Monday, 20 April 2015

Getting ready for Parent Conferences

This week we have Tri-Conferences at my school and I wanted to share some of the things my kids would be sharing with their parents.

Tri-Conferences consist of a meeting between the student, parent and teacher. The students share their learning independently with their parents for 20 minutes and then meet with the teacher to discuss their learning for 10 minutes. (30 minute conference)

I have tried many different structures over the years for my students tri-conferences including portfolios, centres, digital portfolios, and learning projects.

For the past 2 years, my students have shared various learning projects through technology with their parents. This has been the easiest way for us to show the learning that takes place in our class.

Here is what my students are sharing during their 20 minutes:

1. Storyteller Book

I shared previously how my students created their own listen to reading book for Daily 5. Their parents will listen to them read on their recording and follow along in their book.

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2. Subtraction and Addition Stories

Students made videos of themselves telling a subtraction problem story and an addition problem story with manipulatives. We uploaded them to dropbox and made QR codes to link to their videos.

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3. Art Movie

I keep all the students artwork at school throughout the year in a big portfolio for each of them. I send it home at the end of the year. We made movies in Shadow Puppet to show all our artwork so far to our parents, as they have not seen it! We uploaded again to dropbox and made a QR code for it.

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4. Skip Counting Book

Students worked with a partner to create a skip counting book in Book Creator, showing one of our skip counting patterns in grade 1. (2, 5 or 10) Again, uploaded to to dropbox and then ibooks.

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5. My Favourite Book

Students wrote about their favourite books and why. We drew a character from the book and then recorded them telling about why it was their favourite. QR codes were created of their recording and attached to their picture.

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Once students are done sharing, they come meet with me with their parents and we go through their data binders together and talk about how they are doing in grade 1!

Before our tri-conference date, we spend lots of time practicing with the ipad to make sure we know to get on the internet, scan the apps etc.

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How do you run parent conferences?

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Printmaking Idea and a Make Ten Idea

It’s my second last day of Spring Break! :(

I have been relaxing to the max this week, and did a whole lot of nothing! A couple weeks ago, I was in Palm Springs with some fellow colleagues for the annual CUE Conference.

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We had such a great time and I came back with a few more ideas to use with my kids. I will be sharing more about those as I use them in my class. (green screens, AR (augmented reality) etc)


Last week, our whole school worked on an art project for the rights of a child. Our whole school division is taking part in a art piece about Human Rights and the rights of a child. Each child got a 8x11 board to creatively show 1 of the rights of the child.

Our class had Article 27:
You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met.

We displayed this right by using simple symbols to show food, clothing and shelter. We used a printmaking technique to stamp our symbols on our boards.

Step 1: Paint a piece of foam with tempera paint. (thin, no blobs)
Step 2: Draw your picture into the paint, using  a q-tip.
Step 3: Press your paper down on top of the foam and press down!
Step 4: Peel off the paper to see your print!

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During Morning Meeting, we have been working on a variety of activities to help us learn our Make 10 facts.

One of the activities we did last week is called “Bears in a Cave.”

There are 10 bears (counters, chips, etc) and a cave (bowl or cup).

1 student hides some of the bears in the cave while the other student closes their eyes. After they are done, they tell a story to the other student.

“There are 10 bears in total. 5 bears are outside the cave. How many are hiding in the cave?”

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The other student needs to use their friends of ten knowledge to figure out the partner number of 5 that makes 10.

“There are 5 bears in the cave because 5 + 5 = 10.

This is a great activity to help students find the missing part in a number sentence! Easy to make and play and can be used for any number!







Happy Easter Sunday!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

What we did this week

We have no kids tomorrow as it is Report Card Writing Day. I am already done my reports (yahoo) so I will be spending the day cleaning, organizing stuff and getting ready for my sub next week as I will be in Palm Springs for the week for the annual CUE Conference. (Computer using Educators….tech stuff)

I had a ton of photos on my ipad of things we did this week and I thought I would share some! I love seeing photos of people doing things in their class as it always gives me ideas! I get waaayyy more ideas for activities from people sharing pics, than people sharing a product they made :s (just saying….I know I share products too at times!)

So here are some things we worked on in no particular order:

Working on Ideas in Writing:

We read The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown and worked on using her structure to write interesting sentences that stick to the main idea. We wrote one together, they wrote one with a partner and then they wrote one by themselves.

