November 24

Math Quiz – 2-digit by 2-digit Multiplication

Over the last few weeks the students have been working hard on mastering the Standard Algorithm for multiplication. We will be having a short quiz on Tuesday, December 1, as a check-in before moving on to long division.

Here are some of the strategies we’ve been practicing so far that students have found helpful:


Using a sheet of paper to cover the number in the 10s place of the bottom number (multiplier) has also been helpful in reducing confusion as they multiply the top number (multiplicand).

Every student received a review package in their homework this week. They can also access MANY review worksheets here.  IXL continues to be a great place for review, and tasks specifically related to multiplication have been assigned.

Category: 5A, 5B, Math | LEAVE A COMMENT
November 9

The Facts About Multiplication Facts

As some of you may know, Ontario released a new math curriculum in 2020. There are a few new strands, such as financial literacy and coding, but one major philosophical change is the requirement for students to memorize their multiplication facts. In grade 5, students are required to learn their facts up to 12 x 12.

I have written about memorizing facts before, and have participated in workshops on online webinars to learn other strategies for helping students learn their facts. I personally believe that there is a balance between memorizing and learning the “why” of multiplication. I don’t believe it’s an all or nothing, you just know them or you don’t, kind of thing. There may be some facts that come more easily, and others that are more difficult. Using strategies to make those more difficult ones make sense seems so much more beneficial than simply just memorizing it.

With all that being said, the one common strategy, whether you are learning or memorizing, is practice! Talk about multiplication, think about multiplication, practice multiplication, make it a part of your daily routine, and it will get easier! Therefore, over the next number of weeks, in addition to reading daily, students will be required to practice their multiplication facts until they are mastered. Some may already be there, some may need until the end of the year. Either way is perfect! Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery whenever they are ready, fact by fact.

Think About Multiplication

I highly recommend watching this webinar (it’s about an hour long) for some ideas about how you can talk about the facts to help your child learn those trickier ones.

Read About Multiplication

Here are some strategies from a book I got at the Scholastic Book Fair two years ago, Math Hacks by Vanessa Vakharia (if you follow the link, there are some suggestions for online sites and games for practice)

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Practice Multiplication

  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. Here’s a site with 30 fun ideas that play on your musical, artistic, or kinesthetic learning style.
  3. Online multiplication practice. These are a few suggestions but there are TONS to choose from.
  4. Printed practice sheets. I have heaps of practice sheets that students can take home.
  5. Find tricks to help you remember your facts.
  6. Mrs. Cleveland has also created a list on her math blog, to many different useful math practice sites, not only just for multiplication.
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If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you! Happy multiplying!

October 28

Addition, Subtraction and Problem Solving…Oh My!

It’s never a bad thing to continue practicing your addition and subtraction. This year, we’ve added decimals to the mix, and have been practicing using both operations in multi-step problem solving.

We will be having a math test on these skills on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • estimating sums and differences (whole numbers and decimals)
  • calculating sums and differences (whole numbers and decimals)
  • multi-step problem solving

There are many ways to review for this test. We will be spending time in class reviewing the various components. Additionally, here are some things you can do at home:

* Practice test, which was in your homework package this week.

* IXL Math  – your teacher has assigned some focus skills to practice

* EdPuzzle – your teacher has shared some video tutorials for review

* Practice Worksheets – you will find many different worksheets here to help you review


It’s always a good strategy to make a study schedule for yourself. This past week you were given a schedule to help you study for your science quiz. Here is a blank schedule. Can you fill it out for yourself? Think about any extra-curricular activities you have, family commitments, or special events and plan out your study schedule from now until the day of the test.

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Good luck!


Category: 5A, 5B, Homework, Math | LEAVE A COMMENT
October 5

5A and 5B – Math Test – October 13

We will be having our very first math test on October 13 for our Numeration Unit.

Below you will find the full outline and suggestions on how to study.

