Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2.0 Continued: Our Friends in Missouri All Dressed Up!

Mrs. Lamb, the wonderful Grade 2 teacher from St. Louis, Missouri, just e-mailed us a photograph of the Grade 2 students in their Halloween costumes. Since the quality of Skype screenshots is limited, here is a much better photograph of the students that we spoke to yesterday:

Talk to your children about the similarities and differences in their costumes as compared to our costumes. Please post any comments here on your thoughts. We would love to hear them.

Have a very happy Halloween! See you on Monday!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween 2.0

Thanks to two amazing teachers (Mrs. Cassidy in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan and Mrs. Lamb in St. Louis, Missouri), the Grade 1 students were able to "travel" outside of their classroom today to celebrate Halloween with other Grade 1 and Grade 2 students. Just after our Halloween Parade this afternoon, we Skyped Mrs. Cassidy's Grade 1 class and shared a Halloween Poem with them. They shared a Halloween Poem with us too. We learned that even though we live so far apart, both classes knew both poems and both classes celebrated Halloween in similar ways: by dressing up and having some special activities too. We found out that Mrs. Cassidy's class was having a party in the afternoon, and we told them that we created plasticine Wild Things in the morning. The students there knew the story, Where the Wild Things Are, and were excited to know that we knew the story too. Here is a screenshot of Mrs. Cassidy's incredible Grade 1 class:

Look at this screenshot with your children and talk to them about this special phone call.

We then ended our day with a Skype call to Mrs. Lamb's Grade 2 class in St. Louis, Missouri. Our students loved all of the great Halloween jokes that Mrs. Lamb's students told us. Her class also read us a poem that they wrote full of "juicy words." It was great! They liked listening to our poem too. I think that Mrs. Lamb's class was surprised to learn that even though we live in Canada, it is not too cold here to go trick-or-treating. In fact, both the students in Missouri and the students here go trick-or-treating in the evening. Maybe we're not so different after all! Here is a screenshot of Mrs. Lamb's terrific Grade 2 class:

We hope that looking at this screenshot with your children will remind them of our special Halloween celebration.

Here is a Google Map to show just how far we travelled today and all without leaving the classroom:

View Our Halloween Skype Calls in a larger map

Technology truly is a wonderful thing!

We hope that you'll leave a comment here to let us know what your children thought of Halloween 2.0: a new take on an old tradition!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Virtual Pumpkin Carving -- Aviva's Class

Check out this video of our Virtual Pumpkin Carving Activity. We voted for which shapes to use for the different parts of our pumpkin face. Students had to interpret the graph to determine which shapes they had to make. They loved this interactive activity!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

With Halloween Approaching ...

Halloween is coming up next week, and the Grade 1 students will be celebrating it on Friday, October 30th. We have a number of special events planned for this day including two Skype calls: one to a Grade 1 class in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan and one to a Grade 2 class in St. Louis, Missouri. In preparation for these calls, Miss Dunsiger's class will be writing clues about possible Halloween costumes. We will be posting these clues as tweets on our Grade 1 Twitter Page. The Grade 2 class is going to try and guess our costumes based on these tweets.

All of the Grade 1 classes are also going to learn a special poem that we will be reading to the other classes during our Skype call. The other classes are going to read us a poem too. The students can't wait to share their reading skills with other students from around the world!

The Grade 1 classes are also going to be completing a special 3-D art project based on Where the Wild Things Are. They will be making their plasticine models on Friday, and then commenting on these models next week. This art project lines up directly with our new Arts' curriculum document.

We can't wait for what is sure to be a very exciting day!
The Grade 1 Team

Important Note: Please do not send in any treats for Halloween. We have a number of life-threatening allergies in Grade 1 and in the rest of the school, and we do not want anyone to have an allergic reaction due to the treats. Thank you for being so understanding about this!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend Visits With the Guinea Pig -- What can I do?

Chocolate Alvin Cherry Munching On A Carrot: Something That He Loves To Do!

In our last round of literacy centres, the students compiled a list on Google Docs about activities that they can do with the class guinea pig at their house. I put all of the lists together and created one list of 18 different ideas. Here is the link to view this list. Please note that you may be prompted to sign-in when accessing the link. You can use any e-mail account and password to sign-in, and then you should be able to view the list. My students did a great job at applying what they know about lists (the need to have a title, number each item, and offer specific information about each item) when they created this list. Way to go!

