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.