September 23

5B – A little peek into our learning so far…

Hello Grade 5B families,

Here is a little peek into our learning this week. From math problem solving to Wonder reading and comprehension, Genuis hour planning, and inquiry experiments into the Human Body, we have been busy!

Keep checking in both here and on your child’s personal blog as new posts continue to be shared!

Stay well,


September 23

5B – Back school night

Hello Grade 5B families,

Please see below the Grade 5B General studies video. This is the detailed, extended version of my recording which gives a little more information. The shorter version I will share tonight in our Back to School virtual meeting.

Please see the below slides document from Morah Ofra detailing the 5B Hebrew curriculum and protocols

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Thank you and hopefully ‘see’ you tonight!

Miss Mellenthin and Morah Ofra


April 29

Coronavirus Virtual Time Capsule – Documenting History

There has been a lot of talk about how we are living through history these days. The things we document about our experiences learning and working from home will be read and analyzed by students and historians hundreds of years from now. Just as we learn about events and lives of people in the past, their journals, pictures and accounts help us better understand what life was like.

Many students have already taken the opportunity to write journals of their own, but last week we talked about the things we thought would be important to document and how.

Here’s a quick video of the collaborative brainstorm we did on Jamboards:

And our final image of all the suggestions:

Fortunately, we launched our student blogs this year, with this exact (well, almost exact) purpose in mind. We wanted to give students a platform where they could keep track of their thoughts, learning and experiences at this point in time. It will always live there, as a resource for them, and others, to look back at and learn from.

Taking all the suggestions from the students, and also being inspired by this post by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, I created the following image for students to use as inspiration for documenting their experiences. I hope this will bring some fun and smiles into what we know is a less than ideal time.


April 22

Book Club – Home Edition!

peacefully readingAs you may or may not know, Ottawa is the 4th Canadian city I have lived in. And in each city, one of the first things I do is join a book club! In my opinion, there is little that is more enjoyable than sitting with friends, discussing a book. Knowing that I will be meeting with others to share my thoughts and opinions helps me focus in on different details and take notes on things I think are worth sharing.

Way back in January, we launched the first round of Book Clubs in our class. The feedback from students was just as I hoped it would be…THEY LOVED IT! As soon as we finished, many asked if we would be doing another round in term 3.

Well here we are, in term 3. However, things have changed a bit. Since we’re not in school and don’t have multiple copies of the same book to share, we are going to change things slightly and do an Any Book Book Club. For this term, students will get to choose any book they’d like to read. It could be a book they have at home that they’ve always wanted to read; it can be a book you order online that can be delivered in time (we will be having our first meeting on May 7, so there’s still some time to order); it can be an ebook that you download to your computer or tablet (the Ottawa Public Library has tons of ebooks and audiobooks that you can download for free! You can even get a temporary library card if you don’t already have one.)

The only rules are that it needs to be

  1. a book you’ve never read before, and
  2. a book that is both age and reading-level appropriate.

I have prepared individualized book lists with suggestions for each students’ reading levels that I will be sharing with them individually today. They do not need to choose a book from this list, but it’s a great resource in case you are looking for some suggestions. If students choose a book from home, I ask that they share the title with me to ensure it’s a good choice. Everyone needs to let me know what their book choice is by Monday, April 27th.

Each student will also get a copy of the slideshow below. They will be able to edit the slides directly to keep track of their work, and have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers in fun ways (I hope 😜)

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Happy reading!

March 18

Reading Strategy – Connecting

According to Adrienne Gear, a proficient reader doesn’t just decode the words on the page, but they engage and interact with the text by:

  • making connections;
  • visualizing;
  • asking questions;
  • making inferences;
  • determining importance;
  • analyzing and synthesizing;
  • monitoring their comprehension;

Each week of our distance learning (and when we get back to school), we will be focusing on a new reading strategy. During DEAR time, you have an activity to complete once you’ve finished your minimum of 20 minutes of reading.


This week we are focusing on CONNECTING.

When we connect with a story, we’re able to make sense of what we’re reading because it brings up memories for us. We may think about people, places and feelings that we associate with those memories.

Comment below with a connection you made after watching this video.

March 6

Reminders for Next Week

Don’t forget that Book Club folders are due on Tuesday. 

