Friday, 26 December 2014

The Smallest Gift

 During the last week of school we read the book The Smallest Gift of Christmas by Peter Reynolds, who is the author of the books we read for our Global Read Aloud this fall.  The book is about a boy named Roland who isn't satisfied with his Christmas gift because he thinks it is "too small."

 After throwing a tantrum and demanding a bigger and bigger gift his original gift gets bigger and bigger!

While searching for a bigger gift he ends up in outer space.  He looks out the window of his spaceship and sees how small Earth is and he  suddenlly realizes that the thing he wants most - his family- is very, very far away and very, very small.  He comes to realize that it is not the size of the gift that is important.

We followed  this with a discussion on the importance of spending time with the people who mean the most to us.  We asked the students what they would like to do most with their families over the holidays.  Here are some of their answers. . . .
"I want to snuggle in my parents bed in the morning."
"I hope to go skating with my family."
"I hope to go skiing with my family."
"I hope to go for a walk on the beach with my family."
"I want to have a family dinner."

Whatever you do over the holidays I hope you find time to relax and enjoy some special moments with friends and family.

What do you like to do with your friends and family during the holidays?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Celebrations!

To celebrate the Christmas season our school had an afternoon performance of song, dance, and drama.  Our class did a ribbon dance!

 We ended the week with our annual Cozy Christmas. . . .  .  We come to school in our pjs!  We bring a flashlight, our favourite Christmas story, a stuffy, and a mug for hot chocolate afterward!  We meet with our Big Buddies in the gym.  The lights are turned off and all you see is the Christmas decorations and lights.  After reading time is over we get to have hot chocolate and cookies in the front foyer.  It is a fabulous way to end a terrific term of learning. 

How do you celebrate during the last week of school before the holidays?

Shapes are Everywhere!

For the month of December we looked at shapes in our environment.  We started with a review of 2-D shapes and ways to describe them using the words sides and points. We learned that 2-D shapes are flat.  Mrs. Betts challenged us to find different objects that were shaped like a square, a triangle, a rectangle, an oval, and a circle.  We had lots of fun finding things in the class that fit this criteria.  We then took pictures of the objects and learned how to use Skitch to label our objects!

We also made Santas using the shapes!  Don't they look fabulous?

Can you find and name the different shapes we used?

Next we started to look at 3-D shapes. We learned to use the words faces, edges and vertices to describe cubes, rectangular prisms, cones, cylinders, spheres and pyramids.  We played seek and find to locate objects in our environment that resembled these shapes.  Mrs. Betts would ask, "What is shaped like a _____ in our environment" and we would try to name as many things as we could that resembled that shape.  We could name a lot of things!  We made Christmas decorations shaped like a cube, a cone, a cylinder and a rectangular prism.

We practiced drawing 3-D shapes on our iPad using the app Show Me.

Our final challenge was to make a snowman with play dough using the following shapes - sphere, cube, cone, rectangular prism and cylinder.  We then took pictures of our creation, imported them into Skitch and labelled them.  Our final step was to post them on our blog.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time so many of us didn't get them posted on our individual blogs.  Here are some pictures of our finished creations and us working on putting them on our blog.  Mrs. Betts was very impressed with how quickly we could go through the process of doing this and how helpful we were to each other when we ran into a problem. We are getting very good at showing our learning using our iPads!

Check our individual blogs in early January to see our creations. 

Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight?

During the last week of school we made a variety of Christmas projects to help decorate the school and gym for our Christmas concert.  One of the projects we made was a reindeer.  After a directed drawing lesson of the reindeer, focusing on the shapes we had been learning in math, we coloured them with pastels and used water colour paints for the background.  Mrs. Betts loved how each reindeer looked so different -- even though everyone followed the same instructions! 

I think they all deserve to guide Santa's sleigh, don't you?  Do you think you could draw your own reindeer?

A Special Day!

Last Monday was a special day for us.  We invited our parents in to look at all the work we had done this term and to help us celebrate our learning.  They were very impressed with all our hard work!

Dads came

 Grandmas came!

Big brothers came!

and of course. . . . Moms

Thank you to all the parents who were able to visit us!  How do you celebrate your learning?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Cultural Connections!

Today the grade ones and twos spent time learning about how different cultures celebrate the new year. We moved from room to room learning about Diwali, Christmas, Hannukah and Ramadan.  Once we were back in our own class we looked at the similarities between the cultures.. We found out that they all eat special food during the holiday season, decorate their houses with lights, spend time with family and friends and exchange gifts.  Here we are creating rangolis, which is a decoration made by people who celebrate Diwali.  They hang them on their doors to welcome guests to their home during the Festival of Lights. 

 After we finished colouring our own rangolis we used pattern blocks to create some!
How do you celebrate in your culture?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Frosty the Snowman!

Every Wednesday we meet with our Grade 7 Buddies to do a variety of activities.  This month we have been working on a variety of Christmas crafts.  Today we made snowmen with shaving cream and white glue!  It was "SNOW" much fun and they look great!  We are going to decorate the gym with them for our Christmas musical performance next week. 

 Have you done any Christmas crafts in your class?