October 4

Homework – October 4, 2019

Reminder! Math Test on Tuesday, October 8th. See this post for all the details!


If you would like to run for Class Rep for Knesset, please let me know by Monday. You may start bringing in posters for our class starting on Monday. Your speech (1 – 2 minutes MAX) must be shown to me by Thursday.

Speeches will be on Friday, October 11, and we will vote that day as well.


Good luck!!

October 2

Math Test – October 8, 2019

We will be having our first Math test on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. Here is the outline for this test.

There are many ways for students to study for this test:

  1. Review Sheets (see below)
  2. Math textbook (Chapter 2 pg 52 – 57)
  3. Watch EdPuzzle videos explaining new concepts (students need to login to their account to see these videos)

It’s a great idea to focus on the skills that are most challenging first, write down any questions, and check in with me BEFORE the test on Tuesday.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

September 25

Homework – September 25

Today the students continued to learn about their own learning styles and make choices that work with their own preferences and needs. As you may have noticed, the school did not buy student agendas this year. However, that doesn’t mean students aren’t responsible for keeping track of their due dates and assignments. Students who prefer to write their work in a book were given one today, and students who prefer to use their device were introduced to Google Keep. I encourage you to ask them about it and add yourself as a collaborator if you’d like to see the work that has been assigned to them.

In keeping with our new Homework Policy (which you’ll hear more about if you are joining us tonight at the Parent Information sessions) students did receive homework tonight, but it was sent to them via their email, as they are all working on different skills.

I’d love your feedback on how you think this system is working or if you need any support with the tech side of things!

September 18


I can’t believe we’re already into our third week of school and this is my first post. I take it as a good sign that we’re so busy and engaged in class that there hasn’t been any time for an update!

But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been documenting our learning!

One new addition to our school policy this year is the soft launch of our Bring Your Own Device initiative for grades 4-8. Understandably so, there has been lots of conversation about what this means in terms of screen time for our students. I thought a good first step would be to show you how we’ve been using the devices in grade 5 to help enhance our learning. Technology is being integrated in meaningful ways, not simply for the sake of using a device. While we may have these devices in our classrooms, they are by no means being used ALL the time, and we are pretty deliberate about what they are used for.

First, we’ve made a few additions to our weekly classroom jobs. This summer I read, Who Owns the Learning by Alan November. In this book, he talks about the Digital Learning Farm, and how by giving student’s jobs within the classroom that are integral to the learning, they will take more ownership of their learning and become meaningful contributors to the class culture. This fit in perfectly with the work I, and a cohort of OJCS teachers did, last year with Silvia Tolisano. This matches our own OJCS North Star that We own our own learningTherefore, three new jobs in our classroom are the researcher, the documenter, and the habit finder. The researcher helps answer our questions in the moment when they come up. I am the first to admit that there is A LOT I don’t know. In our classroom, students are curious and if questions come up we don’t know the answer to…the researcher will find it for us! The documenter captures the learning happening in the room and in the school. They take pictures and videos of important learning. This is great practice for when we launch out Student Blogs (grade 5 students did this last year, if you’d like to read more about it. The habit finder pays special attention to how we are following the 7 habits in our classroom, captures these moments and documents it for us. These will be great examples to share with the whole school at our monthly Rosh Chodesh assemblies.


Let’s see what some of our documenters have captured so far!


We were introduced to EdPuzzle, a place where we can watch videos and answer questions to check for understanding. These “flipped lessons” will most often be watched at home, but we did a quick lesson in class to make sure everyone knew what to do.



We also spent some time practicing our Math critical thinking skills by choosing a question to answer, solving it with our partner, and then documenting our thinking process on Flipgrid. We used the video feature and also the new whiteboard feature to create tutorials. By focusing on what we learned and what we found challenging, we’ll be able to use that learning for next time!





We also started reading our first class novel, Wonder, by R.J Palacio. We’ve already had some great discussions about friendship, acceptance and kindness. Even though some of us have already read this book before, we know that books are like gifts (simile alert! We also started talking about literary devices 😉). You can find something new each time you open it!

Finally, today students started watching video feedback from me on their first paragraphs. Using Screencastify, I was able to record myself editing the students’ work, offering tips and suggestions for improvements they could make. This personalized feedback allowed students to focus on the specific skills they are working towards, and make any necessary changes at their own pace. Afterward, one student said she couldn’t believe how helpful it was to be able to have the video open in the corner of the screen, while her document was open as well. She was able to pause the video at appropriate times and edit her work as necessary.


This is just the tip of the iceberg! It’s so exciting to see how much we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time. It’s clear that this is going to be a great year!

June 3

Math Test

We will be having a math test on Friday, June 7th, 2019

Please find the outline here and the review package here. Students will be getting hard copies of these in class, and other review sheets as well.


March 26

What’s new?

We had an incredible visit from playwright, Emil Sher, yesterday. He came to speak to grades 5-8 about turning Hana’s Suitcase into a play. It was captivating, informative and extremely enjoyable to learn from him. In our ongoing effort to develop our media literacy skills, the grade 5 students helped me tweet out about his visit. We had a pleasant surprise this morning when we checked up on the status of the Tweet! Check out my blog post to see what we found, and what we did with the information!


