Dec 18, 2011

Experimenting with Mobile Application

I just downloaded the Blogger application for my iPhone and I wanted to test it out. This could prove to interesting, allowing you to post at anytime rather than just from your desktop or laptop. Perhaps this is the
start of something great.

Nov 30, 2011

Final Task from One is a Snail Ten is a Crab Problem

Dredon & LindenJaylen & ConnorKaiya & EmmaSeth & MaysenBrooke & KassyTeegan & Erika
Maddy & MicaelaJerry & CharlieAmber & AlyssaEllie

We've been working on a problem from the book One is a A Snail Ten is a Crab (great book for numbers and decomposing them).

The problem was:
If you can only use snails and dogs to make 25 feet, how many different ways can you do this?

The answer is 6 combinations but we took it a step further and organized our thinking to see if we could find patterns. This helps them know if they have all the combinations to the problem.
Organizing of data is also a skill students need to have in all subject areas. If their data or results are organized it becomes easier to read, know if you've gotten all the right information or finished the problem.

There was a tremendous amount of number and problem solving in this task.
1.  They had to understand the problem, work with 25 blocks, realize that there is more than one answer, know if they were finished and work with another person.
2. They needed to understand what organizing their work meant. We'd done a lot of work with organizing our writing but it didn't always transfer over into math.
3. They were then expected to find a pattern. When I asked them what a pattern was, I got ababababab, etc. The standard answer. To be able to find an increasing or decreasing pattern in all of this data was a challenge. They could see the dogs increase by one dog but they were not thinking that it increased by 4 feet. I'm not sure they really get that part of it but for right now the task was about organizing their answers to see if they can find a pattern and know if they got all the combinations.
4.  Organizing of the blocks was challenge, some were stuck on "How many they needed", or only making one combination (speaking of this word, it was difficult for them to figure out what this meant. The more I talked about it the more they figured it out). 
5. They had to listen to one another and take suggestions.
6. I took pictures the whole way through so they could see what others were doing. We compared pictures and talked a lot about how do we read the data and where they were in the process (if you go to the flickr site you will find the beginning photo's).
7. The manipulating of the materials and following instructions was hard for some of them, but they worked through it to come to an answer.

8. They were constantly counting or doing some kind of adding to figure out if each combination made 25 feet. Practical and world math.

Problem solving is so worth the time and effort. There was no paper and pencil work, other than writing on their white boards. I have data to help influence my instruction of more number work and other problem solving.

We've got a long way to go, but I know it will get easier the more we do. If you have any questions please let us know and we'd be happy to answer them.

Nov 26, 2011

What did you miss?

I am trying something new. I've created a podcast to highlight what we did during the day if you miss school. Please take a moment to listen and if you have any questions please add a comment below. You will see two podcasts, one below and one off to the side. I am experimenting with both. Each one has a different day. The one below is for Thursday, Nov. 24th and the one off to the right is Nov. 23rd class.
Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Nov 21, 2011

Free Games

I have spent the last couple of days adding to my new Wiki. There are free games that go along with the Words Their Way Spelling program I am using in my classroom. Feel free to download them. More will be coming soon. It is a work in progress.
Remember it's always nice to share, so feel free to add any of your own games to the Wiki. If you join you will be notified when new games are added.

Jerry's Game

Here is Jerry's Video and Game.

Charlie's Game

Enjoy Charlie's Game. 

Kassy's Maze

Enjoy Kassy and her friend Teegan explaining how to play Kassy's maze.

Seth's Game

Hope you enjoy Seth's Game

Nov 17, 2011

Busses Have Been Cancelled

blowing snow on Route 4, with hedgerow
Photo courtesy of Flickr by PJWoodland
Hello Everyone! Well it's our first week of winter and already the blowing and drifting snow has caused our roads to be unsafe. We will not be having regular classes and you won't be marked absent. You're not missing anything fun at school. 
Please read your book and if you wanted to do some writing, I would love to hear about what you're doing at home by writing about it on the blog. Also, please go to Spelling City and log on and play some games, print off materials or take the spelling test to see how you'll do. 
Have a great day at home.

Nov 15, 2011

Jaylen's Game

Here is Jaylen's Game. Hmmm, another math game, interesting!

