First Day Under Our Belt!

Well, our first day is under our belt! It was a great start. The students (and the teacher!) were all very excited! It was great to see all the students and hear their excited chatter as they re-established old friendships and got settled into their new class.

We had a busy day today with lots of activities to start getting to know each other. One of the things we did today was to create a mission statement of how our class is going to run this year. Rather than a set of rules that feel prescriptive and restrictive, this mission statement instead will describe what we want to see happen this year, how we will accomplish this and why we want this to happen.We are still finalizing the statement to make it clearer and easier to read. When we are done, I will post it on the blog for everyone to see. I will also be doing a good copy of the statement and having the students all sign it.

I also gave each student a newsletter to take home today which you should have received. At the back of the newsletter is some homework for the parents. The students were all very happy that their parents were getting homework and not them! ūüôā If you could please fill in the questionnaire and send it back with your child, that would be very helpful for me in getting to know your child better. I have also put a copy of the newsletter below.

Other Items:

Phys. Ed and Music: Phys.Ed will be on Tuesday’s and Friday’s this year. Students should have a PE Kit to change into for those days.

Calendar: I have set up a calendar on the blog for important dates and reminders. I try to keep this updated as much as possible and enter in dates as I get them. You should see a link at the top of the page to view the calendar.

Spelling: During the month of September we concentrate on reviewing the phonograms and working on handwriting. Therefore we will not be starting spelling until the end of September. I will be putting out more information about Spelling as we get closer.

I think that is about it for now. Please remember that this  blog is a very important tool in communicating what is happening. There are also lots of resources for both you and your children as well as lots of fun things that I find occasionally. So please check out the blog as much as possible or sign up to be notified when a new article is posted!


2013 First Day Newsletter by ihancock

Water Fun Tomorrow!

SwimmingJust a quick reminder that  we are going swimming tomorrow afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon (just in case you thought it was 1:00 to 3:00 in the morning :)). You will need your swimsuit and a towel to take with you. We are still dressing in our uniforms but you can wear your swimsuit underneath as long as you bring your stuff for after the swimming! It should be a lot of fun. Remember that we will be going on the fieldtrip to the Planetarium on the 25th of March after all the hoopla and excitement of the Olympics is over the traffic has settled back to normal.

If you have not brought your permission form back for the swimming yet, please make sure that you have it for tomorrow!

Note Home Today!

We had a fantastic day today! The students worked hard, listened well and made lots of good choices. We had a fun day with lots of great stuff happening. There was a note that went home today regarding the upcoming science projects students will be doing in class as their final projects for our Buildings and Structures Unit. Here is what the note says. I have also put a copy of the note in the widget on the right side of the blog if you would like to download a copy.

Dear Parents

The Grade 2/3 students have been working very hard in Science. Our first unit this year was on Building and Structures. Throughout this unit, students were learning all the ways that buildings can be built to make them strong and stable. This includes using strong shapes like circular columns, triangles and supportive structures like arches and beams.

For their final project, students will be taking everything they have learned and apply those concepts and ideas to building an actual model structure. Using materials brought from home, students will choose one of three structures to build. Through this process, each group will also have a budget to stay within when ‚Äúpurchasing‚ÄĚ their materials, as well as strict guidelines to follow in order to successfully complete the project.

As we are building models from actual materials, it would be appreciated if you could send any of the following recycled material with your child to school:

Popsicle sticks                                                               Milk cartons
Cereal boxes/cardboard                                            Shoe boxes
Empty paper towel rolls                                           toilet paper rolls
Scrap pieces of string (any type) and wool         Straws
Yogurt and margarine containers                        Pipe Cleaners
Strawberry baskets
Spools                                                                              Flexible wire
Toothpicks                                                                     Clothespins
Paper Clips                                                                    Egg cartons

Please ensure that containers have been washed before sending them. We appreciate your assistance.

We did our Daily 3 today with all the 3 elements of the program. It went very well, though we had some technical difficulties with the equipment! However, we worked through everything and it very well for the first time. The students also wanted me to put this video on the blog. I don’t know why. I showed them the video today during our Daily 3 time to show what another class did to learn the Acronym “IPICK” which is a way to help students pick books that are a good fit for them. It’s a little hard to understand but the students thought it was hilarious!

Oobleck Machine Project

I know that our Oobleck projects have been done for awhile but I wanted to have a chance to showcase our Oobleck machines. If you remember, we had designed our Oobleck machines to deal with the properties we had discovered in Oobleck. We had discovered that Oobleck gets hard when it is squeezed, soft when it is loose in your hand, and is somewhat sticky. Using those rules of Oobleck, students needed to design a vehicle that could handle those conditions as if it was going to be having to drive on a lake of Oobleck.¬† Now, you can just come and see the finished projects in the hallway outside Mr. Shinness’ office, but that wouldn’t be using cool technology would it? So, here are all the finished projects in an awesome Animoto video.

If you would like to create your own bowl of wonderfully, thick and messy Oobleck, here is a recipe you can use.

