Dec 4, 2014


The students have begun working on asking themselves some deep thinking questions while they read fiction and non-fiction books. This also transfers into our science and social studies work. A goal of mine is to get them to be inquisitive about what they are reading and wondering about. 
We have just begun this process and here is the first of some of the deep thinking questions they came up with. We were working from an interesting book called "If..." by Sarah Perry.

It gives you the opportunity to think outside the box about what if something were different than what you know it to be. Here are some of the images from the book and the questions the students asked. 
I used Google Draw (It was their first time using it) and all I could hear was Oooo and Awwww about how cool it was. This idea of technology is so new and exciting. You tend to forget the power it has. What will these kids be able to do in the future, if this is what they can do now?
 I hope you enjoy the questions. I know their spelling is TERRIBLE and hardly any of them use the question mark but I think it gives us an opportunity to go back and edit what they wrote on another day.

Oct 29, 2014

Our Padlet - What's a good question?

The students were introduce to Mystery Bags today but before they could find out what was in the bag they had to think about a good quality question to ask. Here are the questions they came up with. I think some of them worked hard to think about questions that did not require a yes/no answer. Scroll along to see the rest of the document. 

Oct 17, 2014

The Best Part of Me

My class has spent the last 3 weeks working on this project about body image. If you've never read this story you are truly missing out. The photographer decided she wanted to document images of a child's best part of themselves.

I've had this book for a number of years and just never did anything with it until this year. The students were given the task to come up with their best body part and explain why it was the best. We looked at the photos and built criteria around what the photos needed to look like. They had to figure out how to make them black and white thought the photo app. After they were finished their writing they went to work editing and then practicing their reading aloud. 
Please remember this is the beginning of October when this has been recorded. As a teacher I was struggling with doing this project, not because of the task bug the time commitment and the time away from regular instruction and building routines. After listening to them read and seeing their writing on their blogs I think I have quite a bit of information to assess them on and help them improve upon. I am confident that an improvement will  be made by the end of the year with their reading and writing. But for now I think they did a terrific job for this time of the school year. I hope you enjoy. There are 4 short videos and one more to be made.
Part #1


There is one more to come, I just have to finish it up.


Sitting at Big Blue (my guided reading table) during art and I'm listening to some conversations going on and the topic of perseverance comes up. 
Student A: I was watching my grandpa help my uncle with our horses and he looked like he was having a hard time. I turned to my uncle and said, "It really looked like you were persevering" 
Me: Did your uncle look at you strangely because you used that word? 
Student: Oh yay! He thought it was strange that I knew what that word was. 
Me: Thinking to myself, I think it's great you know the word and you can identify when you see someone practicing it. Smile appearing on my face. 
Then everyone had a story about how their parents looked at them funny when they used the word. I started to question the discussion when Student B said his five year old sister used the word. Hmmm...might have to think about that one. 
The point being, you shouldn't shy away from teaching them important words because they can identify it and use it correctly in their everyday life. I think I'm going to persevere and continue to teach them some bigger words. 

Oct 2, 2014


There were 18 very excited kids wanting to learn about Chromebooks. We were lucky to have Miss Walter come and help us with logging on and saving our class web page. 
Exciting times in 2B. 

Sep 10, 2014

Taking photos.

Today we learned how to take good quality photos with the iPad Minis. They learned that photos need to be:
Have all the details of their work 
Be organized

Maybe I should follow my own advice. Hard to get them to be still during an action shot 😃. 
Here is what some if them did. 

They are not perfect but they'll get better. 

Sep 8, 2014

Welcome Back!

I figured if I wanted you to come to the blog I better post some stuff for you to read. We got through the first week of school, boy was I tired Friday, and we're into the second week. 
Your child is settling in and learning the classroom routines. Last week we looked at translating our name pattern's into actions, sounds and on paper and with colour. More work is going to be needed. 
This week we'll be working on building routines for Reader's Workshop and Word Work. We are up to 8 minutes of reading stamina. Yay!!! You may have heard that we collected rocks today for our Rock Investigation. We'll be working on Perseverance, tomorrow you can ask your child what this word means. In our rock unit, we'll be learning how to sort, work with mass, learn how to persevere and build a plan for breaking rocks. Don't tell them about this because it's a surprise for the end of the week. In math we're working on learning how to subitize (when you look at a collection you can identify it without counting) and seeing the parts inside the whole number. For example, the whole number is 6 but the parts might be 3 + 3, 2 + 5, etc. 
In writer's workshop they are learning to write from their own ideas and begin to organize their writing on a 5 Finger Planner. 
Looking forward to posting some photos. 

May 5, 2014

How Do I Learn?