Magnet Games/Mazes #2

Here are Maysen and Kaiya giving you a summary of how to play their game/maze.

Magnet Games/Mazes

The students are finishing up their games or mazes for our magnet unit. The task was to create a game using a magnet and 3 materials. The game had to have a theme, be colorful and have a goal or purpose to play. The students then recorded themselves explaining and/or playing the game. 
Here is one of them to watch. 

Nov 11, 2011

Favourite Daily 5

Introduction to Favourite Daily 5 (mp3)
 This week our class tried out the Web 2.0 tool, AudioBoo. I wanted them to have practice reading into a computer Web 2.0 tool so they could eventually do it themselves. They got to say their name and age as a practice. They then listened to what they sounded like. It was very strange for some of them to hear themselves talking. After a couple of test runs and trying to get them to speak louder into the microphone it was time to get started. 
They told what their favourite daily 5 was and why they liked it. If you are interested in hearing what they had to say, please visit their blogs and click on your child's' blog to listen. They would love for you to leave a comment.

Nov 8, 2011


What is voice in your writing? As a class we will be working on finding our voice in our writing. This is one of the hardest traits to teach but also the funnest one to listen to. 
Ruth Culham (2005) describes voices as this:
  • When a writer's passion comes through loud and clear in their writing. 
  • It keeps us turning the page long after we're suppose to be in bed
  • It's when your writing sounds like you.
  • Your writing has energy and enthusiasm
  • After reading a piece of writing, you remember it. 
I can't wait to hear and share some examples of voice with all of you. I know my students are going to love working on this writing trait.

Oct 30, 2011

Spelling City

If you like playing on the computer and you're interested in practicing your spelling sounds and High Frequency Words I've added all of them to our Spelling City site. Please visit. 

Learn spelling and vocabulary

If you are a teacher and interested in having the word lists you just need to copy them to your Spelling City site. Directions are given on the site. 
Have fun!!!

Oct 26, 2011

Witches Feet

With the change of our schedule we can't do art on Tuesday's any more. There were a lot disappointed students. Due to the power I have, I decided to postpone science until next week and do art. Here's what we ended up creating. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Click play to view the slideshow.
The art idea comes from Art Projects for Kids

Oct 17, 2011

Movement, Magents and Imagination

The class is learning about Movement, Magnets and Imagination. This past week Science In Motion came to our school to teach them about Magnets. You'll see several pictures from the activities we did. 
This is so cool!!!
Magnets can be very strong.

Testing out what attracts and doesn't attract to a magnet.

Can you see the invisible magnet field?

This was really neat but I can't remember the name.

You can pass materials through our structure to test if the magnetic field passes through.

Look what I did!!!

Throughout the week in science they have been trying different science experiments about moving. Friday was a fun day because they got to see how Dominoes move. There are also some pictures and video of the Dominoes falling down. 
Take some time to talk about what they are learning at home and showing them different ways things can be moved. 

Oct 15, 2011

Moving Right Along

The class is well on it's way to building routines and understanding the classroom rules. We are just about in the middle of October which is crazy when you really think about it. Time goes so quickly when you are busy. 
Report cards are coming out at the beginning of November. Wow!!! So this means, I am thinking about reporting to parents how their child is doing.
Here is a brief overview of what we've been working on in each subject area: 
In Writer's Workshop we've built routines that allow us to write for 10 minutes independently, even I get a chance to write. We've worked on finding good ideas, adding some details to our writing, using punctuation properly, although some still do not use it consistently. Actually writing our ideas down. The students also get an opportunity to blog about their writing ideas. This month we're working on learning all of the different ways authors organize their writing. 
In Word Work we've again built routines, we're working on different sounds in words depending on our levels. The students are comparing no more than 2 or 3 sounds at a time which makes it quite manageable them. 
Math has been a lot of fun. In September we worked on measurement. We measured our own heights, tired to figure out how tall a giant was and compared the two. It was an opportunity to see who could problem solve and persevere. The students have worked with Cuisenaire rods. They've been building relationships and comparing the rods to get to know them. They are a manipulative used frequently to understand number, measurement, and other mathematical relationships.
They are still building stamina in Daily 5. They've worked on Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone. Next week I'll integrate Word Work and eventually Listen to Reading. I am meeting with individual students to set a reading goal (comprehension, accuracy, fluency or expand vocabulary). This has been time consuming but worth it to have student working independently to practice their reading skills.
We have finished a Healthy Eating Unit and they are moving into a new science unit. It's called Motion, Magnets and Imagination. They are learning how forces can move objects.
In art, they have worked with watercolors (blending colors), worked with creating texture with paint and worked with various materials like oil pastels and chalk pastels.
I hope this helps to keep you posted as to what we do all day what to expect on the report card.

