Tracking the Weather

For the next month, LC 5A and 5F has been asked to record the following information for our Weather unit.

  • Current Temperature
  • Daily Temperature High
  • Daily Temperature Low
  • Sunny, Windy, Rain, Snow, ect. (what you see/feel)
  • Clouds – What type of clouds do you see?
  • Location (if you are not in Spruce Grove or the Edmonton Area)

Students can record this information in their agenda or using their tech to put into their weather books at school. As a class, we will be recording the weather together on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It can be as easy as looking up the information online and standing outside for a few seconds.

Thank you for your support!




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March 9 – 13 Learning update

Before I start our learning update, I just wanted to pass along compliments from Ms. Sontag, our substitute teacher on Monday. She said that LC 5A showed a huge amount of respect for her as a teacher in our room. They were kind to each other, supportive and willing to work hard. I am so impressed! I know we have an awesome community in our class but it is great to hear other people.

Language Arts:

Writing –  We have been working on our introductions to our original stories. I have some students who are only writing 1 paragraph, a couple writing 2-3 and one who has written me an introductory chapter. It is awesome to see students push themselves in their learning. We will wrap up our introductions this week and start our rising action. The kids are very excited about their stories and putting in a lot of work. We are taking it one step at a time to make sure we are adding good details that will help our grade 3 buddies are engaged in our writing. We are currently using Click Clack Moo as our group writing piece to model expectations and create criteria for our own writing. Here is what we have written for our introduction. You can follow along with our writing here.


Reading – We are working on our read aloud of Sideways Stories at Wayside School. As we read, we will be getting into collaborative writing groups to write our own Sideways Story. We so far have talked about them being short, related to each other and only about 1 thing. Students are very excited to share with the other classes doing this.  Here is our shared doc if you would like to find out more about the project.  We will be getting into our book club groups next week and picking our books. Any suggestions for books would be appreciated! Here is our brainstorm doc.


Mathematics:  The kids have been working with Mr. L on area and perimeter. They are doing really well with this and I saw great work from both classes on Friday when we had Math together. The students spent some time this week looking at how we measure area and perimeter and also how area and perimeter are related. The students had some time to use unit cubes to build various rectangles with a given perimeter, various rectangles with a given area and various rectangles with a given perimeter and area. On Monday they will be moving on to volume.  One of the coolest things I heard this week was one of our students teaching another student what area and perimeter were. When I asked how it went, she told me “By teaching someone who didn’t know what we were doing and having to come up with a way that would make sense to them, I realized was teaching myself and making sure that I understood. I think I taught myself as well!”  As a class, we have become so awesome at helping each other and sharing, it is awesome to see all levels of learning come together and work to make sure we are all participating and understanding to the best of our abilities!




Students will be asked to record the high and low and a brief description of the weather outside until the end of Spring Break.  I will provide a sheet for this. It will be really awesome to see them temperature in different places on vacations as well!

We are also going to start Cloud Art to learn about the different types of clouds. A few of the students came up with the idea to use cotton balls to create the clouds and then use things like rain drops, sun beams, ect. to write about the clouds as a mini student-led activity. I thought this was awesome so we are going to give it a try. I will be getting cotton balls on Tuesday after school. If you would like to do this please email me and I will pick up some for you as well.

Josh Classen was in to talk to us about weather and being a meteorologist. He was fantastic at talking about the concepts we will be learning and explaining them in a way that made sense to everyone. Now that we have this background knowledge, we will have a better understanding as we discuss in class!


Social Studies:

Students just wrapped up compiling their group’s information into a nifty handout for their jigsaw. We are going to create our listening activity on Monday, Jigsaw on tuesday and rank the regions on Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll talk about Socratic Circles on Friday and we’ll do a practice one. On Monday and Tuesday next week we’ll prepare to do ours on the Wednesday blocks 3+4! If anyone would like to come and observe them, Please let me know and I can let you know times and details of when your child will be doing their persuasive discussion. I would love a volunteer to film them for me.