Our Math test will be on Wednesday on addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals. More practice sheets will be coming home today – due on Monday

Students must complete their Innovation Day reflection post on their blog – due next Friday. Here is a checklist of everything that needs to be included. Check here for even more detailed instructions. 

The most exciting reminder for next week is that it is Ruach(Spirit) Week! Each day, students are invited to come to school in different costumes!

Monday: Crazy Hat/Hair Day (they should still wear their uniform, but wear a crazy hat or do their hair in a crazy way)

Tuesday: PURIM! Come dressed in your favourite costume

Wednesday: Class Theme Day (our class has chosen “Through the Decades” as our theme. Students should come dressed in any clothing from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or 2000s)

Thursday: Favourite Book/TV/Movie character

Friday: Wear a pair-Bring a pair Pyjama Day (in addition to wearing our pyjamas to school, we are asking students to bring in NEW childrens’ pyjamas that will be donated to charity.

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March 3

Homework – March 3 to March 9

  1. Innovation Day is on Thursday 🙂 You’re all welcome to join in our class from 8:45 – 9:25
  2. Book Club notebooks – all worksheets (only your job sheets and the extra class activities for each week) are due next Tuesday.
  3. Math Test on Wednesday March 11 on Addition and Subtraction of whole numbers and decimals. Students will be getting one review sheet (with a few questions) each night this week (starting tomorrow) to ensure they are ready for Wednesday.


January 28

Grade 5 Book Club

We have officially launched Book Clubs (or literature circles) in our class. Last week, I book-talked 5 different books to the students:

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Trapped in Ice by Eric Walters (eliminated as an option)


After hearing a short description of each book, students then wrote down their top three choices that they wanted to read. Based on their choices, I divided them into 4 groups, all of them getting either their first or second choice of book to read.

Here’s how it will work:

Students will have 4 weeks to read their book. With their groups, they’ve already decided on weekly reading goals. Each week, in addition to reading, they will also have a “job” to prepare for their group discussion. These will be based on the section they read that week. This is all to be done AT HOME.

Here is a digital copy of the package they will be bringing home today in an orange Duotang. It includes all the job descriptions, the pages they need to read each week, what they are responsible for each week, and pages to fill out.

If anyone would like to use an audio recording of the book, here are links to YouTube where people have recorded each chapter of each book.


Number the Stars

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (you’ll need to search for each chapter on You Tube. Here’s Chapter 1.)

Maniac Magee

Book Club will take place every Tuesday morning, so it is important that students bring their books and orange duotang, with all their work completed, for Tuesday’s class for the next 4 weeks.

Happy Reading 🙂


November 10

Structured Word Inquiry

One of my goals as a teacher is to help students see that WE ALL have areas where we shine, and areas where we may not be as strong.

One of those ‘not so strong’ areas for me is that I am a terrible speller. This can be pretty embarrassing as a Language Arts teacher. Fortunately, I’ve developed tools and strategies that work for me over the years. I know how important it is to ensure things are spelled correctly before pressing send or publish. So I read, and reread my work over and over, even for something as simple as a text. Spellcheck and predictive text have been blessings in disguise for me. I often know when something just doesn’t look right, and so I check dictionaries and definitions to make sure I’m saying just what I want to say.

You can imagine my excitement then, when Mrs. Reichstein, our director of Special  Education, told me that English spelling is not just a guessing game. There are rules and strategies, that if you know them, you almost always can spell a word correctly!

I needed to learn more.

I started working with her one on one last year, and began learning a few new rules that just BLEW MY MIND. I knew these invaluable strategies would be helpful to my students as well.

Last week, she started coming in to teach our class some of these rules, and the energy during her lessons is palpable. There were so many “Aha” moments, and we can’t wait to learn more!

Here are some of the rules we’ve learned so far through investigation:

We learned a few tips to help us as we go…

We’ve started a running record of prefixes and suffixes to help us as we write…

And we’re keeping track of questions we have so that student voice guides each lesson, showing that we own our own learning…

This past week we learned that to make the letter C say |s| it must be followed by an E. But as Mrs. Reichstein tells us, don’t take her word for it! Be investigators! Can you find words that don’t follow this rule? We already thought of “fancy” and “science”. Can you think of any more?

As you make discoveries, please comment below. Or if you have any questions, comment and let us know! We’ll add them to our question board and share our discoveries about why they may break the rule.