Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Differently Abled

Music 4 Autistic Kids

No Arms, No Legs, No Worries

Meet the Superhumans

The R-word

"Lazy Legs"

Hallowe'en Prank

Happy Hallowe'en! I hope you all had a fun and safe night Trick or Treating. I stayed in my Ursula costume and full makeup to give out candy at my house. Last year, I had 37 Trick or Treaters, this year my total number went down by 6. Even though the quantity went down, the quality of costumes was pretty great. My neighbour dressed in a homemade box of Nerds costume. I saw the tiniest princess and Winnie the Pooh. The best costume of all, though, was the teenager who was in a homemade (by his cousin) Transformers costume that actually transformed! He transformed into a truck on my lawn and I called Matt out. Right before Matt's eyes, he transformed back into a human/robot! It was AWESOME!

I found a video that made me chuckle. I think it's just about the best Hallowe'en prank I've seen. What do you think?

10 Year Olds Take Over Ad Agency

I saw an article and video tonight that I had to share with you, my friends in Room 209.

An advertising agency in Toronto called Grip Limited just celebrated their 10th anniversary. In order to commemorate this, they hired 10 year olds to run the creative parts of the company for a day. The process of planning the ad campaigns and the final results are pretty amazing.

Please watch the video here.

Do you think YOU could run an ad campaign? What company or product would you like to create advertisements for? How would you help them sell their product or service?

Our First Field Trip: Teeny, Tiny Little Owls by Hunter

When we went to the Wild Bird Care Centre, we saw these cute, little owls that crashed into windows. One got released and one's got a beak infection, so he's got to stay. They were stuck in little crates. I don't know why. (Shauna's note: they were in incubators to keep them safe and warm until they get better.)

We saw this massive bald eagle, it was missing a leg. We also saw a chicken, a red one. And, Patti said it laid them an egg a day. They use that egg to feed other birds.

The owls ate chicken hearts and dead mice.

We also saw seagulls that ate Frech Fries. There was one seagull in an incubator because it fell into a vat of oil at East Side Mario's.

I think it's an amazing place and we are lucky that it exists.

-by Hunter

Monday, 29 October 2012

Writer's Workshop Lesson #4: Invigorate Your Verbs

Today, we had our fourth Writer's Workshop lesson. Students did a remarkable job turning passive verbs into active verbs. They got this lesson WAY faster than I thought they would. They also used their other Writer's Workshop tools to make their sentences very interesting and make me, as a reader, want to read more!

Writer’s Workshop Lesson #4

Invigorate Your Verbs
Good writers use the active voice

Identify the passive verb form and use the active verb form, which will energize and give immediacy to your writing.

The “to be” verbs (is, are, was, were) often take us far away from the action.

Pay attention to who is doing the action and write the verb about that.

Non-example: The building was on fire.
Example: Fire tore through the burning building.

Non-example: We were kept awake by the barking dogs.

Non-example: “No Detective” was played by the band.

Non-example: Ants are eaten by nematodes.

Non-example: The students are lectured all day by the teacher.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

UNICEF Presentation at October Sharing

At our October Sharing, our first School Sharing this year, our class did a quick presentation as the UNICEF Ambassadors. We reminded all the students - from the smallest Kinders to the biggest grade 6s - that we can all do something to help kids all over the world get an education! We reminded students to bring in their UNICEF envelopes by October 31st!

Our First Field Trip: Working On (and In!) Our Forts - by Hunter

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we went to some random trail on the Greenbelt. And we made forts!
Here's Liam and Miguel making our A-frame.

Here's my group working on our fort!
I thought we were really cooperative and worked well together!

I also thought the A-frame was a really cool idea.

Here's James sitting with a stick, kinda bored, I think!

Here's me doing my work. I look weird in that picture for some reason! I really like doing my work outside. I wish my class was always outside!

I'm holding a stick, I think I'm also bored!

Girls, sitting on the stick. Actually, that should be a log, because that looks more like a log than a stick.
And they're boys, sitting under a fort.

-by Hunter

Food Adventures: Finley's Amazing Carrot

Finley grew this colossal carrot herself. She said, as she was eating the orange beast, that it was exceptionally sweet! What an awesome carrot! I guess we're lucky we didn't see any deer out in the woods, as they would have happily had a feast of Fin's carrot!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Another Visitor! Okeke

A few weeks ago, I came into Room 209 and stayed there for the day. When I went there, I was scared. But when I left, I didn't want to. On Monday, the 29th, my mom (Finley), she sang "Panjang Umurnya" to me and she went to Critter Jungle to get me chew toys. And that was only two days ago, and I'm almost finished them! I wish I could have stayed longer because I had so much time with all the students, they were very kind and caring. Melodee, when I was on her lap, I fell asleep. But when Finley moved me, I wanted to stay. I feel braver ever since I went to school and maybe sometime if my mom and her mom and her dad let me, maybe I could stay for a week.

-by Okeke (with a little help from Fin)

Our First Field Trip: Meeting the Red Breasted Nuthatch

The Royal Condition Reacts!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Our First Field Trip: Bird "Feeder" Brains!

The Land of Stories: Predicting

Students are practicing making predictions in their reading. In our class, we made some predictions about what we thought was coming up next in our read-aloud book, The Land of Stories. Each student shared his or her ideas on an anchor chart. Many had similar ideas, but all were creative in their own specifics.

After finishing Chapter Four with a cliffhanger, students used their Writer's Workshop tools and predicting skills to write their own versions of Chapter Five. Some of them were so incredible, I felt like I was reading ahead in the book!

Writer's Workshop Lesson #1: Put Muscles in Your Verbs

The Land of Stories: Characters, Setting and Plot

As we continue our read-aloud of The Land of Stories, we are practicing reading comprehension strategies, such as:
-making connections
-asking questions

We are also learning about Plot, Setting and Characters. We had a great class discussion where students recalled three details that they thought were important and added them to our anchor chart. They could share details about the characters in the story, the setting (both the where and the when) or the plot (which we started mapping on two separate plot lines - a real life and a fairy tale one)

Writer's Workshop Lesson #2: Say What You Mean

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Awesome Cleaning Crew!

In Room 209, we have some incredible cleaners. Often, several students volunteer to stay in during recess and scrub the classroom clean. Here are some of our classroom "custodians" taking a short break!

Our Surprise for The Royal Condition

The Owl Game

In preparation for our field trip, we practiced a game called The Owl Game on the school yard. I didn't think it was going to work all that well, as I didn't think there were enough spaces to hide in the sandy areas of the yard. Boy, was I wrong!

One child is the "Owl" and "sleeps" for a count of 15 while the "mice, bats, lizards and bunnies" run out of the "barn" and hide in the "forest". 

Then, the owl tries to find his or her prey, using only his or her owl eyes.

The best part of the game comes at the end, when the owl has found all the prey he or she can and then he or she calls out for the rest of the mice to reveal themselves. It's so funny to see the students appear out of nowhere, I had to make a video. Check it out below!

The Owl Game from deep in the middle of the playing field!

Fin was SERIOUSLY hiding, she even got a "mouse"-full of sand!

Updated Class Photo!

I've been wanting to post a new class photo for a long time, but it's been tricky to get two conditions right: a nice sunny day and all 26 students present. We got a few shots the other day of the hilarious students of Room 209 out on the stage in the yard.

I was not thinking and had more than half of them standing in the shade, so I had to do way too much photo editing to be able to see everyone. Hopefully, we'll get another shot tomorrow on the field trip.

Compare this photo to the one from our first day, though, and you'll see that we've become so much more close already!