Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Welcome to a new school year! 2017 -2018
This year I am teaching a split grade, with 10 'Grade One' students and 10 'Grade Two' students. It also means working with two different school teams (the grade one and two teachers at our school) to plan and prepare curriculum. 

I try to strike a balance between what each individual student needs as well as following along with what each grade is doing. Sometimes it will mean following different timelines or working out the best way to maximize our time and effort. At other times, it may mean that one grade will go with another teacher on a school trip while I stay behind with the other half. The good news is that it will allow students to be with their peers that are in other classes and provide opportunity to make new friends.

 Please follow along on Class Dojo to hear up to the minute class happenings! As well, come back to check this blog for homework (which will start soon) and to read the school twitter feed which will give you information about what is happening school - wide. Looking forward to a busy and exciting year :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Welcome 2017

Welcome to 2017
I have been using the 'Class Story' feature on Class Dojo so haven't been writing on the blog as much as usual. I like that I can keep parents informed more quickly and can give information in short, little notes and pictures. I especially like the privacy features so parents can see their students and I have control of who has access for viewing. I think this may be the way to go for the future but you never know with technology what is around the corner.

For lengthier information, I will still be using this blog and will always maintain the homework section (usually updated on Sunday nights). I know students use the website links and I try to update them whenever new ones are introduced. It was great to see students accessing the links posted for the holiday concert songs and watch (ok, hear...often loudly) students singing. I think this website makes a good home base for linking information and will continue to use it as such.

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful holiday and I look forward to posting more information soon. 

In the meantime...did you know there is an awesome recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies in the world on this blog? Here is the link that I posted in 2012. Enjoy!



Saturday, October 29, 2016

Safety Village and Halloween

Safety Village
It was a dark and stormy day when we headed out to Oakville to visit Safety Village. We listened to information about street signs and traffic rules. We learned that signs that are yellow mean 'caution' and red signs mean ' stop or danger'. Then it was off to drive those jeeps! 
This is us learning about driving on the right side of the road. Easy if you know your left from right. Not so easy for all of us :)
Here is the mini- village where we rode our jeeps. It had real working traffic lights and even a railroad crossing complete with a working crossing arm that came down in front of the jeeps (thankfully no train drove through!).

Our next trip will be on November 15th to Mohawk college to see the Boris Brott orchestra. This is a fun trip as they usually combine their music with art and drama. A purple permission note went home on Thursday October 27th. Mrs. Kirk our music teacher organizes this for our students and it is a wonderful opportunity!

Hallowe'en at Florence Meares P.S
So in keeping with our FM tradition, we will begin Monday, October 31st with a costume parade for staff and students from K-5. Teachers and students in Grades 6-8 are more than welcome to dress up, if desired, and are encouraged to line the hallways during the Hallowe’en parade. Costumes should be appropriate, respectful, and promote the fun and pro-social aspects of Hallowe’en celebrations. As you can appreciate and understand, costumes should not incite fear or anxiety in any way. 

Students will begin the parade usually right after announcements 
(9 ish). The upstairs students (my grade two class) will parade in the upper hallway and do two loops around the hall. If parents wish to visit and take pictures you are most welcome to do so. You will need to sign in at the office prior to coming upstairs. The parade is over quickly though so timing is everything! Students are asked to come to school wearing their costume over their clothes or bring a partial costume that is easy to assemble. The parade is optional so wearing Halloween colours or not dressing up is fine. 

Report Cards
Progress reports go home on November 14th. As you can imagine this is a busy time as I am doing a lot of skills checks, conferencing and testing with students. Not to mention getting my Hallowe'en costume ready! I'm also spending a lot of time on the computer. So, I might be a little late updating the blog but I'll be back soon. 

Have a Happy Hallowe'en (even on a Monday night...yikes, that is scary in itself!). Also, thanks to Hugh's Mom for helping take pictures at Safety Village :). Another thanks to all the parents who volunteered.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Developing Empathy, Art and adventures.

Developing Empathy
Many small issues that arise in a primary classroom are due to students needing to further develop their understanding of 'how others may feel' or 'identifying their own anxious feelings'.We have been learning about 'Empathy' through the new series out by Class Dojo. We have watched series one and two and look forward to the final chapter next week. We are all wondering how the character 'Mojo' will solve the problem of being in the 'Maze' (or how will he handle his frustrations with his friends and still keep his friends?).
Here is the link if you would like to view it with your child at home.

Empathy series Class Dojo 

Eventually we will be using Class Dojo as a communication tool between school and home. I had great success with using it last year and look forward to refining the process this year. I will not be using the point system individually but will be using them collectively (e.g., I will not be taking points away instead we work towards a class goal). Don't worry, it is a lot of fun for the students and highly motivating if used properly. 
More information to follow :) 

Fall Art and the Open House
Here are some pictures of our work and activities.
A well attended Open House! Our turkeys graced many Thanksgiving tables and the students told me the cider was the best part. Thank you for attending :)

Getting ready for the Terry Fox run. If you look at the wall you will see Grade 8 students. These are our FM ambassadors. They led us through a warm up activity and then we were off and running (or in my case walking). The students did a great job and thank you for sending in a Toonie for Terry. 

Learning how to shade and create a composition. These were supposed to just be fall pumpkins and the next thing I knew Jack-O-Lanterns were popping up everywhere. 

