Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sun and Shadows Project Completed on Thursday, September 24th

This is the information that we published on the Waliacam Wikispace under "Sun and Shadows Project." This Wikispace is password protected though, so since you can't view the information there, we thought that we would share it with you here.

We hope that your child enjoyed this project as much as we did! This was a great way to integrate Science, Math, and Language Arts in a meaningful context.

Have a great weekend!

Sun and Shadows Project -- Results For Ancaster Meadow School

It was supposed to be a sunny day according to the weather forecast, but it actually ended up being more cloudy than sunny in Ancaster. We therefore didn't get the best results for this project. We learned though that the strength of the sun has a direct impact on the size of the shadow. While the shadow decreased in size between our first and second visit outside, it increased in size between our second and third visit because the sun came out from behind a cloud.

The Grade 1's at Ancaster Meadow School would like to thank the Grade 7 students for helping us learn how to work a compass and measure shadows using a metre stick and measuring tape. We had fun working with you!

On our page here, you will find some photographs of us measuring the shadows, some photographs of a follow-up writing activity that we did after our initial measurement this morning, and a table of our data. The children predicted if we would have the same pattern of results as the Australian school that already completed this project. They also explained why they thought what they did.

Thanks for including us in such a fun project!
The Grade 1 Classes at Ancaster Meadow School

Click on the collage of images to make it bigger.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our First Class VoiceThread: "Best Pet" Activity

After reading The Best Pet last week as our modelled reading text, the children got into groups and created their own "best pet." They had to think about why this pet would make the best pet. Here is a link to our VoiceThread discussion on this topic (connect speakers to your computer when listening to this VoiceThread if possible). It is great to hear the various responses of the students. After completing this activity, and after having the children listen to what they said, they also reflected on what we did: they loved sharing their ideas with the other students in the class, but they realized the importance of speaking in a loud, clear voice, so that others can hear what they have to say. We will have lots of opportunities to practice this with future VoiceThread projects. This activity was definitely a great way for the children to extend their understanding of the text while also continuing to develop their oral language skills. We hope that you enjoy what we did!

Miss Dunsiger's Class

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slideshow of Miss Dunsiger's First Round of Literacy and Math Centres

Here is a slideshow presentation of our first round of literacy and math centres. Look at this slideshow with your child, and see if he/she can tell you more about these activities by watching the slideshow with you. Enjoy!


Google Docs

This week, I used Google Docs with my class as a new way for completing interactive writing activities. The children have been using the word wall and their picture dictionaries as well as letter-sounds to help type sentences together on a variety of topics. Here is a link to the interactive writing activity that we completed on Friday. This activity was a lead-up to the one that the children completed independently in their Friday Journals:

Try using Google Docs at home to complete different writing activities together. All of the Grade 1 students will be using Microsoft Word and Google Docs for full-class, small group, and independent writing activities.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grade 1 Wordle on Waliacam Wikispace -- September 15th

All of the Grade 1 classes got together today in Miss Dunsiger`s Room to watch a special TumbleBook and create a Wordle for the Waliacam Wikispace (see the previous post for more information on this Wikispace). Here is a copy of the Wordle that the students made on Purple, Green, and Yellow by Robert Munsch (click on the image to open it in a new window):

The students did a great job recalling the important characters, events, and phrases in this book. Look at this Wordle with your children, and see if they can use it to retell the story. This was a very fun and meaningful shared writing activity!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Waliacam Wiki Project

We're very excited to be involved in the Waliacam Wiki Project, which allows our students to get involved in authentic reading and writing opportunities. The children can learn from other students in other schools in Wales, Australia, and the United States. Ancaster Meadow is one of three Canadian schools involved in this project.

Involvement in this Wikispace is also great because the students can gain a more global perspective but in a safe Internet environment, for only those schools that have asked for and been granted permission to participate in this project can view information from other schools and post to this Wikispace. At different times throughout the year, we will be taking screenshots of some of the activities that our students complete as part of this Wikispace project.

Miss Dunsiger showed her class the Waliacam Wiki on the SMART Board today. The students were amazed to learn that people in Australia would be sleeping at the time that we are in school. One student commented, "This means that we will be sleeping at the time that they are in school." Being involved in this Wikispace certainly gives a much deeper and more meaningful understanding of the concept of "time."

The students also loved seeing the different schools in Wales, Australia, and the United States. They commented on the environmental differences that they saw (even just the difference in greenery in the different places) and the school differences that they saw too (one school almost resembled a wooden cottage versus a brick building).

As part of this project, we also have different activities to complete. Our first activity is a Wordle one. Here is a screenshot of some Wordles on the Waliacam Wiki (click on the JPEG image to view it in a separate window):

As a class, we discussed what fairytale we thought the top Wordle was about, and we talked about the evidence in the Wordle that supported our guess.

We then completed a Wordle of our own (in black at the bottom) about a back-to-school book that we read this week. Here is the link to a bigger version of our class Wordle: title="Wordle: Wordle 1"> src=""
alt="Wordle: Wordle 1"
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. See if your child can use this Wordle to discuss the characters and events in The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson. You can also visit the Wordle Website together, and make a Wordle about one of your favorite books. E-mail us the Wordle (, and then we can post it on the Waliacam Wiki too.

Have a great weekend, and we look forward to seeing you again next week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An Introduction To Skype

Today all of the Grade 1 classes got together to Skype a Grade 6 class at Lawfield School. It was an incredible experience! We got a chance to see the Grade 6 students and their teacher in the classroom, and we had the opportunity to talk to them about our goals for the year. They read us a poem by Shel Silverstein about Captain Hook, and even showed us the special lion toy that they have in their class that refuses to behave. All he does is giggle, even when the teacher asks him to stop. The lion loves to roll around on the desk and laugh and laugh and laugh. The Grade 6 teacher asked us if we had any solutions for how to get the lion to stop laughing. Talk to your child about this. If your child has a good solution to share, please post it in the "Comment Section," and then we can share these good ideas with the Grade 6 class. We hope that the children enjoyed this special introduction to Skype! A very special thank you to the wonderful Grade 6 students and teacher that made this terrific learning opportunity possible for us!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mister Poll: Feelings About School Starting

With the start of school almost here, we would like to know how you're feeling about this new school year. Please click on this link to vote in our new web poll. You can also add a comment below to tell us more about how you're feeling or why you're feeling that way.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
Mister Poll: Feelings About School Starting

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guess the Wordle

Over the summer, we learned about a new website: Wordle. We will be using this website with you this year, and we decided to try it out first. Here is a Wordle of one of our favourite books. Take a look at this word picture and see if you can guess the book. How do you know that this is the book? Please feel free to post a comment with your prediction and the evidence you used to support this prediction, or e-mail us your thoughts instead ( We look forward to hearing what you have to say!