Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Mental Math Strategies

In math right now we have been working on mental math addition strategies.  We started last week by learning that when you see a number +1 that it's really just saying one more than the number.  We played a game to reinforce that mental math fact.  Then we looked at what +2 means and how it's really just two more than a given number. Then we had fun with +0 facts.  At first some of us didn't realize that when you see a number +0 that it's really just the original number.  We giggled as we answered addition questions that were all +0 questions.

So far this week we've been looking at adding doubles.  Here are some pictures of us playing a game to help us learn our doubles facts.

Now we're curious what other secret mental math strategies Ms. Lirenman is going to teach us! Math is so much fun.

Soeun's Goal

In 2012 Soeun would like to get better at running. She will do this by running every day including at home.  Don't give up Soeun. We know you can do it.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

An Afternoon with iPads and New Friends

This past Thursday we were lucky enough to have six children from Cindrich Elementary (a nearby school) come and visit us.  But they didn't come alone, they came with 16 iPads from their school.  As you probably already know we LOVE the one iPad we have in the class so you can only imagine how excited we were to have 16 plus our 1 iPad in our classroom.

Our Wonderful Cindrich Visitors

At first we were a little nervous because we didn't know these children, or their teachers, but we quickly realized that they were just like us - kids wanting to learn and share.

For the first part of the visit Ms. Lirenman and Mrs. Walia (their teacher) had us working either with a partner, or on our own exploring the many cool apps they had on their iPads.  The students from Mrs. Walia's class were so patient  sharing their favourite apps with us.  We discovered some that we really liked and quickly told Ms. Lirenman so that she could add them to our class iPad.  Time went by really quickly because all of a sudden it was lunch time.

We took our new friends outside to play during lunch time, and then made sure they came back safely with us to eat our lunches.  Already we were feeling very comfortable with our new friends.  They were super friendly children just like us!

After lunch Ms. Lirenman and Mrs. Walia gave us a job to do with the iPads.  They demonstrated the app Scribble Press which was new to all of us.  Scribble Press is a pretty cool app.  It allows you to either fill in a pre-written story, then edit it, and illustrate it or you can make your own story.  The app allows you to add photos and text, change backgrounds, add stickers, and draw.  It's a really easy app for kids, and even kids in Grade One! So our job was to work together (we ended up in groups of three because we really wanted to share the kids from Cindrich) and create a book about the experience we were having - sharing iPads between two classes from two  different school.

It was while working on the iPads together that our friendships really started to blossom.  Ms. Lirenman and Mrs. Walia walked around and helped us out as we tried our best to create collaborative stories about our experience.  It was a lot of fun working with one another and we all got along so well.  Some of us were better at one thing, while others were better at other things but together we could do it all.  We think Ms. Lirenman and Mrs. Walia were really impressed by how well we worked together and how well we were getting along.  It was a really positive experience for us and for Ms. Lirenman and Mrs. Walia too.

Time passed way too quickly because all of a sudden it was time for us to share what we had been working on.  A few of the groups shared their work using the projection device so we could all see what they had done.  Ms. Lirenman also shared our class blog with Mrs. Walia's class and she showed them some of our individual blogs too. It was a really fantastic opportunity.

This opportunity would never have happened if Mr. Chila, the vice principal at Cindrich, hadn't taken the time to organize this meeting between two like minded teachers with like minded students.  He saw the power in his schools iPads and the power in collaborating with other schools.  We can't thank him enough and hopefully we can do it again soon.  Thank you Mrs. Walia for bringing your awesome students and wonderful iPads to share with us.  Maybe next time we can visit you!

Here is a little video of our time together.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Exploring AudioBoo

Today we were lucky enough to have a grade nine student spend the day with us.  She did many things with us but one of the coolest things she did was record some of us reading.  Here are a couple of reading samples.  You can find the other ones she was able to do on our individual blogs.  Enjoy.



And by the way, the grade nine student was a former grade one student of Ms. Lirenmans. She loves it when her former students come back to visit.

School Yard Clean Up

This week Division 16 was on school yard clean up.  This means that it is our responsibility to ensure that our school yard is clean.  With the snow last week, and the crazy amount of wind and  rain earlier this week we knew when we could finally get outside to do our clean up there would be a lot to clean up.  Thankfully on Thursday and Friday the sky dried up and the sun came out.  Here is a little video of us doing our school yard clean up over two days.  If you can believe it, it was actually a lot of fun.  But the best part was probably what we got to do at the end of our cleaning on Friday.  Enjoy our little video.