Investigating nature on one of our 'Walk and Talks'. We discovered a pile of rabbit poop, a dragonfly that followed us our whole walk, Sumac trees and of course so many grasshoppers. We discovered that grasshoppers eat grass...hence the name. We also decided that if birds don't eat sumac berries then probably they are poisonous and that nature has a great way of figuring things out. We will be doing some art with some of the finds we discovered in the outdoors behind our school.

Quick overview
Mr Cann the science man, is starting his 'Liquids, Solids and Gas' unit. We are learning about 'Recount' writing during Writer's workshop. In math we are developing better answers when we interpret and compare graphs. Our next unit will be developing addition strategies for number sense. 

Please check the Homework section for weekly updates. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Terry Fox Run

Due to poor weather conditions we were not able to hold our annual Florence Meares' Terry Fox walk today.  Although our original rain date was Friday September 30, the weather forecast is calling for rain all day.  We will be rescheduling our Terry Fox walk for Wednesday October 5 at 1:40, and our new rain date will be Thursday October 6.  Parents are welcome to come join in, or cheer from the sidelines.  Please help your child to remember a water bottle and dress for the weather.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Patterns, Upcoming events and more!

We have been off to a great start in Grade Two! 
In Math we have been making patterns, learning about a pattern core and understanding the ways in which a pattern can change! 
Of course we enjoy the 'hands on' building part the best! 

Being Mindful!
We are working on ways to solve problems and understand how to work through difficult tasks. Each week we have watched a part of the 'Growth Mindset' movies. They are only a few minutes long and really helpful for students to change the way they think about learning. Instead of saying "I can't..." students can say "I can't.....yet". In this way they are changing their 'Fixed Mindset' to a 'Growth Mindset'. 
Here is the link if you would like to view them! The characters are very engaging for students!
Growth Mindset Class Dojo movies 1/5

Walk and talk - I love the outdoors and hope my students will as well. We try to walk at least 2 times a week. This gives us an opportunity to get fresh air and exercise as well as talk to friends and make new ones. The students now look outside and say, "it's a beautiful day can we go for walk and talk". We found a whole field of grasshoppers, crickets and dragonflies and discovered the subtle fall changes that are beginning to show. Taking a walk shows students how to take a break, clear our heads and come back energized for our school work!

Upcoming events:
Re-scheduled to October 5th - Terry Fox Run (1:40 start)
October 4th- Open house (meet the teacher)
October 7th - P.A. Day
October 21st - Grade two Safety village trip (no charge for this one)

Please check out the Homework section. I will update this weekly.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Welcome to a new school year! 2016/17

                                         Getting ready!

Welcome :)
I have been busy setting up the classroom for another school year. 
Each child has their own desk (with an inside to place our belongings). I've put the desk groups in 4 to start the year. Later, we will decide together on good working groups and make changes so students can make and meet new friends throughout the year. 
You can see our class Smartboard with the overhead mounted projector! Florence Meares P.S. has access to chromebooks and I often use the Smartboard to teach technology skills as students follow along. 

Our carpet area where I teach focus lessons is along the window side of the classroom this year. As well the talking word wall (smartpen activated) is near for our use when reading.  
This is the view from the window of the classroom. Normally, during school hours the field is full of children at play :)
My desk area in an unusually clean moment. The blue table is a guided reading table where I can work with students on developing reading skills. 
Book area! I buy a lot of books for my classroom...what can I say...

Starting a new routine is exciting! Some students find it helpful to know what will happen ahead of time. Here are some items you can 'rehearse' with your child.

First day: Students and parents will find their teacher (me) on the blacktop. It's a busy time. I will ask you how your child will be going home (bus, pick up, after school care etc.).  If it is raining the grades 1 and 2 will meet in the small gym. Students will have to wait a few minutes as we gather students and make sure they are in the correct lines.

We will go to our upstairs classroom and find our lockers. I will have them already labelled with each name. No one has to share, each child gets their own locker. Students can put away coats, backpacks and lunches.

Students will then enter the classroom and find their labelled desk. 

We will do some 'get to know you' activities and meet teachers who will be working with our class. Mr Cann will be teaching my class science, three times a week and Mrs Mucaj will teach French on Fridays. Mrs Kirk will be covering music on Wednesday. We will be sharing Gym classes with Mrs. Lee's class. This is a great opportunity to see our friends! 

What to bring! Please don't spend a lot of money on school supplies! Some students like to have their own items or special things which is great. Please label items! It really helps. 
Many items are provided by the school and please don't worry if you haven't picked anything up yet. 
Here is a list of suggested items:
- glue stick
-running shoes to keep at school for gym
-skinny markers (optional, I always have crayons)
-pencil crayons (with a small sharpener or pre-sharpened)(optional but some students are ready to do more detailed work)
-labelled pencil case
**Consider providing extra socks or pants in a labelled bag to keep in your child's locker. It saves me having to call home if your child finds a mud puddle :)
**Primary students do not use locks on their locker. We will provide a 'Carabiner' to keep the locker closed. 

The school will provide you with an agenda for the year. This is a great way to communicate with me. I look forward to meeting everyone. I hope you find this blog helpful!
Enjoy the rest of the long weekend and see you Wednesday :)