Friday 23 December 2011

How to Spice Up Our Individual Blogs

Ms. Lirenman has noticed that some of us have added pictures, videos, and drawing to our individual blogs.   If we have internet access (which we do since we're reading this blog post) then we can explore a lot of web based tools.  Many web based tools allow us to  create something  and add it to our blog. This process is called embedding.

If you haven't noticed there is an avatar at the top right hand side of the screen. This avatar was made using the tool Voki.  Click the green word and it will take you directly to the website.  We used Vokis with our big buddies.  They are a fun way to share ideas.  Vokis can easily be added to our individual blogs by getting the embedding code and adding it to the html screen on our individual blogs.

Kerpoof is another great website to create personal cards and posters with.  We can easily add our Kerpoof creations to our blogs.

Audio Boo is a simple recording website that allows us to record our reading then have a little playback machine to listen to our recording.  Ms. Lirenman is really eager to teach us how to use this tool so that we can read to it and listen to how we sound reading.

Wordle is a great way for us to show you what we know about a topic.  For example when we start to study fairy tales we'll be able to type in all the words we know about fairy tales.  Wordle then takes what we typed and makes a word picture with our words.  It's a very cool tool and one that Ms. Lirenman would like us to use more in the new year.  Here is Ms. Lirenman's sample school holiday wordle.

Wordle: School Holidays

For most (if not all) of these websites we don't need to be a member to use them.  In some cases we will not be able to save anything we've made on their website but we can get the embedding code and embed what we've created onto our individual blogs.  If all this sounds way too confusing  not to worry Ms. Lirenman will show us how to do it and she will happily show any parents that would like to learn too.  Perhaps during one community read she'll take the time to show everyone.  By adding things like Vokis, Wordle, Kerpoofs, and Audio Boos we will be making our blogs even more enticing to our global audience.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

The Secret Is Out!

Do you remember when we blogged twice about how Mrs. Schaefer (the retired teacher from our school that does fantastic art projects with us) came to visit us but we couldn't tell you why? Well now we can.


The first time she came to visit us we worked with clay to make Christmas ornaments for our families.  We rolled out the clay and used special Christmas cookie cutters to create beautiful clay ornaments.  The clay then sat to dry before it was put in the kiln to cook.  Did you know that when you fire clay in a kiln it turns really hard and it can not be ruined by water?

The second time she came to visit we painted our ornaments.  Mrs. Schaefer brought in a lot of of glitter paint too so we made them look really special for our families.  After we were done we again had to wait for them to dry.  Then Mrs. Schaefer added varnish on them so that they would be shiny.  Finally Ms. O helped wrap them and that is how we brought them home.  We sure hope our families love them.  We certainly had a lot of fun making them.

 Here is a little slide show from the second time Mrs. Schaefer came to visit.

Dear Visitor please take the time to post a sticky note to our wall wisher.  Ms. Lirenman would love to know how you are enjoying our class blog.

Sunday 18 December 2011

iPod and iPad Apps

Since the iPad arrived in our classroom two weeks ago several parents have approached Ms. Lirenman asking what apps she is using with us.  Here is a direct link to apps she likes for teaching and learning.  Most of the apps she has been using are free and are open ended to allow the children to explore at their own level or pace.  This is not a complete list and hopefully over time it will continue to be updated.  She has not listed any of the books that she has downloaded as this list could become quite exhaustive and is really the children's choice.

If your child has discovered an app that you think the rest of the class might enjoy to have on our class iPad or on Ms. Lirenman's iPod please let leave a comment or let her know directly.

Friday 16 December 2011

Term One Complete

We have learned so much in our classroom this term and we are now on a much needed school holiday.  This school holiday comes with some sadness though as today marked the last day with our beloved principal Mr. Sekhon.  In January, Mr. Sekhon is off to be at principal at a different Surrey school.  Replacing him is our new principal Ms. MacFarlane.  We look forward to getting to know her better and we hope she is just as nice or even nicer than Mr. Sekhon.

