Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nothing Better ...

Every year, when the winter holidays come, I think that the students and teachers are both equally excited for a break. We all love school and enjoy our time at school too, but having some time to rest and relax is important as well. Just before starting this break, I wanted to thank all of the students, parents, teachers, and administrators for a great four months of school.

Yesterday, a child gave me this card, and it quickly reminded me why I teach:

You can "read" the happiness and excitement in her card, and I can't think of a better gift. This student definitely had me smiling all day yesterday.

Happy holidays everyone! See you again in 2011!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Goodbye Miss Ho!

Today was a difficult day for me and for my students too, as we all had to say goodbye to Miss Ho. Nicki did her first teaching placement in our classroom since November, and she is already an amazing educator. She always looks at the needs of students first, and has done everything possible to ensure that all students meet their full potential. She is a great addition to the teaching profession.

As a special Friday Journal, all of us included a special sticky note or two on this Lino Wall, letting Miss Ho know just how much she means to all of us. All the best in your next placement, Miss Ho! We'll miss you!

Miss Dunsiger And The Grade 1/2 Class

Explaining Their Thinking

In math this week, my student teacher, Nicki, planned some exciting centres that reviewed money and introduced patterning for Grades 1 and 2. During centre time today, I sat down with a group of Grade 2 students completing a money activity. They needed to make different coin amounts using different numbers of coins (e.g., make me 85 cents using 6 coins). I recorded the students as they explained their thinking. Wow! What amazing math talk! Thank you, Nicki, for planning such engaging centres that not only allowed the children to think, but to communicate their thinking too.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trying Out Lino

For Reading Buddies last week, my Grade 1/2 students worked with their Grade 4 buddies to add sticky notes to a Wallwisher Wall detailing what they learned from various books. This week, we focused on asking questions. The students read books with their reading buddies, and then added sticky notes to a Lino Wall (embedded below) with their questions and even some possible answers too. It was great to watch the students working together to formulate the questions and post their notes.

It was also great at the end of the process when I asked the students what tool they liked better -- Wallwisher or Lino -- and why? All of the students agreed that they liked using Lino more. They said that it was, "easier to grab the sticky note than to double-click and make it appear." The Lino sticky note is also "bigger," so it's "easier to type on and post." Students also enjoyed all of the "colour choices." They had so much fun using this tool that they almost forgot that they were reading and writing too!

So for now, all I'm thinking is, what can I try out next week? If you have any ideas to share, I would love to hear them. Thanks for your help!


Use your mouse to move around the canvas and see the different sticky notes. Feel free to add one of your own too.

Reflecting On Our Musical

Completing The Wallwisher With Their Partners

With special thanks to Ms. Ledroit, Mrs. Lucarelli, and Ms. Doyle, all of the primary students were involved in presenting a musical for the holiday season. The students spent months practicing for this musical during their weekly music classes as well as during some special nutrition break practices. On November 30th and December 1st, they got to share their months of work during two daytime performances and one evening performance.

For a special Friday Journal this week, my students worked in partners to reflect on their performance: what did they do well, and what could they improve the next time? The students quickly realized that nobody is perfect, and while they all worked hard, they also realized their areas of weakness too. This reflection fits perfectly with our new Arts curriculum, and allows students to do some meaningful writing as well.

Read through these sticky notes with your child, and feel free to add additional sticky notes too. Thanks for your help with this activity!


P.S. Since I got to perform alongside the students, I added a reflection too. Please note though that one of the students used my laptop for this activity and so my username appears on her sticky note as well. I did manage to stand "quietly" on the stage ... or at least relatively so. :)