Family Literacy

Friday, January 27, 2012 Canada celebrated Family Literacy Day.  Ms. Lirenman decided to celebrate by holding an extra community read.  Here is a little video of our family literacy day event. Enjoy, we sure did! Happy Family Literacy Day!

Winter Fest

On Wednesday all the primary children at our school took part in Winter Fest.  This meant we met in multi aged groups in the gym and participated in winter themed relays.  We walked on big snowshoes, slided our way during a biathlon event,  rode our snowboards, tossed snowballs at a penguin on an iceberg, slid on a sleigh, and passed a snowball.  Needless to say it was a lot of fun.  Here is a little video of our fun!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Our First Class Storybird.

Ms. Lirenman is really excited to see that Marcus completed his first Storybird.  I hope he's excited to see it on our class blog too.  We are really proud of you Marcus.

the evil scientist by Div16Marcus on Storybird

Favourite Fairy Tales

What is you favourite fairy tale? Add a note to our wall.  Tell us what your favourite fairy tale is and why.  So far we have learned about Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and The Three Little Pigs.

Where Wordle

Today after recess we made another wordle for the word where.  Unfortunately our projection device didn't work again but we still managed to create our wordle on a laptop.  The screen was pretty small for all of us to see it but in the end we were happy with what we made.

Wordle: Where

Urim's Goal

In 2012 Urim would like to get better at writing.  She will do this by talking about her ideas before she gets started.  She will also double check to make sure her sentences make sense.  Good luck Urim.  We know you can do it.

Monday, 23 January 2012


Today Ms. Lirenman introduced us to the Storybird website and to our individual Storybird accounts.  Our user names are easy for us to remember because they are just Div16 in front of our names with no spaces between the two.  For example Lawrence's Storybird user name is Div16Lawrence.  We can't tell you our passwords though because they are private but we can easily remember them too.

Once we logged in we looked at the different art work available to us.  You see Storybird is a program that allows you to write stories using other peoples art work.  When you're done you can publish your stories so other kids in the class, or around the world if you chose, can read the stories.  You can also co-write stories with friends but we aren't quite ready for that yet.

Anyhow once we were logged in we worked either on our own or with a friend.  We began to create our own Storybirds.   As you'll see by the pictures below we were all pretty excited and engaged to be using Storybird for the first time.

Chinese New Year

In honour of Chinese New Year many of us wore red or gold to school.  Huda, Julie, and Ms. Lirenman wore special chinese clothing too.  But the best part of the day was that we delivered home made fortune cookies to all the adults in the school and to our big buddies.  It was a bit of a secret actually as we wrote them up on Friday.  We didn't tell any one either.  Then this morning Huda and Julie went from classroom to classroom offering up our class made fortune cookies.  Here are some photos of us making the fortune cookies on Friday.  The last photo is of our special fortune cookie delivery ladies.

Lawrence's Goal

Since today is Chinese New Year Lawrence's goal is written just a little bit different than the other students.  In the year of the dragon Lawrence would like to get better at reading.  He will do this by reading everyday.  He is going to make a picture in his head and talk about his reading.  We know he can do it.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Vote for Our Class Blog Pet's Name

Division 16 is having a lot of trouble deciding what to call our class blog pet.  We took a vote and kept our top three names.  It is now up to you to help us decide what the name will be.  Please vote for one of the following pet names.  You can make your vote by adding a comment to this blog post. You may only vote once but each person in your family can have a vote.  Our three final names to chose from are:

1. Fluffy
2. Cutie
3. Cassy

We look forward to having a vote from you.  All votes must be in by 9:00 am Friday, January 27, 2012.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Non Fiction Text

This term we are spending a lot of time reading from and learning about non-fiction text.  We know that they are different than the fiction texts we read last term because fiction texts tell a story while non fiction texts tell us true facts.  This week we have been learning about one of the text features of non fiction text - labelled graphics or pictures.  While Ms. Lirenman wanted us to notice the labelling of non fiction graphics we discovered that our non fiction books didn't have any labels on their graphics.  So we decided to add our own.

