I was inspired by this post from Teaching With Moxie to do something with our multiplication arrays. I also used this post at Deep Space Sparkle for inspiration. Put them both together and what do you have - multiplication cities obviously!

We started by reading this book, focusing on how the pictures showed multiplication!

Then we looked at the sample art from Deep Space Sparkle - and talked about how we could write multiplication sentences for some of the buildings but not all of them.

We came up with a success checklist for our art:

*use a ruler to create straight lines
*create a cityscape
*on each building include an array (using windows or items in a window)
*add extra details like stars or snowflakes in an array
*complete the chart describing the art using multiplication sentences

Students completed two charts - one with answers and one without - so that people could find the correct object and then check their answers on the second page.

Here are some samples of their work:

Here is a copy of the chart for you!

If you are looking for some multiplication resources check this out by clicking on the pictures:


It is late Sunday afternoon and I am recovering from my daughters sleepover birthday party - in which of course very little sleeping actually took place!

So here is a very quick look at 3 books.

Last week we read this book:

This is a book I heard about through blogs (of course). It is a great book for teaching students how to narrow down their ideas in writing. Instead of writing about a whole trip to an amusement park the story focuses on 1 ride and the feelings of the poeple who ride it. It is a great illustration for students who like to add a lot of sentences to their writing but not a lot of specific detail. We used this book when looking at their paragrahps from the week before (we are using the Paragraph of the Week resource from Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6) and how they could bump up their writing this week.

This week I hope to post pics of their paragraphs - they are doing great with this resource!

In February I always focus on people who make a difference in the world and tie it in with Black History Month and just extend it from there. I book I love to use to introduce this theme is:

It tells the story of Rosa Parks from the view point of a fictional boy on the bus. It is a great starting off point for talking about standing up for what you believe in and how one small action can cause change.

This week for our Forest of Reading boook we will be reading this book:

This is the story of Ella May who finds a special wishing stone at the beach, brings it home and has her wishes come true (her friends will come over, she will get food - you know really big wishes!). Her friends all want wishing stones too and go looking but of course she tells them that none of their stones are wishing stones and she wished her friend would leave. Of course the story can not end with her beind so unkind and she totally redeems herself! This book is great since our focus value for February is kindness!! Check out the follow up worksheets here.

This is our bulletin board where we track votes:

Have a great week!

I am joining up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for Flashback Friday!

This week my grade 4's started their unit on the physical regions of Canada. I modified this great launching activity from the Hands on Social Studies resource.

This activity could be used to intro a unit on regions, landforms, natural resources or trading partners.

Here are the materials you need to start: containers to collect tokens, tokens and tape.

Next tape your class off into regions. I made the playground the Arctic Lowlands which was perfect since it was so cold this week! I taped the class off and labeled the baskets and sorted the tokens Wedensday after school. Each group has different colour tokens.

When the came to school on Thursday this is what they saw.

We looked at a map with the real regions marked on our Brightlinks board. Then we labelled our classroom regions - going as close to the same way as they are split in real life. We talked about with natural resources each classroom region had - garbage cans, books, lego, recycle bin, computer, carpet area, lunches!! Each group was given their basket and colour tokens.

They had to work together to give each person an equal amount of starting tokens (that's right - we had to do math). It was fun watching them using strategies to try and get the tokens even - and what to do if there was one or two extra!!

Then the fun begins - each time they needed to use a resource (clipboard, carpet, book, Brightlinks board) they had to put a token in that regions basket. It is free to walk through a region. I had tokens from my region that I kept in my pocket and paid each time I used a resource in a different region. We also had a basket of tokens at the door for any visitors that came in and had to use a resource (this was the Arctic Lowlands basket). Students had to pay the Arctic Lowlands to use the playground at recess.

At the end of the day we revisit the baskets. The students had to work independently and as a group to answer the following.

We put our work up on our Brightlinks projector.
We loved this activity so much we did it for two days!

Here is a little physical regions wordsearch I made up (Canadian and American) to use for early finishers in this unit!

Freebie Fridays

We have been working on verbs, non-fiction text features, multiplication and staying warm!! Here are a few of the things we have been up to:

Verbs - I read a post (and can't remember where so if it is you please let me know) about writing on paper, scrunching it up and throwing it like snowballs - and we have been doing this like crazy cause the kids love it! On Tuesday we folded a paper into 8 sections, wrote 8 verbs, ripped the paper, scrunched the paper, moved to the outside of the desks, then threw the papers (trying in vain to land them on desks). The whole time I am highlighting all the verb actions they are doing). Then they collected all the snowball papers by or on their desks, unfolded them and read them. They were so excited, shouting out what verbs they got - almost like they were presents. So....

on Wednesday in math, we wrote down 4 numbers (from 1-9) on a paper, ripped, scrunched and threw onto the middle of the floor. Then they collected any two snowball papers, brought them to their desk, opened them and multiplied the two numbers. And repeat, and repeat and repeat. They had loads of fun.