Here is our Ideas Anchor Chart (ideas for the chart are from 6+1 Writing Traits)

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Here is the one we wrote together:

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Here are some of the ones they wrote independently. Quite a few of my students struggled with this. They reverted back to the “ I like it, it is good, it is fun” types of sentences. This is a tough activity when 20 out of 23 students of mine are EAL. We worked on whiteboards so as to easily write and re write if needed.

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(The important thing about a shark is that it can fight with a dangerous animal. They surf for food like seals and fish. They are fast like a motorcycle and they eat people too. Their teeth are very sharp. They are amazing. But the most important thing about a shark is that it can fight with a dangerous animal.)

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Portrait Drawing in Art

I made a makeshift document camera with my ipad and lamps! It worked alright. I used the camera app to document what I was drawing and display it on the smartboard for them to watch step by step. Could I have drawn on the smartboard? Yes. Could I have drawn on the whiteboard? Of course. But I wanted to try it out. Excited to use it to show things in math !

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Art Video

I keep all the kids art at school in a big folder until the end of the year and then they take it all home. We decided to make a video to share at conferences to show moms and dads all our art so far because they haven’t seen any of it!
We took pictures of every piece of art in our folder and then used Shadow Puppet to create a video. Students had to add a title to each piece of art and chose music for the background.

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Morning Message

I realized that we have some misconceptions about turnaround facts in math. We have been talking a lot about how when you add, you can flip or turnaround the parts and you get the same answer. Well they have been thinking that the same is true for subtraction.

Teaching moment: re- go over that when you subtract the bigger number needs to go first. Fact Family !

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Another Art Piece! Collaborative Abstract Art

Students were given criteria and they had to work with a partner to plan and create an piece.
Choose 1 colour paint
Choose 2 shapes (each paints one)
Paint shapes in black
Use the paint to make a tint and a shade
Fill in all sections with no white space

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And here, in all its glory is the wonderfulness of the Open Area School. The arrows indicate different things going on in the same area. We have kids working on Art (inside and outside the classroom), kids on computers, teachers having an impromptu hallway meeting, an EA working 1:1 with a student, and kids listening to a story in their classroom. It’s a tad crazy at times!

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Tomorrow is Friday and my Birthday!!! Goodbye to my 20’s! Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Simple Effective Math Activities

Hello folks,

I wanted to share some of the simple math activities we have been using in class lately.

I for one, hate printing in ink, hate printing things with tons of extra clipart (sorry!) and do not like activities which are a one time go. (ex. worksheets) While I do use worksheets on occasion, for subs or some summative assessment, I try to stay away from them. Waayyy to much paper being used and the activity can’t be repeated.

Almost all of the math activities my kids engage in use whiteboards and math materials. (dice, ten frame cards, deck of cards, counters, game boards, etc) There are exceptions however and I do make and print simple games for my kids!

I try to plan activities that my kids can go to over and over again and continue to learn new things.

Here are some of the activities that are in our bins right now for Math Daily 5.

Memory 5 

Kids are playing memory and matching up combinations that make 5. I made cards with dot patterns, numbers, and finger patterns on them. You could easily use a deck of cards or ten frame cards and only use the cards that make 5!

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Clear the Board

This is counting on game. Be the first person to clear all your counters off the board by rolling 2 dice and adding!

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Ways to Make

Kids have a target number and double sided chips. Drop your chips and record all the different ways to make your number by adding red plus white. This is another activity we do again and again on whiteboards. Easily differentiated by changing the number of chips!

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Hundreds Chart Puzzles

Print out a hundreds chart and cut it up! Students work to put in back in the correct order. I made about 6 different puzzles, all with varying degrees of difficulty. Students can continue to go back and try the different ones. Lots of number sense and pattern thinking needed!

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Roll and Add

Roll 2 dice, add and record! I made my own dice on foam blocks so students could practice certain number combinations. Put inside a page protector to use as a whiteboard.

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What kind of simple activities are you using in math? I would love some new easy ideas!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What we’ve been up too…Wordless Wednesday

I am linking up with Miss Decarbo for Wordless Wednesday.

Here is what we have been up to in grade one!

Oil Pastel Warm Hearts

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List writing for making playdough

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Tints and Shades

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Hundreds Chart Puzzles in Math by Myself

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Scattergories like game for List Writing

This topic was vegetables and fruits.

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List Writing: Love it or Loathe it lists

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Happy Wednesday!


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