Friday, January 16, 2015

Hello Families!

What a special week- there is so much to share.  Here are some of the highlights and interesting topics.

This week we began our series of all school assemblies for Friday mornings.  Today's was hosted by the fourth grade who shared the videos from their Exhibition Project.  These were about their butterfly garden (from last year) and their project advocating the use of plastics.  Many friends in our class really were impacted by the plastics message, so I wonder what your child will tell you! (We also sang happy  birthday to Donna!)

Our math discussions have been heavy on this topic to help many friends access their own understanding.  I try to play the game two ways- by giving the fraction and them telling me how many to draw and shade in and by drawing the whole and pieces shaded in and asking the students to identify and name the fraction.

We had this cool "aha" moment (above) when the students realized that their understanding of doubles relates here with the concept of half.  When we were identifying 6/12 Saul mentioned that 12 was the double of six, and then they realized it was half and then so many students began seeing this connection!

We also created a blog game/challenge for you for the three day weekend!  I grouped the kids into partnerships and they each were given a portion of a whole.  They quickly identified how many they had.  So the game is that here we will show you their parts of the whole and they ask you, "How many pieces do we have, and what is that fraction called or who do you write it?" Challenge: Make sure to write out the fraction correctly.  (You can find the answers at the bottom of this blog entry!

Please Make sure to check out the reflection page about the communication tool called "Bugs and Wishes"!  Here is a sneak peak:
Story Writing
To challenge ourselves to write new types of stories and books, we began a brainstorm of possibilities.  This is a work in progress, but so far we have so many ideas!  I love how the students noticed when ideas could be fiction or non-fiction, depending on the writing style!


The kids have been interested in this, and as I mentioned last week, we have a new area to investiagate this topic.  We have done some activities and had discussions around this topic and related ideas.  Below are some of their words.

Please see my page about this, too!

What does the word electricity or electric make you think of?
What do you understand about electricity?
What types of electricity do you know?
What questions do you have about electricity?

Patrick T: I understand, like, how, like, it goes all over the world.  Electric makes me think of things at home- my remote control airplane- like you have to charge it with the controller, and you put batteries in the controller.
Patrick R: What I want to know about electricity is how does the satellite make the electricity go down to us so we can do anything that we want to do with it- if it needs electricity.
Piper: What I want to know about electricity is how does the wire get to your house if you can't really see them.
Micah: What I want to learn about electricity is how does the wire connect to your switch.
Liam: What I know about electricity is that how magnets stick to metal is electricity.
Lucy: What I want to know about electricity is how does the static electricity just pops up in random places if there is not wire.
Veronica: What I want to know is how electricity gets from the satellite to your house.
Kirana: What I want to know about is if you have solar panels on rainy days, do you get any electricity cuz it comes from the sun and a wire to your house.
Rachel: What I want to know is like how come electricity sometimes stops working when you get too far away.  I’ve had an experience where me and my brother have walkie talkies when my dad was taking them to cub scouts.  The walkie talkies stopped working after two miles and I kept trying to call him.
Abigail: I wonder how electricity even works.
Brianna: I don’t know why, cuz one time at night I took off my blanket and there was light onto my blanket- it looks like lightning but it was dark.
Owen: Once at night, I woke up in the morning and my cutains were closed but there was something blue. It looked like a light bulb that was going out.  After a while, electricity doesn’t work any more.
Saul: There’s electricity in phones, but when the battery goes out, there’s no more electricity in it, and then when you plug it in, electicity is tight into your phone, into the battery.
Ryan: What I want to know about electricity is that why electricity is invisible, that you can’t see it.
Katarina: I wonder why there're tools that sense electricity when it’s on and off, how do they. When my dad was testing his sensor, it was sensing if electricity is on or off, when my refrigerater wasn’t working.
Jack: What I want to know about electricity is how the wires inside a wrap of leather, how can the electricity get inside when the wires are inside.
Brett: What I want to know about electricity is if you can store it in a jar or something.
Clare: I want to know how when we slide down a slide and we put our head down it, it makes our head staticky.
Bayley: I’m wondering why you can only see the electricity in the light bulb and when you turn it off you can’t see it.
Wiilliam: What I don’t get with phones, is that if the wires in the battery and the phone's not working because the wire won't do anything because the battery, if the battery doesn’t work, that means nothing will work because the charger doesn’t have anything to charge.
Ethan: What happened is I got shocked and then I did zzz because I was so shocked.  I wonder why the electric box shocks the people.
Paul: I would like to know why electiricy is hot.
Emma: I would like to know how much electricity I use in a day.

Jennifer: I am interested to think about which things require electricity and if we run out of power which things won't work. 

I hope you can come in next week after I put up their drawings- they are so person and neat to look at!

Homework possiblity- Make a word web of all the things in your house that use electricity and bring it into class
Where there any items you were surprised to realize also needed electricity to run?

Experiment Friday!!!

We were lucky to have Wendy, Ethan's mum, plan and organize today's experiments using Snap Circuits.  The students were making connections- literally!   ;)  I imagine your child will have lots to share about the challenges they did and what trick they were able to make happen when everything was connected correctly!  Thank you to Wendy, and to Katrin and Seng who came in to help out today!

Have a lovely three day weekend!  Enjoy exploring why we have this special holiday.  Love, Jennifer

Here are two of my favourite quotes of Martin Luther King Jr.:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
And here are the answers to the fraction challenge!


  1. I liked the Fraction game. But I would like a more challenging fraction game. I LOVE YOU. love, Piper

  2. I love you Jennifer. And I liked the blog because of everything we did that was fun, and the experiment we did. -Veronica.

  3. Brett told me all about the fraction work he did and about his bug/wish/action plan.

  4. Ryan is very excited about the fractions, he is more aware of fractions around us. The other day he was trying to make different fractions by diving up his round cracker into pieces!
    and he is super excited about electricity! we spent 45 minutes in the electricity related aisle at Target! he examined almost all the items he could reach to figure out what they do (I was glad that the aisle was not too big)! Have a great week!