Archive - 2014

Short Vowel Sounds
Finding Out: Measuring Maps Using Standard Units Of Measurement!
How We Show Our Critical Thinking:
Going Further
Our Trip To The Science Museum
Mapping Our School
Unit Three: Journeys
Loy Krathong
International Week 2014
Our Skype Call From Vincent!

Short Vowel Sounds

As the students in excellence work on their independent writing skills, they are continuing to inquire and add new tools to there toolboxes that will aid them  when sounding out words.

We have been focusing our attention on the short vowel sounds a / e / i / o / u /. In our tuning in activity, students were to add the missing vowels into a variety of  different words including bat, egg, pig, mop and cup. Once filling in the missing short vowel sound, students were to use their new knowledge and understanding and apply it when placing their word on a vowels chart. This was a great form of assessment as the students made their learning visible!

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Finding Out: Measuring Maps Using Standard Units Of Measurement!

Our inquiry into measurement has been moving along smoothly. Students have been eager to learn about time, constantly looking at the clock to test their own understanding.

When measuring distance, our students first looked at how they could use non-standard units to uncover the different lengths between countries on our giant map! They used natural materials as well as toy animals. They came to the conclusion that by using these materials, not everyone would come up with the same number of objects due to each animal being a different size. This meant that we needed to bring in some standard units!

The excellence class tuned in and found out how we use standard units, and how they are able to present us with the same measurement. That way, if we were to tell a loved one back home how far it is from Canada to Thailand on our map, they would be able to come up with the exact same distance!

We decided to investigate the ruler, looking first at cementers or CM. It was exciting to see that in the end, everyone had the same lengths on their maps.

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How We Show Our Critical Thinking:

Our unit on Journeys has taken a new turn. The students in Excellence have decided that they would like to know more about the different people living around the world. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to introduce them to the story, “Whoever You Are” , by Mem Fox.  It sends a message that even though we may seem different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside. We can all feel happiness and we can all feel joy. We can all feel sadness and we can all feel pain. It is our responsibility to be caring and to show others respect no matter who they are.


The students were first given the task to look at an image from the story and describe what they saw, what they thought and what they wondered through a thinking routine called I See, I Think, I Wonder. 

Here is how they responded:

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I See:

  • 2 Babies and 2 girls.
  • Mountains with houses.
  • Parents and families.
  • A man and hearts.
  • Flowers.
  • The man can fly.
  • A hat.
  • The man has a shirt with clouds.
  • Different coloured skin.
  • Smiles.
  • Some people have shoes and some people do not.

I Think:

  • The man is throwing the hearts on all the people.
  • It’s Valentines Day.
  • They are waving to a boat or car.
  • The leaves are hurting the boys hair.
  • I think people are in the house.
  • The clouds are moving.
  • He is catching the hearts because they are his favourite colour.

I Wonder:

  • Why do some wear shoes and some do not?
  • Why is the man throwing the hearts?
  • Why are people in the house?
  • How does the man fly?
  • Why did they build a house on the mountain?
  • Why is he wearing his shoes and flying?
  • Why are the people not going home?

While reading the story, they were able to make many connections. To give them a chance to discuss their feelings, we ended the story off with some think, pair, share. A chance for them to work with a partner to answer some of their own questions from our previous inquiry into the story.

We hope you have enjoyed viewing our critical thinking from today! Stay tuned for more fun learning in the Excellence room!


Going Further



When asking the Excellence class where they believed we were on the inquiry cycle, they all answered with a definite GOING FURTHER!

We tuned into journeys by discussing “what is a journey?”. We decided that a journey involves starting at one point and moving onto another. Journeys can be long, they can be short and they can even be in our own imaginations.

Last week we had the amazing opportunity of going on our own “long” trip to the Science Museum.  Excellence students were able to help with the planning process by informing us of what we needed in order to arrive to our destination safely. Once our trip was complete, we were then able to reflect on our journey and describe how the journey impacted our lives. As most of you can imagine, their reflections remained very positive due to the fact that riding in a van is very exciting!

Bringing us back to our lesson today: We first had to reflect on our unit before placing our arrow on the current position of the inquiry cycle. Here are a list of their responses:

  • Journeys go somewhere.
  • The Science Museum was a long journey.
  • We can go on short journeys and long journeys.
  • James went on a journey in the giant peach! (From James and the Giant Peach)
  • Maps show us countries and were we can go.
  • Compass Rose Directions: North, South, East and West.
  • Journeys happen inside our body.
  • Space.

From this point forward, we as a class are looking forward to continuing to create and understand maps, look into our own life journeys as well as the journey that our food takes in our bodies after we eat.

Stay tuned for more exciting experiences!

Our Trip To The Science Museum

On Friday November 21st, the students from both the Excellence and G1 G2  classes took an exciting journey to the Science Museum.

When deciding on a location for a field trip this year, we first looked at our units from term one. We have had a unit on play, light and journeys. The beautiful thing about going to the museum is that it would include aspects from all of our units. Our students were able to play with science, experience light and electricity on a deeper level as we explored circuits, and lastly we we able to both plan for and experience a journey.

Thank you to all of the parents that were available to help out on Friday. We could not have done it without you. For those parents whom we unable to attend, please enjoy some of the photos taken from the day:)

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Mapping Our School

Today, students from the Excellence class demonstrated confidence, independence, enthusiasm and creativity while creating maps of our school.

We started off our lesson by asking a key question. Why do we use maps? Students responses included:

  • If we get lost, maps can help us.
  • Can help us go anywhere and not get lost.
  • If we do not have a map and we get lost, we cannot go home!
  • Find countries.
  • Keys help us on the maps.
  • To find treasure.
  • A compass rose tells us the direction.

Once we got a better understanding of why maps are important, we discussed how we could create a map of our school. After some reflection, our students felt that they were now confident enough to go out into the playground independently and create their own maps of the school. Not one student stayed in the same place throughout their mapping. They constantly moved around in order to see every part of the school.

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Unit Three: Journeys

The Central Idea: Journeys provide experiences that can lead to new opportunities.

Learner Profile: Inquirers, thinkers, open-minded.

Attitudes: Appreciation, respect, curiosity, tolerance.

Skills: Social & Research

Subject Focus: PSPE & Research

Inquiry Into: 

  • Purposes of journeys.
  • Planning a journey to achieve a goal.
  • The impact this journey has on our lives.

Student Initiated Inquiry:

  • Our life journey.
  • Travel
  • Maps
  • Stories
  • Our foods journey after we eat.
  • Is camping a journey?
  • How is Disneyland a journey?

Loy Krathong

Our Loy Krathong celebration was a hit! Thank you to everyone for making today possible. The kids had an amazing day with their family and friends. Could not have asked for a better day 🙂

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International Week 2014

Thank you to all families and friends who were able to attend one or all of our international week events as well as those families who were able to lend a helping hand Friday and Saturday. It was an amazing week and I do believe that our Magic Years students were able to learn so much from it. It took a lot of collaboration, open-mindedness, and risk-taking on the behalf of students, teachers and parents.

Here are some of the photos taken during the week. Please enjoy and thank you all again!

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Our Skype Call From Vincent!

This Monday, our excellence class was thrilled to receive a skype call from our friend Vincent who is currently going to school in Uganda! It was amazing getting to catch up with our old friend. He has been missed so much this year. The students in Excellence cannot wait to chat with their friend again soon!

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