I hope that this list of suggestions helps you out when you're thinking about what to do on your weekend visit with the guinea pig. Thank you to all of the parents that have already booked visits with the guinea pig. If you haven't done so yet and you're interested in booking a visit, please e-mail me ( with some possible dates. Thank you!

Have a great weekend, and if you're spending it with our guinea pig, I hope that you're enjoying your time with Chocolate Alvin Cherry!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Miss Dunsiger's Class -- Guinea Pig Visit Information

Miss Dunsiger's class would like to welcome our newest member: Chocolate Alvin Cherry, our pet guinea pig!

I am excited to let you know that Chocolate the guinea pig can begin his weekend visits on Friday, October 16th. Any parent that would like the guinea pig for a weekend visit can definitely have this opportunity.

Here is some important information about the visits and about the guinea pig:

1. The guinea pig needs to be picked up by an adult from my classroom by 4:30 on the Friday night of the weekend visit.

2. The guinea pig needs to be returned on Monday morning before school starts (anytime between 6:30 am and 9:00 am). The guinea pig can also be returned to my classroom.

3. The parent that let us “borrow” this class pet will provide you with some food to begin your weekend visit. She will also provide a list of some foods that the guinea pig likes, including spinach and carrots. Please feed the guinea pig regularly.

4. Borrowing this class pet is a great opportunity to help your child become even more responsible, but a pet is still a big responsibility. Please help your child feed the guinea pig and clean the cage too.

5. Like all pets, a guinea pig needs to be handled with care. I will be modelling in class how to gently touch the guinea pig, as if the guinea pig gets scared, it may bite. Thank you for reinforcing this need to be gentle at home too!

Here is the link to a full-year calendar. Please look at the calendar and indicate in an e-mail ( five possible weekend dates that you could take the guinea pig for a visit. I will take all of the e-mails that I receive and start scheduling visits on Monday, October 12th. I will then e-mail you and let you know about the visit dates. All interested parents will receive one visit date first before additional visit dates are arranged.

If you have any questions, please just let me know ( Thank you for your help with our new special pet!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Update on our Waliacam Wikispace

Yesterday all of the Grade 1 students got together to view some replies to our posts on the Waliacam Wikispace. First of all, we viewed a reply to our Wordle (see the blog entry on September 15th to view a JPEG image of this Wordle). Here is a JPEG image of the reply as well as our response to the teacher that replied (all the way from Oklahoma):

Click on this image to view it in a separate window.

Please note that the Grade 1 students wrote the reply on their own using the keyboard on the SMART Board. Our students did a great job at using the words that they know along with the resource of the Word Wall to spell all of the words correctly in this reply. They also edited their post, making sure that the first word in the sentence started with a capital letter.

After the students wrote this reply, we looked at the response to our Sun and Shadows Project (see the blog entry on September 24th for more information on this project) from Mrs. Moore, a teacher in Australia. Instead of writing our reply, we used Audacity to make a podcast of our reply, but due to technical difficulties, we were unable to save this podcast. (We will try more podcasts in the future though.) We then took the information that the students shared in the podcast, and wrote a reply to Mrs. Moore. Look below to see her question and our reply:

Click on this image to view it in a separate window.

We hope that you enjoy seeing what we do on the Waliacam Wikispace. Please comment here if you or your child have any feedback about our involvement in this project.

Have a great long weekend!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tweet Poll

Please take a few minutes to answer our Tweet Poll below:

Any additional comments that you would like to give us about this poll question would be great too! You can comment directly on our blog or e-mail us at

A Meaningful Inferring Activity: Behold the Wordle :)

On Friday, October 2nd, the Grade 1 classes got together to view one of the Wordles that another school involved in the Waliacam Wikispace Project made. In order to make this activity more fun, we took a screenshot of the completed Wordle and added the "popping balloons" on top of it (available in the Notebook Gallery). Aviva learned about this trick at the planning inservice that she attended on Wednesday, September 30th.

Children took turns coming up to the SMART Board and popping the balloons (just by tapping them). The children then looked at the words that were revealed, and inferred what story this Wordle is about. As more words appeared, their inferences changed. We tried recording a podcast of their thinking, but since the students were talking from their spot on the carpet instead of directly in front of the microphone, their voices were hard to hear. We will try recording another podcast soon though.

In the meantime, look at the Wordle pictures below, and see if your child can use all of the words to help determine the title of the story. (We did this in class as a group, but we would love to hear individual explanations.) Please post your thoughts here. Without using any names, we are going to take all of the comments and post them in a reply on the Waliacam Wikispace. Thank you for your help with this special project!

Click on the images to have them open in their own window.