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As you can see, there are various ways to study for this test:

  • This week’s homework has a full review package. Students should complete this package for homework and come to school on Friday with any questions they may have.
  • In this folder you will find a slew of practice worksheets organized by subject. In the main folder there are even more mixed reviews that you can practice with.
  • EdPuzzle is a site we have been using in class that has video explanations and practice questions. This is another great resource for extra review and practice (login with your Google account)
  • Students will be introduced to IXL Math, which is an adaptive online program we will be pivoting to use more regularly, and will be assigned targeted practice for the upcoming test (login with your Google account)

We recommend spending time practicing every night, even if you feel you completely confident. The more you practice, the better prepared you’ll be! We will be continuing to review in class as well, so don’t feel you need to hold your questions till Friday.

Happy studying 🙂

Category: 5A, 5B, Math | LEAVE A COMMENT
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


May 13

A Virtual Math Quiz – May 19

I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about this one. In my Twitterverse, different educators are saying different things about assessment during this time of remote learning. As Dr. Mitzmacher mentioned in his last Weekly Parent Update email, we are in the process of discussing what report cards will look like for us at OJCS. After reading the different opinions online, and beginning to have conversations with my colleagues, here is where (I think) I have landed.

We began learning from home 9 weeks ago. We have been in “class” together for 7 weeks (we were on Passover break for 2 weeks) We have been learning A LOT during those 7 weeks. Have we gone a bit slower than we would have if we were in school? Yes. Have I been doing my best to check in with everyone to get a sense of what each child understands and where they may still need support? Yes. Would I be giving a cumulative assessment if we were still in school and had done all the work we’ve done? Yes. So why not at least try to do something for students to show what they know?

I can’t pretend we’re in school and that everything is the same, so there will have to be certain adjustments made to this assessment. I’m researching and brainstorming with my colleagues on how this can look so that the assessment is personalized and fair, and delivered in a way that meets the needs of all students in our class. We’ll try it out, and like everything else, we’ll learn from how it goes.

Our quiz will be on two-digit by two-digit multiplication, long division (3 digit divided by 1 digit) and checking your quotient with multiplication. Here are some videos reviewing the various strategies. Students can use whichever strategy they are most comfortable with. 

There are some things you can do to make the reviewing and studying portion of this experience a little more engaging and fun (even if the students won’t agree) that will also take you away from the screen:

  1. Make an obstacle course with different ‘pit stops’. At each stop, students need to solve a multiplication or division problem before they’re allowed to move on to the next obstacle.
  2. Take chalk outside and solve equations on the sidewalk. Leave a few for your neighbours and then check their work to see if they’re correct!
  3. Challenge yourself to make real-world word problems that use multiplication and division. Write them down, record them, or call up a friend and see if they can solve them.
  4. Knowing our multiplication facts will undoubtedly help with this assessment. Take a skipping rope and practice your facts (try not to just skip count *pun intended* but say the whole fact equation out loud. For example: “three times five is fifteen”) If skipping isn’t your thing, take a basketball and dribble, or a tennis racket and bounce against the wall.

If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments! The best ideas come from collaboration. After all, we learn better together.

And if you would still like some paper and pencil examples to practice, there are many to choose from here. 


Category: Math | LEAVE A COMMENT
March 22

Multiplication Practice at Home

I little while back I wrote this post about whether or not we should be memorizing our facts. The verdict is still out, however my own opinion is that I don’t believe memorization is the best strategy. But, I do think that it is extremely important to practice! I gave a few suggestions for practicing your facts at home in that post, however, while we are learning from home over the next few weeks, and especially while we are in our Multiplication and Division unit in math, practicing at home will be very important. Here are a few different ways to practice.

Here’s a site with 30 fun ideas that play on your musical, artistic, or kinesthetic learning style.

This site has a few different activities for each fact to help practice (and memorize if you believe in that)

Mrs. Cleveland has also created a list on her math blog, to many different useful math practice sites, not only just for multiplication.

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Category: Math | LEAVE A COMMENT
March 9

Math review questions

A new sheet has been placed in the students’ folder for tomorrow, practicing making change which we did in class today.

If you would like extra review questions, here are some questions from the textbook.

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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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