Archive - December 2014

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Short Vowel Sounds
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Finding Out: Measuring Maps Using Standard Units Of Measurement!
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How We Show Our Critical Thinking:

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.

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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!