The students and I have been talking about healthy choices such as not having a slurpee for breakfast and that Ms. Albrecht shouldn’t wait until nutrition break to eat her breakfast. We are going to be starting an inquiry into the food we eat. Ms. Ariss is working on a letter to send home to parents explaining our inquiry and how to support your child’s learning.



Art Fridays are becoming quite popular in our class. Every Friday afternoon, we are going to be doing art to finish off our week. This week, we were lucky enough to have a special guest. The kids loved working with Mrs. Morris (Ms A’s mom!!) on our Falling Backwards art. Most are getting started on painting, a few are finishing drawing and a couple have completed their art. I will be getting a ladder to put them up on the moveable wall this week.

This week will wrap up the Falling Backwards piece. Those who have completed it will be working on “Eye see” art.


Trickster Theatre – Artist in Residency:

We have a very passionate class. They really poured their hearts into our theme development. After a lot of discussion, and going back and forth on Women’s Rights and Child Labour, our class realized that we really just wanted to make sure that everyone has equal rights.

Our Sub -Theme : Everybody Has Rights

Our Guiding Questions:

  • Why do some people think that they are more important than others?
  • Why do we let people take advantage of other people?
  • Isn’t this like an extreme case of bullying and we are all bystanders if we don’t create awareness?

Possible sub-topics to explore:

  • Women’s Rights
  • Children’s Rights
  • Minority Rights


Feburary Wrap Up

What a month! On Friday, when Alejandro told me he’d see me next month, I thought I managed to forget about a vacation until I remembered, it would be March on Monday.

I am so proud of the students this month. Here is a look back on what we did this month:

Reading – We have been reading in our Literature Circles. The students have been assigned roles to help in their discussions. I am so impressed with their ability to support each other and work together and hear about their reading. I’ve recorded their conversations at times and I’ve sat in on their reading. It is incredible to see students supporting each other and reinforcing their understanding at the same time.  We will be wrapping up our Read Aloud and Lit Circles by next week so we can start our next Read Aloud with our new friends from Ottawa and we can start Book Clubs.

Writing – We looked at the organization trait this month. We worked on organizing events and using both Sequencing words and Transition words to help order our events in a logical order and make sure our paragraph still flowed well. Incredible work from the students on their life events. We are starting our narrative writing now. We looked at introduction exemplars and realized that the things that all of them had in common was that they introduced characters and settings. They also ended with the initial problem or event that set the story in motion. The kids have created character profiles to “Show not Tell” about who the character is from their actions. We have also worked on our setting frames to create a setting from our story. We will review the story mountain next week and start out introductions soon after.

Social Studies – We learned about finding key information from a source, summarizing it and retelling it in our own words. We have also learned about using a secondary source to back up our information from the textbook or to find additional information where there were no supporting details. Students are learning how to answer guiding questions for their research to explain how life is in their chosen region rather than listing facts.  We are also working together to look at different ways of organizing our information so that it makes the most sense to us and the reader.

Math – Students completed the Multiplication and Division unit with Mr. Letendre this week and wrote their unit quiz. The biggest learning for some students was how to properly prepare for a unit test their results did not match their expectations. One big take away for students is to make sure they are doing their homework and taking advantage of supports given, such as learning lunch and review times. Reflections came home today with Mr. L’s marks and feedback. The kids will be starting their Geometry and Measurement units with Mr. L next week. Students have also continued to work through their Problems of the Week (POW) with Mr L and I. I am starting to see some very strong understanding of their learning. The focus of the POW is the reflection of their strategies and learning rather than the actual answer.  I love getting to work with the kids and read their reflections. It helps me understand how they think. Mr. L returns feedback to the kids after each problem so the kids can review prior to starting the next one.

Science – As you may have heard, we have been doing Electricity. I took a new approach with this unit. We used the workbook more so as a guide of what we should cover rather than how we would be working. We did a lot of experiments, hands on demos and even created our our lab test by working through the scientific method. We will be wrapping up the unit with a quick checkup to make sure there is nothing I need to review with them prior to moving on to our next unit.