I also showed them a strategy I just learned for the 8 times tables. I was at a JUMP Math workshop and learned this strategy.

Start at 8 and write all the numbers counting back by 2's. This is your ones column.
Then start at 0 and count down by 1's for the tens column


Start at 8 again and write all the numbers countingy back by 2's. This is the ones column.

Then start at 4 and count up by 1's for the tens column

The kids were happy with this new strategy as 8's have been a little tricky for some. Do you use JUMP math? I think I will be checking this program out - as it is aligned to both the Ontario Curriculum and the Common Core and it is free. Check it out - I would love to hear what others think about it.

Our art is borrowed from an idea that I got from this blog post at the Balanced Classroom. I took pictures in our classroom of the students dressed up in their winter gear - acting out a winter action. I printed the pics, they cut them and added them to a winter scene. We used ripped paper for the snow and they had to add at least two other items/details to their work. Then they wrote about what is happening in their pick and highlight the verbs in their sentences. Take a look.

This one is building a snowman.

This is not one kid with a hatchet - it is my kid flying through the air attacking with snowballs and the other kid surrendering with a white flag!

This shot includes the banner I made using digital paper from Ashley Hughes' TpT store.

Check back on Friday to hear how we started our unit on physical regions and natural resources - its a new unit for me and the kids and I are so excited for our first activity!

It must be the weekend cause I'm talking about books! Today I would like to highlight a couple of books I used to teach the value of respect. Each month in our school we focus on one value, teach it, anchor chart it, read about it, you get the idea. At the end of the month at our spirit assembly each teacher selects a student who has exemplified this value and presents them with a brag tag. Here are a few books I used for respect.

A great book teaching the Golden Rule - Do unto otters as you would have otters do to you! This great book is chock full of manners and great comical illustrations. It is also available on Bookflix (if you have that).

We also read:

A story about a not so attractive fish who has a nasty habit of eating every fish that comes into his tank. He realizes that he is a little lonely and perhaps he would like someone to hang out with - and he gets HIS wish - a big new fish enters the tank. Unfortunately Ugly Fish learns the lesson of treat others how you want to be treated by being treated the way he treated others - yep , not a happy ending - the kids were shocked!

Another book we read this week is one of my favourites to use when teaching parts of speech - in particular verbs. It is written as an ABC book - but the illustration comes before the text - so the students can generate predictions about what verb they think describes what is happening in the illustration. These are some stellar verbs: evapourating, vanishing, quartered and are a great jumping off point for generating a class list of strong verbs. And of course Chris Van Allsburg's illustrations are amazing.

Tomorrow we will be continuing with the Blue Spruce nominated books with a book that I really enjoy. I love the illustrations and it is a great little message since we are kicking off No Name Calling Week.

You may recognize the title characters from this little gem about friendship...

Here are the follow up worksheets we are doing for this book - one is for Grade 1/2 and the other for Grade 3/4. Check out last week's blog for our first book and follow up. Tomorrow is our first vote - since we will have two books to choose from. Come back next week to see which way the kids have voted!

Yahoo for Friday! I hardly taught my class this week between workshops, a field trip and a PD day, but somehow it still managed to be a long week. Here we go, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

1. Nature Centre Field Trip
Every year I book our trip to the Nature Centre to snowshoe and probably 2 out every 3 years there is not enough snow!!! This year on our snowshoeing trip we went bird watching and dissected owl pellets - it was awesome. The kids loved using the binoculars, and feeding the chickadees and digging into the pellets. The best part, when our Nature Centre leader tells them they are not allowed to say, Yuck, Gross or Eeww - cause those are nature swear words. We need to say awesome and cool. I heard her say - guys no swearing - so adorable - and it works, even with the most squeamish of girls!!

2. PD Day Friday
A chance to work on report cards, organize my classroom, assess student work - or sit and talk to coworkers!!

3. Horse Back Riding Camp
We dropped our daughters off at a Girl Guide horse back riding camp and don't pick them up until Sunday at 3. Hubby is going to draft his hockey pool team (great, hockey is back) so I am all alone Saturday night - what exciting activity will I do with all my free time....work on report cards - since I did not get enough done today!

4. Movie Monday/PJ Friday
Knowing that no matter how little I got done today I have Movie Monday at our school (fundraiser to raise money for a school in Africa) and PJ Friday to look forward to next week!

5. Acting Out Verbs
We focused on verbs this week and at the end of the day Thursday we took a few minutes to act out verbs for our classmates to guess - and boy were they creative. They loved this activity. Some of the verbs they came up with: fainting, robbing, escaping, blinking and listening. I made these verb cards up quick to continue the fun this week. Click here for a copy.

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