do you know about moose? Could the names reflect that?
*Could you use some of the tools from our poetry toolbox such as alliteration or rhyme?

What do you think are good names for our moose? Please click here to enter in your ideas. Make as many suggestions as you like, and we will narrow down the list when we get back to school.

On the Fourth Day of Kindness…


Posted by kholden | Posted in activities, Collaboration, Leadership, School Spirit, Technology | Posted on December 12, 2012

On the Fourth Day of Kindness, we noticed some younger students playing in the snow. With just a little help, their snowman went from ordinary to extraordinary! Check it out…

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