Boats and sparkle jars!

We have done a lot of Science activities this week to try to finish our Liquids/Solids unit before the break. 

We made boats out of recycled materials. We thought back to previous experiments (e.g. float/sink, absorption, etc) to help with planning what materials to use. Some of my students got stuck on the fact that although the cardboard items DID float (some of them), they wouldn't be a good material for a boat over time. 

(Testing the boat to make sure it floats!)

Then we made sparkle jars! We added oil and water to a plastic bottle (they remembered that oil and water do not mix, from one of our experiments). We also added small beads (float/sink experiment), food colouring, and sparkles! 

I put hot glue around the bottle lid before sealing it to try to prevent the water bottles from leaking. These were a huge hit! The kids loved shaking them up and then watching everything settle in the bottle. It was really sunny outside today so some of them held their bottles up by the window to watch the sun shine through them :) 


Kwanzaa mkekas

Today we made Kwanzaa mats called mkekas. A mkeka is traditionally made of straw, and it is what the kinara is placed upon. 

We made ours by weaving strips of construction paper. Then we wrote the 7 principles of Kwanzaa out on a piece of paper to glue onto our mkekas. 

I photocopied lines onto construction paper and they cut the lines themselves. 

Here is the list of the 7 principles of Kwanzaa:

Below are some of our mats drying on the whiteboard...


Mixing solids and liquids

We are working on solids and liquids right now in Science - my kids LOVE experiments. 

Earlier this week we did some simple mixing. We made Kool Aid to look at dissolving. The highlight for them was definitely mixing baking soda and vinegar. My students have been waiting ALL year for some explosions! 

Then we mixed different things (oil, pepper, sugar, etc) in water to see what would happen. **Careful with the pepper! I had a student blow it into their eye! 

I gave them small shot glasses (from the party section in dollarama) to use as mixing containers. They had a water cup that was for pouring INTO the other cup. Next time I need to find some smaller spoons for mixing :) 


Retell: Brontorina

This week we are practicing a retell of the book "Brontorina". It's a really cute book about a dinosaur who dreams of being a ballerina, but she doesn't have the right ballet slippers and she is too big for the dance studio.

After reading the book we made a list of key vocabulary from the book that would help with the retell. 

We brainstormed the beginning/middle/end as a class and then my students drew it so they could have a visual reminder to practice with. We talked about how to "sketch" a quick drawing so that their time would be spent practicing instead of drawing.

I like them to have a visual prompt as a reminder. What do you use to help your students with oral presentations? 


Winter vocabulary games

Here are some pictures of my new French winter vocabulary game pack! 

It includes "Bug in a rug" cards to match my winter word wall pack: 


These are short sentences for reading comprehension:

I have attached them onto shower curtain rings (from dollarama). My students love to read the sentences and then draw what they read on a whiteboard. They use the same vocabulary from the word wall cards. 


These are the vocabulary words in groups of 5 for students to sort into alphabetical order:

I laminated the tracking sheet so that they can use dry erase markers in a centre. 



Salt dough diyas

This year we made diyas for Diwali! 

Here they are before they were painted: 

To make them: 
- 1 cup of salt
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of warm water (I ended up needing to use a splash more) 

It took a few minutes of mixing with my hands, but it was easy for the students to use once it was mixed. I made 2 batches of the recipe to use for 20 students. It wasn't too messy either - it was very easy to clean up off their desks after they were done shaping their diyas. I will definitely use salt dough again in my classroom! 

We made them on a Friday and left them over the weekend to dry. I should have left them on a baking tray, as they didn't dry properly on the bottom over the weekend. So I just flipped them over and then left them another night before we painted them. 

We were a bit late making them, as Diwali has already passed. BUT the kids had a blast and loved making/decorating them. After they finished painting them, they added sparkles! 

You can even send them home with a little tea light to put inside their diya! 


French reading game: Le lutin sous l'arbre de Noël

I use this game when we start learning holiday vocabulary. My kids LOVE this game! They know "bug in a rug" from English class, so they are always really excited to play this version in French class with me. (Here is the same game in English). 

We choose 6-10 of the vocabulary trees, and one student gets to hide the elf under the tree of their choice. The students then try to guess which tree the elf is hiding under. They have to say the word in french (or use it in a sentence, if you have students who are ready for the extra challenge). Whoever finds the elf is the next one who gets to hide him. 


Stickers stories - Work on writing

Today we added a new activity to Daily 5/Work on writing - Sticker stories!

We tried it as a class first, picking stickers that worked together in a picture.  Then as a class we wrote the story to go with it! 

Here is Spider-Man, trying to escape from a shark! There is also a police car on the ground that is trying to help him. 

My class thought this was hilarious and were really excited to try it on their own. Together we decided that the maximum for each picture would be 5 stickers, and that the goal would be 3+ sentences for each picture.

Their stories are not done - I'll post them next week!


Guided writing -- Fall writing

Today we tried some fall writing sheets!

First we talked about what each of the 5 words meant, and then talked about what we could draw to show that we understand the word (for e.g., an arrow for a verb). 

Then I modelled drawing a quick sketch to get my ideas down. I like them to draw something first to help them when they start writing - but don't want them to spend all of their time drawing. We talked about how they could go back AFTER they were done writing to colour and add more details to their work.

As a class, we decided on the sentences to use for this example on the chart paper:

(We have talked a lot about "bumping up" our work - there are more sentences here than I would expect from them independently because they wanted to help me to bump up my own work!)

Then they tried on their own! 

I left the chart paper up for them to use for ideas and words if they wanted to use it. Other students wanted to try coming up with their own sentences. 

Here is some of the work my students did today:


Book display

I was looking for a nice way to display the books that we are reading in class and came across the Ipad stands at Dollarama! They are adjustable and are working well so far! Hopefully they will hold up well.

Here it is in use:

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