This week the students completed their research reports on an endangered or at risk animal in Ontario. This report included details such as the characteristics of the animal, where it is found in Ontario and why it is in trouble. Upon completing this, the students created beautiful watercolour pictures of their animals.
When we had completed our projects, the students thought about what they could do to help endangered animals in Ontario. We decided to have a bake sale. Once we had decided on a date and time, the students created posters to share the event details with the school. In doing so the students had to communicate why were were having the sale, when it would take place, where it would take place and what their customers needed to bring.
To tie our mathematics unit into the bake sale theme, the students learned about fractions and measurement as they prepared goods for the sale. They reviewed skip counting and problem-solving with money as they prepared to work the sale. They also worked on procedural writing as they recorded their recipes so they could enjoy these treats at home.
As the students worked at the bake sale they showed great pride in executing this event. The students worked in shifts to manage the sales tables and did a wonderful job calculating totals and change owed to their customers. Some students even carried signs through the school to attract more customers. In the end, students raised over $420 to help endangered animals in Ontario!!! They applauded themselves when they heard the news.
To add even more excitement to this fun-filled week, students had the opportunity to work with a visiting artist from OCAD. Ms. Gilbert used her expertise to show the animals how to create beautiful animal portraits using different lines and colours.
This week, we were lucky enough to be visited by Scientist Gail from Scientists in the School. In her presentation she helped us figure out what our classroom character Dex figure out what he could do on his journey if he encountered obstacles. Scientist Gail taught us about simple machines that could help Dex on his way. She taught us about forces such as gravity, friction and magnetism that could help move Dex's vehicle more quickly and slow it down. This lesson was all taught with a little help from a character called Percy the Penguin.
This week the students decoded Dex's note and inferred that the province he was in is in fact Ontario. In his weekly report we found out that The World Wildlife Foundation had hired him to help an animal who is at risk in Ontario. Dex asked the students in room 101 use the following website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/species-risk-ontario to see which animals were in trouble. He asked the students to each pick an animal from this website to study. Dex wanted the students to look into the characteristics of these animals, where they are located in Ontario and why they are at risk. To connect this project to mathematics and social studies the students learned about coordinate mapping this week. They also looked at word problems to determine different distances Dex has travelled on his journey.
Our class was so excited this week when we received Dex's weekly report along with pictures of his adventures in the mail. Dex explained how he combined all of the students' designs to create a vehicle that used renewable energy. He also sent us pictures of places where renewable energy was being used. The students looked at pictures of Dex at a hydro-electric plant, a solar energy station and in front of a wind turbine. After going through this material the students read Dex's next poem which contained clues to his whereabouts.
Using clues from this poem, the students inferred what country Dex was in. Many students explained that it had to be Canada, because the United States was just made up of states and Canada had 10 provinces and 3 territories. Some also explained how Canada had a beaver on its nickel so he had to be taking about Canada in his poem. Many also explained how Dex said his destination was "close to home" and Canada is home unlike the US or Mexico.
As Dex mentioned that he would not give the students their next clue until they mapped the provinces and territories, the students used computers, maps and books to accomplish this mission.
Last week, the students learned how to construct a vehicle using energy from wind, muscle and moving water. This week they learned how you can use the power of the sun, moving water and wind to create electricity. Upon doing so, they incorporated these elements into their machine designs. They explained how they would use solar panels or wind turbines to create electricity which would power the lights of their boat, an anchor or jet engines. When their design was complete, the students then recorded how long it took for their machines to travel 1 meter. We also looked at other units of measurement such as centimetres, meters, kilometres, inches and yards. In doing so they were able to infer which units would help our classroom character best measure the distance he would be traveling on his trip.
This week the students examined which renewable resources they could use to power the vehicles they had created. They learned that solar power, muscle power, wind and water power are renewable resources. The students created mini propellor's for their vehicles that used kinetic force, and moving water to push their boats forward.
Here the students created simple machines that use muscle power to work. They used procedural writing to record the steps required to build these machines.
This week the students in room 101 completed their papier mache globes. Once they had done so our classroom character Dex let us know that the continent he is going to explore is North America. He then informed the students that before he sets off on his journey the students need to explore different forms of energy. Dex wants to know what types of energy he can use to move around North America and which one would be best for the earth. On Tuesday, the students explored energy from moving air. They started to build boats that used the power of the wind to move. While creating their boats the students examined how the area of the flag and the position of the flag pole would change how quickly the boat could travel on its course. They also explored different 3D shapes and looked at which shapes would be best for the base of their boats.
This week, our classroom character Dex informed the students that he was going to go on a trip somewhere in the world. Before he left on his travels he wanted the students to infer where he was going. Dex left them a poem which contained three clues. He said the continent he would be going to had a "t" in its name, was vast and wedged between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. To learn the continents and oceans the students started making papier mache globes. They also were given the opportunity to play continent twister during innovation stations time. As an extension of this activity, students also used persuasive writing to explain why or why not Dex should travel the world alone.
This week, the students created posters to promote our show. These posters incorporated curriculum expectations in media literacy, writing and mathematics. The students first thought about the target audience that they were making the poster for. They used a graphic organizer to include all the details needed to reach that audience (parents, siblings, schoolmates and administration). To create the images for the posters students also experimented with different angles, parallel lines and polygons.
This week the students continued to work on building their inferring skills. After having studied many texts such as Follow the Drinking Gourd and learning about the Underground Railroad the students examined the book The Patchwork Path. Students had already learned that in order to escape on the Underground Railroad, slaves used secret maps that were hidden in songs and symbols in quilt squares. Before reading this text, the students did a picture walk of the book. Drawing from the pictures and their background knowledge, the students inferred what each quilt square in the book represented. They needed to use evidence from their picture or their background knowledge to back up their predictions.
Following The Patchwork Path Lesson, the students examined the book Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. During this lesson the students paid close attention to the actions taken by the main character Clara in the book. We stopped reading this book half-way through. Based on their prior knowledge gained from the books they had read on The Underground Railroad the students were asked to infer what further actions Clara would take. They needed to use evidence from the story and background knowledge to back up their predictions.