Oobleck was the name given to a type of slime in a Dr. Seuss book that was capable of gumming up a whole kingdom. The oobleck the you can make for a science project isn’t gummy, but it does have interesting properties of both solids and liquids. It normally behaves like a liquid or jelly, but if you squeeze it in your hand, it will seem like a solid.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 10-15 minutes

Here’s How:

  1. Mix 1 part water with 1.5 to 2 parts cornstarch. You may wish to start with one cup of water and one and a half cups of cornstarch, then work in more cornstarch if you want a more ‘solid’ oobleck. It will take about 10 minutes of mixing to get nice homogeneous oobleck.
  2. Mix in a few drops of food coloring if you want colored oobleck.

Finally, as we have two weeks of short weeks, I have decided to still do the spelling lists this week. However, we will do the spelling test on Tuesday of next week. I will put the spelling words on the blog tomorrow along with the link to the Spelling City site. As we ran out of time for our memory verse on Friday due to skating, we will be doing the same memory verse this Friday.

Grade 3’s have a quiz on the 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 times tables this Thursday.

What’s That? A New Science Challenge?

Well, all right then! This will be our last Science Challenge this week¬† . . . and it’s all about music!! No, no, don’t worry your smart, curious, intelligent heads now. You don’t need to be able to read notes or anything. You can put away the old tuba collecting dust in the corner. This one is going to be a whiz-banger of creativity, a flim-sham of activity, a kerplutz of musical genius making. So without further ado (and with sounds of music running through my head!) here is the challenge:

Use any/all of the following materials to create a one man band contraption that you can wear and play. This is a great one to videotape!

rubber bands
paper clips
empty cereal container
a plate
2 spoons
2 objects of your choice
a bowl
a book
a hairbrush
a comb
3 soda cans

As you think about your design for this challenge take a listen to a news article about a real one man band and how he designed his!

Listen to a One Man Band – Interview from NPR

If you need some more inspiration, try this game out!

Games at - One Man Band
One Man Band

Build your very own one man band!

Play this free game now!!

To end off, here is a an old favorite from Mary Poppins where Burt becomes a one man band!

Have fun! All projects are due on Monday, June 15th but you can always bring them in early!!!! The earlier you bring them in the less you have to worry about them!!!!!

Also, permission forms for the waterslides are due on Friday! Check the Important Dates area for more info on things coming up!

Christmas Time is Here . . .

We had a wonderful day yesterday. The students had a reading test yesterday and we also prepared for their Science Test today. Students were extremely well behaved on their field trip to the Chilliwack Museum where they got to hear stories from the past and make some pioneer crafts including potato candy. Yes, that’s right. You heard correctly; potato candy! And it was good!! In fact, it’s all good in Grade 3.

As the Christmas season comes closer, we often tend to think of those in need. While we should always be thinking of others who are having difficult times throughout the year, Christmas seems to naturally bring these feelings out.

As such, our class has a couple of projects we are working on to help bring Christmas to others. Our first project is the annual Salvation Army Food drive. We are are working hard to being in lots of cans and other food items. We have already received a number of items but more is needed. Please continue to bring those items in.

The other project we are working on is a toy drive. We are working on getting used or new toys together to donate the local Woman’s Shelter. Any toy is fine as long as it is in good shape, has all the pieces with it and is clean. I am sure that your child has many items that they do not play with and could be donated to someone who may not get a present for Christmas.

News about Field trip and Class Party

First of all, I was reminded this morning that parents have already pre-paid for field trips this year! So please disregard the request for money (although I could put it towards a Tylenol fund for dealing with a crying baby!!!)

And now for something completely different:

Class Party !!!!!

We are happy to report that your kids have been working very hard to earn enough stars in class to have another class party! The government, however, has now implemented new regulations that do not allow us to offer unhealthy treats at school (such as pop, candy, and regular chips). For this reason, we are getting creative and have come up with a possible list of healthier alternatives! We would love it if your student could bring something to the party ‚Äďthis Monday, Dec 01/08 ‚Äď from the list below, or some other healthy snack we have not thought of. Please discuss this with your child today, so that we can get an idea on Fri. of who will be able to bring things on Monday.

fruit plates
cheese & cracker plates
veggies & dip
healthy chips
juice boxes
popcorn (please bring it already popped)
rice cakes
homemade cupcakes, cookies, rice krispy squares etc.

Thanks so much for all you do to help us throughout the year. It is very appreciated!

Amazing Day

Lot’s happening today. We started our home reading program today with an introduction and explanations. The students had lots of questions of course, so we spent some time dealing with that.

One thing I would like to mention out of those discussions is when the students need to start reading chapter books. Up to 70 books, students may read any kind of literature including chapter books. After 70 books though, students must be read chapter books. A couple of the students asked about comic books and magazines. I said yes to those as long as they are actually reading the material. However, I will also leave that to your discretion as to whether you, as a parent, will allow those materials to count.

As mentioned before, you can print off more reading log pages from the website here, either from the earlier post or from the widget on the side.

Today we also completed our next experiment for science. I took some video of the event. Though the students were a little loud, the experiment went well and got some good information from the experiement to help us with our understanding of building principles. I will be posting more details and some of the videos soon to share with you.

Tomorrow is a special day in Math. We are going to be getting a little mucky. Please remember to have your child bring an old shirt to school.

Friday is Fall Colour Day. Students will be allowed to wear casual pants and shirts with fall colours.