Monday, 30 September 2013

Global Read Aloud & The Frog Prince

Today we started the novel Mary McGuire as part of The Global Read Aloud.

In Chapter 1 we are introduced to the main character, Marty McGuire, who is a bit of a tomboy. The teacher announces that the class will be doing a play of The Frog Prince.

A Term One focus for our grade 2s is to be able to retell a story, so we read a version of The Frog Prince fairy tale. Students then had the choice to retell the story in pictures and words, orally, or to use the puppet print-outs from the BBC's CBeebies website. The puppet option was the favourite.

Students formed their own groups and had the task of coming up with a plan. They decided who would cut out and colour each puppet, which backgrounds they would use, and who would be in charge of the voice for each puppet.

A few students had the idea to film the puppet shows and to put them onto YouTube. Someone in class said that they think that their video will go viral :) We will continue to work on the puppets and backgrounds this week and then we will start video taping the performances.

Stay tuned for the videos!!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Students explored colour mixing with chalk pastels on a regular sheet of paper. Next, we placed a photograph printed on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper inside a plastic page protector and students used Sharpie markers to trace the outline of their face. The photograph was taken out of the plastic sheet protector & we inserted their chalk pastel sheets. Simple but cool!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Augmented Reality for International Dot Day

International Dot Day is September 15, 2013. In celebration of the great book The Dot by Peter Reynolds, we downloaded and printed the free Dot Day pdf from

Next, students chose markers, crayons or chalk pastels to colour the dot. When students were finished, we used the ColAR Mix app to view their work on the iPad and the dots came to life! They were swirling and spinning and we were all very impressed.

I took a screen shot of each piece of work and even though the still photos do not look as impressive as the Augmented Reality dots, I have ordered prints of the photographs for students to use along with an upcoming creative writing assignment. In addition, I used the Pic Collage app to make a few collages of the work. I learned about this free and easy to use app from PDSB Teacher Helen Chapman @playing_in_k - thank you Helen!

Nature & Data Management

For our Data Management unit, we did a Nature Scavenger Hunt and collected items on the list. Some of the items were difficult for students to read, but we worked together to make sure that everyone collected everything and checked each item off of the list.

We all started with the same list, but everyone's items were just a little bit different. Next, students sorted and categorized their items. We talked about how they were already sorted into one category, Nature Items. Their task was to sort and categorize them in to 2 or 3 different categories and to label them accordingly.

I used the Three Ring app to take a photo and tag each student's work so that we will have a record of their work to compare at the end of the unit. I made a quick slideshow of the work and students  discussed the photos (with a reminder that we were looking at the work and not a particular student - no names were visible) to answer the following questions:

1) Was the work sorted in 2 or 3 categories?
2) Were the categories labeled?
3) What was the sorting rule used? (Difference between an attribute and characteristic discussed)
4) What is something great about the work?
5) What is one thing that could be improved?

We discussed that even though we started with the same Scavenger Hunt List, each student organized their items in a different, but meaningful way (Big Idea).

Then we co-created success criteria. Students felt that good work would need to have a title, that the work should be neat, we should check our spelling, we should follow instructions carefully, etc.

Next, we will use the Co-Created Success Criteria to sort and classify some different classroom items.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Pet Monster Glyphs - Data Management

One of the activities our class of grade 2s & 3s has completed in the Data Management strand was creating Pet Monster Glyphs. According to the Guide for Effective Instruction "a glyph is a pictorial display in which colours and/or symbols represent information. A key provides instructions to students on how to complete their glyphs". page  17.

Grade 2 and 3 students used the key to create their own Pet Monster and then used the key again to try to find out whose pet monster was whose. It was a nice first week activity for getting to know one another. Here are some samples:


The key is posted below, but isn't formatting the way I'd like :) After using the code to create their Pet Monster, students added details (notice that one of the Pet Monsters has their own pet on a leash?)

Chocolate Ice Cream
Like A Different Treat Better
Rounded Head
Zig Zag Head


Green paper
Blue Paper




Love to Read
Don't Love Reading Yet
Straight Body Sides
Wiggly Body Sides


# of Family Members = Number of Eyes

Like Pets
Don’t Like Pets
Big Mouth
Small Mouth

Prefer Outdoors
Prefer Indoors
Big Nose
Small Nose

Like Math
Not Yet
Round Body Bottom
Straight Body Bottom

# of Pets = Number of Ears




Happy to Be Back to School
Not Happy to be Back to School
Waving hands on arms
Arms and hands down


Like Sports
Not Yet
Zig Zag Stripes on Arms
Squiggly Stripes on Arms


Age = Number of Legs and Feet













A glyph is a pictorial display in which colours and/or symbols represent

information. A key provides instructions to students on how to complete

their glyphs.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

How Did You Know That?

During a conversation with a great new colleague, he asked "How did you know that?" I had to think for a minute, but then I realized that I had received the information in an email.

If you haven't already used Google Alerts, and you like to be up to date on specific information, you should set up an alert or two.

I set up an alert so that every time there is news or information about "Ontario Teachers" I get an email alert.

It is easy and informative. Just go to and fill in the blanks.