Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Holiday Giveaway

Ho Ho Ho, ah yes it is that time of year again. The festive season!! If you are like the rest of us in Canada you are bracing for the snow that comes with Christmas time. Let's be honest it is not a true Christmas until there is snow. However, did you know that there is quite a few countries around the world that don't get snow during the holidays.

Take for instance Argentina. They are below the equator and celebrate the holiday similar to us however they use cotton balls to simulate snow on their decorations. How about in Australia they celebrate Christmas during their summer, Santa gets so hot down there he changes into shorts and t-shirt and also uses "6 tiny boomers" to give his reindeer a break. How about in Belgium where the kids are visited not just by Santa but also his assistant Zwarte Piet.

Grab your passport and travel the wonderful ways that 12 different nations celebrate this great holiday with our new package "Christmas around the world" In this package you will learn about Argentina, Australia, Belgium, China, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, Israel, Africa, USA/Canada. You will also get to complete a traditional activity that each one of these nations par takes in during the holiday season. As well don't forget to have the students record what they learned about in their own passports which is included in the package.

If not looking at the holidays around the world of interest how about finding 15 different ways to give back to your school before the holidays. Remember it is not always about what you get but rather what you give. You can find an advent calendar type print out to put up in your classroom with our 15 Days of Giving activity.

Happy holidays or as they say in Argentina "Feliz Navidad"
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 21 November 2014

Teaching Drama

This year I have what I like to call a dogs breakfast in the afternoons.  As a part of this "breakfast" I teach grade one drama.  I am having a blast with it.  
We are currently working on fairy tales and are using headbands to remember which character we are when we reenact the story.  Along with the headbands, we are using a booklet to retell the story in our own words. 

Here are some examples of us retelling the story using First, Next, Then, Finally, After that.

Students are enjoying retelling the story through writing, and reenacting the story with our actions and words.

Here is an example of one of the headbands.

I love linking drama with language. It helps to reinforce many of the concepts students are already learning. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday

You know it's cold when it's time to run Ninja style.

How do you get your workouts in when the weather turns bad?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday

This week we are linking up with Miss Decarbo at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.

Making poppies with our students.

What activities do you do with your students to help them remember?

Friday, 7 November 2014

Five for Friday

Before we get started I just had to include this pic of Jeff in his Montreal Canadians onesie.  
This was a gag birthday gift.  He was so happy to get it.  lol.

My class was lucky enough to have the chance to participate in a very cool event put on by our local legion hall. The event was around the theme of "Why do we Remember" in regards to our war veterans. It was amazing the response and engagement our my students had at this event. We were greeted by this 93 year old piper who served in the Battle of the Atlantic with the Canadian Forces. 

We also got to hear several more veterans speak of their experiences in World War II and it was capped off with a reading of the great and stoic poem of In Flanders Field. 

Our master of ceremonies even emphasized the passing of the torch from the poem to my students. It was simply marvellous.

After getting to partake in that event my students just wanted to study the war. So we took time out of of our language program to discover components of the war and the significance behind the sacrifices made by those very veterans that they met. We created a Remembrance Day package because of this and have used several of the activities this past week. One of the activities was that of Hand Poppies which we did with our Kindergarten buddies. My grade 4s painted the hands of their younger buddies and then our Kindergarten buddies painted our grade 4s hands. Together, each pairing created the symbolic poppy together. It was great for our grade 4s to teach the younger students about the significance of Remembrance Day.

One of the activities from our package is creating post cards for Veterans thanking them for their service time. This came from the idea of instead of writing one big class thank you note for our special field trip we had several individual notes thanking the Veterans for their time. 

The kids took great pride in colouring these in and then filling out the back of them. 

We have mailed them off so that Veterans should receive them either the day before Remembrance Day or the day after. 

It would be great to see the look on their faces when they get these heartfelt notes from students who view these men and women as true superheroes now. 

My students also recently finished their famous person biography box unit. It was amazing to see the creativity put into these boxes. As well as the through information included in the summary of these famous people. It will be a fun and interesting read while marking them. 


To cap a busy week we completed our first Readers Bistro of the year. It was a smashing success! The students loved their "lemon lattes" (OK it was lemon ice tea). They also loved when the Principal came to sit in on some of the book talks. We even found a few recommendations for our next class novel study. 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday

This week we are linking up with Miss Decarbo at Sugar and Spice for her Wordless Wednesday.

How have you been affected by someone who has served for our country? 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day is always a tough one to address with our younger students in class. The concept of war to them is what they get to do on their PlayStation 4 or Xboxes when they get home from school. They can luckily turn those things off and get up the next day and do it all over again. However, the men and women that took up the cause of World War I and World War II weren't so lucky.

So how do we go about explaining the war to our students? Do we tell them the truth that greed got the best of a few men and it led to them making bad choices and thus the loss of life for hundreds and thousandths of people? While it seems simple enough to explain it this way the war was much more complicated. So it is alright, to be brief about the war because as our students get older they will have the chance to study the history behind the war. What we really need to teach our younger children is the concept of Remembrance.

This year Remembrance day will hit a little closer to home for students of Ontario and Quebec as we saw two young solider recently lose their lives for just simply wearing the armed forces uniform in the past two weeks. Did these men deserve to lose their lives because they are proud Canadians and valued our country's beliefs more than their own? The answer is simple. No, they did not. Yet, they their bravery and sacrifice to keep the rest of us safe should not be and will not be forgotten. Nor, should those that served in World War I and World War II and more recently Afghanistan.

I am a proud Canadian and for this upcoming Remembrance Day my class will be looking at the concept of Remembrance and what does it mean. We will be looking at those true heroes of Canada and remember their great sacrifice so we could learn about them 100 years after they fact. We will also be doing it with our Remembrance Day package that we recently created and put up on our site. Please take a look at it and help also teach this concept we need to have so many of our students learn.