Monthly Archives: December 2013

Our Week in Division 5

I am sitting on the sofa on a Friday night and I am not inclined to move, so that might be an indication of the energy I expended this week.  I am done!  But it was a good week, a little hectic, but good.  Between several “run-throughs” and rehearsals for our Christmas concert, we managed to do a little math and language arts.  Earlier in the week we even took on writing computer code, with Khan Academy’s great “Hour of Code” tutorial.  Despite a few difficulties getting all of our laptops to play the video tutorials, the students forged ahead and did a great job.  I loved their enthusiasm as they accomplished the different tasks.  And I loved how the activity self-differentiated.  Students worked at their own pace, taking their time or flying through to tasks I hadn’t even tried, and were fully engaged. As Mr. Erker tweeted about our activity, there was problem solving, math, imagination and critical thinking involved in what the students were doing during this hour.  When I tried it first at home the night before, I was aware of how I was being asked to think differently.  It was very illuminating in that way.

Anyway, the weekend has arrived, and Monday brings us to our last few days before the holidays.  We shall have to get back to our routine, at least through Thursday.  Let’s hope for some dry weather and outside days.  At least we will have our gym time back again! 🙂

If you could be any animal what would it be and why?

We have been doing research on endangered animals in socials for the past couple of weeks.  It’s been really interesting helping the students learn to research and take effective notes.  Today we switched gears to write from our heads and hearts creatively.  The prompt was, if you could be any animal in the world, which would you choose to be and why would you choose it?  We discussed the writing trait “voice” and how that might be developed.  It’s a tough trait to teach because it’s not a correction, like adding a period or comma as needed.  It’s very individual.  I encouraged the students to try to avoid writing another factual sounding piece about an animal.  For this one I wanted to see imagination, figurative language (similes!) and maybe some humour if it fit.  Click on comments below to see how they did!