Our multiplication and division skills have also been improving! We will be having a test next Tuesday, April 2. Here is a link to the test outline. Today, Mr. Kom also helped us with our study skills. He shared this planner with us, which each student has started to fill out for themselves. Depending on each student’s extra-curricular activities and schedules, their planner will look different. Students are encouraged to practice using whichever tools they feel work best for them. As always, extra practice worksheets will be provided in class, students can take the textbook home, they can practice on Prodigy, and they can explore some of the other suggestions made as well.











Here are two videos reviewing the strategies we’ve learned for both multiplication and division.




March 22

Things to Remember

Happy Friday!

It has been a fun-filled week full of costumes and activities. But that doesn’t mean the learning has stopped!



Today the students got their “Adding and Subtracting Decimals” test back. Please sign and return on Monday.

We have continued with our multiplication and division unit. Students have learned a few different strategies for this, and I will be posting a blog with a tutorial on these strategies shortly. In the meantime, you can ask your child to share what they’ve learned so far with you.

In terms of rote multiplication, next week we will be focusing on 3s and 4s. Here are some tricks to help you practice:

3 – Doubles + 1 – when multiplying by 3, multiply the number by 2 and then add one more group. Ex: 4 x 3; 4 x 2 = 8 plus one more 4 = 12. Therefore, 4 x 3 = 12

Here’s a really cool video showing how to skip count by 3s

4 – Double Double – when multiplying by 4, double the number, then double it again. Ex: 6 x 4; 6 x 2 = 12 and 12 x 2 = 24. Therefore, 6 x 4 = 24

You can use the same links from my last post to practice these new facts.


Public Speaking

We have started the process of writing our public speaking speeches! We will be breaking this process up into very manageable pieces, and working on it in class. The first step is to just brainstorm a topic. Here is the schedule, where you’ll be able to see all the due dates.

By Monday, students need to fill out the brainstorming sheet and email me with their topic choice. We will continue on from there next week. As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.


March 15

Why did two 4s skip lunch? They already 8!

Who doesn’t love a good math pun?

And it’s perfect timing for our multiplication and division unit! As we embark on this next unit, it’s extremely important that students are practicing their multiplication facts daily, or as close to that as possible. As a guide, we will be focusing on specific facts each week, however that doesn’t mean a student couldn’t spend more time on a fact, or move on if they’ve mastered it. It’s all about finding out which numbers need extra work, and persevering till you’ve mastered it! We will be practicing all our multiplication facts up to 12×12.

Here are different things you can do to practice the facts:

  1. Make Flashcards. This is much better than buying them premade! Writing the facts down is in itself a form of practice. Students can cut the cards, write the multiplication sentence on one side, and the answer on the back.
  2. Math rap songs. For our auditory learners, listening to songs about multiplication and adding a beat to it can be helpful. Students can learn all the newest pop songs by heart…why not their multiplication facts? YouTube has tons of options. You just need to find the one that appeals to you.
  3. Online multiplication practice. These are a few suggestions but there are TONS to choose from.
    1. https://www.multiplication.com/quiz/multiplication-self-correcting-quizzes
    2. https://www.multiplication.com/games/play/quick-flash-ii
    3. https://www.timestables.com/
    4. https://www.coolmath4kids.com/quizzes/multiplication
    5. https://webmathminute.com/online
  4. Printed practice sheets. I have heaps of practice sheets that students can take home.
  5. Find tricks to help you remember your facts. I will share tricks each week as well.

This coming week we will be focusing on the easier facts to get them out of the way!

O, 1, 2, 5, 10

Tips and Tricks:

0 – Every number multiplied by zero is zero!   Ex:    0 x 1 = 0      0 x 12 = 0     7 x 0 = 0

1 – Every number multiplied by 1 stays the same!  Ex:   1 x 3 = 3    7 x 1 = 7    11 x 1 = 11

2 – Add the number to itself…in other words, double it!  Ex:   2 x 4 = 8 because 4 + 4 = 8

5 – There are a few different tricks for 5.

i) Cut the number in half, then multiply by 10. Ex:  5 x 6,   half of 6 is 3,  3 x 10 = 30  therefore, 5 x 6 = 30

ii) Multiply the number by 10, then cut in half.  Ex: 5 x 3,   10 x 3 = 30,  half of 30 is 15, therefore 5 x 3 = 15

iii) The last digit follows the pattern 5, 0, 5, 0… Ex: 5, 10, 15, 20…

iv) Think of a clock. The numbers on the clock represent the minutes in increments of 5. When the minute hand is on the 4, it’s 20 minutes. Therefore, 5 x 4 = 20

10 – Add a zero to the end.  Ex:   3 x 10 = 30     6 x 10 = 60    12 x 10 = 120

February 10

Math – Show What You Know

We will be having a Math assessment on Wednesday, February 13.

Students will be expected to know how to convert between metric units, from Kilometers to millimeters. They will also need to tell time on an analogue clock, and determine how much time has elapsed.