Have you ever asked your students to answer this question?  You might want to give it a try, I think you would be pleasantly surprised by the answer. I know I sure was.  A couple of weeks ago, I asked my grade twos this question (It comes from the Inspiring Education document from the Alberta Government) and I wanted them to video tape each other and post it to their blogs (Yes.. you read that correctly, I have my students video tape themselves all the time). If you are interested in going to take a look here are the videos on How Do I Learn
After reviewing the video, I picked those I felt the students needed to hear because of what was said. Here is what the students said: 

We then talked about, what evidence shows your learning? I was blown out of the water by what these little people came up with.  Yes... all my reinforcing of vocabulary has paid off.

You might want to try asking your students, how they learn and have a conversation about it one class.  It think it would make for an interesting discussion.

Reducing our global footprint

Earth Day was this past Tuesday and our class decided to collect our garbage and recycling to see how we can reduce our global footprint. The students discovered they throw away a lot of plastic bags as well as wrappers from processed food (shocking I know).
When discussing what they could do differently, they decided to reuse the plastic bags by taking them home and asking parents to reuse them as well as washing out the plastic containers yogurt, apple sauces and fruit cups go into and recycling them instead of throwing them in the garbage. 
They made some reasonable decisions I know they can follow through with. It would be great for you to have a conversation with them about how else you can reduce the amount of garbage thrown away.

Happy Earth Day 365 Days of the Year!

Apr 23, 2014


Some of them finally figured out what the lone Band-aid was doing way up on the wall beside the clock. I had many guesses like; it's holding the wall together, there is a crack and the Band-aid is holding it together and it has a sore. The students have been WONDERING since day one why it was up there and I couldn't tell them. I just left them guessing. 
Well, when we started the Band-aid Investigation, I heard this loud cheer from one boy in particular, it went something like this, "YES!!! Now we get to find out why the band-aid is on the wall." Inside, I had to laugh because of how important that thing was to them. To be honest the real reason it was up there, wasn't to capture their attention but because I'm too lazy to take it off. Now I know they will be interested and wondering why it's there next year. 
Here are some photos of us measuring the height of a giant in our classroom. If you look back to the beginning of this blog you'll see use trying to solve the height of the giant. He is 6 cubits and 1 span tall and the students have to show how tall he is at the beginning of the year. 
Today they had to measure the giants height with the measuring tool they'd made with only one band-aid. You could have heard a pin drop in the room with how engaged they were. 
If you're interested in seeing what they produced go to the class blog page
Here are some photos of the work we've done. 

Jan 14, 2014

Adding Photos to Kidblog

Here are some screen shots to help you add photos. 
1. Open a new post.
2. Either write at the beginning or after you've loaded the picture. 

3. Look in bottom right hand corner for the photo icon. 
4. Press it and a screen like this will appear. 

5. Either take a photo or choose one from your library. 

6. It will add it to the body of the post. 
7. When you are done writing hit the publish button and it will be published. 

8. All done. Looking forward to seeing some photos. (This was taken at the Blue Rodeo concert, Ms Brown's Favourite band). 

Jan 13, 2014

Math Reasoning

Here is an example of what math reasoning sounds like. The first time he was explaining it to me, he was far clearer and didn't get confused. The students were trying to figure out whether 33 groups of 3 penguins worked. The initial problem was trying to figure out how many ways 100 penguins could be organized into equal groups.
He knew you could reverse 33 groups of 3 penguins into 3 groups if 33. From there he added the 33's together to make 99. He has one penguin left over so this combination can't work. 
Math reasoning is a huge component of our math curriculum.  My goal in grade two is to get them to reason why a strategy or answer will or will not work. When this happens it's truly amazing to hear them thinking and being logical as to why it does or doesn't work. This boy clearly has mathematical reasoning for this particular problem. He understood that by switching or reversing the combinations, you could find other combinations.

We want them to be thinking about the reasons why it should work because of what the numbers can and can not do. This particular student isn't doing gobs and gobs of math worksheets, instead they are working in a problem based math classroom where it challenges him to think and reasoning. I love it when this happens, now I just need them all to do this :-).

Jan 8, 2014

Finding all the different types of penguins

Our investigation into penguins led us on a search to find out just how many species of penguins there are around the world. Here we are working away to find out what all 17 species are called. 

And we wonder why they are tired at the end of the day.

How many ways can you organize 60 penguins in equal groups?

As a class we had to find out how many different ways 60 penguins could be organized. When we first got started we were stuck on 2 or 3 ways. Ms. Brown told us to go and get Unifix cubes (blocks), this sure helped a lot. It worked much better for us. We then worked as a class to find 12 ways to organize the 60 penguins. We were surprised at all of the different ways.