Now aren't you wondering where and what the rest of the class is doing while we're busy reading and adding labels to our non fiction text?  Some of our classmates are with our learner support team receiving smaller group instruction on reading.  But there are still several more children in the classroom with us.  Can you guess what they are doing? They are reading of course! It's their free reading time.  Take a look at the pictures below and you will see three children reading and sharing jokes with one another, a couple of students reading side by side but on their own, a couple of students reading with the iPad, and a student reading on her own on the iPod.  What a wonderful time we all had reading.

What are some of the ways that you practice your reading in your classroom?

Peer Tutoring

Every day after lunch for around ten or  fifteen minutes we have three or four  awesome grade 5, 6, or 7 students work with us.  They come from several different classes and different children come each day.  These awesome people are our peer tutors and they are helping us learn our letter sounds, our word wall words, and some basic sight words.  Sometimes they just help us by showing us flashcards of the words (or letters) we are learning, but other times they help us use the iPad or the iPod to use apps that help us learn our words (or letters).  Here are a few pictures from a typical peer tutoring session.

Ms. Lirenman is really impressed by how much we are learning because of the help of our peer tutors.  We can't thank them enough.  Do you have peer tutors at your school? If you do what do they do with you?

Measuring - Mass

This week we've continued our measurement study during math.  On Tuesday we looked at mass and compared objects from around the classroom using a balance scale.  Here is a short video of us hard at work, and some of the data we collected.

Liliana's Goal

In 2012 Liliana would like to get better at math.  She will do this by thinking like a mathematician and practicing her math facts.  Don't give up Liliana. We know you can do it.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

When Wordle

Today after recess we made a really great When Wordle. Well not exactly.  We came up with some really great words to add to our When Wordle and Ms. Lirenman typed them in so we could all see them but when we asked the computer to make the Wordle is just gave us an error message.  Anyhow this evening Ms. Lirenman went home and tried to remember all of our when words.  Here's the replacement Wordle for "when".  You'll notice birthday is really big because we know important  things happen when our family members have birthdays so we listed a lot of our family birthdays like mom and dad's and our brother and sisters.

Wordle: When

Thinking like a Mathematician

For the past few weeks we've been looking at measurement - linear, volume, mass, and area.  Last night Ms. Lirenman had us go home and think about our answer to this question - if an item is bigger does that mean that it is heavier than an item that's smaller?  Many of us went home and thought about it and this morning we had to tell Ms. Lirenman what we thought.  I think she was a little surprised by most of our answers because we were sure that a bigger item had to weight more than a smaller item.  Boy were we wrong though.  We used our huge class teddy and a small box of math tiles and realized that just because something is really big doesn't mean it's really heavy.  Obviously we have a lot more to learn, but thankfully grade one isn't even half over yet.

Koden's Goal

In 2012 Koden would like to get better at reading out loud with less mumbles. He will do this by slowing down and being more careful with his words. Don't give up Koden. We know you can do it.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Brooklyn's Goal

In 2012 Brooklyn would like to get better at writing.  She will do this by trying to write more blog posts from home.  She will also add more detail to her writing.  Don't give up Brooklyn.  We know you can do it.

What Wordle

Today we brainstormed ideas for the word "what".  These are all words about "what" we can write about. We used wordle again too.

Wordle: What

Monday, 16 January 2012


Today was the first school day  in 2012 with SNOW!  It was also the first week that the grade four and seven students at our school are doing their tests from the government so the gym was booked up.  Since we couldn't have our gym in the gym Ms. Lirenman and Ms. Benjamin decided to take us outside instead.  Did you know it takes a lot of energy to play in the snow?

Here is a little video of our adventures in the snow.  You'll notice we didn't make any big snowmen because the snow was too soft.  We did manage to make a village of little snowmen though.  Now we are all wondering if we'll get more snow for tomorrow, and if Ms. Lirenman and Ms. Benjamin will take us out again.


Today in math Ms. Lirenman talked to us about volume as a way of measuring how much fits inside a container.  We then got to play around with filling containers and figuring out their volume.  We used different objects to fill containers, and different measurement tools to fill the containers.  At the end of our exploration we had to decide if a rectangular box had a larger or smaller volume than a round box. We thought about it and in the end we tested our predictions.  Here are some photos of us during the free exploration time.