Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Celebrating Our Learning!

It was great to see so many families come out for our Open House tonight.  As the teacher, I love the opportunity to sit back and watch the students take the lead and share what they do in the classroom and what they have learned.  The students did a fantastic job of following their "lesson plan" and they should be proud for a job well done.

The pictures that follow show some of the activities and learning that was shared tonight...
One of the activities had the students sharing their reading goal and strategies using our CAFE menu.

To share their geometry learning, the students talked about the 3D skeleton they created today.

Estimating the number of candies using a referent was another activity the students completed with their parents.  There were 25 candies in the cup and the task was to estimate the number of candies in the jar with the red lid.  How many candies do YOU think there are?  We will find out in the morning and will post the answer in the comments section.

Watching the students ask their parents questions from our morning math routine is always entertaining!

The students enjoyed sharing their portfolio binder with their parents.  It's amazing to see how much they've grown as learners since the beginning of the year!

There was some great conversations between parents and their child as they reflected on "3 Stars" and then set a couple of goals to work towards during this last term.

We were wondering...

If you attended tonight's Open House, what was your favourite activity?
If you didn't attend tonight's Open House, how do you share your learning?

Friday, March 15, 2013

An African Treat

We were so excited to be a part of Jacky's Village on Thursday morning!  This special performance was a group of 3 people from Africa who shared music, dance and stories from Cameroon, Guinea and Zimbabwe.  We learned that many of the amazing instruments are handmade from wood and animal skin.  The music just made us want to dance!
(The lighting in our gym is not very good for taking pictures, so they aren't the best quality...but you will get an idea of what we saw!)

The maraca type shakers are made out of gourds that are cut, cleaned out and then dried.  Small items are added to the sides and these are what make the noise.

One of our classmates even got to go up and try out one of the instruments!

When we got back to the classroom, we talked about how we could learn about African music, dancing and storytelling from our textbook, but how much more interesting it is to see it first hand performed by someone from Africa! 

(Mrs. Braybrook has some videos from the performance but she had trouble getting them uploaded.  She'll get some help and hopefully they will be up soon!)

We were wondering...

Have you ever seen an African music or dance performance?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reader's Workshop

Since the beginning of the year, we have been working on becoming better readers and that means different things for different people.  Our teacher has been learning about something called the "Daily 5" and "CAFE" and we are trying some of these ideas in our classroom.  She says that because we aren't doing it exactly like we're supposed to, we'll call our reading time "Reader's Workshop".  During our Reader's Workshop, we get to choose between 4 different activities--read to self, read to someone, listen to reading or word work.
Here are some of our classmates doing "read to self..."

Here are some of our classmates doing "read to someone..."

We use our classroom laptops and our Raz-Kids account when we do "listen to reading"...

And there are lots of fun activities (including the iPad!) we can choose from when we practice our spelling words during "word work"...

The "CAFE" part helps us to learn and practice new reading strategies so we become better readers. 
We've learned that the...
C stands for "comprehension"--Do we understand what we've read?
A stands for "accuracy"--Can we figure out what the words are?
F stands for "fluency"--Can we read smoothly and with expression?  No robot reading!
E stands for "expand vocabulary"--Can we use new words and know what they mean?
When our teacher reads stories to us, we learn about different strategies we can use for each of these skills.  During Reader's Workshop, she works with us one-on-one.  She listens to us read and talks with us about our goals and strategies for becoming a better reader.  Then, it's our job to practice using those strategies when we do Reader's Workshop.

We were wondering...

Do you use Daily 5 or CAFE in your classroom?
How do you work on being a better reader?