By the time we return in January everyone will FINALLY be six.  Nicolas (Dec 27) and Christine (Dec 31) wishing you both a very happy birthday.  We will enjoy our six days of everyone being six as Eric will start the train of seven year olds on January 6th.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays.  School resumes on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

Love Ms. Lirenman and Division 16

Thursday 15 December 2011

Making Gingerbread Houses

Today after community read several parents stuck around to help us make gingerbread houses. Ms. Lirenman provided the base and the graham crackers and we supplied the royal icing (Ms. L gave our parents an easy recipe to follow) and the CANDY! We had a lot of candy. We each had our own bag of icing and we acted like real cake decorators and piped out our own icing. Obviously it was a lot of fun to add candy to our houses. Here is a little video of us working hard on our houses and our final products. It was a great way to start our day. Only one more day until it's our winter vacation. How quickly this first term has flown by.

* I apologize for the technological glitch with the music.  Hopefully you can still enjoy this slide show without it. :-)

Oh, no!  Ms. Lirenman just realized that she forgot to thank some really important people.  A huge thank you to the wonderful parents that were able to donate milk cartons, batches of royal icing, candy and/or their time helping us out. Without your support we would have never made such incredible creations.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Holiday Community Read

This morning was no regular community read morning. Most Wednesday and Thursday mornings Ms. Lirenman invites all our parents to stay when the bell rings and read with us. But today was different. Today Ms. Lirenman opened her doors early and invited the parents to stay longer. She also provided snacks which included coffee (generously donated by Starbucks), juice, chocolate milk, bananas, oranges, strawberries, and Tim Bits from Tim Hortons. In the end most of our parents stayed for almost an hour, which is a lot longer than was planned. But they couldn't help it. We were all having too much fun enjoying great books, great food, and great company. We were even lucky enough to have Dr. Elisa Carlson, Director of Instruction come from the school board office. We know she's a really important lady because she had a lot to do with us getting our class iPad.  She even brought along her iPad and she let us read on it too.  Dr.  Carlson had a really cool app called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore where things moved on every page.  Needless to say we had a really great community read today.  Our parents even asked if we could do it again every  month.  Ms. Lirenman wasn't so sure about that.  Here is a little video of our special community read morning.

Mixed Nuts - Our First Field Trip

On Tuesday morning we traveled on a school bus to the Bell Centre to watch a ballet version of the Nutcracker called Mixed Nuts. It was performed by teenagers who spend most of their day dancing with their school classes fitting around their dance classes. Needless to say they were very good. Since it was our first field trip of the year we were pretty excited to be on a school bus. Ms. Lirenman was very pleased with how we behaved on it. When we arrived we waited, what felt like a long time, to get into the theatre. Once in the theatre we knew we were lucky because we had excellent seats. Since they were still seating other children Ms. Lirenman brought out the Class iPad and her personal iPod and we shared them both playing math games. We were really good about sharing the iPad and iPod as we passed them up and down the row. As the show was about to start we quickly put them away and settled into our seats. We didn't stir until the show was over. It was a really good show.


Sunday 11 December 2011

Subtraction Stations

For the past couple of weeks we have been exploring different subtraction stations to help us better understand the concept of subtraction.

The first station was called Cave Math.  We had to choose our own number and create subtraction equations with that number.  Ms. Lirenman wanted us to put buttons in our hands (which were the caves). We then had to draw what we did AND write a number sentence for what we did.  Ms. Lirenman said it was really important for us to do, draw, and write the number sentences.

The next rotation was Take Away Red and Bue Bean Math.  Ms. Lirenman had beans that were red on one side and blue on the other. Then she had recording sheets for numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10.  We got to choose which number we wanted to work with.  If you chose seven you took seven of those special beans.  You shook them in your hand then dropped them on your desk.  You then coloured in the beans on the recording sheet to match what you saw.  After that you wrote a number sentence which was the original number take away the number of red beans which equaled the number of blue beans.  

The next rotation was Minus Drill and Practice.  It is what most grown ups remember doing in math when they were little.  We answered math questions using animal counters as needed.

The fourth rotation was Subtraction Booklets. We cut up subtraction number sentences and drew pictures to match the number sentences. 