“Science – In science I tested different objects to see if they were conductors or insulators how I did that is I made a circuit then put my testable object In the middle. I did this by my self because my partner was away. I learned that  many things are Insulators. Next time I would like to try different kinds of metals. I think my teachers taught me this because it was a fun way to learn science.” – Parker E

“Next is science, in science we are trying to figure out if are objects that we brought are either a conductor or a resistor. Its really easy and pretty cool. Me and my group did a candle and it was and intresting experiment to do. The candle holder was a conductor witch was cool. a conductor is when it lights up  and a resistor (or insulator) is when it doesn’t light up.” – Stephen P


These quotes from the blog  of our students shows me that the kids have a better understanding of how insulators and conductors work than if I was leading the instruction. In science I have taken the role of facilitator rather than teacher. This was a big risk that paid of huge.

Some other notable events in our classroom:
We have 3 new students in our class. Katana, Kieran and Nick. We’re so excited to have them as part of LC 5A. Katana has made herself right and home the past few weeks and we look forward to having Kieran and Nick who just joined us this week as part of our community!

Our Mystery Skype/Google Hangout with Shauna’s class from Ottawa was incredible! We are already getting set up to share some of our stories through our next Read Aloud and activities to follow.

We are so blessed to have Ms. Chiles who will be working with us on Mondays and Wednesdays starting in March. She is a student at the University of Alberta who graduates in December and is very excited to help facilitate all the important learning that we do in our class.

As always, here is our month in review from twitter as well.

This week in our class we broke down our walls…

Mystery Skype:

On Thursday we had the opportunity to meet Shauna’s Grade 3/4 class from Churchill Alternative School in Ottawa. The students were to figure out where Shauna’s class was from by asking questions that would help them narrow down where they were from. It was an awesome opportunity to meet someone from one of the regions of Canada that we are studying. We are going to be collaborating with Shauna’s class on a writing assignment soon.

Language Arts:

Writing – We worked on Setting last week – creating settings for our story. This week we will move on to working out what our initial problem will be that will set our story in motion. After this point, we should be ready to start our introductions. Kids are doing awesome with the idea of “show don’t tell”


Reading – We really worked on our predictions this week. I created a new organizer for them to break it down into the parts of a prediction. They kids did an awesome job adding context and evidence to their predictions. I have copies in my room if anyone wants one. We’re going to work on Questions again this week. Kids are loving their books. We are also planning on finishing Traitor – our read aloud,  if we can this week.

We’d like to start our next read aloud – Sideways Stories from Wayside School. We are going to do a collaborative piece of writing with our new friends from Ottawa in creating a book about Sideways Stories from our schools. There is about 10 classes participating to create “stretching the truth” stories about our classes.



Working on using the circuit boards talking about what resistors are. We are also working on our Conductors or Insulators tests. The students created a way to test if something was a conductor or insulator and are writing a lab report to go with it.  Students will finish this and work on making things such as a potato clock, water clocks, lemon batteries, and various natural sources of electricity to see if we really need batteries or not. We will do our house building project with electricity once we have completed measurement and geometry in math.





Social Studies:

Students have completed the first of their guiding questions as a group. Lots of feedback given from myself and peers, plus reworking them. This week we will do one block a day of social. The next question they will pull key information together, then they will independently write their Jot Notes.
















The students spent the last couple of classes practising 3-digit by 1-digit long division. Some students also got started on the cumulative review to get ready for our unit exam which is on Tuesday. On Monday, Mr L and the students will go over the concepts as a class that they have covered in this unit as a final review before the exam. A study guide was sent home of the topics on this assessment and ways that students can prepare. Next week they will also be tackling another problem of the week.



We started our Lunar New Year Dragon art this week with 5E and 5F. The kids were told to focus on colour, texture and shape using only paper. They are starting to come along really well.IMG_3756 IMG_3758 IMG_3759 IMG_3764

Innovation week for grade five

This week at school everyone in Greystone are doing Innovation week. Lots of cool things were made I saw a person on stilts. And lots of people doing stop-motion out of clay or Lego. Some people are doing carts with a leaf blowers or engines and pushing. Some people are making instruments from scratch. Lots of people are making carts or jumps for cars. Some people are making boats that might float. Some people are interviewing people for information. Some people are making a video of tips. Some people are making a robots that talk. These are 5F’s and 5A’s creations

















This Week At School

This week has been a very busy week for us!