Oct 7, 2011

He Was Almost Right!

Here is another silly story from the adventures of 2B. We were out of a short walk to our community park and back to the school on Thursday morning. We had just come from the park and the boys were dragging behind us. Yes, all 7 of them! You can see all of them behind us girls.
I stopped and asked them to please keep up. One boy wasn't paying attention so I asked him what I'd said. He paused for a short time and responed with, "You want us to be quiet because we are going up a hill!" "Nope! Please keep up with us." I asked again. We start walking again and out of the mouth of Teegan comes, "He almost got is right!!!!" in a voice only I heard. I think we've got a brilliant comedian on our hands. 
You made my day little lady. 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 
I'm thankful for the joy to laugh at such precious moments. 

Oct 5, 2011

World Teacher Day and an Oops!

Wishing all my fellow followers, subscribers and other teacher friends a fabulous day. Teaching has got to be the most rewarding job in the world. This year I am finding the joy in it again. Yesterday, I accidentally dropped the book, "Beautiful Oops!" on a boys forehead, yes it just slipped out of my hands and bonked him right in the forehead. I felt so bad and apologized. He was okay with it. We'll see if Connor sits up close again :-).
Just before we continued talking about it again, I said, "I wanted to talk about the book Oops, but not that kind of Oops!" They all burst out laughing I mean all of them, and made me feel so much better. It's these little moments that make my day so wonderful. 
Thank you to all the parents who trust me with your children. They are wonderful little kids. To all the other teachers out there I hope you can find time to laugh with your students as well. 
Here's a fun joke Dredon told me: Why did 6 not like 7? Because 7, ate nine. He said he didn't get it but it gave me a giggle. 
Have a terrific day with your kids. 

Oct 3, 2011

New Design

As you can see from the pictures, I have made some changes to our room. I don't normally rearrange furniture during the year. But I had some concerns with safety and the flow of the room. The big blue table at the back was too much for the little space we had. I moved it up by my desk so that I am able to reach my teaching materials when I need them. It's also closer to the Smart Board so if I need to use the Smart Board for instruction I'm able to do so.
I found another table and took out the last 3 desk I had. I've slowly moved away from desks. Connor asked why I didn't like desks this morning and I replied with, I just prefer tables because they give you more room to work on the table and on the floor. It also gives us more space on the floor when we need to work there.
I think the changes are going to be good.
Ms. Brown

Sep 30, 2011


I just looked and discovered I have 100 followers on my blog. What a great way to start the weekend. I guess it means I'm really going to have to get my posts done in a timely manner and not as sporadically as I have been. 
Thank you to everyone who follows this blog. It's so appreciated. When I started this blog a year ago I was excited when I had one follower, then it went to 20 and now I'm at 100!!! 
I don't do giveaways so all I can do is say thank you and I'm going to keep posting some ideas and insights into my classroom. We are very busy each and everyday. 
If you are interested in seeing anything please let me know. 
See you soon!

Sep 29, 2011

I Heart Your Blog Award

Wow! Was I surprised when I opened my comments and found this I Heart Your Blog Award. I've never been recognized in such a way before. Thank you to Just 4 Teachers for the award.

 Here are my top 10 Blogs

Mrs. Watson's Blog


A 2nd Grade Adventure


I Do, We Do, You Do




Now here are the rules:  
1. Give the "I Heart Your Blog "Award to your favorite Top 10 Blogs that have touched your heart and inspired your teaching by listing them on your blog.
2. Contact that person and let them know of their heartfelt award.
3. When you receive the award, copy and paste the graphic onto your blog and give a shout out to the person who nominated you. 
4. Spread the LOVE by passing the "Heart Your Blog" Award on your Top Ten!