 The fifth station was Bowl Math.  We once again got to choose what number we were going to work with.  Once we chose our number we got that many button counters.  We put some counters under a bowl to create different subtraction questions.  We then drew what we did and wrote number sentences to go with it.  We liked being able to chose which number we could work with so we all got to work where we are most comfortable.

The sixth and final rotation was Subtraction on the Computers (and the ipad when we got it).  Unfortunately Ms. L didn't take any pictures of us on the computers and she already posted the pictures she had of us doing math on the iPad.  However here is the computer link we used most often for our on line subtraction games.

We really enjoyed our subtraction rotations and we hope you enjoyed learning about them too.

Playing with the Ipad

At the end of our first week with the iPad two students worked together using the Puppet Pals app.  Although the students did not want to record their voices while exploring the app they did create a funny animation video.  Obviously we have only scratched the surface of what we can do with this app.  Ms. Lirenman was so impressed with it that she downloaded a whole lot more features that go with it.  Here's what they created.

Fingers crossed if you follow this link you'll see their creation.

Exploring the Puppet Pals App for the First Time

Learning Our New Poems

Approximately once a week Ms. Lirenman loads our purple poetry book with new poems.  Together we read, sing, or chant our poems.  Sometimes we search for our word wall words in the poems, sometimes we look for word families or rhyming words and sometimes we just read them to one another.  This week Ms. Lirenman gave us some new Christmas poems.  Here are some pictures of us learning our poems in small groups around the classroom.

While we were working in small groups to learn our poems Ms. Lirenman filmed some of us reading the poems.  She used her personal ipod touch to film.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Guess Who Wrote Us Back?

Today we received one large envelope in the mail from...

It was so exciting to know that Santa received our letters and he wrote us back.  He even put all of our names on the letter.

Here's a closer look.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Our Class iPad and Our First Twitter Chat

Ms Lirenman has made several changes to her teaching this year to help prepare us for the technological world that we live in. Yesterday after school Ms. Lirenman went to a training session at Apple Canada and she came back with an iPad for our class. Today was our very first day with it and we are very excited to use it as a tool to help us learn. Here are a few photos of us enjoying it.

 Eric doesn't have any internet access at home so he was the first to try.
He wrote a blog entry on his Kid Blog.

 Sueon and Urim were exploring new math apps.

Christine and Jennica were also exploring new math apps.

This morning we participated in our first ever class twitter chat.  This chat was a game of I Spy and was played with primary classes around North America.  We carefully read the clues that were being put up on the screen and then we did our best to solve them.  Unfortunately because of the time difference we only made it for the tail end of the chat. It was a very cool experience though and if we are able we will do it again.  Here are a couple of photos of our first ever twitter chat.

 We are carefully reading the clues and coming up with our guesses.

The children from @Grade1 told us that we guessed correctly!

Do any of you have your own ipads? Or have any of you ever participated in a twitter chat? We'd love to hear about your experiences.  Maybe you can even give Ms. Lirenman suggestions on what great things she can do with the iPad to help us learn.

Our New Classmate

Division 16 is pleased to welcome a new student to our class.  We are very eager and excited to get to know her better.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Mrs. Schaefer Came Back!

Sorry, we can't tell you why but we thought you'd like to know that Mrs. Schaefer did art with us today.  We're still working on something special for Christmas for our families so please don't ask us what we did.  Ms. Lirenman did take a lot of pictures of us working hard.  She will post these pictures, but not until Christmas so no surprises are ruined.  Be patient, Christmas is coming really, really soon!  Are you as excited as we are?

Letters to Santa

Yesterday, with the help of our big buddies in Ms. Segec's grade five class, we wrote letters to Santa Claus in the North Pole.  We were very careful to let him know how we are doing and we asked about him and his family.  We also let him know what we are wishing for for Christmas.

Today we addressed our letters into one big envelope and walked it down to the closest post box.  Here are some pictures of our journey to the letter box.

 Oops, that doesn't look right.

 That's better. We are excited and ready to go.

 Just left the school but half way to the mailbox.

 We made it!

 In goes the letter.

It's gone... into the box!

Now we wait until Christmas to see if he got our letters.  Sometimes though he writes us back so if we're lucky we'll get letters from Santa.  Stay tuned.....