Language arts: We wrapped up our descriptive writing. The students wrote about their Monsters and will have the chance to post their paragraphs and monsters. We are moving into Organization next. We are continuing our Read Aloud to continue learning about the things good readers do which coincide with what we are working on in literature circles. In the new year we will be starting a levelled reading novel study.

Science:  We wrapped up our chemistry experiment in making our own candy. Some of the students were successful in using evaporation and crystallization to make their own rock candy and had a tasty treat! Next week we will work on answering the question “Where Does Electricity Come From?” to discover electrical sources (Natural and Man Made). We will also be answering the questions “Why do we need electricity?” to think about

Math: We are continuing our multiplication strategies. The students had a check up on Thursday to see where we needed to revisit in terms of instruction. We hope to wrap up the strategies by Christmas and can start the division strategies in the new year.

Social Studies: We are wrapping up our inquiry into our family histories. We are working on finishing up our presentations so that we can then compare our answers to the first 3  of the Guiding Questions in the new year:

  1. Why did they come to Canada?
  2. Where did they settle?
  3. Why did they choose to settle there?
  4. How did where they settle shape their family identity?

We will also be starting our study on the regions of Canada.

Innovation week:  In the previous post, I explained what innovation week was. Students had the chance to create their proposals for innovation week. These will be approved by me this weekend and they will be coming home on Monday or Tuesday for Parent approval. Students are to provide their own materials. The students were very excited about their proposals and for their first ever Innovation week.  We went through creating our proposals using the sections of the inquiry wheel first. After nutrition break, we continued our work using the design process. We came up with 368 ways we could improve our ideas based on the guiding questions we came up with during the Ideation stage. Students also drew sketches and created playdoh models in the prototyping stage. Kids will be blogging everyday during the week about the experience so please check out their blogs and comment. I will be sending home their blog links again.

Immunizations: Students braved immunizations like pros. Those who really struggled with immunizations emotionally or physically, I would recommend having them done at the health clinic on the weekend so that can stay home and rest, as well as have a low stress/low key environment.

Kindness: As a school, every LC had the opportunity to go to the Kind Every Time Presentation put on by Be The Game. I feel it was very timely and starting on Monday, we will start our week with a Kindness activity.  In the new year,  we will have a 30 minute class meeting after lunch on Thursdays to discuss the week, the classroom atmosphere, upcoming events and any issues from the week.

Blogging: Each week the kids and I will be doing a blogpost about our learning in school that week similar to this format. Students do a daily “What Stuck With Me Today” exit ticket at the end of the day to help guide these. Please comment on the content of the blog posts! The students will think it is amazing to have comments.

As always, please feel free to email me if there are any questions. It is a busy week coming up for us with swimming lessons next week.


Today, we were joined by Mrs Legge’s class to start our math assessment – we had 63 students in our room! We are doing a comic strip to show our POWs and our problem solving strategies.

This is really important because, not only are we showing our learning, We are working on collaboration – one of the competencies.

We sure do love comics! First we practiced giving Mr Letendre feedback on his example he made for us.  We are currently working on planning out our comic with our groups.



Jedi Knights

Ms. Albrecht’s was really excited about our Problem of the Week (POW) the other day and we couldn’t figure it out until she told us what our POW was – Jedi Knights! She is apparently a Star Wars fan which make us all more excited about the problem.  This is kind of a river crossing problem but Star Wars. You can see it here.

After we finally figured out the solution. Mr. Letendre  and Ms. Albrecht asked us to reflect in our journals and get feedback to improve our entries.

The next day we were asked to share our solutions. Most of us drew a picture as part of our strategy but our teachers had other ideas. Enter the “Act It Out” strategy. We actually were able to be Storm Troopers, Yoda  and we had a “ship” to get between the planets (we used yoga balls). Mr. Letendre was even there to welcome us to Tatooine when we arrived!

Acting it out was a lot of fun but it probably wouldn’t work for all the problemsB0fcURhCEAA6WNZ